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What The Bible Says - Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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Ray Stedman - Watch How You Walk (Pt. 2 of 3) Raymond Charles Stedman (October 5, 1917 - October 7, 1992) was an evangelical Christian pastor, and author. He was a long-time pastor of Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California, and author of several books. Ray came to know the Lord at a
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Some of the most compassionate and courageous—and least politically correct—people in the country are mental health providers who assist clients with unwanted same-sex attractions. I had the privilege of spending time with some of them on October 5 and 6 in Orlando, at the annual conference of the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (“The Alliance,” formerly known as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, or “NARTH”).Although LGBT activists have been critical of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for decades, the threat to such therapy has become an existential one only in the last six years, as several states have enacted laws prohibiting licensed mental health providers from engaging in SOCE (often referred to by critics and the media with an outdated term, “conversion therapy”) with minors. However, this year’s Alliance conference came in the wake of an unexpected win, when an even more extreme therapy ban proposal in California was withdrawn by its sponsor, Assemblyman Evan Low, on August 31 (the last day of the legislative session).The conference featured a variety of presentations and workshops touching on medical, clinical, and cultural issues, as well as research. Attorney Geoff Heath gave an overview of the therapy bans—including several different arguments as to why they should be found unconstitutional. He touched on ways in which they infringe freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion, in addition to noting the more technical legal principle that they may be “void for vagueness.”It is ironic that attacks upon such therapies have grown ever more extreme, even as the therapists themselves are becoming ever more scrupulous about following “best practices” that avoid the kind of behaviors (such as “coercion” of clients or “guarantees” of complete transformation) of which they are regularly accused. Christopher Rosik, Ph.D., introduced an updated set of Guidelines for the Practice of Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy (or “SAFE-T,” an acronym coined by the Alliance to better describe the actual focus of such therapy). This carefully reasoned and thoroughly documented 62-page document (not yet available on the Alliance website, at last check—an older version is here) features 13 specific guidelines to ensure that client goals are respected, fully informed consent is obtained, and any potential harm is avoided.Several sessions addressed research questions. Philip Sutton, Ph.D., gave an introductory presentation with the explanatory title, “Are Same-Sex Attractions and Behaviors (SSA) REALLY Innate, Inconsequential, and Immutable? What Research and Demonstrable Clinical Experience Does and Does Not Show.” Key research findings he explained show that:SSA is not innate.SSA is consequential (that is, it does have many significant negative consequences and co-occurring difficulties—undermining claims that it is a “normal, positive variant of human sexuality”).SSA is mutable (that is, it can change).Some intended and beneficial changes in SSA (often along a continuum) occur through professional and pastoral assistance.Therapeutically assisted change is not invariably harmful.One of the conference keynote speakers, the Rev. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., discussed several research questions. He described existing research showing that the genetic influence on the development of homosexuality is relatively small, while showing that the influence of being a victim of child sexual abuse on developing a later same-sex orientation is significant—both of which undermine the theory that people are “born gay.” He discussed follow-up research he has done (but not yet published) concerning children in same-sex or opposite-sex parent households. He also discussed findings regarding the crisis involving sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests. (Dr. Sullins is a Catholic priest himself, albeit an unusual one—he is married, having been a married Episcopal priest before converting to Roman Catholicism.)Carolyn Pela, Ph.D., provided useful training on how to evaluate published research studies. She noted the existence of several different types of studies—exploratory, observational, quasi-experimental, and experimental. Exploratory studies are just that—they simply explore a topic, often through anecdotal accounts, but are incapable of arriving at conclusions that can be generalized to a larger population. Ironically, an often-cited 2002 article on the potential harms of change therapies by Ariel Shidlo and Michael Schroeder was, by its own account, merely an exploratory study, and thus offered no conclusions about the actual prevalence or likelihood of such harm.Observational studies can demonstrate correlations between variables (“A is often accompanied by B”), but cannot definitively prove causation (“A causes B”). However, correlational studies can still be highly important—the conclusion that smoking is associated with lung cancer was based on correlational studies, for example. Only an experimental design can scientifically prove a causal relationship, but that requires the existence of a control group and random assignment to the study group or control group (this is how studies of new drugs are conducted, for instance). But for some research questions, a truly experimental design is either not practical or not ethical—studies of parenting outcomes, for example, would require that children be randomly assigned at birth to parents! Pela also reviewed questionable research practices that can be found in the areas of recruiting, research procedures, and reporting of results.One of the clinical presentations was offered by Joseph Nicolosi, Jr., Ph.D. His father, one of the founders of the Alliance, died suddenly in 2017. Dr. Nicolosi, Jr. is carrying on his father’s work, but re-branding it—quite literally, in that he has trademarked the term “reintegrative therapy” to describe his approach (and to distinguish it from the ill-defined term “conversion therapy”). His father had coined the term “reparative therapy” in the 1990’s, but this was often (mistakenly) taken as implying a view that homosexuals were broken and needed to be “repaired.” Nicolosi, Jr. introduced an approach he calls the “reintegrative protocol,” which he insisted is not premised on any particular view of sexual orientation and can be used by therapists of any ideological persuasion. Its goal, he said, is not to change sexual orientation, but to heal trauma and sexual addiction—but a change in same-sex attractions may sometimes result when the protocol is followed. Two films were also screened at the conference. One, Voices of the Silenced, is an international effort produced by British expert Michael Davidson. It features personal testimonies from clients as well as from experts about the potential for sexual orientation change, while also placing the issue in a larger cultural and historical context, noting how the sexual revolution represents an effort to undo the advances made by Judeo-Christian culture and return to the pagan worldview of ancient Greece and Rome. The other, Free to Love (a 38-minute documentary that can be viewed free online), presents an overview of the debate over SOCE in the American context, and includes interviews with four ex-gay men as well as the views of attendees at a Gay Pride event.Although geared largely for therapists, the Alliance conference is an important event every year for public education and networking as well. With the freedom to seek change ever more under attack, the Alliance is a vital ally in promoting the truth and protecting clients’ rights to self-determination.
