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Atlanta Fire Chief Gets Vindicated in Court

In 2015, former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for writing on his own time and at his own expense a men’s devotional that included a brief statement about the beauty of biblical marriage and the error of homosexuality. On December 20th, he was vindicated, at least in part, when a federal district court ruled that the city of Atlanta had violated Cochran’s freedom of speech by saying he had to seek the city’s permission before writing the devotional. However, the ruling did not say that he could not have been fired for what he wrote.

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Disney Introduces Gay Character in Tween Show

The Disney Channel recently introduced a homosexual character in the season 2 premiere of Andi Mack, a coming-of-age comedy geared toward tweens. This season’s first episode focuses on the new attractions that main character Cyrus Goodman has for a boy while he also juggles having a new girlfriend.

Why such adult themes on a kids’ television network? And why would it consider a homosexual storyline “age-appropriate”? Disney released a statement about the show, saying, “The Disney brand has always been inclusive, with stories that reflect acceptance and tolerance and celebrate the differences that make our characters uniquely wonderful in their own way. . . . Our stories are timeless because they speak to the heart; our characters appeal to children across gender, ability, and experience . . . “.

The head of One Million Moms, Monica Cole, said, “By choosing to move in the direction of more ‘adult’ stories and content, the Disney Channel—and the entire Disney media empire—may be choosing to sacrifice something far more precious . . . children’s innocence.”

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New Website Reveals Where Churches Stand on LGBT Issues

A new online database called Church Clarity, launched by LGBT-affirming individuals, is starting to score churches on their positions on homosexuality by classifying whether a church is “affirming” or “non-affirming” of the LGBT agenda. Affirming churches would be those that allow LGBT individuals to “marry” in the church, participate in church sacraments, and participate in church leadership. So far, the online database has scored 40 churches with the hopes of doing more as momentum gains.

Church Clarity’s left leanings and use of possibly biased crowdsourcing to reveal church policies have many Christians wondering if churches with biblical viewpoints on homosexuality will be represented unfairly and unfavorably. However, trying to sound neutral, Church Clarity explains on its FAQ page, “The nuance of our mission is that regardless of the [church’s LGBT] policy, we believe disclosure is essential. That is why we are eager to enlist those who are passionate about clarity and who represent the full spectrum of theological positions.”

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Eugene Peterson Backtracks on Pro-Homosexual Statement

A few days after telling Religion News journalist Jonathan Merritt in a phone interview that he would consider performing a same-sex “wedding,” The Message Bible creator Eugene Peterson retracted his pro-homosexual statements after skepticism and concern from the Christian community, including LifeWay Christian Stores, which carries Peterson’s books.

Though Peterson restates his belief in one-man, one-woman marriage and reaffirms a “biblical view of everything,” some still question the retired pastor and author’s retraction. “It is possible that Peterson felt he had been placed on the spot and offered an answer that doesn’t reflect his true conviction,” Merritt explained. “But it is also important to note that in the week prior to the publication of his answers, there was no attempt to clarify or change his answer to these questions.”

Whether or not Peterson is sincere, Dr. Michael Brown evaluates the author’s best-known work. After providing an overview of key Scripture passages concerning homosexuality in The Message paraphrase, Dr. Brown suggests Christians use caution when quoting from this version of the Bible. “[A]s a very free paraphrase, it is sometimes powerful and brilliant while at other times it is seriously off target,” he says.

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