Saturday, December 21, 2013

Lee Grady Reflects On Christian Television

 *Apprised of the following from Andrew Strom's ministry newsletter, this interesting article by Lee Grady offers some good insight and points to ponder regarding Christian Television.

by J. Lee Grady

Lee Grady believes the time for preaching styles like TBN's Paul Crouch has passed.

Among the legendary pioneers of Christian broadcasting-a list that includes Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts and Jim Bakker-no one worked harder to establish Christian TV stations around the world than Paul Crouch Sr. In spite of constant controversies over his network´s content and finances, the Trinity Broadcasting
Network that Crouch founded in 1973 has grown to be the largest and most profitable religious television enterprise in the world.

But Crouch died last weekend, and all is not well at TBN. Crouch´s oldest son, Paul Jr., who at one time was the heir apparent of the network, abruptly departed in 2011 and went to work for the Word Network, a predominantly African-American ministry. The Crouch´s granddaughter, Brittany Koper, in a lawsuit filed against TBN last year, claimed that millions of dollars of donor funds were misused. The Crouch´s grandson, Brandon Crouch, has lamented on a blog that the family is now split apart because his sister was fired for blowing the whistle on what she considered fraud.

And as Christian friends and colleagues mourn Crouch´s passing  (there will be no public funeral, but TBN plans to air a tribute on Dec. 8 and 9), the wider Christian public is asking a lot of questions about TBN-and about Christian broadcasting in general: Why is televangelism so prone to scandal? Why have so many Christian broadcasters insisted on living lavishly? Why is our most visible outreach to the world so embarrassing?

Some people might say this is not the time to have this discussion. But I think Paul Crouch´s passing signals the end of an era-and it is time for a reformation. Crouch´s generation built monolithic organizations with autocratic leadership, and broadcasters who began their networks in the 1970s created a showy, bigger-is-better style that included endless telethons, sensational preaching and celebrities in spotlights.

That may have worked in 1975-and it still appeals to a segment of the market. But my generation and my children´s generation tuned out long ago because Christian TV came off as fake, campy and spiritually out of touch.

If I were asked to suggest ways to improve Christian television in this new era, I would list the following:

1. Support it with advertising, not donations. Who said Christian programming has to be donor-funded? I´d rather watch ads for steak knives or dietary supplements than endure two hours of begging-especially when the slick-haired evangelist running the telethon reminds you of a used-car salesman.

2. Prosperity preaching shouldn´t be allowed. Networks need to declare a moratorium on sermons that promise magical monetary benefits to people who "call now" to give a credit card donation. This type of merchandising of the anointing of the Holy Spirit grieves God and drags Christian TV down to the level of scam artists.

3. Preachers-and their doctrines-should be more carefully screened. Christian networks should not air programs by ministers who have questionable morals. If we wouldn´t allow that person in our church´s pulpit, why would we let them preach in front of millions on the air?

4. Donors should never be manipulated. If there is an appeal for donations, there should be no hanky-panky allowed. Don´t tell people that if they give tonight, God will give them a house. Don´t promise that God will heal their bodies if they sow a "$1,000 seed." And don´t tell viewers that if they give in this special "Day of
Atonement offering," God will forgive their sins. This is witchcraft! Shame on any broadcaster who has allowed this garbage to deceive audiences.

5. Money should never be misused. TBN makes millions in donations every year-and the network has donated some of the funds to charitable causes. But why is it that broadcasters like Paul and Jan Crouch had to purchase lavish homes, a private jet and an enormous trailer for their dogs? Donors should demand
more accountability for financial contributions.

6. It should be relevant to today´s culture. Young Christians today care about justice, world poverty and community transformation. They also want teaching on relationships, sexuality and practical discipleship. Christian TV must move beyond the talking-head style of the 1980s. If we want to appeal to young viewers, the false eyelashes, pink fright wigs and "Granny hootenanny" music will have to go.

7. Network owners should not set up broadcasting kingdoms. Some leaders in the past generation believed that ministries are like dynasties-that God expects the founder´s son to run it when he dies. But there is nothing in Scripture that even hints at ministries being passed down through family lines. God entrusts
His work to faithful people-and He expects us to manage ministries with integrity, humility and accountability. Many of the disasters we have seen in American televangelism occurred because men thought they could take ownership of the work of God.

