Trevor Douglas McLaren and Owen Patrick Ryan were married Saturday in Washington. Guy Cecil, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and a Universal Life minister, officiated at the couple’s apartment.
Later in the day, the Rev. Brian D. McLaren, Mr. McLaren’s father and the former pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Md., led a commitment ceremony with traditional Christian elements before family and friends at the Woodend Sanctuary of the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, Md. (online source)
This is the sad and sickening fruit of “a new kind of Christianity.” Emergent Leader Brian McLaren, a new kind of “Christian”, has been coming further and further out of the closet of heresy and liberalism. In the past, when asked what he thought about gay marriage, McLaren replied, “You know what, the thing that breaks my heart is that there’s no way I can answer it without hurting someone on either side” (online source). This is irrational. What does God think? McLaren also writes,
Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality. We’ve heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say ‘it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us.’ That alienates us from both the liberals and conservatives who seem to know exactly what we should think. Even if we are convinced that all homosexual behavior is always sinful, we still want to treat gay and lesbian people with more dignity, gentleness, and respect than our colleagues do. If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex. We aren’t sure if or where lines are to be drawn, nor do we know how to enforce with fairness whatever lines are drawn.
Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements. In the meantime, we’ll practice prayerful Christian dialogue, listening respectfully, disagreeing agreeably. When decisions need to be made, they’ll be admittedly provisional. We’ll keep our ears attuned to scholars in biblical studies, theology, ethics, psychology, genetics, sociology, and related fields. Then in five years, if we have clarity, we’ll speak; if not, we’ll set another five years for ongoing reflection. After all, many important issues in church history took centuries to figure out. Maybe this moratorium would help us resist the “winds of doctrine” blowing furiously from the left and right, so we can patiently wait for the wind of the Spirit to set our course. (online source).
By suggesting that gay marriage could be a possible worldview is totally abandoning a biblical worldview by catering to today’s pagan culture. Yes, homosexuals should be treated with more dignity, gentleness and respect but homosexual behavior is always sinful. There is no need to have a conversation about this. If McLaren isn’t sure where the lines are to be drawn, he should consult the Scriptures. What we “should think” about homosexuality is what God thinks. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). The only way a homosexual may inherit the kingdom of God is if they repent (turn) from their sins and come to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Both Campolo and McLaren offer their liberal views in a book entitled Adventures in Missing the Point. Obviously if the Emergent Church is unwilling to admit that homosexuality is a moral choice, they must inevitably accept homosexual marriage. Brian McLaren does just this in exploring the possibility of gay marriage. In his book A New Kind of Christianity, he says:
“[W]e can ask whether humans were made to fit into an absolute, unchanging institution called marriage, or whether marriage was created to help humans—perhaps including gay humans?—live wisely and well in this world” (McLaren, Brian. A New Kind of Christianity. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. 2010. p.176).
In generations past, not only was homosexuality commonly recognized as perversion within and without the Church, but terms like “gay Christian” or “queermergent” were inconceivable. While Jesus did not explicitly condemn homosexuality, He approved of God’s creative plan for sexual union of one man and one woman. Jesus also affirmed the command: “Honour thy father and mother” (Matthew 15:4). He is taking for granted that a child’s parents consist of a father and a mother. This rules out the possibility for homosexual union. Again, Jesus said that, “a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:5). He does not leave the options for people to be brought up with homosexual parents or marry another person of the same sex.
He says more specifically: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4). Jesus explains that this design was intended for procreation. He said that because God made a man and a woman. Their children would likewise begin families with a spouse of the opposite sex. Based on Jesus’ approval of God’s plan for sexual union in conjunction with the creation of the universe and nature, we can safely say that Jesus condemned homosexuality which is against nature.
Furthermore, in Jesus’ teaching on divorce, He offered one exception clause wherein divorce and remarriage would not be considered adultery: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:32). “Fornication” includes any and all sexual immorality including homosexuality. Also notice that Jesus took it for granted that marriage never consisted of two men or two women.
