Summary: We must be biblically correct, not politically correct.
Counter-Cultural Christianity: Homosexuality
Rev. Brian Bill
January 24-25, 2015
Opening Video: “Love Defined”
An unloving group that calls themselves a church and uses the name Baptist is spreading a message of judgment and hatred in the QCA this weekend by picketing and protesting in front of churches and a school in our community. Referring to one evangelical church as a “dog kennel,” the website for Westboro (I’m not going to call them Baptist or a church) spews venom like this: “God hates fags…and will repay you right in your face for your hatred of him.”
This is what they posted on their website about another church whose doctrine is almost identical to ours: “WBC will picket the faux Christians…where they teach the soul-damning lies that God loves everyone, Jesus Christ died for everyone, and it is up to the human to ‘receive’ Jesus Christ as his/her savior.” This group has also protested at military funerals with signs like, “God hates dead soldiers,” bringing embarrassment to Christ and his followers.
I’ve reached out to five of the pastors that have been targeted this weekend. This is the email I sent: “I wanted to let you know that we stand with you. It grieves me that a group calling themselves a church would be so filled with hatred and judgment. As a pastor of a Baptist church, it saddens me that they would not only claim to be Baptist but that they also call themselves a church. May God give you wisdom and love as you shepherd your people through this.”
→ Pray for our community.
As we continue in our series called, “Counter-Cultural Christianity,” we’re going to focus on what God says about homosexuality. Next week will be on racism and then we’ll conclude in two weeks with a sermon on suicide. I want to begin where we did last weekend when we gave our attention to the topic of abortion. BTW, all of our sermons are posted in video, audio and full-text format on edgewoodbaptist.net. You can also download podcasts on iTunes or listen or watch using our free app. In addition, CDs are available at the Welcome Center.
1. Some churches clobber sinners. We want to always remember that the gospel is for sinners. It’s ok to be incensed about evil but we’re to extend love to those who practice evil things. This angry group from Kansas is not extending kindness or compassion to those in need of the gospel. Just last month a pastor from New Zealand gained international attention when he said these awful words to a homosexual: “You cannot be saved…I pray that you will commit suicide.” In a later interview, Pastor Logan Robertson said this to a reporter, “I think every single one of them should be put to death.” That is just wrong. No pastor should be preaching a message like that.
2. Other churches have caved on sin. Our aim is not to be politically correct, but to be biblically correct. It’s time for churches to speak out…and reach out to those who are confused and ensnared. As our culture spins out of control we must maintain our call to be salt and light in a decaying and dark world. Several mainline denominations have legitimatized and even glorified homosexuality by ordaining gay clergy and performing same-sex unions. The mantra has become, “As long as you love each other then you can live like you want.”
A Pew Research study show that support for so-called same-sex marriage among white Evangelicals has jumped 10 percentage points in a little over a decade. Some are calling for churches to change their stance on this issue in order to remain relevant.
3. Our model is Jesus Christ. We don’t want to cave into sin or clobber sinners but instead to follow Christ as our example. John 1:14 says that Jesus is “FULL of grace and truth.” The word “full” means, “abounding and abundant; complete and perfect.” When a woman was caught in adultery in John 8:11, Jesus ministered grace to her and told her truth: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Likewise, we’re called to minister in truth and with grace. One pastor is calling on evangelicals to demonstrate “bold truth and sweet grace.”
Chip Ingram has rightly observed, “One group champions truth without love and another champions love without truth.” Some pastors have preached truth without grace and it has caused great damage. More often than not however, evangelical pastors have avoided the issue altogether. I don’t see that as an option according to 2 Timothy 4:1-5: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”