This Pastor Needs to Quit, Literally

Erik Raymond —  May 23, 2012

This video is just the type of thing that will be played repeatedly to promote the caricature of Christianity. As I type it is going viral and doing just that.

Let me be clear: this guy is a horrible representation of Christ and his church. He should be removed from the pulpit. Pastors are to be setting the example of speech, conduct, love, faith and purity (1 Tim. 4.12). This guy strikes out on 3 pitches.


Last week I wrote about challenges for evangelicals amid this new season of sexual debate. This is exactly what I was saying not to do.

It means that we better be clear about the problem. Far too many times I have heard evangelicals talk about homosexuality like our job was to get them to become heterosexual. If we can just get them to be straight then our work is done. The Christian objective in missions is to see people become Christians! This means that we want to see all sexual sinners become worshipers of Jesus. This includes fornicators, adulterers, porn-addicts, homosexuals, or whatever other category you can think up. The goal is to become a believer who turns from the worship of self to the worship of God. It is to turn from rebellion that is characterized by the suppression of truth to the submission that is characterized by obedience to the truth (Rom. 1.18-25; 3.19-27). The central issue is worship, or idolatry. The central answer is always the gospel.

It means that we better be clear about our tone. Can you lovingly engage a homosexual with the gospel in a winsome, tactful and still faithful way? Can you love them? This is really a question that I think evangelicals need to wrestle with and decidedly answer “yes, we must!” Pivoting out of the points above, that is out of the gospel, we have to see our own weakness and neediness. Who among us is not needy of the grace of Christ? Then we must lovingly and faithfully talk to others about it. If you can’t get control of yourself and speak the words of grace and truth to someone who is straight or gay then you need to ask God to give you a bigger heart. Ask him to shake you of pride and work gospel compassion down into you. I know that God is saving a lot of people from a gay lifestyle and I pray that he will continue to do so. As missionaries we need to speak and act like we actually want him to.

Ugh. God help us.

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

7 responses to This Pastor Needs to Quit, Literally

  1. Amazing! I’m from NC and this became a bit of a debate with our preacher (in which he did agree with me). Though he avoids political discussions in any way, shape or form, he did allow this one to get us to think about why it is we feel the way we do about this issue. There was another in the group that felt we should vote for the ban and that my preacher should tell the congregation to do the same. My argument – if we are going to ban gay marriage, which is already not legal in NC anyway, we should ban divorce and make living together without being married, having children out of wedlock and infidelity punishable since these are the things that truly destroy marriage. The real reason we have a problem with “gay marriage” is because we don’t like gay people and as Christians, we should be extending our hearts and help them hear God’s word. It’s so easy for us to look at them and treat them as if their sin is so much greater than ours when sin is sin, no matter what the sin is, God hates it all! Just wish we would look at our sins before we go judging others on their sins.

  2. You nailed another one. I agree. Though we stand for God’s righteousness, we reach out with His love. We are the light of the world, and must not be shy in calling the world to faith and repentance from all sins, but we do not hate the people in the world. God so loved the world that He gave His Son to die for our sins and theirs. We have no more right to stand justified before a holy God than any sinner, and for the church to convey an attitude of superiority is wrong. Judgment for all sin is certain. God will have His day and we need not do anything to make that happen. In the meantime, we have the message of salvation. The gospel is cure, not poison.

  3. This speaker {withholding the title pastor is intentional} very clearly has his identity rooted in something other than Christ. His need for comparison and to gain a sense of worth by creating an “us-them” situation makes this clear. I will pray for this man, but more so, I will pray for the people he is leading astray.

  4. Gene Cleveland May 28, 2012 at 12:43 am

    HOMOSEXUALITY (Alternative Life-style, Gay, Lesbian)

    What does the Bible teach about homosexuality?

