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-Evangelicals: A Parting of the Ways Over Same-Sex Marriage?

by Dr. D ~ June 10th, 2015

Just a year ago we predicted that evangelical leaders and churches would soon be forced to choose which way they were going to go when it comes to same-sex marriage and homosexuality. This week Tony Campolo, professor emeritus at American Baptist-affiliated Eastern University and David Neff, former editor of Christianity Today came out in support of same–sex marriage.

Meanwhile, the current editor of CT, Mark Galli, upheld the traditional evangelical view along with Albert Mohler and Franklin Graham. A Washington Post article today called attention to this developing split  among evangelical leaders over same-sex marriage.  

Tony Campolo made the following statement concerning his change of heart over the issue:

“It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the church.”

David Neff responded in support of Campolo with the following:

“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.”

Albert Mohler had the following response to these latest developments:

This is a moment of decision, and every evangelical believer, congregation, denomination, and institution will have to answer. There will be no place to hide. …Every pastor, every church, and every Christian organization will soon be forced to declare an allegiance to the Scriptures and to the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexual morality, or to affirm loyalty to the sexual revolution.  …

In this season of testing, Christians committed to the gospel of Christ are called upon to muster the greatest display of compassion and conviction of our lives. But true compassion will never lead to an abandonment of biblical authority or a redefinition of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

<Read all of Dr. Mohler’s article>

Response: We totally agree with Dr. Mohler’s assessment.  It really is a choice between the Bible and the culture. It is a parting of the ways but this is not really a division among evangelicals. We will explain what we mean by this later.

From what we can determine, all of those choosing to accept same-sex marriage are doing so as an anecdotal compassionate response to people that they know and care about. One of the problems in the evangelical community is the fact that so many of us have taken to rating certain sins as worse than others. Among most evangelicals, homosexuality has always been considered among the worse and from what I have seen in the past, murderers have been treated better in many cases. We really need to do a better job reaching out to people in love and compassion regardless.

That being said, compassion and love cannot be a reason for abandoning Biblical teaching. God’s truth, not the current culture, must prevail or one ceases to be an evangelical. The one thing that defines the otherwise diverse group of Christians called ‘evangelicals’ is a continuing respect for the authority and the primacy of the Bible in teaching and practice.

What we are seeing is a parting of the ways but this is not really a division among evangelicals. Those who are rejecting the clear teaching of scripture on homosexuality are leaving the evangelical camp altogether.            *Top

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