Watchman on the Wall, by Jennifer LeClaire

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Openly Transgender Preacher Puts Church on Wrong Side of History

Rev. Cameron Partridge
The Rev. Cameron Partridge is the first-ever openly transgender priest to preach at the Washington National Cathedral. (Kalman Zabarsky/courtesy Boston University Photography)

In another first—a history-making moment that will forever serve as a signpost along the road to Christianity's rapid decline in America—the Rev. Cameron Partridge will preach in the name of Jesus at the Washington National Cathedral on June 22.

It's historic because Partridge is the first-ever openly transgender priest to step onto the platform. Of course, his preaching debut at the historic cathedral aims to honor LGBT Pride Month. It doesn't surprise me when Lucky Charms marks LGBT Pride Month with a #LucktyToBe campaign or when Hilton Hotels invites travelers to take part in the gay celebration, but the Washington National Cathedral? Yes, it's telling indeed.

The Washington National Cathedral considers itself a "spiritual resource for our nation." But many may not know that it's also "an indispensable ministry for all people of all faiths and perspectives." The National Cathedral's vision is to be a catalyst for spiritual harmony in our nation, renewal in churches, reconciliation among faiths and compassion in our world. The funerals of many presidents and the inaugurations of five presidents of the United States have been held there.

The fact that an openly transgender priest is preaching at this venue says plenty about the spiritual state of our nation just as the Rev. Gary Hall's words did last October. Now, Hall is offering more heretical words:

"As an advocate both within the Church and wider community, Cameron's presence in the pulpit, I hope, will also send a symbolic message in support of greater equality for the transgender community, which suffers from acts of violence, discrimination, unemployment, homelessness and financial inequality," he told the Huffington Post.

"We at Washington National Cathedral are striving to send a message of love and affirmation, especially to LGBT youth who suffer daily because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. We want to proclaim to them as proudly and unequivocally as we can: Your gender identity is good and your sexual orientation is good because that's the way that God made you."

I don't know what this Episcopal priest plans to preach. I imagine at least part of his message will affirm LGBT people in their Christian faith. However, doing so is not showing the love of Christ, who loves them and gave Himself for them (see Gal. 2:20). As Christ's representative on the earth it is my responsibility to speak His truth in love (see Eph. 4:15)—and the truth is the Father did not create people as lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders. He created us all in His image, male and female He created them (Gen. 5:2).

I know this is a difficult topic and one that demands compassion. I also know that those who stand in the pulpit and preach God's Word need to live, speak and breathe in line with His truth. And that's the problem here. More and more, those who stand in the pulpit are compromising His Word. Just last week, a Baptist pastor whose son came out as gay changed his theology to accept homosexuality, stating, "I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality." Now, an openly transgender priest will have his say.

Could Christians be more loving in the debate over gay marriage and other LGBT issues? Yes, I still cringe when I consider the damage cultish groups like the Westboro Baptist Church have done with their "God hates fags" demonstrations. God hates sin (any sin) but He loves sinners (all sinners). Whether we stand in the pulpit or sit in the pews, we need to love what God loves and hate what He hates (see Psalm 97:10; James 4:4).

Hear me: The pressure will continue increasing—and the lines will continue blurring—between right and wrong, between truth and lies, between black and white. But we must stand firm in our faith on the Word. If we compromise God's Word—if we re-interpret Scriptures on homosexuality to suggest God is OK with same-sex romantic relationships—we will have the blood of lost souls on our hands in the end.

Will you join me in intercessory prayer for the preachers, pastors, prophets, priests and others with a platform who are diluting the gospel in any way? Will you stand in the gap with me for lost souls that are seeing assurance in Scripture that they can practice sin and still inherit the kingdom of God (see 1 Cor. 6:9)? Will you weep between the porch and the altar for a nation that is rapidly embracing immorality on all fronts (see Joel 2:17)? Will you join hands with me in the spirit and cry out that mercy will triumph over judgment (see James 2:13)? If we unite in prayer, together I believe we can make an eternal difference.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Making of a ProphetYou can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

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