Tony Campolo is one of America's best-known evangelicals. His wife has been pushing for "full acceptance" of LGBT persons, as has the organization he founded, Red Letter Christians. Not surprisingly, Campolo announced this week that he has now revised his position on the issue of gay marriage, and is calling for "the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church."
A former editor of Christianity Today (America's leading evangelical magazine, founded by Billy Graham) praised Campolo's move. David Neff stated, "I think the ethically responsible thing for gay and lesbian Christians to do is to form lasting, covenanted partnerships. I also believe that the church should help them in those partnerships in the same way the church should fortify traditional marriages."
Another commentator applauded Campolo's announcement and claimed that "a new day is dawning in Christianity" as God's Spirit is "calling us to see a more expansive and inclusive vision of Christ's Church." He says that he prays for other leaders to "follow the Spirit's leading and to become advocates for inclusion and acceptance of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
Not at all. Mark Galli, the current editor of Christianity Today: "Churches that ascribe to a more liberal sexual ethic continue to wither. Meanwhile, poll Christians in Africa, Asia, and practically anywhere in the world, and you'll hear a resounding 'no' to gay marriage. Scan the history of the church for 2,000 years and you'll have a hard time turning up any Christian who would support same-sex marriage. The church has been and remains overwhelmingly united. It's undergoing stress, certainly. But the evidence doesn't support a narrative of division and collapse on this point."
There is not a single positive reference to homosexual behavior in God's word. To the contrary, every time Scripture addresses such behavior, it prohibits it. Gay marriage was practiced in first-century Rome, yet Paul not only did not endorse it, he specifically forbade same-sex relations. Rejecting gay marriage is not akin to racial prejudice (which the Bible abundantly rejects). Affirming biblical marriage does not reject gay people—it offers them biblical truth in the knowledge that God's will is always "perfect" (Romans 12:2).
On this and any other issue, it is more important to be biblical than to be popular. All we have comes from God. Even the ability to work comes from the One who gave us such ability. His word cautions us, "Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth.' You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day" (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
It is no small matter to violate the word and will of the One who is the source of life and life eternal. Our Father deals with his children as gently as he can or as harshly as he must. (Tweet this) On gay marriage, take the stand God can bless.
Publication date: June 11, 2015
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