Gary Floyd, then and now

Gary Lynn Floyd killed a few birds with one stone last night. First, he helped celebrate the Interfaith Peace Chapel’s one-year anniversary. Second, he shot footage for his upcoming reality series slot on Troubadour, TX. Most importantly, though, he reminded us all why we love listening to him sing.

His concert Sunday night, which also served as a release party for his new CD Then+Now, featured Gary on piano, voice miked, singing solo: Songs from his long career, some from his days in Christian music (including his only No. 1 hit as a songwriter), moving up to his current output. He joked that people may still detect a bit of the church in his voice; ain’t that the truth. Listening to Gary is sort of like your own private sermon — he seemed to be connecting directly with me as he sang. (Of course, I was sitting behind his mother, so maybe he was just singing to her.)  But I bet all of the 80 or so attendees felt that same connection. That’s what good singing is all about.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

First Baptist Dallas launches ‘Grinch Alert’

Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas

You all remember Pastor Robert Jeffress over at First Baptist Church in Dallas, right? He’s the one who riled up the LGBT community a couple of years ago with his “Gay is Not OK” sermon.

Well, now Pastor Jeffress is at it again. He and his church have created a new website, GrinchAlert.com, to warn us all about those horrible business people who have the nerve to say something like “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” or who, even worse, don’t recognize the Christian holiday at all.

So if someone or some business pisses you off while you are out commercializing Christmas this year, you can go to this website and post a comment designating them as “naughty.” And if they spell out “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” on their chain link fence using colored plastic cups and Christmas lights, you can go to the site and reward them with a “nice” post.

Jeffress told Dallas Morning News: “Too many businesses have bowed down to political correctness. I thought this would be a fun way to call out businesses that are refusing to celebrate Christmas.”

He also told the Morning News that First Baptist isn’t creating any standards on what determines “naughty” or “nice,” and that the church won’t be monitoring the site to protect businesses owned by non-Christians. I wonder if that means if I go to the site and add a post declaring Pastor Jeffress and his church are “naughty” because he is a completely hateful, bigoted jackass, that they will leave it up there? Or would they remove it and add me to the “naughty” list instead?

It’s tempting, but I will refrain. Instead, I will just offer this reminder to Pastor Jeffress and others like him: In the New Testament, in one of the Gospels, there is a story about how the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus into saying something that would get him in trouble, so they asked him, “What is the most important commandment?” (The trick, of course, is that no one commandment should be considered more important than any other.)

Jesus replied, “Love your neighbor as yourself, and love God above all else. Do that, and you will be following all the commandments.”

So here’s my message to Pastor Jeffress: Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself, and guess what — not all your neighbors are Christians. Don’t you think is is a little less than loving to expect them to kowtow to your religious beliefs by saying Merry Christmas, and by chiding them on your ridiculous website because they prefer to say “Happy Holidays” instead?

—  admin

Sermon: “Jesus Was HIV-Positive”

Pastor Xola Skosana x390 (fair, no credit) | ADVOCATE.COMA pastor in South Africa has shocked churchgoers with a series of sermons claiming Jesus was HIV-positive.   
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

LDS Apostle in sermon: Same-sex attraction can change; no unions other than traditional marriage

Here we go again…hardly breaking news, but just more reinforcement from the decrepit head of the LDS. Boyd K. Packer, president of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles:

“There are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature.”

I’m wondering why this lesson was worth repeating. Does the Mormon hierarchy feel under pressure?

Packer, speaking from his seat because of his frail health, addressed more than 20,000 members gathered in the LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City and millions more watching the faith’s 180th Semiannual General Conference via satellite.

The senior apostle drew on the church’s 1995 declaration, “The Family: A Alluding to the Utah-based church’s support of laws such as California’s Proposition 8 that would define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, Packer said, “Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course.”

Laura Compton, who directs Mormons4Marriage, a group of Latter-day Saints who opposed Proposition 8 and support marriage equality in California and elsewhere, was troubled by Packer’s sermon.

“So many Mormons have worked hard to increase understanding of what homosexuality is and what it means to be faithful,” Compton said in a phone interview from her California home. “Now we have this [anti-gay] message coming from the pulpit in General Conference by the president of the Quorum of the Twelve. It seems like hitting a brick wall. Hopefully, this won’t make people stop and say, ‘It wasn’t worth it.’

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright