The White House has invited Danny Cortez to a special reception with President Obama on June 30 after the California pastor broke rank with the Southern Baptist Convention to deny the biblical view of homosexuality, according to a fundraising page for the Cortez family.
Southern California pastor Danny Cortez once taught that a plain reading of Scripture condemns homosexuality as a sin. But after his son came out as gay, the pastor spent a full hour explaining to his church why he now believes LGBT lifestyles are consistent with Christianity.
His changed view, evidently, came after an lengthy period of seeking, until, he says, "I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality."
Cortez's choice to defy church doctrine drew sharp criticism from Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
But rather than dismiss Cortez, New Heart Community Church in La Miranda, California instead voted to keep him onboard and embrace a new direction as a "Third Way," contradicting the Southern Baptist stance on sexuality.
"There is no third way," Mohler rebutted.
But the White House's reaction to Cortez shows quite the opposite attitude.
President Obama, who officially endorsed gay marriage in 2012—becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so—has himself undergone considerable evolution in his public positions.
Although Cortez and others like him argue theirs is the biblical view, the White House's invitation should raise a red flag for even the most progressive Christians—should you be concerned "everyone speaks well of you" (Luke 6:26)?