A sign church doing its job correctly
I was delighted to read the challenge to pastors from Paul O. Bischoff in his April 9 letter headlined "Same-sex marriage too hot for clergy?" Bischoff complained that it is rare for pastors of Protestant churches to preach on "hot," topics from the pulpit these days.
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He also cautioned, and I believe correctly so, that, "No Christian pastor should fault Congress or the media for what she or he isn't doing from their pulpit."
Bischoff also contemplated that it would be nice if pastors would have the courage to preach a sermon series on what the Bible says about today's cultural issues, such as same sex marriage. I agree. I suspect the dearth of Biblically-based sermons on homosexuality may have something to do with a new kind of homophobia.
Originally, homophobia was construed to mean, an irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals." It now more aptly describes a sobering and rational estimation of the very real potential for negative consequences, such as financial reprisal, boycott, job firing, or lawsuit from taking a position against an issue involving homosexuality.
This fear is prevalent due to deliberately well-publicized examples; the Chick-fil-A hubbub ring a bell?
Regardless, the church was not charged by Christ to be fearful and timid or to accommodate culture; quite the opposite. The church is to represent to culture God's unwavering standards as he presented them in his Word and his plan of salvation through Christ. Culture killed Christ but through this God redeemed humanity. That's what our recent celebration of Easter was all about -- Christ walked out of the tomb.
Cultural resistance is a sign that the church is doing its job correctly. So, pastors, take heart and preach the unadulterated Word, for Christ has overcome the world.
Brian Van Dine