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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (3/12/19)

March 12, 2019

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to [email protected] with the subject “News Roundup.”


Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

New details of former SBTS prof’s resignation alleged, Baptist Press (David Roach and Shawn Hendricks)

“Nine months after Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor David Sills resigned for undisclosed reasons, a woman has released a statement of allegations including details of what she says was a morally inappropriate relationship with Sills for more than a decade, beginning while she was a Southern Seminary student…Lyell decided to make her allegations public, she said, when she ‘learned that Dr. Sills had been appointed as a missionary with a non-SBC missions agency.’ ‘I now realize that despite SBTS handling the situation justly and as I asked — without stating the reason for his resignation — it led to the exact kind of scenario the SBC is now trying to prevent,’ she said”

Ga. pastor repents, church fires accused staff member, Baptist Press (David Roach)

“A Georgia pastor has confirmed the termination of a church staff member who allegedly ‘admitted to assaulting several young people years ago.’ The pastor also apologized to the Southern Baptist Convention and SBC President J.D. Greear for having ‘failed my duty as a pastor in not taking action sooner.'”

Pro-LGBT churches not leaving UMC just yet, advocacy groups say, The Christian Post (Michael Gryboski)

“Jan Lawrence, executive director of the Reconciling Ministries Network, which has hundreds of churches affiliated with them, told The Christian Post that leaving the denomination is not being considered. ‘We do not know of any churches currently discussing exit. We are encouraging our churches not to discuss leaving at this point,’ explained Lawrence.”

The Demise of Traditional Christian Sexual Morality Is Greatly Exaggerated, National Review (David French)

“This is an important cultural moment. It is now clear that a majority of America’s largest mainline denomination agrees with the teaching of their Catholic and Southern Baptist brethren about the immorality of sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman. For some time now, the progressive cultural elite has been casting traditional Christian sexual teaching as fringe, outdated, and even bigoted. Yet here we are in 2019, and the largest Christian denominations remain united. Add the growing LDS church to the mix, and each of America’s four largest churches are united on the basic fundamentals of sexual morality.”

Doing the global United Methodist math, Knoxville News Sentinel (Terry Mattingly)

Unlike other Protestant bodies, the UMC is truly global, with 12.5 million members worldwide — a number that is growing. However, there are only 6.9 million in the United States, where key statistics are declining — especially in the more liberal North and West.

Archbishop of Canterbury celebrates 25 years of women’s ordination in Church of England, Anglican Communion News Service

“A service has been held in the chapel of Lambeth Palace – the official London residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury – to celebrate 25 years of the ordination of women in the Church of England. The then-Bishop of Bristol, Barry Rogerson, ordained 32 women in Bristol Cathedral on 12 March 1994 in the first of many ordinations that year. A message from Bishop Barry was read to the more than 80 female priests who were invited to Friday’s service.”

Lay Review With Teeth: What (Didn’t) Happen at the Vatican’s Sexual Abuse Summit, Public Discourse (Stephen Bainbridge)

“The Vatican’s recent Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church failed to produce any new reforms. Cardinal Cupich’s proposal would leave decision-making power in the hands of those authorities that Church members trust least: the bishops and the Vatican hierarchy. Instead, the Church needs to take investigatory and disciplinary processes out of the hands of local bishops and assign them to a national panel with lay members.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

The LGBTQ Equality Act heads back to Capitol Hill, this time with massive corporate support, CNBC (Noah Higgins-Dunn)

“When the LGBTQ Equality Act was first introduced in 2015, three companies publicly supported it: Apple, The Dow Chemical Company and Levi Strauss & Co. Now as the bill — which would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity — heads back to Capitol Hill, it has 161 corporate backers.”

Joe Biden responds to criticism after calling Pence a ‘decent guy,’ CNN (Arlette Saenz)

“The ‘decent guy’ comment prompted a round of criticism on Twitter. Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon tweeted, ‘.@JoeBiden you’ve just called America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader ‘a decent guy.’ Please consider how this falls on the ears of our community.'”

Masterpiece Cakeshop, state of Colorado agree to mutual ceasefire over harassment, discrimination claims, The Denver Post (Elise Schmelzer)

“More than six years of legal battles between Lakewood’s Masterpiece Cakeshop and the state will end after baker Jack Phillips agreed to drop his lawsuit alleging the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was harassing him for refusing to make LGBTQ-themed cakes, in exchange for the commission halting its own actions against him.”

How to Raise a Child Without Imposing Gender, The New York Times (Michael Tortorello)

“As for the nursery, the Scottens wrestled with a design question encountered by a generation of new parents, who, surveys suggest, hold more accepting views of gender nonconformity. How to create a room where a baby can grow up to become a boy, a girl or whatever feels right?”

Girls Have Always Been Better at School. Now It Matters More, Bloomberg (Justin Fox)

“That’s reason to think that the earnings gender gap will keep shrinking, which is a good thing for working women, and presumably won’t be much of a negative for college-educated men. But it also implies that the education gender gap will become even more salient in American life, and possibly more disruptive (men don’t always handle reduced status super-well).”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Does Singleness Require a Special Calling?, Crossway (Sam Allberry)

“Like a superpower, we presume singleness must be rare and unusual. The whole point of superheroes is that their powers are abnormal. That’s part of the appeal. They are set apart from the rest of us. And so those with the gift of singleness must be a select group who can cope with singleness in a way the rest of us cannot. It seems to fit what Paul is saying and to fit our experience of what singleness is like. But there are a number of problems with this way of thinking.”

Have Sex Like You Know God, Desiring God (Marshall Segal)

“If we gladly obey all that God has said about sex, within the promises of a covenant before God, he gives sex a depth the world has never known. In any given marriage, there may still be major challenges to overcome, because sex, like everything else, is part of the fabric of a sin-broken world. But if we have sex like we know God, sex is about so much more than the mechanics of intercourse. It’s about God — seeing God, hearing God, enjoying God.”

Nadia Bolz-Weber and the Sexual Revolution We Need, The Gospel Coalition (Alisa Childers)

“Yes, we need reform. But what Bolz-Weber offers is not reformation. She has recycled a sexual ethic as old as paganism itself and rebranded it as Christian. True reform wouldn’t be to abandon the Bible’s teaching, but to actually start living it.”

The Real Housewives of America: Dad’s Income and Mom’s Work, Institute for Family Studies (Robert VerBruggen and Wendy Wang)

“Among mothers married to husbands who work full-time and year-round—the population most likely to have the option of staying home—there is a U-shaped curve between a mother’s chances of being out of the labor force and her husband’s earned income. That is, the real housewives of America are most likely to be found among women married to men earning just a little or quite a lot.”

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