The American Pastors Network is responding today to the controversial statements of well-known pastor and Christian speaker Tony Campolo about the acceptance of gay couples in the church.
Campolo released a statement yesterday on his blog that after “hours of prayer, study, conversation, and emotional turmoil,” it’s time for the church to fully accept gay couples.
“For pastors or other leaders within the church to extend unconditional grace and love to all who walk through the church doors is Biblical and Christlike,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who also serves as the president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN,www.papastors.net). “However, to accept sinful behavior of any type when God does not is unbiblical, not Christlike and is itself sin. When the church leaders become an advocate for sinful behavior under the guise of extending grace or love, they subvert the very mission of the Church, deny the reality of sin, despise the Gospel and God’s plan of redemption, and incur the judgment of God. In the end, God’s Word and His standards for life, for actions, and of course for human sexuality have never changed because God does not change, and neither can His authoritative Word.”
Campolo wrote that his position has changed over the years, now realizing that, rather than solely for the purpose of procreation, perhaps God intended marriage for “married partners to help actualize in each other the ‘fruits of the spirit.’”
“Our existence on Earth isn’t to self-actualize and legitimize,” Rohrer continued. “It’s not about us. It’s about God’s ultimate design and plan for all eternity, not the instant gratification of living on this earth. God specifically designed men and women in His likeness, with very specific chromosomes and DNA that guide their purpose in life. The choice of sexual preference is where sin enters, and to claim that God has changed His mind about marriage is blasphemy and a fearful position in which to place oneself and those around them.”
Campolo went on to say that, “as a social scientist, I have concluded that sexual orientation is almost never a choice and I have seen how damaging it can be to try to “cure” someone from being gay.”
Both APN and PPN offer pastors numerous online resources that help clergy choose sermon topics and find information for other church ministries. With some free and some paid resources, topics include marriage, abortion, apologetics, creation, the culture war, economics, education, the environment, history, homosexuality and Islam, along with many others.