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Leading UK Evangelical: Supporting 'gay marriage' like opposing slavery

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LONDON, January 18, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A leading Evangelical pastor has implied that Christian opposition to homosexual acts, and to same-sex “marriage,” is based on an erroneous interpretation of the Bible. Instead what is needed is a broad acceptance of homosexuality itself, but a rejection of promiscuity.
 
In an article published on his church’s website and in Christianity magazine, Rev. Steve Chalke has said the solution for the crisis is for Christians to “consider nurturing positive models for permanent and monogamous homosexual relationships.”
 
Christians who use the Bible to support opposition to homosexual acts are forgetting that the Bible accepts slavery and other practices and ideas that are universally condemned in our time, he said.
 
Chalke is a popular left-wing pastor who makes regular appearances in the media. In 2004 he was appointed a Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to social inclusion.” He also serves as a Special Adviser to the UN on human trafficking.
 
“How has the whole Church found itself believing something about slavery which is so at odds with the Bible?” Chalke wrote. 

“William Wilberforce and friends were condemned by huge swathes of the Church as they fought for abolition. They were dismissed as liberal and unbiblical for their 'deliberate abandonment of the authority of Scripture'. But, on the basis of a straightforward biblical exegesis of the Bible's text, their critics were right,” he stated.
 
“Too often, those who seek to enter an exclusive, same-sex relationship have found themselves stigmatised and excluded by the Church,” Chalke said. He decried this situation as an “injustice” out of keeping with the will of God.
 
And he has put his money where his mouth is, saying that last year he “conducted a dedication and blessing service following the Civil Partnership of two wonderful gay Christians.”
 
“Promiscuity is always damaging and dehumanizing. Casual and self-centred expressions of sexuality – homosexual or heterosexual – never reflect God’s faithfulness, grace and self-giving love,” he wrote.
 
“Only a permanent and stable relationship, in which respect and faithfulness are given and received, can offer the security in which well-being and love can thrive.”
 
He described it as “tragic” that the Christian community had failed “to provide homosexual people with any model of how to cope with their sexuality”.
 
“When we refuse to make room for gay people to live in loving, stable relationships, we consign them to lives of loneliness, secrecy, fear and even of deceit.”
 
Chalke restates the common arguments of theological “liberals” who have reinterpreted the passages of the New and Old Testaments to justify homosexual activity. He cites “a growing number of evangelical scholars” who assert that the New Testament contains no genuine proscriptions of homosexual activity, and that it has all been merely a matter of cultural interpretation.
 
He admits that “nowhere does the Bible actually affirm same-sex relationships,” but says it is about“how to interpret it [the Bible] properly.”
 
Indeed, that is the crucial issue, agrees one member of the evangelical community who has worked to help homosexuals themselves to overcome same-sex attraction.
 
Lesley Pilkington is a psychotherapist who ran afoul of the UK’s professional regulatory agency in 2011 for her refusal to stop treating people who asked for help to overcome same-sex attraction. Pilkington told LifeSiteNews.com that despite the friendliness of Chalke’s message, and whatever his intentions might be, he is harming the people he claims to support.
 
Chalke, and Christian leaders who take a similar line, she said, are doing great harm to those who struggle to live with and control same-sex attraction.
 
Chalke’s problem, she said, comes from a fundamental theological error, namely that he rejects the Christian notion of sin and redemption. Chalke has in the past described the Christian doctrine of Christ’s redemption of sin on the Cross as “cosmic child abuse.”
 
Properly speaking, she said, this rejection of foundational Christian doctrine ultimately empties all of his ideas of any real meaning.
 
Rejection of the very notion of orthodoxy, she said, leads to incoherent theology. “His theology becomes liberal, even though he still calls himself an evangelical, and then the consequence is that he becomes a liberal in his views of homosexuality.”
 
Ultimately, his ideas are creating nothing but confusion and harm to some “very vulnerable people.”
 
While the secular media has presented Chalke as part of the mainstream of evangelical orthodoxy, and his ideas as a step forward, Pilkington clarified that this is a media-generated misdirection.
 
In Britain, she said, “there is a very broad spectrum” and the term “evangelical” is far from synonymous with Christian orthodoxy. Such distinctions within the Protestant community, she said, have in recent years become highly “nuanced” and are often difficult for outsiders to decipher.
 
“Steve Chalke,” she said, “would perhaps see himself as evangelical. But a lot of us would say he isn’t. A lot of us would say he’s just plain ‘liberal.’ Because he’s moved away from the doctrine of atonement for sin.”
 
Although the secular media will never admit it, Pilkington observed, denying so foundational a doctrine as the redemption of sin, means that Steve Chalke is not strictly speaking a Christian at all.

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“The correct term for those who deny the atonement for sin is ‘apostate,'” she said. “That is the perilous state we are in here in the UK in large measure and probably America."
 
“And it’s people like Steve Chalk who are in fact dangerous," she said. "He sounds so plausible and indeed likable and his motives are ‘good’ and he has done a lot of good ‘works’ but that is the deception.”
 
This deception is ultimately harmful, causing confusion among “very vulnerable people."
 
"He doesn’t love them. By leading them into this complete deception, he hates them,” she said. “He may have good intentions, but he’s leading them in the wrong direction.”
 
“Of course we have to include the LGBT community and love them,” Pilkington said, “but lead them away from sin.”


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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life. 

“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September. 

“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote. 

Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds. 

The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again. 

After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test. 

“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.

The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five. 

“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”

“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.

Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.” 

“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”

“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.” 

“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.” 

“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born. 

The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads. 

The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution. 

“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters. 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.

“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.

But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it. 

The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”

Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.

“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said. 

While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms. 

“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added. 

Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born. 

“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.

“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.

“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.

"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.

“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."

Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.

All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.

On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”

Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.

But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.



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