Last week I posted a video about a minister in Florida who burned the Koran as an act of protest and I stated that this was one reason why people were not Christians. (Read about it here)
Here is another example.
One question that I am asked at least twice a month (if not more) is “what do you think about homosexuals?” More often than not people ask me these deep theological questions I am usually getting my haircut and I can’t move. Generally I have to bite my tongue and give them a smart alec answer. Knowing this is a particularly sensitive subject for some people and one that elicits strong reactions I generally have to tread lightly. I get a wide range of beliefs from people, some people are totally for the inclusion of homosexuals without questions, some are completely and utterly against it and some are of ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ mentality. Due to other Christian’s reaction and somewhat fascination with homosexuality (I’m talking to you Westboro Baptist) many members of the homosexual community do not feel welcomed or loved in church. This is a travesty.
Enter, Pastor Sean Harris the minister of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC. Harris made national headlines when in a sermon he advocated to basically ‘beat the gay’ out of your children (on the heals of a state-wide election on same-sex marriage, which the state ultimately voted to keep marriage between one man and one woman). During his sermon he said,
“Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist… Man up, give them a good punch, OK. ‘You’re not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you’re going to be a male.”
He continues and says that girls should be girls and wear dresses and smell good.
Hear part of the sermon here
On his blog, Pastor Harris tries to explain himself and says he was taken out of context, but he really doesnt explain himself fully. You can read the entire post here.
I apologize to anyone I have unintentionally offended. I did not say anything to intentionally offend anyone in the LGBT community. My intent was to communicate the truth of the Word of God concerning marriage. My words were not scripted. It is unfortunate I was not more careful and deliberate. I can understand how these words could be misunderstood without the context of years of ministering to the people of God at Berean Baptist Church… I have learned from this and will seek to be more articulate and deliberate with my words in the future.However, I do not apologize for the manner in which the Word of God articulates sexual immorality, including homosexuality and effeminacy, as a behavior that is an abomination to God.
So did he apologize or not? Basically he said, “I am sorry for what I said not that I dont believe I was right to begin with but that you took it offensively.” Not really the greatest of apologies.
According to the CNN Belief Blog, Harris stated, “No, I don’t think that I need to apologize for preaching to my people what the word of God says. That’s my responsibility.”
Did God really say that? Should the basis of your understanding of homosexuality based on a couple of scriptures? Where is the acceptance that was shown to all people even the outcast and the despised by Jesus Christ himself? Has Pastor Harris taken the gospel of love and made it into the Gospel of proper sexual orientation? Of some people would argue that if it was that important to Jesus why didn’t he ever say anything about it?
Whether or not you believe homosexuality is sin, the fact of the matter is that love has to be at heart of all conversations and ministries. Not many Christians ministers aren’t preaching about obesity being a sin or that women aren’t covering their head during worship or people arent greeting each other with holy kisses. Why not the same fervor with these?
The issue here that because these Christians are not ‘preach the word of God’ they have missed the word of God. Too many things have been done in the name of Christianity and that is why many people have left. The homosexual debate is one that is not going away anytime soon but it can if Christians who are called to be followers of Christ put into practice what Christ advocated for.
People can interpret the Bible based on their own understandings and upbringing but when does it cross the line? Pastor Harris’ comments out of context or not crossed that line. It made every Christian look like they disliked other homosexuals, you could not be a homosexual and a Christian and that one of the charges of Christians is enforce predetermined gender roles on our children.
When my wife was in college she had to take education courses for her teacher certification. One day the class was on teaching Kindergarteners and some said in the class that they did not stop boys from playing with Barbie dolls and did not stop girls from playing with Tonka trucks. My wife told me she heard someone behind her say “I’m not letting my son play with dolls. I dont want him to be queer.” Odds are Pastor Harris would agree.
Christ came to restore all people back to wholeness and completeness with God. Christ did not come so all homosexuals would get released from their “egregious sin.”
The church is called to bring wholeness to all NOT advocate for people hit their children because of the preception they are giving off.
Christians should not stand for a “man of God” who is charged to profess the gospel to speak just vile words in the name of their risen savior.
Would Pastor Harris say we should hit our children if they are getting fat and want another cookie? I mean, gluttony is a sin right?
This debate is far from over and because of the actions of North Carolina and of the President I believe it just getting started.
Hopefully we wont have any more sermons like this one… here’s hoping.