My prayer for TBN-and every other Christian television networkin this country-is that ministry leaders will take their hands off of God´s work and let Him use broadcast technology in new and creative ways to reach the world for Christ.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Covert Messiah?

Ironically, it has been longed argued by nonbelievers that Jesus was a revolutionary coming against the Roman political system---a political argument. Below an article concerning an unbeliever's argument that the government of Rome invent Jesus as a form of control--a political argument. The unbeliever will continue to flip coins and seek confirmation that God does not exist and that judgment does not exist. Yet by worldly standards, relying on one source of work will hardly be sufficient to even skeptical historical scholars, no more than a small sample to a research team.

For the unbeliever, ways of confirming nonexistence of God is paramount---why so? Why do others take little pain to "disprove" other religions, but spend years trying to "prove" that the Lord Jesus Christ does not exist? He bothers the unbeliever greatly, and they need to question why. They seek an elusive foreign comfort in finding others who believe like they do, forming organizations to disprove the existence of God, and ever entangling Him in political theories. There are spiritual unseen forces, and the nagging answer lies within. If it bothers you to hear His name, Jesus, more than other religions--ask yourself why. If you can tolerate to hear about other religions but hate to hear about Christianity ask yourself why does it bother me more?


Self-Professed ‘Bible Scholar’ Makes Explosive Allegation About Jesus....
By Billy Hallowell
The Blaze

On Oct. 19, self-professed Biblical scholar Joseph Atwill is planning to make public some very flammable allegations. At a day-long symposium called "Covert Messiah" in London, England, he's set to unveil purported evidence that Roman aristocrats manufactured Jesus Christ - a claim that, if substantiated, would devalue the core of the Christian faith.

The only problem? Most Biblical experts disagree with the scholar's pronouncements.

A press release announcing the purported new evidence claims that Atwill has discovered "ancient confessions" that purportedly prove that Romans invented Jesus Christ in the first century. He has long argued that the faith system was used as a political tool to control the masses -- something he says is still going on today.

"I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm, but this is important for our culture," he said of the alleged debunk - one that he believes will eventually be universally accepted.

In the release, Atwill said that governments often create "false histories and false gods" and that this is often done in an effort to secure social order.

Rather than a theology, Atwill believes that Christianity was concocted as a government project that was used to control Roman citizens. During a time in which Jewish residents were waiting for their Messiah, he says they were a constant source of insurrection, leading the Romans to seek out an equalizing and tempering force.

Click here to continue reading.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Walmart Healings Video

I was encouraged and delighted last week when I viewed a video distributed via email from Andrew Strom's ministry regarding miracles in America. Then sadly, Andrew Strom recently sent a followup email about people being suspicious and skeptical of the miracles and accounting shown on the video. I agree with Mr. Strom's position--I do think people's hearts and minds have become hardened to miracles because of some of the things we witnessed with Todd Bentley, and other like-fellows. Miracles do happen, and healings still happen today!! And such miracles will open the eyes of some people to the Truth of the Gospel--just as it did in the early Church. I am posting both emails from Strom's ministry--the one sent out first with the video link is directly below, then the followup is next.


VIDEO - MIRACLES at WALMART - Please Watch!!

Torben Sondergaard is an old friend of mine from Denmark - apreacher of righteousness who often sees God do amazing miracles on the streets. Recently he was visiting America and
saw God do wonderful healings in the open air right across theUSA - even in Walmart! He believes a new "Reformation" iscoming to the church. Please share this wonderful video as
widely as you can-

God bless you all.

Andrew Strom.


by Andrew Strom

Last week we published a video of an old friend of mine, Torben Sondergaard, as he prayed for the sick on the streets and in the supermarkets of America. The deaf were healed and the lame walked - right on camera. But some people who saw the video reacted quite badly. Maybe it was the fact that the video started with "legs growing out" instead of the more impressive healings -I don't know. But it seems there is a lot of cynicism out there.

I have actually known Torben personally for 5 or 6 years. I havestayed in his home and spent time with his family. I know hiswritings and his preaching. To me, he is one of the few preachers
in Denmark who fully represents the gospel as it should bepreached. He stands for repentance, holiness and reformationin a way that made us "click" together like old friends right away.
So it really upsets me to hear all the accusations people aremaking - who don't know the first thing about him.


