I recently read a one-sided story about a minister, Ken Wilson, who barred practicing homosexuals from his church back in the day. Extreme? He at least understood that homosexuality was a sin. But Wilson’s faith started to weaken after listening to anecdotes from members of his congregation about homosexuals in their families. He told the Detroit Free Press that being evangelical is about “welcoming previously excluded groups … to make the good news accessible to those who haven’t had access to it. That’s my task. That’s what a church is supposed to do.”
That’s not controversial or revelational. Welcoming the unsaved among the congregation is one way to expose them to the gospel. Sinners are in the church already. Churches should open their doors to people who don’t believe and call them to repent. Sadly, Wilson took the sentiment too far. He now accepts the idea that two people of the same sex can call themselves married.
How did he go from understanding God’s definition of one kind of sin to discounting it? After a slow process that he said “involved prayer, introspection and scholarship as he pored over the Bible and interpretations of it from various writers,” Wilson, like others who have a low view of Scripture, came to the conclusion that the Bible gives “no real indication” that it condemns “monogamous, gay partnerships.”
Will Wilson now avoid expositional sermons on Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13? Will he sidestep inconvenient texts like Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11? And when Timothy wrote that “the law is not made for a righteous person, but for … manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, …” I suppose “sodomites” excludes those in “monogamous, gay partnerships.” Wilson well knows the Bible makes no distinction between promiscuous sodomy and “monogamous” sodomy.
What is it about the sin of homosexuality that has some Christians doubting their convictions and the Bible’s teachings, while such sins as bearing false witness and adultery apparently don’t? Has Satan deceived even believers? The Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality is plain and straightforward. To understand why we’re even debating whether it’s a sin, reread 2 Thessalonians 2. Why did God send the unrighteous “strong delusion, that they should believe the lie”? Because they didn’t love the truth. Only the unrighteous? No. Timothy told us that for those who profess Christ, there will come a time “when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers. …”
Pastors are shepherds over the flock. We are accountable for our own sins, but how much more accountable are church leaders charged with ministering to their people and providing spiritual care when they teach falsely?