News of Note: “Federal Judge Strikes Down Utah’s Same Sex Marriage Ban Law”

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1. “Judge strikes down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban” – Federal judge strikes down Utah’s 2004 law banning same sex marriage. (Politico)

“A federal judge struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that brings a nationwide shift toward allowing gay marriage to a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling Friday saying Utah’s law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Shelby said the state failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way. “In the absence of such evidence, the State’s unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State’s refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens,” Shelby wrote.” – The Associated Press

2. “7 Ways Social Media Makes Pastoring More Difficult” – Mike Leake gives us seven ways social media can make pastoring more difficult. (Servants of Grace)

3. “What’s Really Going On?” – H.B. Charles recalls how he trusted God during a church fight. (H.B. Charles Jr.)

“Seeing that article again recently reminded me that if you just stay on assignment, the Lord will raise up people to fight for you. The odds may be against you. And it may seem that no one is on your side. But the Lord will send you friends just when you need it. Many times the most unlikely person will be a postcard from heaven by which God announces that he has not forgotten about you. What challenge are you facing? Stay on mission. Be faithful. Trust God. Love people. And don’t take matters into your own hands. The Lord can and will help you through the challenge, even if he shows up through a sister with a typewriter and a story to tell about what’s really going on!” – H.B. Charles Jr.

4. “Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?” – R.C. Sproul on why Christmas is not a pagan holiday. (Ligonier Ministries)

“I can’t think of anything more pleasing to Christ than the church celebrating his birthday every year. Keep in mind that the whole principle of annual festival and celebration is deeply rooted in ancient Jewish tradition. In the Old Testament, for example, there were times when God emphatically commanded the people to remember certain events with annual celebrations. While the New Testament doesn’t require that we celebrate Christmas every year, I certainly see nothing wrong with the church’s entering into this joyous time of celebrating the Incarnation, which is the dividing point of all human history. Originally, it was intended to honor, not Mithras or any of the other mystery religion cults, but the birth of our King.” – R.C. Sproul

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