We need to pay closer attention to what is being taught and not taught in many historically orthodox (small ‘o’) churches. To get a clearer picture of the fuzzy theology that many are embracing—and often concealing from their members, here are some excerpts from (and my thoughts about) a troubling letter a pastor of one such church sent to a church member who had sent him an IFI article on the need for pastors to teach clearly on the topic of homosexuality:Pastor:
I do seek to preach, teach, and embody the whole counsel of God—though I …don’t feel as though I’ll honestly have that fullness. I think that we know God and we don’t, we get the gospel and we don’t, and that we often and usually as the church get ourselves into trouble when we feel that we fully possess and understand the teachings of Jesus completely.
Of course, it’s true that we see through a glass darkly now and as fallen creatures cannot fully (to borrow his words) “get the gospel.” There are numerous parts of Scripture that are difficult to understand and ideas, like the Trinity and Incarnation, which are conceptually impossible to grasp.
There are, however, parts of Scripture that are clear, one of which is how God views homosexuality. If this pastor doubts whether Scripture is clear on homosexuality, to be exegetically consistent, he must be equally unsure what Scripture teaches on bestiality and incest, because those parts of the Old Testament that address homosexuality in strong and unequivocal language also address bestiality and incest.
Dr. Robert A. Gagnon has written arguably the best book on this issue titled The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. This pastor’s church would be well-served by inviting Dr. Gagnon to teach on the subject.