News broke this afternoon that author and well-known Christian speaker, Brian McLaren, had performed his own son’s “same-sex” commitment ceremony. “According to a Christianity Today blog, the ceremony was held in Chevy Chase, Maryland at the Audubon Naturalist Society after the couple’s formal wedding, which was held in Washington, D.C. earlier in the day. The New York Times reported the commitment ceremony contained ‘traditional Christian elements.’”<sup>1</sup>
“McLaren told NPR about why he changed his views on homosexuality: ‘I was a good kid, I believed what I’d been told. And as a pastor, I started having gay people come out to me and what became clearer and clearer to me is that their experience was not explained by the theology I inherited. And that it would be unjust to continue to uphold what I’d been taught. Maybe I could say it like this: My call to love God and love my neighbor was in conflict with what I’d been taught the Bible required me to say and do.”<sup>2</sup>
The article went on to say: “McLaren is the author of more than 20 books, including a New Kind of Christianity and the more recent Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road? and helped form Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland. TIME magazine named McLaren as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.”<sup>3</sup>
So, CAN A CHRISTIAN BE A HOMOSEXUAL? Apparently, according to Brian McLaren, “Yes!” and evangelical pastors can perform “same-sex commitment ceremonies” for their own sons. But, is Brian McLaren the final authority when it comes to this subject, or any other for that matter? If he is, then you’re fine. That is, until he “shifts his thinking” and changes his theology again.
But what if Brian McLaren is NOT the final authority when it comes to the issue of homosexuality? And HE’S NOT. He’s essentially instituted himself as a “replacement ref” on this issue. Ironically, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, with the debacle of the “replacement refs” in the NFL, having just anyone in a position of authority doesn’t work very well. Not in professional sports, but even more so when it comes to matters of eternal significance.
I agree with Dr. John MacArthur who said, “The Bible is the only authority and Jesus is the only Savior. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, it doesn’t matter what it’s about, it can be about world religions, it could be about the war in the Middle East, it could be about homosexuality, but it all comes down to biblical authority and Jesus Christ as the only Savior.”<sup>4</sup>
The Bible couldn’t be clearer on this subject:
Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Timothy 1:9-11, “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”
In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus said, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” God’s plan from “the beginning” was one man for one woman for one lifetime. You may shift your thinking on that or adjust your views on that, but Jesus makes it clear that God’s standard still stands from the very beginning, regardless of what you or I may or may not believe.
Tragically, it has become standard operating procedure for many in the evangelical community to steer clear of sin altogether because it’s just too controversial. Or, to adjust their views to accommodate the feelings and lifestyles of those in their audience. Others have become pacifiers and purveyors of political correctness, tolerating anything other than the Word of God. They love to quote Jesus, from John 8, when the woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought to him. Yes, Jesus did say to the woman caught in the act of adultery, “Neither do I condemn you.” But He also said, “Go and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)
1 John 3:6 says, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” You fill in the blank with whichever sin you choose: homosexuality, drunkards, adulterers, liars, swindlers, thieves, etc., and if someone continues to do that, they need to read that verse again.
The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that when someone repents of their sin and turns to Christ by faith, everything changes. The Bible declares, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”(2 Corinthians 5:17).
The gay and lesbian community likes to diminish and completely discard what the Apostle Paul had to say about homosexuality (Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-11). Ironically, it was the Apostle Paul who said there would be homosexuals in Heaven and adulterers and thieves and drunkards – “former” ones.
After listing the sexually immoral and idolaters and adulterers, the male prostitutes and homosexual offenders and thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanders and swindlers, Paul said, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Yes, Jesus does say, “Neither do I condemn you.” But, He also says, “Go and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11).
If you do that, not only can you be a Christian, you can also spend eternity in Heaven!
© 2012. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Today, more than 8,000 people call Crossroads their church home. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.