I stumbled upon a story about a Southern Baptist Pastor who changed his views on homosexuality. The title said that he changed his views on homosexuality, because his son came out, but when you read the article this wasn't the case. What? The Huffington Post printed something deceptive and incorrect? NEVER! More like ALWAYS. Anyway, here is an excerpt from a letter that the Pastor wrote that was included in the article, which can be found by visiting the following link.
"...I recently became gay affirming after a 15-year journey of having multiple people in my congregation come out to me every year. I scoured through your whole website and read everything I could. And it was especially the testimony of my gay friends that helped me to see how they have been marginalized that my eyes became open to the injustice that the church has wrought."
My heart sank twice while reading just that small portion of his letter. You see, 15 or so years ago I walked away from homosexuality. I walked away, because I had a father that never gave up on me. He never stopped praying. He never stopped believing. He never stopped loving me. He also never let his love for me cloud his vision of the truth that is written in God's word. I thank God that my father never accepted my declaration that I was gay. I thank God that instead of compromising the truth of God's word, he proclaimed that truth over me. In my opinion this father has shirked his responsibility to lead and guide his son. I see it as one more person who has exchanged the truth of God for a lie. My father was able to balance his love for me and the truth of the gospel in his relationship with me. If my father had not led the way in truth, but rather agreed with me in my sin, then my life would be dramatically different.
I one hundred and fifty percent agree that the gay community has been marginalized by the church. I was among the marginalized. I agree that the church needs to be a place where the LGBT community can come and hear the truth about Jesus without the fear of condemnation. But the way to right the wrongs of the past is to ask for forgiveness and a retelling of the truth, not to go overboard and change scripture to sweeten the apology. The truth is that some churches and some pastors have marginalized many different people groups at one point or another. Does that suddenly mean that adultery is okay, that gossip is just a great way to communicate and drug and alcohol abuse are simply a great way to unwind after a tough day at the office. No. The word of God is pretty clear on setting aside certain behaviors as sin and certain behaviors as acceptable. The greatest demise that satan has ever crafted is working to normalize homosexuality and set it apart from other sins in the bible.
God is not the one Who changed His mind about homosexuality. It’s the world that changed God’s word about homosexuality.
I am reminded of scriptures. "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse! Galatians 1:8" and "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26. I think it is great to extend compassion and love to the LGBT community, but declassifying homosexuality as sin only serves to lead them further down the path of destruction. I thank God that my father did not make a decision like this pastor.
The way I minister to the gay community has changed over the years. I have softened a little on my approach, but I have not compromised the truth of the gospel that led me to repentance and ultimately into the healing presence of God. I have not doubt that this man is deceived. I have no doubt that his church will self-destruct as they veer off the path of truth. We often do a lot when we take our eyes off of God and focus them on human emotion and turmoil. We are given the example of Peter as he walked on the water towards Christ. While his focus was on the master he stayed above the turmoil of the waves. When he focused elsewhere, he sank into the tumultuous Ocean.
If you are a pastor reading this post, please hear about my 15 year journey that turned out very different than the pastor above. I have not been the perfect Christian these past 15 years, but God has been the perfect God. Not every person I have ministered to or shared my story of freedom from homosexuality has said Yes to God. That has not diminished the truth of the word, the triumph of Christ or the fact that God called me out of homosexuality. It has also not changed the message of the gospel, because that gospel has the power to change my heart, my direction and save my life from sin of all kinds. God called me out of homosexuality to call others out, not to hold them in a deceptive embrace while simultaneously helping them dig their own grave.