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RNS is bent so far to the left it doesn’t know which way is up, but I’m thankful they’re starting to add some more conservative voices, including my good friend Trevin Wax. This piece on the Christian perspective of RFRA is necessary reading.
“We’d like you to make a cake for our divorce party,” Cindy says. She and Bob have been married for seven years, but they’ve grown apart in recent months. They separated six months ago, and now they want to part ways in the most amicable way possible. (In case you’re wondering what a divorce party is, it is a growing phenomenon of celebrating the close of a relationship, much like a wedding celebrates the consummation.) Bob and Cindy want a special cake for the event.
Unfortunately, their wedding vendor is a devoted Catholic who believes marriage is a sacrament, divorce a grave sin, and a party celebrating a divorce a kind of blasphemy. “I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m the right person to help with this event.”
“Oh, we’re religious too!” Cindy says. “We believe Jesus would rather us separate with a smile than soldier on in frustration.”
“I recognize your right to a divorce,” the wedding vendor says. “But I disagree with your take on what Jesus thinks about it. I still don’t think I’m the right person for this job. I don’t know how to decorate a divorce. I don’t know how to make blasphemy beautiful.”
I have really talented friends. Trevin was example number one, and Bob is example number two. I was so thankful to have Bob as a colleague at LifeWay for a while, but now he has joined Christianity Today, and I’m thankful for his work on pieces like this.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once warned that too much religious freedom would be “courting anarchy.”
This week, his prophecy came true—at least on the airwaves and in social media.
Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed in the wake of legal same-sex marriage for Hoosiers, caused widespread and angry debate. Critics say the Indiana law—and a pending religious liberty law in Arkansas—gives religious people a free pass to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Supporters like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence say the law is needed to protect believers who feel under siege.
In the wake of the controversy, governors in Connecticut, Washington, and New York banned state employees from traveling to Indiana, while Star Trek actor and Twitter celebrity George Takei organized a #BoycottIndiana campaign. Corporate giant Wal-Mart, headquartered in Arkansas, has asked that state’s governor to veto the bill on his desk.
I’ve seen too much church bullying in my time. Heck, I’ve probably been one myself. Reminds me of the children’s church song, “I am on of them, and so are you, so let’s just praise the Lord…”
Church bullies are common in many churches. They wreak havoc and create dissension. They typically must have an “enemy” in the church, because they aren’t happy unless they are fighting a battle. They tend to maneuver to get an official leadership position in the church, such as chairman of the elders or deacons or treasurer. But they may have bully power without any official position.
Church bullies have always been around. But they seem to be doing their work more furiously today than in recent history. Perhaps this look at nine traits of church bullies can help us recognize them before they do too much damage.
Loved this from Jimmy Fallon the other night.