Evangelical pastor Tim Keller has clarified his opposition to same-sex marriage, following misplaced speculation that he may support a change in the law.
In March, Keller talked about different views on redefining marriage during a forum on religion and politics in front of journalists in Miami.
Keller was speaking about the extent to which Christian morality should be reflected in legislation.
“You could believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal,” he commented.
Some people mistakenly took that to mean Keller was in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. But he has since clarified his comments in a blog post for The Gospel Coalition, saying he was merely stating a position others hold.
“A recent article on the Huffington Post reported on a discussion among journalists about how younger evangelicals view the issue of same-sex marriage,” he wrote.
“I was present, and I said that I have noted many younger evangelicals are taking an Anabaptist-like position; that is, that while they still believe homosexuality to be a sin, they don’t think the government should put that belief into law for the nation.
“In explaining the Anabaptist tradition, I was quoted saying, ‘You can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.’
“I did say that,” Keller continued, “but it was purely a statement of fact. It is possible to hold that position, though it isn’t my position, nor was I promoting or endorsing the position. I was simply reporting on the growth of that view.
“I can see how some readers might be confused at these points in the article and think that I support the legalization of same-sex marriage. I do not. I hope that clarifies things for those of you who asked about this article,” he concluded.
Keller made clear his support of traditional marriage in other parts of the Faith Angle Forum on Religion, Politics & Public Life in Miami.
He said, “The basic idea that sex is for marriage, and that marriage should have the full glories of both male and female, I think is the most common sense reading of the Bible. And so that has to be put forth in a respectful way. That’s all.”
Keller is known as one of the leading intellectuals of evangelical Christianity, and is the senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, N.Y.