Both raised reaction in me. This blog gives me a place to let my thoughts out:
"A pastor created a huge backlash on Reddit when he [Get it right C.T., it's "she."] left a note on a St. Louis Applebee's restaurant bill refusing a gratuity to a server." (here & here)
I offer this tip, to pastors everywhere. Be generous. And to "Pastor" Bell, Ms. Welch, the waitress, did not ruin your reputation! You did, when your lack of character allowed you to write that note to the lady who had just waited on you and your guests.
In a major policy reversal, the Boy Scouts of America made a statement that the organization will probably allow professed homosexuals to hold leadership positions in the organization. (more)
I'm surprised, though I probably shouldn't be.
I know some fine people involved in scouting--folk who are trying to keep roles, relationships, and responsibilities in order. This will make things harder for them.
This also reinforces a conclusion of mine. The church--those of us who are willing to live out and die for the truth of God's word--is going to have to stand alone. I'm not saying that we should not try to preserve as many allies as we can for as long as we are able. I'm not saying we shouldn't be sad when a cultural friend packs up and heads home. I am saying that our situation is rapidly becoming identical to that of the First Century Christians in Corinth. We are going to be called on to make decisions and take stands that no one around us will understand, or support. We are going to have take seriously the Apostle Paul's admonition:
“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14–18, NASB95)
I know the language sounds harsh. It is Paul's not mine. We have lived in a place and time where our culture has supported our Christian values. That has been eroding. It appears that the deterioration has reached a tipping point. At this point I'm not speaking as an old Fundamentalist--though I am thankful for what my heritage has given me. I write as a sad observer.