    BIBLE READING: Romans 1:18-32
    KEY BIBLE VERSE: Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. (Romans 1:26-27, NIV)

    The Bible condemns homosexual behavior. God’s plan for natural sexual relationships is his ideal for his creation. Unfortunately, sin distorts the natural use of God’s gifts. Sin often means not only denying God, but also denying the way we are made. When people say that any sex act is acceptable as long as nobody gets hurt, they are fooling themselves. In the long run (and often in the short run), sin hurts people—individuals, families, whole societies. How sad it is that people who worship the things God made instead of the Creator so often distort and destroy the very things they claim to value!

    Alongside God’s condemnation of sin is his offer of forgiveness. Homosexuality (to exchange or abandon natural relations of sex) was as widespread in Paul’s day as it is in ours. Many pagan practices encouraged it. God is willing to receive anyone who comes to him in faith, and Christians should love and accept others no matter what their background. Yet, homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Scripture (Leviticus 18:22). Homosexuality is considered an acceptable practice by many in our world today—even by some churches. But society does not set the standard for God’s law. Many homosexuals believe that their desires are normal and that they have a right to express them. But God does not obligate nor encourage us to fulfill all our desires (even normal ones). Those desires that violate his laws must be controlled.

    Temptation can be overcome by God’s grace. If you have these desires, you can and must resist acting upon them. Consciously avoid places or activities you know will kindle temptations of this kind. Don’t underestimate the power of Satan to tempt you nor the potential for serious harm if you yield to these temptations. Remember, God can and will forgive sexual sins just as he forgives other sins. Surrender yourself to the grace and mercy of God, asking him to show you the way out of sin and into the light of his freedom and his love. Prayer, Bible study, and strong support in a Christian church can help you to gain strength to resist these powerful temptations. If you are already deeply involved in homosexual behavior, seek help from a trustworthy, professional pastoral counselor.

    BIBLE READING: 1 Timothy 1:1-11
    KEY BIBLE VERSE: We also know that 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 or 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. (1 Timothy 1:9-11, NIV)

    Like all sinners, homosexuals are called to repent. “Perverts” may refer to homosexuals. There are those who attempt to legitimize homosexuality as an acceptable alternative life-style. Even some Christians say people have a right to choose their sexual preference. But the Bible specifically calls homosexual behavior sin (see Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). We must be careful, however, to condemn only the practice, and not the people. Those who commit homosexual acts are not to be feared, ridiculed, or hated. They can be forgiven, and their lives can be transformed. The church should be a haven of forgiveness and healing for repentant homosexuals without compromising its stance against homosexual behavior.

    BIBLE READING: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
    KEY BIBLE VERSE: 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, NIV)

    Sinful patterns of all kinds require God’s forgiveness. Paul is describing characteristics of unbelievers. He doesn’t mean that idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, slanderers or swindlers are automatically and irrevocably excluded from heaven. Christians come out of all kinds of different backgrounds, including these. They may still struggle with evil desires, but they should not continue in these practices. In 6:11, Paul clearly states that even those who sin in these ways can have their lives changed by Christ. However, those who say that they are Christians but persist in these practices with no sign of remorse or change of life will not inherit the kingdom of God. Such people need to reevaluate their lives to see if they truly believe in Christ.

    Christians should not tolerate sin of any kind in their life. In a permissive society it is easy for Christians to overlook or tolerate some immoral behaviors (greed, drunkenness, etc.) while remaining outraged at others (homosexuality, thievery). We must not participate in sin or condone it in any way, nor may we be selective about what we condemn or excuse. Staying away from more “acceptable” forms of sin is difficult, but it is no harder for us than it was for the Corinthians. God expects his followers in any age to have high standards.

    I found this study outline on the subject to be quite helpful!

    GC

  5. Thanks, Erik. I will be posting a link to your response on my blog later today.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Wednesday Roundup « Daniel Beckworth - May 23, 2012

    […] This Pastor Needs to Quit, Literally by Erik Raymond (taken from ordinarypastor.com) […]

  2. Hillbilly Preachers, Homosexuals and Speaking Grace « Unorthodox Faith - May 31, 2012

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