The Associated Press reports that an “evangelical” church in Colorado has decided to endorse homosexual monogamy as a valid Christian lifestyle. The pastor of the church reasons this way:
“Our position is not one of lenience, but a matter of justice. It’s not that we don’t acknowledge the reality of sin. It’s not a sin to be gay or act in accordance with your nature.”
The article also suggests that this particular church has found a middle-way and has transcended the typical conservative-liberal divide on this issue. But as you read on, it becomes clear that the pastor has embraced traditionally liberal interpretations of key biblical texts.
[The pastor] began to question applying the “plain meaning” of ancient Biblical text to here-and-now homosexuality. The Bible, read literally, suggests the earth is flat and could be used to justify slavery, he said.
He accepted the Biblical interpretation of other gay-affirming Christians: that verses condemning homosexual behavior refer to idolatrous pagan worship or violence.
“We reach an understanding of the Bible not just by studying God’s word, but by studying his world,” Tidd said. “If you think he’s the author of both, they both inform each other.”
If evangelicals can disagree about end-times theology and baptism methods and still be considered authentic Christians, he thought, why can’t the same tent hold disagreements about homosexuality?
The report includes remarks from David Dockery, president of Union University. He says,
“I don’t think it can be taken for granted anymore that the traditional evangelical view will be adopted by the coming generations given the changes and shifts in our culture.”
Dockery is certainly correct in this assessment. Moreover, we should expect to see more and more stories like this one coming from within “evangelical” ranks. The culture is pushing the envelope on this issue, and churches with shallow biblical moorings are simply going along with the flow.
This is all the more reason to pray for ourselves and our churches to be a courageous counter-culture in the midst of this opposition. We need to be in the world, not of the world, for the sake of the world (John 17:15).