Gay marriage is a subject that can no longer be avoided, and it’s even splitting opinion in the Church. Popular American preacher Tony Campolo recently embraced same-sex marriage but James Glass, of Glasgow Elim and Elim’s National Leadership Team, disagrees
Tony Campolo is a legend. No doubt about that. An outstanding communicator with an outstanding heart. Why would I want to disagree with him, even within the limited circle of people who will read this article? And why would I want to engage with the issue of gay marriage? Especially when I don’t believe that anyone who dares challenge LGBTI values will ever get a fair hearing? The short answer is that Tony Campolo has embraced an LGBTI stance on gay marriage. And whilst I have sympathy with some of his arguments, I believe that in some fundamental areas his reasoning is wrong. In addition, given the context in which he presented the issue – an interview with Premier Radio – it is easy to be left with the impression that those who hold to traditional marriage are marked by a narrow political and ethical outlook; I believe that is misleading. Let me begin with the last point first. The interview begins with how Campolo no longer describes himself as an evangelical. Evangelicals, in his view are climate change denying Trump supporters.
It’s for those kind of reasons that he wants to disassociate himself from Evangelicalism. In fairness, he says he still holds to evangelical beliefs such as a high view of Scripture. Why is this disclosure unhelpful in the context of what he has to say about gay marriage? Simply because one is left with the distinct impression that those who hold to traditional marriage are all extreme right wing bigots. No doubt there are many who think that anyone who does not accept gay marriage is just that!
‘Jesus never said anything about homosexuality or gay marriage, but what he did do was define marriage. Very clearly’
‘It’s true to say that Jesus never mentioned the issue specifically. But there again, Jesus didn’t mention a lot of things.’
‘Because Jesus didn’t address an issue doesn’t mean it is not important.’
‘He never addressed the issue of domestic violence, or paedophilia, or drugs. And he doesn’t specifically address sex before marriage, or abortion, or assisted suicide.’
This article is from the March 2017 issue of Direction Magazine. Order your copy today…