Pastors, What Are You Going To Do About It?

Pastors, I’d like to propose some hypotheticals for you.

Imagine a scenario in which the President of the United States used his bully pulpit to declare to the country that divorce was a good thing, beneficial to the spouses, and good for the kids who would be saved from contentious households. Certainly some people feel that way.

Or, imagine if the President of the United States told the country that monogamy was unnatural and that it was not actually our urges that needed to be overcome, but our petty jealousies over sexual exclusivity.  I’m certain there are people who share those sentiments. 

Now, imagine that he not only took these positions, but he said that his conclusions were informed by his Christian faith.

What would you do?  Sure, these positions seem a little crazy. And you hope your congregation understands that he’s wrong.  But it is the President, after all.  And that fact that he said it kind of makes it an issue for everyone.

Would you correct the record?

Of course the President did not condemn monogamy or encourage people to divorce.  But he did tell the nation that his Christian faith helped inform his belief that marriage should be redefined to include same-sex couples.

But of course you knew that.  It’s been the lead story everywhere for several days.

We are in the process of a moral revolution. It is not a revolution on simply the issue of homosexuality, but sexuality in general.  A moral revolution requires the thing that was once condemned to be approved and the thing that was once approved to be condemned.

The culture is assaulting every man, woman, and child in your church with the idea that the biblical realities about sexuality are not simply archaic, but that they are themselves immoral.

What are you going to do about it?

I know the answer for many to this point has been, “nothing”.  While many are choosing to take this on, we still get the emails and the phone calls from people who wish their church would address the single-most culturally, relevant biblical issue of this generation.

But many won’t, because they're not “political”.  Meanwhile, some polls suggest that 39% of Protestants support same-sex “marriage”.

I think Dr. Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was correct when he said “This is not an issue that politics is irrelevant to, but this is not basically a political issue.

Of course, getting this issue wrong, as the President has done, is not the disease but a symptom of it. For the Christian, the inability to get this question right brings into serious question your ability to get anything right, biblically speaking. You can’t do calculus if you don’t know how to add or subtract.

Sure, we want to make sure that we are welcoming to the world around us so we can have relationships with people and ultimately lead them to Jesus.  But when 39% of the church gets same-sex “marriage” wrong, you have to look around and ask, “who is really leading whom, and to where?”

There are some in churches who reject the Bible as an authority of any kind. That’s a different problem. 

But for those who are on the reservation of Christian orthodoxy, we should be able to agree that it is the job of the leadership to train the church to think biblically about everything. Once we become aware of an area in which that is clearly not happening, we should prioritize fixing that problem.

But what of the decision to focus our efforts and energies on less divisive, more positive aspects of our faith?  I’ll defer to Martin Luther, who said:

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefields besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”