Jesus quoted from the Old Testament (Matthew 4:4,7,10), affirmed that the Old Testament Scriptures were unbreakable (John 10:35), authoritative (Matthew 22:29), truthful (John 17:17), historically and scientifically reliable (Matthew 12:40; 19:4-6; 24:37-38). While Jesus did not perpetuate the Law of Moses, He did affirm God’s moral standards of living. Jesus initiated a New Covenant, distinct from the Old Covenant but both covenants came from the same Father whose morality cannot change. While there are some differences between the two, there is much similarity such as God’s transcendent moral law within the Law of Moses and the Prophets.
An honest reading of Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 would lead us to the conclusion that God’s command is not merely part of Kosher rules, but God’s universal moral law. These chapters declare: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22); “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13).
These commands are not surrounded by ceremonial or civil ordinances but other binding moral commands such as commands against incest (Leviticus 18:6-19; 20:11-20,16-17,19-21), adultery (Leviticus 18:20; 20:10), child sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5) and bestiality (Leviticus 18:23; 20:15).
Likewise, Deuteronomy 23:17 couples homosexuality with the sin of prostitution saying: “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” Only a morally corrupt people would find these practices acceptable. Today, what has long been considered perversion and murder such as homosexuality and child sacrifice or abortion are now acceptable. The fruit of Emergent theology will be the acceptance of other immoral abominations such as incest and bestiality. Jesus view of marriage agrees with the morality of both the Old and New Testaments.
Paul states in his letter to the Romans: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:26-32).
Thus, homosexuality is a grievous sin which is part of the judgment of God upon a society that has rejected Him. How much more will this sin be evidence of the judgment of God when it is committed under the banner of Christ? The term “gay Christian” is becoming more and more common because of the queermergent theology.
But McLaren bypassed the Pauline letters by criticizing a conservative Christian spokesperson for putting the teachings of Paul on the same authoritative ground as the teachings of Jesus in regard to the gay marriage debate saying his “willingness to grant to grant Jesus no more authority than Paul renders me speechless” (McLaren, Brian. A New Kind of Christianity. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. 2010. p.274). McLaren’s comment renders me speechless. No doubt Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18), an authority that Paul did not have in himself, but when it comes to the authority of the Scriptures as McLaren is talking about in relation to the gay marriage issue, Paul’s words are equally as authoritative as Christ’s and “given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Bible does not teach that some Scriptures are more God-breathed or more authoritative or more inspired than other Scriptures. All scripture is given by inspiration of God! God breathed out the words that the apostles penned in their epistles. Peter esteemed Paul’s letters to the churches equivalent to the Old Testament Scriptures. Peter said, “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15,16). Peter clearly believed Paul’s epistles to be the inspired Word of God. But queermergent theologians may be described as those “unlearned and unstable” men who distort the meaning and interpretation to suit their own interests or views.
While McLaren argues that the writings of Paul are not as authoritative as the words of Jesus, the New Testament conveys otherwise. Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:12-15). Since the apostles would be guided by the Holy Spirit, they were preaching, writing and teaching by the authority of Christ. Paul confirms saying, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). Apparently, the Emergent church movement is not “spiritual.” Sadly, they are twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:15,16). Moreover, the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision by night, “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee” (Acts 1:9,10). Paul did not receive the Gospel by any man, nor was he taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12).
In love, Paul commanded that a person who is living in such grievous sin like homosexuality should be cast out of the church. Why? That the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 5:5). The discipline is loving, corrective and restorative. Put him out of the church unto Satan that they would become disgusted and disgraced over their lifestyle and broken by their disobedience. Ideally, the poor soul would turn form their sin and be restored.
Like other Emergents, McLaren is loving his homosexual son to an extent that outweighs the love we should have toward God and His commandments. Jesus was asked by a certain lawyer, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus responded, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:36-39). Our love for God should be elevated over the love we have for our neighbor. And this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments (1 John 5:3). When the love for our friends and neighbors outweighs the love we have toward God in truth, then we are giving prime importance to people rather than to God. This is humanism. It is loving and forthright to confront homosexuality with the clear truth of God’s word.