Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
The Christian Post
Nearly a year following one of the most destructive natural disasters in this century, survivors of the South Asia tsunami are expressing reserved optimism about the future. Along the coastline of
Religious Freedom for Christians in
A Messianic Jewish leader believes the political winds in
Chad Thompson, a self-proclaimed “ex-gay” and the author of Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would, told a workshop audience he decided to begin living as a heterosexual once he realized that his legitimate need for love and affection from a male was the source of his homosexual struggles. Thompson went on to tell how he helps others struggling with the same issues via his organization, Inqueery, through which he’s met many homosexuals who did not feel accepted at all by the church community, and he named three roadblocks that stand in the way of ministry to homosexuals: media, politics and research. “All three of these arenas perpetuate stereotypes of gay people as well as Christian people. So when someone from the evangelical world meets someone from the gay community, there is this tension because we’ve been lied to about each other.” Thompson acknowledged that Christians want to love homosexuals as Jesus would, but knowing how to show love begins with knowing how to communicate. “Many Christians like to use the phrase ‘hate the sin, love the sinner,’ but again, communication completely breaks down,” Thompson said. “Christians consider homosexuality a behavior, but homosexuals consider it an identity. If gay and lesbian folks consider their orientation an identity, is it really possible to ‘hate the sin’ without also hating the sinner? We must put aside this kind of language if we want our ministries to be a safe place for students to talk openly about their sexuality,” he said.
A summit of Jewish leaders meeting to ascertain whether the religious right plans to "Christianize" the nation drew about a dozen participants yesterday but no consensus was reached. The private breakfast meeting’s participants included Anti-Defamation League national Director Abraham Foxman; Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reformed Judaism; Nathan Diament of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; Marc Stern, the assistant executive director of the American Jewish Congress; Steven Gutow of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; John Ruskay of the UJA-Federation of New York and several staff. Mr. Foxman called the meeting after recently charging evangelical Christian groups with aiming to impose their faith on public policy. "He wanted to know if others felt his assessment was right," Mr. Diament said. "Some agreed and others were skeptical. I urged Mr. Foxman to sit down and speak with some of these [evangelical] leaders face-to-face because there are evangelicals who are more moderate and are happy to work in a cooperative fashion." The Jewish leaders agreed that "there are elements of the evangelical community that, if unchecked and the trends continue, raise disturbing issues for the Jewish community” because, “there's a tone deafness in [the evangelical] community about religious freedom."