Posted by Cindy Adams on May 22, 2012
I am very happy to see what you've said about speaking out on these issues. I pray that Christians everywhere will study their bible, know what it is God says about the issues, then be willing to testify to biblical truths. Thank you!
Posted by Russ S. on May 21, 2012
Thank you Joseph for speaking out with an excellent article! I pray your article hits the inbox of every Pastor & Christian in the State of Washington. This is not a political issue, this is a spiritual issue - an attack on the Word of God and against the institution of marriage (and the family). (Eph. 6:12) We need not defend the Word of God, the Word of God can defend itself, defend God's people and has throughout history. No matter what man decides, the Word of God remains the same. Christians need to stand with the Word of God and fight the devil! (Eph. 6:10-20) Your comments sound very similar to the comments my Pastor made to the congregation (bringing forth the R-74 issue) of our Church in the last week of March when the push for signing R-74 began. He stepped right out from the beginning to help support the R-74 effort, allowing the Church (main office) to be a Regional Petition Center for issuing and mailing in completed petitions and taking time to explain the issue as a whole to the congregation. While many other Pastors quietly signed the petition themselves, but would not circulate or speak of R-74 in their church. It is not a "tax-exempt" violation to speak of or to circulate R-74! I praise God for the Pastors that have not been controlled or moved by the wind(s) of what is or is not popular, but have stood firm (with a Spirit of love for all) with the Word of God. R-74 supports GOD's DEFINITION of marriage being between one man and one woman. R-74 is not refusing or taking away any "Right(s)" as the gay-community likes to shout. Same-sex couples have all the rights of a "married couple" under the "Everything but marriage" Bill passed in 2009. However, now they feel they have "the right" to demand to redefine something they never had "the right" to define in the first place. Unfortunately, the day we live in too many Christians are willing to stand on the sidelines and watch while the battle rages all around them (Nationwide). Go figure, if a majority of the Christian Pastors will not take a stand (as God's leaders) for the truth in the Word of God what makes anyone think their church members will take a stand!? Even David as a ruddy youth saw the giant defying the armies of the living God and said "is there not a cause?" (1Sam17:29), while all the mighty men of war fled for fear of the giant. We know that David went in the power of God and slew Goliath and Israel was victorious in the battle. We are definitely facing a giant that needs to be silenced and Christians can help to win this battle if we will HUMBLE ourselves, SEEK God and TURN from our wicked ways...(2 Chron 7:14) Humbly PRAY to God, boldly STAND for the truth of the Word of God and allow GOD to use US to slay the giant ("same-sex-mirages") misspelled on purpose. ***TWO WEEKS LEFT to SIGN R-74! Call family, friends, church members, etc. The battle is the LORD'S. (1Sam17:47) May GOD be glorified!!!
Posted by Maggie R. on May 16, 2012
I am so proud of our pastor! He normally stays clear of anything political from the pulpit except the abortion issue. This past Sunday he shared with great passion how we all need to be involved in the gay marriage issue because of the moral impact and how our President made a grave mistake this past week aligning himself for the cause. He said we need to be respectful and kind and show the love of Christ at all times if confronted, but to stand for what the Word declares and not to waiver. Then he told us to make sure and sign the awaiting Ref. 74 in the foyer after church! I was so proud of him. People were lining up to sign! Thank you Joseph for your tireless service to get this to the ballot this year! Bless you and all that you are doing for the Lord and fellow believers!
Posted by Keith Mathison on May 16, 2012
The truth is our land will be healed when Christians and Christian churches turn from their wicked ways (2CH 7:13-16). This same-sex marriage crisis has caused Christians to face the clear teaching of Gods word. Will the church stand up for God or for the world? Will the church teach the whole counsel of God's word or hide behind denominationalism instead of the Bible to pick and choose what they do? A 105 year old lady once told me denominationalism will not save you, it is Jesus who saves. Because of the evil nature of man Christian denominations provide a check and balance system within the Christian community that is needed this side of heaven. The idea that we need a "single" Christian denomination is a failure of history because of man's fallen nature. Christians need to study their own Bible to be salt and light to the world and to the church they attend to keep them on the right path. If you attend a church that is not standing for marriage I suggest getting petitions in the hands of well connected people in the church who can get petitions to people who want to sign. We all need to be noble in character like the Bereans who even checked the scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true. Their standard was the scriptures. Righteous churches are standing up and getting petitions signed to protect Biblical marriage, and the others are being shown for who they are. The churches (and pastors) that are wolves in sheep clothing, that do not really stand for the teachings of God's word, will either repent or wither away because they have no root. May the Lord bless the churches and Christians who are standing for marriage.
Posted by Randy Miller Trinity Lutheran Mount Vernon on May 16, 2012
I have been the distribution point for ref 74 in Skagit Valley and I have been amazed at the excuses churches have given me when I hve tried to leave petitions with them for their congregates to sign. Everything from; we have to stay nuetral, we don't involve our congregation in politics, and hiding behind IRS tax exempt status. It's the same attitude that brought us Roe Vs Wade. Whenever you let Mans' Law trump Gods' Law you have lost thefight. In he case of Roe v. Wade it has cost us 54 million lives overe 30 years, that's 1.8 million babies per year. If you let the Redefinition of Marrage act become political in your church you have already lost the fight. It isn't or shouldn't be political. It is and should be a question of following Gods' law which is supposed to be what Christian Citizenship is all about.
Posted by william reichert on May 15, 2012
I am ready to dust off my feet and move to a new church. Please provide a list of vetted churches.
Posted by Roy Standifer on May 15, 2012
