Today's Top Five
As The Washington Post noted yesterday, it's a heavy news day for those interested in how Christian denominations are dealing with homosexual acts. It's just one of those days.
1. North Carolina Baptists to oust gay-friendly congregations
The strongest stance on homosexual sex comes today from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, which changed its membership guidelines. It "previously only required its members to support the convention through cooperation and financial contributions," the Associated Press notes. "Now any churches that 'knowingly act to affirm, approve, endorse, promote, support or bless homosexual behavior' will be barred from membership."
"This action does not mean that you should avoid ministry to the homosexual community," convention executive director Milton Hollifield Jr. told the AP. "Even though we believe that homosexuality is wrong, we still love and engage those in this lifestyle."
2. U.S. Catholic bishops urge pastoral care Loving and engaging is also the theme of the new document from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Orientation: Guidelines for Pastoral Care." "None of the teaching is new, but there is an attempt to explain it in more clear, positive language than some documents of the past," notes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. While several reports emphasize the document's call for those with such inclinations to live chastely, the document itself emphasizes the church's necessary role in befriending, supporting, and aiding persons with a homosexual inclination. The document is quite good, and even the sections on the sacraments can serve Protestant churches well, as they seek to encourage their congregations to take ...1
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