The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
Presbyterian Gay Clergy
Presbyterian leaders voted Thursday to allow non-celibate gays in committed relationships to serve as clergy, approving the first of two policy changes that could make their church one of the most gay-friendly major Christian denominations in the U.S.
But the vote isn’t a final stamp of approval for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) or its more than 2 million members.
Delegates voted during the church’s general assembly in Minneapolis, with 53 percent approving the more liberal policy on gay clergy. A separate vote is expected later Thursday on whether to change the church’s definition of marriage from between “a man and a woman” to between “two people.”
Such changes must be approved by a majority of the church’s 173 U.S. presbyteries before they can take effect. Two years ago, the assembly voted to liberalize the gay clergy policy — but it died last year when 94 of the presbyteries voted against it.
Under current church policy, Presbyterians are only eligible to become clergy, deacons or elders if they are married or celibate. The new policy would strike references to sexuality altogether in favor of candidates committed to “joyful submission to worship of Christ” (Presbyterian Leaders Approve Gay Clergy Policy,” www.newsmax.com, Jul. 8, 2010).
“Increased tolerance” seems to be one the prominent phrases of our day.
Benjamin Wind, a nonvoting young adult delegate to the assembly from Syracuse, N.Y., said Presbyterians of his generation greatly favor the change.
“The world has become a more tolerant and accepting place,” Wind said. “I’ve grown up with gay and lesbian friends, teachers, even spiritual leaders. They stand proud as people who deserve the same rights as all human beings” (ibid.).
Note: “They stand proud.” Proud indeed, and many of them militantly proud of a lifestyle defined by the Bible as sin. Christians are called to love the sinner but hate the sin.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (Romans 1:24-28).
To hate and reprove sin, and at the same time to show pity and tenderness for the sinner, is a difficult attainment. The more earnest our own efforts to attain to holiness of heart and life, the more acute will be our perception of sin and the more decided our disapproval of any deviation from the right. We must guard against undue severity toward the wrongdoer, but we must also be careful not to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. There is need of showing Christlike patience and love for the erring one, but there is also danger of showing so great toleration for his error that he will look upon himself as undeserving of reproof, and will reject it as uncalled for and unjust (Acts of the Apostles, p. 503).
Pornography -- 37% of total web pages
Miami – June 16, 2010 - Predominant content on the Internet is pornography, which makes up 37% of the total number of Web pages online, according to a new study published by Optenet, a pioneer and global leader of enabling SaaS [Software as a Service] offerings and delivering “on-premise” security solutions.
The report, which includes a representative sample of approximately 4 million extracted URLs, shows that adult content on the Internet as well as illegal content such as child pornography and illegal drug purchase has undergone a significant increase of 17% in the first quarter of 2010, as compared to the same period in 2009.
Additionally, Websites related to the online role-playing games (RPGs), such as World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy and Grand Theft Auto 4, have grown by more than 212% in the first three months of 2010. Websites that contain violence have grown by 10.8%, terrorism content by 8.5%, and illegal drugs purchase by 6.8% are continuing to grow (“More than one third of web pages are pornographic,” www.optinet.com (press release), June 16, 2010).
Commenting on the implications of the findings, one of the Optinet employees said,
“Security of minors is a major factor for parents and guardians. There is a growing trend for online role-playing games to encourage negative behavior, by rewarding violent and brutal activities within the online games (ibid.).
Loving God more than pleasure fortifies one’s mind to discern and resist growing tides of evil.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [emphasis added] (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Paganism at Stonehenge
SALISBURY, England — Thousands of New Agers and neo-pagans danced and whooped in delight Monday as a bright early morning sun rose above the ancient stone circle Stonehenge, marking the summer solstice.
About 20,000 people crowded the prehistoric site on Salisbury Plain, southern England, to see the sunrise at 4:52 A.M. local time, following an annual all-night party.
The event typically draws thousands of alternative-minded revelers to the monument, as they wait for dawn at the Heel Stone, a pockmarked pillar just outside the circle proper, which aligns with the rising sun (“Thousands celebrate solstice,” www.msnbc.com (Associated Press), June 16, 2010).
One of the visitors commented,
“It means a lot to us ... being British and following our pagan roots,” said Victoria Campbell, who watched on, wearing a pair of white angel’s wings and had a mass of multicolored flowers in her hair. The 29-year-old Londoner, who works in the finance industry, also said that “getting away from the city” was a major draw (ibid.).
The God who is the Creator has clearly revealed what He thinks about pagan idolatry.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Exodus 20:3-6)
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