"The greatness of Christianity did not arise from attempts to make compromises with those philosophical opinions of the ancient world which had some resemblance to its own doctrine, but from the unrelenting and fanatical proclamation and defense of its own teaching." —Adolf Hiter, from Mein Kampf
The Saturday headline in our statewide Tennessean newspaper heralded, "Church Backs Gay Marriage." This story is causing quite a stir.
Reading the article, the reader gains the impression that this development is simply part of the "larger transformation that's been happening in the U.S." "Younger Christians increasingly accept lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and find themselves at odds with churches that don't." A lady was quoted, "We thought we'd never find a church that's loving and progressive in the Southeast."
The newspaper quoted the pastor as saying they are a congregation of "about 1,800." When I went this Sunday, their two-service attendance was actually about 550.
Time Magazine covered the story this week with the headline, "Nashville Evangelical Church Comes Out for Marriage Equality." They report this church has become "one of the first evangelical megachurches in the country to openly stand for full equality and inclusion of the LGBTQ community ... ." The pastor says, "Pastors are coming to him quietly and undercover from all over town to talk with him about how to have this conversion in their own evangelical churches. We are on the front edge of a movement that means so much."
Wow! The rest of us Christians and those serving in leadership better jump out in the street and wave our arms frantically to catch the LGBTQ bus so we don't miss out on this momentous moment.
Not so fast! As I've experienced recently with my loving showdown with Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper making comments about me on national TV, things are not always the way the media present them (see my video open letters to Ellen and Anderson).
The church in the spotlight is near my home. I went over there to request a friendly conversation with the pastor, plus gave him two booklets I've written on homosexuality. I've not yet heard from him. As previously mentioned, I attended their church service on Sunday to listen to his sermon.
People I met in their facility were friendly to me. They even gave me a gift coffee mug. I don't doubt the sincerity of the pastor and his support team, but I do believe it's essential we look at this from a biblical worldview.
On related questions concerning Christianity and homosexuality, I refer you to my website to view an educational video entitled "Is Gay Okay? 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know." Here I'd like to bring a loving yet scriptural word of warning to those in this church and for others looking over the horizon and wondering if this is for them.
3 Warnings Not to Be Ignored
When I lived in Washington, D.C., I bi-weekly taught the Scriptures to over 2,000 primarily young people gathering 10 minutes from the White House. Our favorite verse that appeared on the masthead of our stationary was Colossians 1:28, which talks about Christ, "whom we preach, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present them perfect in Christ Jesus."
Warnings are a positive thing because they help us avert disaster! In Revelation 2-3, Jesus examined seven churches and gave warnings to five of them because of their drifting from the truth. To a local church at Thyatira He warned them to stop tolerating a prophetess whose teachings were misleading them in the area of sexual immorality. Sound familiar?
Paul, the apostle, tearfully warned the leaders in Ephesus that the church of God was "bought with His own blood" and that after he left "savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!" (Acts 20:28-31).
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