My friend and seminary classmate Pastor Richard J. Lee gave a sermon entitled “FAQ: Is Homosexuality a Sin” at his church this past week. Richard is a great guy, talented pastor… and more conservative on this issue than I am. Richard holds a pretty traditionalist position on homosexuality and argues for that position in this sermon. I disagree with his exegesis, but totally understand and respect where he is coming from.
Given that I disagree with him on the topic, you may be wondering why I am posting it here and why I am recommending it? It is because I think this is a great example of how traditionalists can preach on this topic with grace, respect and without falling into many of the “anti-gay” traps that are so common (e.g. Louie Giglio’s sermon from 20 years ago that got him uninvited to the Presidential Inauguration) or the more extreme bigotry of people like Lou Engle or Bryan Fischer. In other words, Richard gets the tone right: pastoral, graceful, but pulls no punches on what he believes. He addresses the tensions and gives people space to disagree, explore, etc. As a gay Christian who disagrees with him, I felt totally respected and would be comfortable going to his church, worshiping there, etc. — which means he got it right.
If you are a traditionalist pastor or church-goer, this is a great example of how to tackle this issue in your church. If you are a progressive on this issue — or a gay seeker or gay believer — I hope you listen to it… and then let me know, while disagreeing with him, did you feel respected? How would you have felt sitting in the pews listening to this? Any other thoughts?