Greg Laurie on Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, A&E Controversy

(Photo: Harvest Ministries)Phil Robertson (l) of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” fame and Greg Laurie (r), founder of Harvest Ministries, at the Harvest SoCal event on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, in Anaheim, Calif.

What Is Being Asked of Christians Is Not Tolerance, But Acceptance and Endorsement of Sin

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The changing face of the American family – one photographer’s journey to show what the United States has become

The New American Family

The New American Family: An upcoming book by photographer and sociologist Jo Moser is challenging the ideals of what it is to be a family today. Here mothers Melissa and Julie with their biological daughter Adia

Commentary by:  Gordon King

This is what is happening in our world today folks.  The changing of society, norms, values and morals.  The “Gay Agenda” is on the march, pushing it’s way into every aspect of our lives.  This is just the beginning.  The next thing will be the persecution of Christians and the church for not accepting these values.  Heed my warning and wake up America!  God will judge this nation as he did Sodom and Gomorrah.

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Saudi man gets 300 lashes, 6 years for helping woman convert to Christianity

saudiwomen.jpg

Saudi women are pictured in this undated photo. A Lebanese man was sentenced to 300 lashes with a whip and six years in prison for his role in helping a Saudi woman convert to Christianity and flee the kingdom in the latest example of the religious intolerance that grips the region.

A Lebanese man was sentenced to 300 lashes with a whip and six years in prison for his role in helping a Saudi woman convert to Christianity and flee the kingdom in the latest example of the religious intolerance that grips the region.

The court in the Eastern Saudi city of Khobar — situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf — also sentenced a Saudi man to two years in prison and 200 lashes for helping the young woman named Maryam — who has been dubbed “the girl of Khobar” — in her escape to Sweden to secure asylum.

Maryam, whose case has been closely followed in Saudi Arabia, criticized Saudi Arabia’s Sunni monarchy for instilling in her a hatred of Judaism and Christianity, according to the English-language Saudi Gazette. The Jeddah-based paper wrote that she “fell in love with the religions after she found peace in Christianity.”

“There is zero tolerance for any non-Muslim religions in Saudi Arabia.”

– Nina Shea, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom

The two men, who worked with Maryam at an insurance company, were arrested last July following a complaint filed by the woman’s father, according to reports. The lawyer for Maryam’s family, Hmood al-Khalidi, expressed satisfaction with the severe punishments.

Maryam, who last year appeared in a YouTube video and proclaimed her conversion to Christianity, embraced Christianity after dreaming about climbing to the sky and hearing God say that Jesus is his son, according to the Gazette. But her unabashed faith did not go over well in her homeland, which has been singled out for its intolerance of religious beliefs other than Islam.

Saudi Arabia’s failure to guarantee religious freedom in its closed society prompted the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in its new report to cite the Gulf monarchy ruled by the 88-year-old  King Abdullah as a “country of particular concern” because of its egregious violations of religious freedom.

The ongoing persecution of Christians and lack of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia has also triggered sharp criticism from Democratic and Republican lawmakers.  

“Until all people have the freedom to choose and practice their religion, we have an obligation to speak out for the voiceless and to develop policies that protect these communities,” Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., co-chair of the Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East, told FoxNews.com.

The shocking punishments came as President Obama’s Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook, departed for Saudi Arabia. Rep Joe R. Pitts, R-Pa., a member of the Helsinki Commission and Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, said the Obama administration should speak up for Maryam, as well as the men convicted of guiding her on her spiritual path.

“Freedom of religion is an internationally recognized human right,” Pitts said. “The Obama administration should speak out on this case and urge the Saudis to release these two men.”

A FoxNews.com press query to the U.S. State Department was not immediately answered.

Multiple FoxNews.com telephone calls and emails to  Nail Al-Jubeir, the Saudi Arabian Embassy spokesman in Washington, were not returned. Lebanon’s Ambassador to the U.S. Antoine Chedid did not immediately respond to a FoxNews.com query.

Lebanon’s  foreign affairs minister, Adnan Mansour, told the publication NOW that the case was “personal and not political” and was waiting for more information from the Lebanese Embassy in Saudi Arabia.

“There is zero tolerance for any non-Muslim religions in Saudi Arabia,” Nina Shea, the director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com. Shea, a leading expert on the persecution of Christians, added Saudi “imams promote the destruction and humiliation of Christians and Jews” during their services in the holy shrines of Mecca and Medina.

Shea, a co-author of the recently released, “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” said a menu of penalties are available to the State Department, including economic sanctions in an attempt to change Saudi intolerance. Shea said the U.S. government has thus far exempted Saudi Arabia from punitive measures because of the oil trade.

