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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (6/4/19)

June 4, 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

Abuse of Faith | Part 4 Abused by missionaries, Houston Chronicle (Lise Olsen and Sarah Smith)

“The practice of the Southern Baptist mission board — the world’s largest sponsor of Protestant missionaries — has been for years to keep misconduct reports inside the hierarchy of the organization, a Houston Chronicle investigation reveals…The Chronicle found a long trail of alleged cover-ups involving sexual misconduct or crimes committed abroad by a small number of Southern Baptist missionaries, all salaried employees of the mission board. Collectively, five men were credibly accused or convicted of abusing about 24 people, mostly children, court records, documents and interviews show.”

Abuse of Faith | Part 5 Harboring Abusers, Houston Chronicle (John Tedesco)

“Garcia is hardly the only Southern Baptist pastor to stay in the pulpit after being accused of a sex crime. The Houston Chronicle confirmed that since the 1990s, at least 30 SBC churches were aware that a pastor, employee or volunteer had faced allegations of sexual misconduct in the U.S. — yet the churches hired them anyway or allowed them to continue serving in their spiritual roles.”

Central Carolina Presbytery Study Committee Report on 2018 Revoice Conference, Central Carolina Presbytery

“We appreciate Revoice’s commitment to biblical marriage. We commend them for their desire to help sexual strugglers stay rooted in Christ and in historic orthodoxy. At the same time, we are concerned that some of the principal voices in Revoice have not been careful enough with their labels, their theology, and their relational advice. Consequently, at present we do not feel Revoice is a safe guide in helping Christians navigate questions of gender and sexuality.”

Why Foursquare’s Female Leaders Have It Harder Today, Christianity Today (Leah Payne)

“The fact Foursquare has yet to elect another female president shows how much women’s potential depends on the models she sees in ministry and the support around her. Women need congregations who are able to imagine, accept, and support a woman as their pastor. The imaginative component is key here: The idea of a woman as pastor needs to be present in the collective consciousness of a congregation in order for a female pastor to become a reality. Seeing mostly men in leadership roles narrows that imagination, and the low percentage of Foursquare women in pastoral roles after the death of Aimee Semple McPherson attests to this principle. In the 1930s, 40 percent of Foursquare senior pastors were women; as of 2012, the number had dwindled to 7 percent.”

Divided SC Methodists to weigh same-sex marriage, LGBT clergy bans at conference, The State (Tom Barton)

“South Carolina Methodists convening in Greenville for their five-day annual conference will consider petitions aimed at settling a rift within the United Methodist Church over whether to allow same-sex marriage and gay clergy.”

Gay-friendly church withdraws from Texas Baptist body, Baptist News Global (Bob Allen)

“A church that recently announced it will allow same-sex weddings has withdrawn voluntarily from the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The 6,300-church BGCT voted in 2016 to declare churches that welcome and affirm LGBT persons “out of harmonious cooperation” with the more moderate of two statewide bodies in Texas that are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.”

A Major New Study Asks: How Does Church Affect Marital Health?, Christianity Today (W. Bradford Wilcox, Alysse Elhage, and Byron R. Johnson)

“A new report from the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) and the Wheatley Institution, The Ties That Bind, finds that “lukewarm” couples—those who attend church infrequently—do not enjoy better relationship quality than secular couples who never attend church, and on some measures, such as men’s infidelity and women’s relationship quality, they actually do worse than secular couples. But couples who take their faith seriously, as do Charlie and Marty, are much more likely to be flourishing in their marriages.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Louisiana’s Democratic governor signs abortion ban into law, WAFB9 (Melinda DeSlatte)

“Louisiana’s Democratic governor has signed a ban on abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy, a move that has provoked anger from members of his own party.”

Trump’s recognition of LGBT Pride Month conflicts with his administration’s policies, The Washington Post (Eugene Scott)

“Before entering the White House, Trump made comments appearing to affirm same-sex marriage. But his approach to LGBT issues since becoming president is largely thought to be influenced by the conservative white evangelicals who helped secure his election and that of Vice President Pence, an evangelical Christian who made national headlines as Indiana’s governor for his opposition to laws that would expand gay rights.”

Gay conversion therapy for minors: Maine becomes the 17th state to ban the practice, USA Today (Associated Press)

“‘By signing this bill into law today, we send an unequivocal message to young LGBTQ people in Maine and across the country: We stand with you, we support you and we will always defend your right to be who you are.’ A law against conversion therapy was signed recently in Massachusetts, while states including North Carolina are considering such legislation this year.

Built-in advantage, World Magazine (Ray Hacke)

“Federal and state courts nationwide have held that segregating sports by sex is all but necessary to ensure that girls and women do receive equal opportunities in interscholastic athletics. Open competition with males, the courts recognized, would likely keep females on the sidelines as benchwarmers or spectators, thereby undermining Title IX’s purpose.”

Some say Argentina is in the midst of a feminist revolution. Activists are gaining ground in the fight to legalize abortion, The Washington Post (Erica Hellerstein)

“[Weaving Feminisms] is just one face of a growing women’s movement in Argentina that has gained widespread influence over the past several years, seeping into everything from art to media, politics to sports. It’s a transformation that some have begun calling a revolution in the predominantly Catholic country; one that is challenging traditional gender roles, bringing women’s issues to the top of the cultural and legislative agenda and even mobilizing a mass movement in support of abortion rights.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Can broad and narrow complementarians coexist in the SBC?, (Denny Burk)

“I love my brothers and sisters in the SBC who are narrow complementarians and who disagree with me about these things. I am challenged by them to think more clearly about how to incorporate gifted women into the ministries of my own church. I am grateful for our unity in the gospel as it is framed in the Baptist Faith & Message. The churches of the SBC will never be monolithic on these issues. There will always be some variability. Nevertheless, my hope and prayer are that we can reason with each other in good faith and perhaps learn and sharpen one another even as we disagree. If we love and care for each other as we ought, then we will be able to do this. I’m confident we can.”

The so-called “pastoral accommodation” of homosexuality is actually complete acceptance of it, (Denny Burk)

“There is no ‘in-between’ approach to this issue. A church will either affirm the Bible’s sexual ethic or deny it. And its affirmation or denial of scripture will be born out in who they allow to be members, who they discipline (or don’t discipline), and who they allow to the Lord’s Table. Churches will have to make a decision about this issue one way or they other. There is no middle ground. The ground of ‘pastoral accommodation.'”

The History of Humankind Proves Masculinity Is A Powerful Positive Good, The Federalist (Thane Bellomo)

“The symmetry and effectiveness of this union cannot be overstated. Men and women are perfectly matched together to create the necessary conditions for human flourishing. Throughout the progress of mankind’s great endeavor, the harmony of their particular talents and perspectives aided and supported the other.”

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