We all remember the international apology tour our current POTUS has been on since taking office. And whereas I make no claims that all Americans have conducted themselves honorably throughout history, I have believed America is the greatest nation on earth. The “have” in the last sentence will have to be discussed in a possible future blog, but the apology tour example is what I will blog about today.
Someone posted on our facebook thread this week a story of a pastor who joined the gay pride celebration of SCOTUS’ ruling this week. This pastor was carrying a sign which read –
“As a Christian I AM SORRY for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who denied rights & equality to so many in the name of God.” He also was quoted in the article as saying “some good folks are just stuck in outdated, callous theologies”
Without going into too much detail, this pastor and his church were kicked out of their parent denomination because (in his own words) “I have long affirmed an inclusive theology, believing that our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer friends, their families and allies should be fully welcomed in our churches. I affirmed their role in leadership, whether it was volunteering at events, teaching Bible study, staffing our children’s ministry or helping to serve communion. I have affirmed the LGBTQ community at the highest levels and most mundane levels of church participation. I am convinced beyond a doubt God loves each and every part of us as we are created, including our sexual identities.”
I want to keep this short and to the point so I will first ask, how does one determine which are the “outdated, callous theologies”? So today it’s embracing LGBTQ and same sex marriage. What will it be tomorrow? Robbery (but I really want it), fornication (that one’s probably already gone), gossip (but it’s not gossip if it’s the truth), heaven & hell (Rob Bell, need I say more), Jesus is the only way (really, how narrow can you be), etc. etc.
If I wanted to be part of something that constantly changed with the winds of society and popular opinion/practice I would have joined a fraternity or some other social club. I needed a rock, something that didn’t change, because I knew that I would be all over the map without an anchor. If there are no absolutes, then where does one find any secure meaning in life? It would seem society appreciates the moving target of the meaning of life as if it were a carrot on a stick hanging in front of their nose. Not so much me. I know how really bad I would be without those “theologies” as my compass and the Holy Spirit as my guide. If you substituted another biblical sin in place of same sex marriage, say stealing, would this pastor have joined the “freedom to rob” march because that is what is trending? What about pedophilia? (Don’t you dare dismiss that last one, just wait for my next blog)
To believe something strongly is to be inherently “narrow-minded”. So if I believe sin is wrong because it hurts us, and not because some God just wants to take away our fun, why would I ever apologize for encouraging you not to participate in something that is destructive? A friend, who is a licensed professional therapist, will tell you a very different story than the beautiful rainbow image portrayed in pop culture. Her experience is that those engaged in LGBTQ relationships manifest or experience some of the most emotionally destructive patterns out there. But she and her colleagues can’t tell those stories because of the tide of social and PC backlash there would be if the devastating truth were to come out. I’m sure it would, ironically, be labeled hate speech, “narrow-minded, judgmental and deceptive”.
The truth is one of those things for which there are many facets. “The truth will set you free” might actually put you in prison. Not telling the truth might also put someone in prison. The truth of the Gospel (as I believe) contains absolutes which are not popular, do not agree with what’s trending today and dictate denial of certain momentary pleasures. But embracing those truths are the very things which ensure a healthy life and eternal security. So why would I ever say I’m sorry for telling you something that may impact some temporal earthly activity but in the long run, lead you in a path which is far more fulfilling.
Can someone tell me when it became wrong, narrow minded, judgmental or (get this one) deceptive to caution someone that a certain road leads off a cliff? (Proverbs 14:12 & Matt 7:13, 14)? Honesty like that should be called true love and for that reason, I make no apology. No multi colored pencils needed here, just black and white.
Food for thought: If LGBTQ actions are being called freedom, then why does even their own community call a significant aspect their own practices bondage?
And to Pastor Phillips: Of course the gay church welcomed you with open arms. If you had just been kicked out of the “we don’t covet” club for promoting stealing, the local theft ring would have welcome you as well.