In response to him and others at the time, I penned "There's Nothing Wrong in Kansas (but is there something wrong with Andy Stanley?)." It seems that Pastor Stanley is still struggling with the idea of how the church should deal with all things homosexual. As the Christian Post notes, speaking at a church leadership conference in California this past Friday, Pastor Stanley declared that local congregations should be the "safest place on the planet for students to talk about anything, including same-sex attraction."
He added, "We just need to decide from now on in our churches when a Middle School kid comes out to his small group leader or a high school young lady comes out to her parents...regardless of what you think about this topic — no more students are going to feel like they have to leave the local church because they're same-sex attracted or because they're gay. That ends with us."
Of course, he's absolutely correct. Churches should be the "safest place on the planet for gay youth." I wonder though: does pastor Stanley have the same inclinations towards prostitutes or those who struggle with pedophilia (whose numbers are very similar to those with same-sex attractions). Shouldn't the church be a welcoming environment for those as well? (As the old saying goes, the church is a not a sanctuary for saints, but a hospital for sinners.) Of course, the answer to that depends somewhat upon the attitude of the attendee. Are they seeking the church in order to get help with their sin (or "struggles," or however it is they identify the pain they're in), or are they demanding that the church redefine sin?
"The church is mean to homosexuals" is a common straw-man tossed about by the secular left and other homosexual apologists. However, the pastor of one of the largest evangelical churches in the U.S. should know better than to borrow talking points from today's liberals. How long is the church at large going to be smeared by the words and actions of a few (i.e. the Westboro Baptist crowd)?
The vast majority of evangelicals take the same "hate the sin, love the sinner" approach to homosexuality that we are to take with all sin. However, this is not enough for today's left and their homosexual agenda. They are determined to eliminate homosexuality from the list of sins.
If you doubt me on this, take note. Barely two weeks ago, no-less than an Op-Ed columnist, Frank Bruni, at The New York Times declared that Christians who see homosexual acts as sinful are making "a choice" to engage in "bigotry." Bruni boldly concluded that "homosexuality and Christianity don't have to be in conflict in any church anywhere." Right, they don't have to be in conflict, as long as we accept the liberal definitions of sin and Christianity.
I don't think that Andy Stanley is of this mind on Christianity and sin (at least I sure hope not!); however, he must surely be aware that this mindset is prevalent within modern liberalism, and therefore he should more carefully weigh his words when speaking on these grave matters.
Along with dominating the mainstream media, the liberals behind this machine own a political party (Democrats). With these massive cultural hammers, liberals have sought to pound traditional Christianity, along with other like-minded people, into submission when it comes to most anything in the sexual realm. In other words, it is liberals who have sought this fight, not Christian conservatives. Thus, without apology, abortion, marriage, homosexuality, and the like, deserve the attention well-meaning Christians give them.
I'll say it again: Marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity--older than God's covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. If ANYTHING is true, marriage as the union of one man and one woman is true. On this, there can NEVER be compromise.