Since the Todd Bentley debacle and other waves of "Charismania" in recent times, it is very easy to become cynical about healings and miracles, etc. I can understand that. But I have
always been very clear that true healings, prophecies, dreams, visions and miracles should be absolutely EXPECTED as a totally normal part of everyday Christian life. In fact, without them
it is very doubtful that we have true "Bible" Christianity at all. So it deeply grieves me to see people getting so cynical that they "nitpick" every instance of the supernatural or the gifts of the
Holy Spirit to death. It has got to the point where I can hardly post any of these things on my website without rafts of cynical comments that try to pick apart every aspect of them.

My friends, that is not discernment. It is the spirit of "writing off everything." It is unwarranted accusation and nit-picking. It is the"other ditch" on the far side of the road. Some fall into the ditch of "hyper-grace" and 'hyper-charismania'. Others fall into the opposite ditch of Legalism and "cynicism of anything supernatural". Both of these ditches are equally dangerous. It is just as deadly to become the type that "accuses first" and asks questions later. A very dangerous cynicism takes hold at that point. Just like the Pharisees. I think a lot of people need to repent.

We cannot just be focused on what is "wrong". At some point we have to be about establishing what is 'right'. We have to go forward into the "True" thing. Not just be exposing the False.
And the time has come to start in that direction.

I believe Torben has been shown a number of things that are truly "revolutionary" - but also very simple - about getting back to New Testament Christianity. Literally "what to do" to get
back there. That is why he and I agree on so many things. But Torben is actually seeing it work IN PRACTICE. It is actually happening. New Testament Christianity - right before your eyes.
So I am going to be featuring a lot more of Torben's stuff on here.

Let me give you an example. Torben believes in taking new Christians out on the street very quickly to pray for the sick and share the gospel. He believes this is a vital part of true "disciple-
ship". Just like Jesus did with his own disciples. On my website I have just posted a brief video where Torben discusses the amazing things that happen when this is done.

Please take a look. You will be glad you did. Here is the link-

God bless you all.

Andrew Strom.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Large Scale Persecution In Nigeria

Obed Minchakpu: Persecution: The Experience of Borno Christians

Daily Post
Nigeria Online Newspaper

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your Father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” -The Bible, Esther 4:14

The news about his death did not come to me as a surprise. He had told me in the year 2007 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, that his life was under threat but that he cannot run away from the city because he believes God has called him to preach the Gospel to his people.

You may ask, ‘Who is this man of courage who looked death in the face and called off its bluff?’ He is no other person than The Rev. Faye Pama Musa, the Borno State Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

I was in Borno State on a research trip in that year and met Rev. Faye Pama Musa. We became friends and I had the privilege of visiting his church in Wulari area of the city and also visited his house in the GRA where I met his family. In the period I was in Maiduguri we discussed extensively about the state of the Church in Borno State.

In the course of our discussion Rev. Musa shared with me the difficulties they faced in doing Christian ministry in a hostile environment where Christians are persecuted in all spheres of human endeavor. To be a Christian in Borno State, he said, “Is deciding to become a second class citizen as even citizens from other Muslim countries enjoy better privileges than those of us who are Indigenous Christians from this state,” he told me.

Disturbed about this disclosure, I decided to carry out in-depth research on this issue. Facts I uncovered at the end of my study tour of the state revealed even more disturbing phenomenon. One of the issues I uncovered was the forceful conversion of many Christians in the state to Islam. Secondly, many indigenous persons of the Kanuri ethnic group who made decision to become Christians were forced to go underground because of persecution.

In fact, I visited one of the underground churches in the city of Maidiguri and met with some of these Kanuri Christians who have been forced out of Borno State because of persecution to live in other parts of Nigeria but only sneak into the city of Maiduguri time to time to fellowship together and pray for their people, the Kanuris, and then sneak out of the state again.

I left Maiduguri with a heavy heart, burdened with the plight of Christians in Borno State. Since then, I kept constantly in touch with the Rev. Faye Pama Musa, always asking after his welfare and other Christian Brethren over there. Each time I heard about the murder of any Christian in that state or attacks on Christian communities, I would always phone him to be sure he was still alive.

