This page is designed to provide information and links to articles that speak to current moral issues facing our society. Please reference the original article (if available) when using quotes from these resources.
ALCAP does not necessarily agree with opinions or "conclusions" that are reached in the following articles, but offers these articles as resource material for research purposes. own.
Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
FIRST-PERSON: Convoluted reasoningby Jeff Iorg
Date: May 26, 2015
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP) -- A very successful political consultant in the Bay Area, who has helped elect a number of local officials, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of child pornography earlier this month. At his arraignment, the evidence presented reportedly included some particularly heinous depictions of sexual acts involving children.
The political fallout has been dramatic and immediate. Former clients, particularly those now in office, have rushed to outdo themselves with denials of any and all relationship with their former confidant. He is radioactive -- political death to anyone associated with him.
While his purported actions are deplorable, watching politicians scramble to find the moral high ground on this issue has been frustrating at best, comical at worst. They are applying a double standard to his behavior which reveals the convoluted reasoning prevalent in making and enforcing laws these days.
In light of current reasoning, what legal defense should this alleged pedophile mount? How about these familiar sounding arguments: "My sexual orientation makes me a protected class citizen; therefore, expressing it is my civil right. My sexual orientation is an inborn trait; therefore expressing it is my natural right. My sexual orientation cannot be regulated by the state; what happens in private is my business, not anyone else's."
Most people would scoff at these fallacious arguments. They would cite children's lack of maturity for consenting to sexual activity, their need to be protected from exploitive adults, the physical harm of sexual activity to children, and the illegality of such behavior in our culture. They would be right on all counts. These cultural mores and laws, however, are based on the foundation of Judeo-Christian moral authority, upon which so much of our legal system rests (or at least rested in the past).
This moral foundation has been rejected in our culture. The new moral standard is whatever is culturally popular -- and then made legal by legislative action or court decisions. We now define morality by what is legal and legality by what is popular. Polling has replaced principled discernment in national decision-making.
The conviction that sexual activity involving children is wrong is not based on cultural disdain for it, but on timeless moral standards. Political leaders can't have it both ways. They should not change some laws to reflect current cultural mores and then claim some kind of moral authority to uphold other laws when it's politically expedient.
Governing by principle based on unchanging moral convictions -- not popular opinion -- is essential for democracy to survive. Let's hope we figure this out again before it's too late.
Same-sex marriage now legal in Alabama
by Neisha Roberts/The Alabama Baptist, posted Monday, February 09, 2015
MONTGOMERY Ala. (BP) -- What once read "bride and groom" on Alabama marriage licenses now reads "spouse and spouse."
Gay "marriage" was made legal Feb. 9 after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta did not issue an extended stay request from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange's office over a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade.
The state waited in anticipation to see if the U.S. Supreme Court would step in to extend the stay, but the waiting ended in disappointment for those supportive of biblical marriage.
The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions voted unanimously at its Feb. 6 meeting to "express moral outrage, intense grief and strong disagreement over court rulings that have set our culture in a direction against the biblical definition of marriage" in its Resolution on Reaffirmation of Biblical Marriage. See related story.
Rick Lance, ABSBOM executive director, said in a video statement (click here) released Feb. 4, "Now more than ever we need to commit ourselves to praying for spiritual and moral awakening in our land. In the course of history Christians have often been at their best when they were opposed by government and culture."
The ABSBOM encouraged all churches to be wise about preparing their bylaws and policies and released a Christian Response Task Force report designed to "help autonomous Baptist churches think through vital issues and formulate their own internal policies."
The report listed options a Baptist church may use to "protect its biblical values" including a potential marriage statement: "We believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, following biblical principles (Gen. 2:19–24, Lev. 18:22, Matt. 19:4–6, Rom. 1:18–27, Eph. 5:22–33, Heb. 13:4). We believe that God sanctions only the union in marriage of a man to a woman. Therefore, this church recognizes only a wedding compatible with those standards."
The report concluded with a call for God's people to be "salt and light transforming the culture while not being conformed to (it)."
"Let us be true to our Lord and His Word while showing compassion and care to those for whom He died. Let us speak and practice the truth in love to the glory of the Lord and to the health of His Church" the report said.
Also on the morning of Feb. 6 about 70 people gathered to pray on the steps of Alabama's State House in Montgomery.
Organized by Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP), speakers included Dan Ireland, ALCAP executive director emeritus; Mark Gidley, pastor of Faith Worship Center, Glencoe; and Mike Jackson, director of the office of leadership and church health at ABSBOM. State Rep. Allen Farley closed in prayer. Joe Godfrey, ALCAP executive director, hosted the event and introduced each speaker.
Godfrey said prior to the event, "This is not a matter of political debate ... this is truly an issue that addresses the very heart of God. His love for mankind is expressed through His designs for marriage and family. No matter the whims of public opinion ... God's Word does not change."
Click here to read the rest of the article.
The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage
Dr. Joe Godfrey, Executive Director of ALCAP
October 30, 2014
I had the opportunity to attend a conference October 27-29, 2014 in Nashville, TN that was hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. The conference title was, “The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage,” and it provided pastors and denominational leaders with a great deal of information and resource material that will help Christians deal with this issue in their churches and communities.
Click here to watch the videos of the various sessions.
5 Myths About Homosexuality
by David Allen on October 20, 2014
Click here to read an article by Dr. David Allen, Five Myths about Homosexuality.