Two trains are racing toward each other, and no one knows how long it will be until they collide on the track of freedom to speak and believe differently. The first train is the gay rights train, and the other is the religious freedom train. Why was the world surprised that a conservative Baptist church would preach “Vote for Marriage” and be opposed to effeminacy and any kind of sexual immorality? True Christians are called to be “in the world but not of the world.”
My ill-chosen words of “crack” and “punch” were twisted into inciting violence against gay children by activists and some in the media. I did not say that “limp-wrist” or “butch” was an indication of homosexuality. Gay was inferred from my message of promoting gender distinctions. I was not teaching, nor have I ever taught, that a child should be punished for effeminate behavior. Children should be punished for disobedience. In Canada, I could be thrown in jail for what I said—Is that what we want in America? In the spirit of Roger Williams, I do not want the LGBT movement or agenda silenced any more than I want those who oppose the movement silenced. Freedom for all to speak is what America is best known for throughout the world. Is that going to change?
My message to the fathers (parents) in the congregation was to affirm the gender distinctions that God created in each human. The Bible doesn’t teach or suggest that children are born gay. God made them male and female. There is not an “other” or “in between” category. I do not apologize for stating that transgender is an affront to God. It is. Any Christian who suggests otherwise is ignorant of the Bible or is choosing to ignore the truth.
Some have suggested ignorance has fueled my “hateful words.” The truth is that love for my Lord, His Word, the Gospel, and my Berean family whom I am responsible to shepherd fuels my passion to preach the truth. Preaching the Word of God is the way preachers protect their flock from wolves. To suggest that I need to get out more and meet my fellow man will not change what the Bible teaches about gender distinctions and sexual immorality.
May I suggest that it is ignorance of the Word of God that has contributed to some of the negative Christian responses to my message? I do not expect those who do not follow the teachings of Christ to understand my “dangerous sermon,” but all who trust the Bible to be God’s Word should have at least listened to the entire sermon before they condemned me. The unedited sermon is still available in its entirety at www.bereanbaptistchurch.org.
Moreover, my failure to wisely select better words like “straighten that wrist” and “affirm your son’s manhood by doing more gender specific activities with your son” (like roughhousing) does not give other Christians the liberty to non-objectively judge the entire sermon without its context and then the greater context of my sermon series. How many watched my sermon on tolerance titled, “Tolerant, Intolerant, and Both: A Balanced Biblical Approach” delivered just seven days earlier?
I should not have been surprised by this orchestrated assault and persecution of the church. Those who railed against me and my church for more tolerance and less ignorance have been the most intolerant and ignorant of all people. How long will it be until the trains collide and we are all silenced?
This response was published by the Fayetteville Observer May 9, 2012.