Then suddenly, thirty minutes after the declaration of the state of emergency by Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, The Rev. Faye Pama Musa was gunned down by Islamic Terrorists, Boko Haram members, who trailed him from his church to his house and murdered him in cold blood, and in the presence of his wife and children. His crime? His faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and Preaching the Gospel to lost souls in Borno State.

The blood shed by Musa and other Christian brethren in Borno State has raised a lot of questions as regards the responsibilities of Christian political leaders in Nigeria to their Christian Brethren. Why is it that Christian political leaders have not been able to raise their voices in condemnation of these despicable acts against the Church and Christians in northern Nigeria?

One is forced to raise this question because of the deliberate silence that has characterized our political landscape even as thousands of Christians in the northern part of the country are being killed on a daily basis by Islamic militants of the Boko Haram sect and Muslim Fulani Herdsmen.

One noticeable thing is that while the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has become the lone voice in the wilderness, crying out over the persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria, Christian political leaders seem to be more interested in struggling for political positions that would enable them acquire ill-gotten wealth for themselves to the detriment of the religious liberty of their Christian Brethren.

While the likes of senators Bukar Ibrahim and Ali Ndume, and representative Aminu Tambuwal, etc are busy promoting the cause of Boko Haram in Nigeria’s parliament, the National Assembly, our Christian political leaders in both chambers are busy doing some mathematical permutations on alignment and re-alignment of political forces in order to strategically place themselves in political positions come 2015. All in an effort to corruptly enrich themselves to the detriment of the religious freedom of their Christian brethren.

The time has therefore come, for us to call the attention of these Christian political leaders to a prophetic warning issued to Hadasah, Queen Esther, by her uncle, Mordeccai, when he told her:

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your Father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” -The Bible, Esther 4:14

This prophetic message is today very relevant to our political clime, as just as Haman schemed to exterminate the Jews who were in exile in Persia, so also, militant Muslims seeking to establish an Islamic State in northern Nigeria are waging a war to exterminate Christian minorities. Yet, our political leaders appear hapless as the onslaught against the church and Christians continues unabated.

Whatever it is, as Christians we must turn our focus to God at this time just like the Jews in Persia did. They followed the instruction of Esther and fasted and prayed to God pleading for deliverance. The time has come too, for us to turn our faces to God and asking for His intervention in this situation we have now found ourselves in northern Nigeria.

Click here to continue reading:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Video--Battle Of The Cross

I am reposting this video entitled "Battle of The Cross".

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pentecostal Leaders Adapting World Views

Looking at the article below, the concerns expressed by Andrew Strom have been entering into my mind lately about compromise and a changing society. I had been contemplating that on television nothing resembles programs aired even 10 years ago--certainly not 20 or 30 years aog. Women are featured in commercials scantily dressed for even youngsters to see in the daytime (and all people for that matter). Homosexuality is unquestioned in mainstream shows---its becoming a norm, with gay people in leading roles on television. Sadistic crime shows abound, to which I am convinced influence people already given to sadistic perversions offering them more ammunition to feed their evil passions. Darkness has increased exponentially.

Who are we to accommodate? The world? Are you trying to reach them or be like them? Why question anything this world offers if we accept its views, and no one call tell us believers apart?

James 4:4 (New King James Version)
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Do you think the Lord changes?

Malichi 3:6 (New King James Version)

For I am the LORD, I do not change

Matthew 24:35 (New King James Version)
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass.

The world is changing. Because it changes, are we to adapt to the ways of darkness? Light dispels darkness--but compromise and accommodation to a sinful world is only causing confusion and deception. And it should not be so in the Church.

The Lord is not willing any should perish. He desires all people to know Him. But He commands we preach the Truth, and call sin as SIN when we see it. Grace does not give us a license to excuse sin in our lives.

The article is posted directly below.


by Andrew Strom

It all started with a 2009 blog post by Rob Buckingham, pastor
of a large Pentecostal megachurch called 'Bayside' in Melbourne,
Australia. His blog post was entitled, "Is Jesus Anti-Gay?" and
made the case for 'acceptance' being the true Christian attitude
toward Homosexuals. Now bear in mind that this is not some
"liberal" church or 'liberal' congregation here. This fellowship is
part of the "C3" (Christian City Church) denomination - one of
the largest mainstream Pentecostal groups in Australia. That is
why the Gay community was so delighted by it all.

