Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bangladeshi Christian Accused of Theft

From Crosswalk Religious News Summaries:

Christian Convert in Bangladesh Falsely Accused of Theft

A Christian convert from Islam was falsely arrested for cattle theft last weekend as Muslims attempted to stop his Christian activities, area villagers said. Day laborer Abul Hossen, 41, was arrested on Aug. 21 for alleged cattle theft about 180 miles northwest of the capital, Dhaka. Christian villagers told Compass Direct News that Hossen was the victim of "dirty tricks" by influential Muslims. "There is another Abul Hossen in the village who might be the thief, but his father-in-law is very powerful," said Gonesh Roy. "To save his son-in-law, he imputed all the blame to a different Abul Hossen who is a completely good man." Hossen, who converted to Christianity from Islam in 2007, is very active in the community, and Muslims are harassing him with the charge so his ministry will be discredited and villagers will denounce his faith, Roy said. Some 150 villagers, about 20 percent of them Christian, went to the police station to plea for his freedom

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Churches Helping Bring Justice Into Prisons

"Six months before she was scheduled to be released on drug charges, Marilyn Shirley was raped in 2000 by a guard at the Texas prison where she was serving time. Her attacker said she wasn't "the only one." Now an assortment of 35 religious and human rights groups is pushing Attorney General Eric Holder to adopt standards that would clamp down on the estimated 60,000 cases that happen each year. "What we are witnessing is justice denied," said Tim Goeglein, vice president of external relations at Focus on the Family and one of the signers of a letter. Religion News Service reports that he standards, proposed last year, would subject correctional facilities to audits and establish a protocol for handling rape in their facilities. According to the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act, they were supposed to be enacted by Holder by June of this year."
-Religious News Summaries by Crosswalk

Friday, August 06, 2010

Judges Ruling in CA

From Crosswalk Religious News Summary:

California's Proposition 8 Overturned, Christian Leaders Respond

On Wednesday, August 4, U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker struck down California's Proposition 8- a voter-driven referendum, which confirming that marriage should remain between one man and one woman. Many politically active Christian leaders spoke up against this decision, expressing deep concern over implications of the controversial ruling. "The religious liberty dimensions of the decision are momentous and deeply troubling. According to Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said that "while Judge Walker declared that the religious freedoms of citizens and religious bodies were not violated... the very structure of his argument condemned religious and theological objections to homosexuality and same-sex marriage as both harmful and irrational." "It's not just marriage that was put on trial," said Daniel Blomerg, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, "but the fundamental freedom of having your vote count and having the liberty to express and live by your religious beliefs. It's pretty shocking." On his radio program Thursday, August 5, author and President of Prison Fellowship Chuck Colson told listeners, "What's at stake here goes beyond California and even beyond marriage itself. The reasoning that overturned California's law, that said that the right of gays to marry is a fundamental constitutional right, would, if applied nationally, overturn similar laws throughout the country."

I am not an expert on the Constitution, although I know it, and I am certainly not an expert on the California-- I don't know if anyone is. But I do know that religious freedom cannot be hindered by giving someone else freedom, unless that freedom is to harm people for their religious beliefs. It is a lie to say that heterosexual marriage in general is harmed if homosexuals can get married. One freedom does not define other freedom. The only law that truly harms marriage is divorce laws, which applies to all.

If you want to save marriage, don't get divorced. Or commit adultery. Or cause someone else to get divorced or to commit adultery. Or you can discourage people from getting divorced or committing adultery. But don't think that giving someone else a freedom will break an already broken system.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Celibate Homosexual Clergy Persecuted

From Crosswalk Religious News Summaries:

The Associated Press reports that a Lutheran pastor has been reinstated after being outed for his membership in support group for Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction. The Rev. Tom Brock told his Minneapolis congregation on Sunday that he has never acted on his attraction. In June, the Minnesota gay magazine Lavender reported Brock's attendance at the support group, even though he's said he opposes openly gay clergy. "I am a 57-year-old virgin," Brock told the Hope Lutheran congregation during services upon returning to the pulpit on Sunday. A task force from the church said they found no evidence Brock ever had gay sex. Brock said he intends to step down as senior pastor at Hope Lutheran, but will retain his affiliation with the church. He told the AP he hopes to have a wider national audience with a new message: "You can have this struggle with same-sex attraction, say no to it, and still follow Christ."

I am sure the minister wouldn't appreciate my using the term "homosexual" for him. He probably doesn't see himself as a homosexual, but someone who struggles with the temptation for sexual sin, just like most of us.

This minister shouldn't have even been squinted at. He is an honest follower of Jesus, recognizing his temptation and trying to deal with it the best he could. It is sad he was persecuted for his faithfulness.

We need to distinguish between temptation and acting on sin. Having a sexual orientation-- any sexual orientation-- does not make one less of a Christian. Acting on it without repentance does.