Recently, a group visited the Creation Museum from a church of the Deaf in Southern California. They toured the museum with a volunteer ASL interpreter.
Recently, a group visited the Creation Museum from a church of the Deaf in Southern California. They toured the museum with a volunteer ASL interpreter.
Recently, a group visited the Creation Museum from a church of the Deaf in Southern California. They toured the museum with a volunteer ASL interpreter.
Dear Friends,Do you ever have moments in your life when your mind wanders far into the future, prompting feelings of anxiety about all of your responsibilities and inevitable hardships you will have to endure in the months and years ahead? I know I do. If unchecked, this kind of thought pattern can lead to a nervous churn in the pit of my stomach as I begin to feel overwhelmed with the weight of the future and what might happen.Our Lord knows unhealthy human tendencies like these very intimately. He loves us so much, in fact, that He has given us specific spiritual direction numerous times throughout Scripture to remind us of how we are called to live in the moment and not to worry about the future. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus entreats us to “not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” Even the Lord’s Prayer includes a very specific entreaty: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Notice that Christ does not instruct us to ask for our “monthly” or “yearly” bread. In teaching us to pray for our “daily bread,” Jesus is reminding us that our primary focus should be on doing what He is asking of us in our present moment, in this one day that we have been blessed with in His Creation.This teaching from our Lord goes to the very heart of Creation itself. In the beginning of the book of Genesis, we read that “God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Our Lord designed Creation so that we only have to worry about one day at a time. When the day is over, the night comes so that we can rest and recharge for the next day. In other words, God is trying to tell us something with how He has designed the earth to operate: live for today, for the present moment. Existence itself is pure gift; the present moment is all we will ever have. Let us use it for the greater glory of God.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesIs this cross too Christian? Only the Supreme Court can save these war monuments – Alexandra McPheePlanned Parenthood is Not Pro-Woman – Patrina MosleyTrump: Expected to Advance Religious Liberty at the UN – Ken BlackwellAn Answer to This Generation’s Identity Crisis: “Love Thy Body.” – Patrina MosleyCalifornia’s Campus Abortion Legislation Has Been Vetoed – Here’s What It Had Wrong – Patrina MosleyThe Image of God and the Pursuit of Truth in the Kavanaugh Hearing – David ClossonHundreds of College Students Travel to DC In Support of Kavanaugh – John Wesley ReidWorld Congress of Families Seeks to Strengthen the Family UnitU.S. Courts of Appeals: No Vacancy – Alexandra McPheeAnother Attack on Kenyan Christians Brings Us Back to Watu Wote – Travis WeberFive Myths About “Gender Identity” – Peter Sprigg Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareMichigan school district pulls video of family circle after critics claimed it promoted prayer – Ryan Gaydos, Fox NewsBlack Pastor: I Get 'Hate and Racism' From the Left 'For Being a Bible-Believing Christian – Tyler O’Neil, PJ MediaMilitant LGBT Group Wants to Run Texas Mega-Church Out of Town – ToddStarnes.comPlanned Parenthood Forces Hyatt Hotel to Cancel Screening of New Kermit “Gosnell” Movie – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsInternational Religious FreedomHopes Rise for Release of U.S. Pastor Being Held in Turkey – David Gauthier-Villars and Dion Nissenbaum, The Wall Street Journal12 Churches Destroyed, Shut Down by Myanmar Rebels – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostMore Chinese Pastors Sign Statement Affirming Religious Freedom as US Govt Holds Hearing on Persecution – Steve Warren, CBN NewsClosure of Syrian Schools: Another Bleak Sign for Christians in Syria – Marlo Safi, National ReviewPakistani Christian Woman Thrown Off Roof for Refusing to Convert to Islam, Marry Muslim – Will Maule, FaithWire LifeAbortionAbortion On Trial – John Waters, First ThingsPodcast: Be a voice for life: Developing a compelling pro-life message – Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionHere’s a List of Everything a Baby Can Do in the Womb – Grace Carr, The StreamGovernor Brown vetoes abortion pill bill – Pablo Kay, AngelusYes, Down Syndrome Is A Life Worth Living, And A Life Worth Saving – Dan Bartkowiak, The FederalistU.S. Expected to Fight Back Against Abortion as a Humanitarian Right – Stefano Gennarini, C-FamAdoptionHow Foster Care Became a Christian Priority—Just in Time – Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, The Gospel CoalitionMy Long, Messy, Beautifully Complicated Path to Adopting My Son – Claire Gibson, Marie ClaireBioethicsAussies Block Euthanasia – John Stonestreet & David Carlson, BreakpointMass Human Cloning May Soon be Upon Us – Wesley J. Smith, National ReviewMaking Death Easier Makes Life Harder – Richard Stith, Public DiscourseChild Euthanasia without Parent Approval Pushed for Canada – Wesley J. Smith, National ReviewHHS feels pressure, ends contract with fetal tissue harvester – Live ActionObamacareAs Obamacare Premiums Continue to Rise, Time to Look at Real Health Care Solutions – Robert Moffit, The Daily Signal FamilyMarriageMillennials Are Causing the U.S. Divorce Rate to Plummet – Ben Steverman, BloombergHumility Matters in Marriage, Too – Rebecca Spohr, HerViewFromHomeReducing Divorce Through Community-Level Marriage Initiatives – Alan J. Hawkins, Family StudiesU.S. Fertility Rate Drops to All Time Low, Cut in Half Since 1950s – John Binder, BreitbartCoping With Financial Crisis and Maintaining Your Marriage – Cherie Lowe, Focus on the FamilyWhen Grandparents Divorce, Everyone Hurts – D. Scott Sibley, Family StudiesThe Wages of Infidelity – Hugo Schwyzer, Family StudiesParentingRaising Kids With Religion Or Spirituality May Protect Their Mental Health: Study – Alice G. Walton, ForbesOur Infertile Future – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, Family StudiesMaking of a Mom: Birth as a Creative Act – Laura Khan, VerilyModeling Grace and Courtesy – Mattias A. Caro, Ethika PolitikaWhen Adult Children Don’t Share Your Values – Marci Seither, Focus on the FamilyWhy Friendships Are Important for Boys’ Health – Maryam Abdullah, Greater Good Magazine7 Ways to Teach Children About the Conscience – Andy Naselli, The Gospel CoalitionEconomics/EducationDo Schooling and City Living Equal Fewer Babies? – Lyman Stone, Family StudiesIs student debt keeping Americans away from marriage? – Science DailyFaith/Character/CultureGod Will Sustain You a Day at a Time – Vaneetha Rendall Risner, Desiring GodEight Reasons Why Awe Makes Your Life Better – Summer Allen, Greater Good Magazine9 People with Down syndrome who are changing the world – Cerith Gardiner, AleteiaHow Prison Fellowship helps prepare prisoners for release – Emily Greene, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionWe Weren’t Made for Endless Work – Gracy Olmstead, The American ConservativeWhy churches matter in the fight against addiction – Ericka Andersen, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionHow to Bring Your Whole Self to Work – Mike Robbins, Greater Good MagazineHuman SexualitySame sex relationships: Should we just agree to disagree? – Sam Allberry, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionChanging Society’s View on “Hooking Up” – Arthur Goldberg, Public DiscourseAmerican Academy of Pediatrics’ new guidelines support gender change for kids – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews$5.7 Million in Taxpayer Funds for Study to Justify Sterilizing Children Who Are Gender Confused – Susan Berry, BreitbartGuttmacher Reports Conflicting Findings on Trends in Teen Sexual Activity – Michael J. New, National ReviewHuman TraffickingWhat Happens To Sex Trafficking Survivors After They’re Rescued? – Fight the New DrugBy The Numbers: Can Porn Production Be Connected To Sex Trafficking? – Fight the New DrugHundreds of Sex Buyers Arrested as Part of Nationwide Initiative – Ben Miller, National Center on Sexual ExploitationProtections for Sex Traffickers Being Snuck into US-Canada Trade Negotiations – National Center on Sexual ExploitationPornographyWhat you should know about women and pornography – Mikayla Simpson, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionStudy Links Porn Consumption To Higher Levels Of Objectification And Tricking Partners Into Sex – Fight the New Drug
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