In the 'comments' section after his article, Rob Buckingham
made his views even clearer: "As a Christian, and pastor of a
church, I sometimes find the attitudes of fellow Christians
embarrassing. We have a number of gay men and women in our
church and they are accepted just the way they are - just like
everyone else is." So you are no longer willing to preach what
Jesus preached, Rob? "GO and SIN NO MORE."

Rob Buckingham later went on to preach a message at Bayside
that was entitled, "Real Christianity is Accepting". (You can find
it on Youtube). In it the pastor overturned the usual understanding
of the 'Sodom & Gomorrah' story and advocated "Christian
acceptance" of homosexuals. The Pentecostal congregation
literally gave him a standing ovation at the end of his sermon.

This message was heralded by the Gay press as a huge leap
forward inside the Pentecostal movement. One Gay activist called
it, 'The Bayside Breakthrough'. The Star Online trumpeted,
"Church Advocates for Gay Acceptance... minister at Melbourne´s
Pentecostal Bayside Church received a standing ovation earlier
this month for preaching just that in a special sermon on how
the church should embrace GLBT [Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual &
Transgender] people."

The official Bayside website also published the following statement:
"Bayside Church welcomes GLBT people to find God´s love and
grace and to worship Him freely within our community."

Even though this whole affair became very well-known, the
leadership of the C3 (Christian City Church) movement apparently
"declined to comment" on it - even though the C3 movement is
led by Phil Pringle, a very well-known preacher in Australia. It
seems Bayside is still welcome to be part of 'C3' and Rob
Buckingham remains a high-profile pastor in the movement. All
of his blog posts on this subject are still proudly featured on the
church website. Which surely leads one to believe that Rob
Buckingham's views must not be too different from the overall
church's views on this subject. Isn't that reasonable to assume,
since they have said nothing to the contrary? I wonder if Australian
Pentecostals are aware that this huge compromise is now taking
place under their own banner?

And so, Homosexual Acceptance is free to enter into the
Pentecostal movement by the back door, since leaders no longer
dare to actually make a stand on the issue. Please write to Phil
Pringle and the C3 movement if you would like to know why they
have been so "silent" about this - even to their own members.
Here is the email to write to-

Isn't it sad that "political correctness" is now overtaking even the
Pentecostal churches worldwide? Perhaps the fruit of years of
no real 'Repentance' being preached? And I have recently heard
of large Baptist churches in Australia also starting to head in the
same direction. Who will stand and defend the truth?

-PLEASE COMMENT on this topic at our website below-

Yours in Christ - Andrew Strom ( )

Friday, February 22, 2013

Difficulties Finding A Church

I so can relate to this email sent from Andrew Strom's ministry! I have given up finding a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Bible Belt--where hundreds of churches are located! Where churches abound in apostasy, circus like atmospheres, Tea Party politics, and camera rolling entertainment for the masses! I believe in the Word, but I cannot find a place which preaches the gospel, healing, deliverance without mangling it into the characteristics I listed above.  So many of these so called charismatic of spirit filled churches do not pray for the sick in their services, do not pray for the bound, do not pray for people in the need--BUT--fill out the back of your collection envelope and you bet we will pray for you! Hmmm. Something is amiss.

The preaching of politics is rampant in Oklahoma churches talking about Obama, Obamacare, the degradation of the nation; while half of the people attending these churches would not offer a cup of water to someone on the street who wants one--unless it is a special church event of course! Just touching. Would you believe I have gone looking into a Assembly of God church 3 times in the past two months, and EVERY single time, flamboyant guests speakers were there. Nothing wrong with guest speakers occasionally, but is the purpose to draw in crowds or to preach something? I cannot even figure out what this church is about because the pastor has yet to preach while I was there--but his guests do. Then I look on the website and behold, a barrage of guest speakers--and the entertainment is free, naturally.  It has a high definition, super sonic extravaganza feel quality equaling total spiritual emptiness.

There are the super spiritual apostolic kind who want to bless you with their anointed hands and oils--to serve as your Mediator. So not. Additionally, I cannot stand for pastors or speakers who stand up jabbering that if you take a step of faith, lay out some money for a blessing or your healing--you will see your miracle! Be obedient to God's voice--yet who do you think you will hear next? The devil saying "I am the Lord, give $100.00 and your healing will manifest". You give it, it doesn't manifest, and someone says "you lacked faith bro--another opportunity will come along".