I am indeed thankful for your accurate and badly needed challenge regarding this issue. However, my concern is, while we are focusing here, a much greater issue is deceiving us! Our alternative to this President and his immoral programs is shaping up to be someone who rejects the God we worship; someone who relegates him to the status of an exalted man - something that anyone can achieve. Meanwhile, the Christian community seems to be silently accepting this as best for the country! I don't understand why that isn't a current concern? If we set our God aside for more urgent "moral" concerns,issues such as abortion and homosexuality will pale into insignificance!
Posted by J. Mahoney on May 15, 2012
It's a sad day when pastors fail to speak the truth for fear of offending or losing members. People need to hear the truth.
Posted by bob henderson on May 15, 2012
As a Christian I am in full agreement that it is incumbent on me to stand up against the various forces in our society that are eroding the moral fiber of this country. However, politicizing issues of this sort has become the most devisive problem the Christian church faces in the United States. When the debate amongst Christians over moral issues moves from "how do we unite and resdpond in an appropriate biblical manner as a church" to the same rancorous, ultra partisan finger pointing that has paralized our political system we can nolonger be an affective force in the battle. Look around your congregation next sunday--not everybody there is a Republican, and certainly not everybody is a Democrat. If we insist on attacking these issues from the perspective of one side of the political isle or the other we will be divided and we will be conquered.
Posted by Fatima on May 15, 2012
Wow! I hope pastors everywhere take up this charge. I have been gathering signatures in my church and at work for Ref. 74, and I've been amazed that several in my church declined to sign, saying they "had to pray about it." Then when I saw them the following week, they avoided me. What is there to pray about? Either we're seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, or we're not. But at the same time, Scripture warns of people falling away, and also tells us of those who seem to be Christians, growing in the same field with us, and looking and sounding like us, and only at the end time, will the distinction be made between the wheat and the tares, those who knew God, and those who really didn't, even though they may have led many to God, and been anointed with God's power to do great things...
Posted by Robert Buckner on May 15, 2012
True - or Almost True? If man makes only one small tiny compromise or departure from the absolute Word of God the remainder of his entire spiritual pursuit is moot! God’s Word is absolutely and perfectly complete! Anything that man adds to it, via a man-made denominational creed or catechism, pollutes, adulterates and profanes the entirety of God’s Word. When something is absolutely perfect – to “Add-to” or to, “Take-Away” even on the smallest of scales is to ruin and make impure - that which is perfect. In the first century Christ’s Church was established. One single church! Not many – only one! Today the so-called “Christian” denominations are but a man-made attempt to re-shape the True “Body of Christ” into something more acceptable and pleasing to man! It is ONLY when man steps off of the solid platform of God’s Truth that error is introduced! This is where the majority [many] of the so-called “Christian Community-at-large” reside today. They have entered through the “wide” gate and walk upon the “broad” road. They follow “false prophets” and consequently are confused about many certain and absolute Truths of God’s Word! Various denominations are presently debating amongst themselves as to whether or not homosexuality and same-sex unions can be accepted within their religion and called – “Marriage.” “False prophets” plant only “bad” seeds and those bad seeds grow into “bad” trees which bear only – “bad fruit!” Until there is a restoration of the One, True, Singular, Church of Christ – there will be those who will attempt to worship God in vain – to their ultimate eternal peril! Matthew 7:13-27 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Those who profess to be Christian and belong to one of the numerous “Denominational Religions” – they have built their house upon the sand! Perhaps when your denomination begins to suggest that homosexuality should be accepted – that will be the “Bad Fruit” that you will be capable of recognizing and you may then begin to question upon what substance “Your House” is built upon!
Posted by Pete Kauzlarich on May 15, 2012
Thank you for putting everything in perspective. It is a sad state of affairs America finds itself in when the Church, the people who profess faith in God and His Word, can't stand for, or even get right the definition of marriage. Marriage is being redefined right before our eyes. It's our time, this generation of Believers, to be the salt and the light that affects our culture, and the church is asleep in the light. If we lose this battle, what is left? God help us.
Posted by Steve Crews on May 15, 2012
I am trying to get Costco to allow us to set up a table for the petitions, Ref 74 and Initiative 1192, but the store manager is not being very cooperative. I have a call in to him to call me after his meeting. I have found out that since Costco had the petitions for the recent liquor sales laws change, that according to the Attorney General they have to let all petitions be made available on their site. I will let you know what happens. I am also speaking at a men's retreat this weekend and my topic I was given, is "A Nation Under God" "Godly Leadership In The Family". I am also taking some petitions with me to get men to sign there who haven't and be able to encourage these men to step up and as Paul says, "Be be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." Did you receive the DVD I sent "The Silencing Of God"? Because He lives, Steve
Posted by T. Warren on May 15, 2012
Hallelujah!!! This needed to be said! All too often we see Pastors in the media who are called Christian, but clearly declare Scripture doesn't "really" say what it says. Thank you, Joseph!!
Posted by RVohs on May 15, 2012
Never more succinctly put than this. Thank you.
Posted by Ryan Faust on May 15, 2012
If the silent majority does not speak out, then it will become the minority. Friends, because we have not articulated our position well, and because we have not earned the right to be heard because of our lack of integrity, therefore the Christian message has become lost. I challenge every Christian and every pastor to speak in the public forum with grace and truth about this issue - if you need the right words go to Matt. 19:3-8 and John 8:1-11. Godspeed
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