United Methodist Church News Feed

Petitions: ‘Incompatible’ is unconstitutional
Denmark and California-Pacific take on language at core of homosexuality debate.
Latin American Methodist leader remembered
The Rev. Oscar Bolioli, a Methodist and ecumenical leader, died June 18 in his native Uruguay.
How to reclaim the church-planting tradition
Methodists once planted at least a church a day. Today’s United Methodists are recovering their heritage — with a modern twist.
Bishop’s new book focuses on turning fear to love
In ‘Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love,’ United Methodist Bishop William H. Willimon explores the role of Christians in welcoming the ‘Others’ among us.
Bishop Hardt remembered as having ‘the heart of a pastor’
Church leader was known for amazing memory and pastor's heart.
718 graduate at Africa University
The graduating class at the United Methodist university in Zimbabwe heard from an alumnus, a health sector executive.
North Korea releases comatose Otto Warmbier
West Ohio Area Bishop Gregory Palmer expressed gratitude for the “long overdue release” of the young man who was arrested in 2016.
Growing impact of new churches
In all the news of shrinking U.S. church attendance, it’s worth noting that starting new churches is an area where The United Methodist Church shows strength.
Reconsideration of gay bishop ruling sought
The Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops filed a motion to reconsider a United Methodist Judicial Council ruling from its April meeting.
Africa University Special Coverage
A South American plant is taking root in the driest region of Zimbabwe. And in the hands of Africa University's Margaret Tagwira, it is saving lives.

Christianity Today - RSS Feed

Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman

In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.

This week marks the second anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the majority opinion states that the right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples according to the 14th amendment. Recent Pew Forum research indicates that support among Americans for same-sex marriage has grown from 31 percent in 2004 to 55 percent in 2016. Most notably, the percentage of those who identify as Christian (whether evangelical, mainline Protestant, or Catholic) who have also come to accept same-sex marriage has increased at nearly identical rates as the general population.

As Christians debate homosexuality in the context of our current culture, the church—like the rest of our country—is experiencing growing division and is now sharply polarized over an issue that few of us discussed at all 15 or 20 years ago. Groups on both sides of the debate often fall short in balancing the age-old tension between law and grace. Progressive Christians have to complete some relatively impressive theological gymnastics to work around the Bible’s consistent prohibition of same-sex activity and relationships, and hyper-conservative Christians have yet to explain how disowning children or rejecting fellow parishioners with same-sex attractions can possibly fall under Jesus’ instruction to love our neighbors as ourselves.

So how can we better hold law and grace in an effective tension that allows us to maintain our convictions and also show love toward those who do not?

This question is of particular significance to me as someone who grew up struggling with same-sex attraction and found no safe place to confide and sort out those feelings. From early on, I was drawn to other women in a way that felt different. ...

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Judge Halts Deportations of Detroit Christians to Iraq

Court order gives 100-plus Chaldeans two weeks to make their case.

More than 100 Iraqi Christians arrested in immigration raids earlier this month will get to stay in the United States—at least for another two weeks, according to an order issued yesterday by a federal judge in Detroit.

Judge Mark Goldsmith halted the immediate deportation of the recently detained Iraqi nationals for 14 days, while he decides whether the district court or an immigration court has jurisdiction over their case, Hamama v. Adducci.

The court described their plight:

Petitioners state that because of their having resided in the United States and their status as religious minorities—many are Christian, others are members of oppressed Muslim sects—they are likely to be persecuted, tortured, or killed by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the de facto government in many parts of Iraq.

The written order follows outcry from the Detroit area’s Chaldean Christians, who were shocked when officials detained scores of them on June 11. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has defended the detainees, who were identified by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because of their past criminal records.

“The court took a life-saving action by blocking our clients from being immediately sent back to Iraq,” stated Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, who argued the case. “They should have a chance to show that their lives are in jeopardy if forced to return.”

The order prevents the government from deporting the Iraqi Christians, along with a few others from minority sects, before a court can hear their case. It applies to “all Iraqi nationals within the jurisdiction of the Detroit ICE field office with final orders ...

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In ‘Cars 3,’ Humility Finishes First over Generational Conflict

The classic Pixar franchise returns with a refreshing look at what it means to pass the torch onward.

Cars 3 opens in the same way as the original Cars, with Lightning McQueen, the central character, sitting in his trailer before a big race. As usual, McQueen is prepping for the race with a little motivational self-talk: “Focus. Speed. I am speed,” he says to himself. “One winner, 42 losers. I eat losers for breakfast.” After this line, however, the scene goes in a different direction; McQueen follows up with, “Wait. Did I really used to say that?” It’s as if he still can’t believe that he used to be such a jerk.

It’s a clear signal from the start that, all these years later, McQueen remains a nice car. The lessons he learned in the original film are still with him. Free of ego, he has the same rundown sponsors and lives in the same rundown town (the economic boom viewers saw in Radiator Springs at the end of Cars having apparently been a passing one), yet he is at the top of his industry—a racing superstar.

The problem that McQueen has in Cars 3 has less to do with the out-of-control ego of the original and more to do with something far more intractable: He is getting old. A good percentage of his demographic can relate, as many of the parents who took their kids to see Cars when it was first released in 2006 are now approaching middle-age right along with McQueen himself.

Getting old isn’t fun, whether you are a human being or an animated racecar, and it’s not long before McQueen’s legacy is threatened as he is outrun by the next generation of cars. Thanks to enhanced technology and data-driven training, these cars are fast, and McQueen doesn’t have a chance against them. In short, then, Cars 3 turns out to be a story about millennials and ...

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