I cannot find a church in Tulsa Oklahoma. I know of other people who are searching and cannot find one. Does perfection exist in churches? No. But gross error, emptiness, contingent prayer, Tea Party hatefulness, contempt for the poor type churches---I would do better to stay at home.

The email article is directly below:

-Andrew Strom

If it's one thing I hear over and over from people, it is this. They
literally look everywhere they can think of in their town, and cannot
find a fellowship that seems in any way "right". Many will heap
blame on these people. But I am not one of them. What are you
supposed to do when you go right around a town and cannot find
good, sound, anointed teaching anywhere? What if you are left
with a choice of hyper-grace, prosperity, dead formalism or
anti-Charismatic "King James only"? Which one do you settle for?

For years I have been hearing this cry and it is only getting worse.
There simply seems to be a "famine" of the true word of the Lord
in many places. This is the overwhelming reason behind a lot of
the "Out-of-church" Christian phenomenon - no doubt about it.
We would love to hear your own experiences and comments on
this topic, my friends. Below is a message that somebody sent
me just this week on this very subject-

Tracy wrote:
"Hi Mr. Strom, I live in America.. Our churches (most of them are
in apostasy). My family & I always get hurt, persecuted because
of the calling on our lives and our stand for the truth... Each time
it hurts worse and worse, and we feel like we don't even fit in
anywhere. It has caused our kids, who are now grown, to not
even want to go to church. Where we live now, we are currently
looking for a place to worship and almost all churches here only
have church on Sunday Morning.. No service Sunday Night or
Wednesday night.. We need fellowship with true believers.

We have been in churches that seem like CIRCUSES (apostle
movement) where the Pastor insisted he was my "father" and
I was his "spiritual daughter" - weird.. We left and he threatened
we would not be blessed or doors would not open because we
left "his covering"! We've been at churches where the pastor was
blind and followed the flesh instead of the Spirit.. Putting demon
possessed people over prayer teams, etc.. Etc.. We have had
enough.. Been hurt because of our stand for righteousness...
To the point we are fearful of even connecting with a church ??

I know these are the last days but I am so disheartened. Will you
please pray for us? Offer any advise of wisdom you may have.
America and our churches are backslidden and it is seriously
so sad.. Where are his true people?"

ANDREW AGAIN:  As I said, it would be easy to blame the
people and call them "uncommitted" or 'church hoppers', etc.
But the simple lack of GOD in so many fellowships today seems
to be what is driving a lot of true believers away. How can they
be blamed for leaving? Does anyone have the answer? How many
others have similar tales to tell?

-PLEASE COMMENT on this topic at the website below-

God bless you all! - Andrew Strom ( )

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Washington National Cathedral To Wed Gay Couples

 *We are not to re-create what God has written in His Word. People will be offended by His Word, by the Gospel message-- we can only expect this. Compromise after compromise dilutes to the point His message becomes irrelevant to some people--and the way of the people attempts to "replace" His way. The "way of the people" will never be permanent.
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." Matthew 24:35

Washington National Cathedral to wed same-sex couple
By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) -- When laws went into effect in three states for same-sex couples to marry, many were quick to line up at their city halls to exchange vows. Now they may do so in one of the nation's most prominent churches -- the Washington National Cathedral.

Most Americans know the house of God, also called the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, as a place where sacred rites are carried out on behalf of the nation. It has been host to the funerals of numerous presidents and of inaugural prayer services for four presidents, including Barack Obama.

But it is also an active house of worship in the Episcopalian Church, said the Cathedral's dean, Gary Hall. The denomination has developed a blessing rite that mirrors current wedding ceremonies for heterosexual couples and allows each bishop to decide to allow same-sex marriages in their churches or not.

Bishop Mariann Budde decided to allow the rite, since same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia and now in neighboring Maryland as well, Hall said.

It was Budde's decision that led Hall to create the same-sex rite.
He sees it as "another historic step toward greater equality."

The states of Washington, Maine and Maryland all legalized same-sex marriages in referendums during the 2012 general election. It was already legal in the nation's capital.

Click here to continue reading.