An article addressing gay marriage and transgender issues came across my newsfeed. It stood out because the reporter quoted a response from, “a megachurch pastor, who asked not to be named.”1 The pastor of this megachurch did a fantastic job of clearly stating what the Bible had to say concerning marriage and gender. However he apparently felt it necessary to do so behind the cloak of anonymity. Why?
Is this where we are in the church in America?
Are we so afraid of the controversy and backlash of the political correctness police that we refuse to put our name beside biblical truth? Are we afraid of losing people and tithes in our large megachurches because we stood with God rather than man? Are we now afraid to speak out for fear of personal loss? If so, then all is truly lost.
Last week Tony Campolo called “for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the church.”2 When he did, he was brave enough to sign his name to his position. He knew it wouldn’t be popular in Christian circles, but he voiced his opinion. Have you heard any high-profile pastors bold enough to call out Campolo’s error and take a stand for marriage as God designed it?
George Barna recently stated that their studies found that although 90 percent of Christian leaders believed that the Bible clearly addressed most of today’s controversial issues only 10 percent were bold enough to address them. Why? Fear of losing people and tithes.3
At this moment there are serious issues standing before the church and state. God is not silent concerning a single one.
Concerning the current persecution of Christians in the Middle East, He says, “The King will answer, ‘Truly I say to you, as you have done it for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you have done it for Me'” (Matt. 25:40).
We are instructed to pray for, to stand with and offer what help we can for those who suffer. May I ask, what have you done for the least of these?
Concerning marriage, Jesus says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Matt. 19:5).
Man didn’t create marriage; God did. There is no court or politician on earth that is capable of fundamentally transforming what God instituted. It is sad we’ve allowed this to become a debate, as there is no room for compromise.
Concerning gender, Jesus says, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female'” (Matt. 19:4).
Our Creator did not make 58 different gender classifications for mankind—He made two.4 As loving leaders we must help individuals ground themselves in absolute truth, and not leave them lost in a world of moral relativism.
Concerning life, He says, “You brought my inner parts into being; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for You made me with fear and wonder; marvelous are Your works, and You know me completely. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and intricately put together in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed, yet in Your book all my days were written, before any of them came into being” (Ps. 139:13-16).
Every life is sacred and special. God has a unique plan and purpose for each of us from the very youngest to the very oldest. All are precious in his sight. I wonder, when is the last time abortion was discussed from the pulpit in your church?
My friends, God is not and has not been silent; unfortunately so many of His pulpits are.
Where are the Christian leaders bold enough to risk it all to take a clear biblical stance on the controversial issues of our day? Our entire nation is in a state of decay as so many churches continue to play.
Pastor, what does your flock need more of right now? Another “Summer at the Movies” series or “Summer of prayer and fasting”? Are we trying to keep our people in their seats, or call them from their seats? Our nation needs us!
I applaud Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptists, who called the denomination to action this week. Dr. Floyd said, “The issue facing Southern Baptists is one that will face every person of faith in the United States—do you follow God or the government?”
Calling this a Dietrich Bonhoeffer moment, Floyd warned ministers that the time has come for every minister to stand strongly and clearly—regardless of the cost.5
Bonhoeffer, a modern martyr who stood against the atrocities of Nazi Germany, wrote, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Bonhoeffer stood alone and lost his life. In the face of such clear evil he couldn’t find 10 other pastors to stand with him.
Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Wake up church. The time for action from the pulpits and the pews is now. Each of us will stand before the Lord one day to be judged for our time here on earth. Live in fear of that day and respond accordingly in this day.