Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, a street preacher in Pennsylvania was arrested at a “pride month” event, and charges against him were later dropped. Girl Scouts are now able to earn an LGBT patch by attending “pride” parades or creating rainbow-themed decorations. Meanwhile, the Christian and Missionary Alliance voted to permit the classification of women as ordained ministers.
Street Preacher Arrested at “Pride” Event in Pennsylvania
“We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Damon Atkins, a street preacher in Reading, Pennsylvania, was arrested last weekend at a “pride month” event after less than sixty seconds of quoting the Bible on a public sidewalk.
Video of the event posted by Matthew Wear, another street preacher, depicted Atkins noting to a police officer that he is legally permitted to speak on public property. The officer in turn told Atkins to “let them have their event” and “respect them.”
Atkins responded that people who “are in hell” were “cheering” for the street preachers as they proclaimed the gospel, a reference to the account of the rich man and Lazarus, the preacher said in an interview with the Lancaster Patriot. He attempted to continue preaching, after which the officer arrested him and the “pride month” celebrants appeared to applaud.
The office of the Berks County District Attorney said in a statement days after the incident that charges of disorderly conduct initially filed against Atkins had been dropped.
Girl Scouts Allowed to Earn LGBT Patches
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).
Girl Scouts were encouraged to earn “pride month” patches, according to a document published by the youth organization.
Girl Scouts, which is open for participants between kindergarten and twelfth grade, released the document to troop leaders and parents, contending that a celebration of “pride month” would help students acknowledge “the diversity, heritage, and contributions of our multicultural communities.” Volunteers were told to create an “atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion” for students regardless of “sexual orientation,” as well as ethnicity, religion, or political beliefs.
The document, which cited a number of LGBTQ entities which support so-called gender transition surgeries for minors, informed volunteers that Girl Scouts could earn a “pride month” patch by completing activities such as making a rainbow flag, attending a “pride” parade with their family or troop, reading a book by a homosexual or transgender author, or creating artwork about how “families come in all shapes, sizes, and kinds.”
Christian and Missionary Alliance Votes to Ordain Females
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:12).
The Christian and Missionary Alliance, an evangelical denomination with some 2,000 churches across the United States, voted at a general council meeting to allow the ordination of females.
Attendees voted to approve changes to the denomination’s statement of faith such that both males and females can receive the designations “consecrated and ordained” or carry the titles “pastor” and “reverend.” Eldership in churches, however, continues to be limited to lead pastors, elected lay elders, and other male members of the licensed ministry staff.
The controversial move occurs days before the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest association of Protestant churches in the United States, likewise prepares to debate the issue of female ordination. Some prominent ministers, such as Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California, have ordained women to various pastoral roles.
Mike Law, a pastor at Arlington Baptist Church in Virginia, will submit an amendment clarifying that a congregation with a female pastor of any type cannot be deemed in “friendly cooperation” with the denomination in accordance with the Baptist Faith and Message doctrinal statement.