Summary: Pastor Ryan continues his forbidden series by discussing the lifestyle of homosexuality and how the church has been wrong in how it has dealt with those who practice this lifestyle.
Part 3- How The Church Was Wrong
Pastor Ryan Akers
Have you ever noticed when you see Christians represented on television that is seems that they are being knocked for something? I like to watch CNN and ABC World News and Good Morning America and I have come to the realization that probably 90% of the time when you see an evangelical Christian brought in on the conversation they are there to denounce something.
They are there to denounce homosexual marriages or denounce another Pastor’s mistakes, or denounce pro-choice advocates, or denounce evolution or whatever the hot social and political issue is at the time. Bill Maher/ Politically Incorrect. Pastor and Author Tim Stevens wrote in his book, Pop Goes The Church, that the unchurched today have 6 negative images of Christians/Hypocritical, too focused on getting converts, homophobic, sheltered, too political, and judgmental.
He goes on to write about how people started leaving or avoiding church and instead started looking for God within the culture because the church was not giving them what they needed (authentic relationships). Instead of trying to reach people by leveraging the culture we started to fight against the culture. He says, “I think that followers of Christ began to realize some time ago, perhaps subconsciously, that more and more people were pursuing God through culture (instead of through the church). (Because of this Christians) entered a season of boycotts, petitions, and black list. Like an animal looking for its next meal, the church was driven blindly and obsessively by two primary goals. First, protect ourselves from the culture at all costs. So rather than prepare our children to engage, discern, and make good choices, we put our hands over their eyes and our fingers in their ears. However, through the Internet and news media, the culture was still able to invade our homes. Unfortunately, our kids were ill prepared to deal with it. Our second goal was to use our combined Christian power to legislate and pressure the culture to change to reflect our values. But society has changed little, and our efforts have served to further ostracize us and give every follower of Christ the feared stereotypical tag of “extremist” or “fundamentalist.”
Unfortunately some outspoken “evangelical Christians” have done much more harm than good when it comes to advancing the gospel of Christ through love and actions. Their obvious disdain for culture and lifestyle choices have given us all the stereotypical tag of extremist and we are all fighting an uphill battle to show love.
Fred Phelps- Pastor of Westboro Baptist in Topeka, KS. He is know nationally for preaching with slogans and banners that have phrases such as “Thank God for 9/11”, “America is doomed”, “God hates fags”, “AIDS cures fags” and “Fags die, God laughs”. Phelps and his followers frequently picket military funerals protesting war and thanking God that our soldiers are dying. Pastor John Hagee- Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX has made statements that suggested that the church shaped Hitler’s anti-Semitism and he has said that the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was God’s response to homosexual sin. Pastor Ted Haggard- Former Pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO was very open from the pulpit about being against homosexual relationships and marriage but was later outed about his own homosexual lifestyle.