“Religious freedom has not been a priority in the United States’ bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia, and, as a consequence, the U.S. government has not held the Saudis to account for reforms that would substantially improve conditions on the ground,” Dwight Bashir, deputy director for policy at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com. “Since 2004, the United States has designated Saudi Arabia a severe violator of religious freedom, yet the U.S. government has waived any punitive action that such a designation mandates. Until the U.S. government lifts this waiver and prioritizes religious freedom in its relationship, you can expect limitations and abuses to continue.”

Christians Respond to Giglio’s Withdrawal: New Era of Religious Intolerance in America?

Pastor Louie Giglio’s withdrawal from President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony has left Christians lamenting over what they see as a new era of religious intolerance.

Photo: Passion Conference
Passion conference founder Louie Giglio announces that attendees have successfully completed the goal to raise $20,000 to send 20,000 Bibles to hard-to-reach places in Colombia on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2010, at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

www.christianpost.com  –  By Lillian Kwon

More specifically, anyone who holds the view that homosexuality is a sin is being forced out of the public square.

Russell Moore, a Southern Baptist theologian, put it this way: “When it is now impossible for one who holds to the catholic Christian view of marriage and the gospel to pray at a public event, we now have a de facto established state church.

“Just as the pre-constitutional Anglican and congregational churches required a license to preach in order to exclude Baptists, the new state church requires a ‘license’ of embracing sexual liberation in all its forms.”

Giglio, founder of the Passion conferences and Passion City Church in Roswell, Ga., had been invited to deliver the benediction during Obama’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 21. He accepted the invitation and told The Christian Post earlier this week that he was honored to lead the nation in prayer.

But the pastor began to face criticism when the liberal blog Think Progress pointed to an “anti-gay” sermon Giglio delivered almost 20 years ago. In that sermon, Giglio affirms homosexuality as a sin, says Christians must respond to the “aggressive” homosexual agenda, and stresses that all are sinners and in need of the healing power of Jesus.

Gay activists quickly labeled the pastor as a bigot and denounced his participation in the presidential inauguration. Just a day later, Giglio announced that he would pull out, saying his participation “will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”

He stressed on Thursday that his passion is to love people and point them to Jesus. At the same time, he added that “God’s words trump all opinions, including mine.”

The issue of homosexuality, he acknowledged, “is one of the most difficult our nation will navigate.”

“However, individuals’ rights of freedom, and the collective right to hold differing views on any subject is a critical balance we, as a people, must recover and preserve,” Giglio said.

Echoing that sentiment, Moore is calling on Christians to “insist that the President stand up to his ‘base’ and articulate a vision of a healthy pluralism in the public square.”

Obama, who now believes same-sex couples should be able to get married, has been described as the most pro-gay president in U.S. history.

Addie Whisenant of the Presidential Inaugural Committee said they were not aware of Giglio’s past comments and that they would find a replacement whose “beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins pointed out that Obama shouldn’t have been surprised in the first place that an evangelical pastor held a biblical view on homosexuality.

“This is another example of intolerance from the Obama administration toward those who hold to biblical views on sexuality,” he said in response to Giglio’s withdrawal. “Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Orthodox churches all actively proclaim that sexual intimacy within the marriage of one man and one woman is the only biblically-sanctioned human sexual behavior. Are the scores of millions of Americans who affirm these teachings no longer welcome at the inauguration of our president?”

The Presidential Inaugural Committee said one of the biggest reasons they asked Giglio to deliver the benediction was because of his leadership in combating human trafficking.

Giglio has raised awareness and millions of dollars during Passion conferences to combat modern-day slavery.

But his record on compassion was brushed off over a mid-1990s sermon, Perkins lamented.

“What is shocking is the intolerance of the Obama team that put such a high priority on forced acceptance of homosexuality that they totally disregard Pastor Giglio’s life work combating human trafficking,” the FRC head commented. “What we are seeing is the inauguration of a new era of religious intolerance in America.”

The following are comments by other Christian leaders in response to the Giglio controversy:

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: “The imbroglio over Louie Giglio is the clearest evidence of the new Moral McCarthyism of our sexually ‘tolerant’ age … If you are a Christian, get ready for the question you will now undoubtedly face: ‘Do you now or have you ever believed that homosexuality is a sin?’ There is nowhere to hide.”

Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research: “This Louie Giglio Moment, and the Chick-Fil-A moment that preceded it, and the Rick Warren moment which preceded that, raise the question: Where do people of faith with long-standing traditional religious/scriptural convictions go from here?”

John Piper, Reformed theologian and best-selling author: “When Louie Giglio is called an ‘unrepentant bigot’ (http://dsr.gd/13ltCsv ), the word morphs from truth into a tantrum.”

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