Editor-in-chief of the World News Group, Marvin Olasky, writes insightfully on the subject of churches and what constitutes true grace and compassion when it comes to gay marriages. It also applies to other challenging issues:
Be On Guard
When leaders of City Church in San Francisco (see “Blindsided” in WORLD, July 11, 2015) recently decided to offer membership to same-sex marriage partners, investment banker Liza Hing says “a lot of people in the church were totally blindsided.”
Others see such a change as inevitable. But that’s not the way it has to be, even at churches in cities with large gay populations. Redeemer Presbyterian Church Pastor Tim Keller has shown how to attract thousands of young New Yorkers while remaining biblically faithful.
The Acts 29 Network is also attracting many young Christians to the new churches it plants. Its president, Matt Chandler, criticizes those who say, “Let’s soften the stances of the Bible in order to win people to Jesus.” He says, “It’s not just those issues that are offensive; it’s Jesus Himself. What goes out the window next is the atoning work of Jesus Christ.”
Chandler adds, “To back away from the teachings of Scripture around issues that our culture finds offensive is to wave the white flag on human flourishing. It is to say, ‘Our Creator God does not know what is best for His creation. Creation knows what’s best, not the Creator.’ That’s madness.”
Nevertheless, pressures on pastors are likely to become even greater. How can church members—without roasting their pastors for Sunday dinner—take precautions against being blindsided?