“Now God spoke all these words, saying: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself any graven idol … You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain … Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy… Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet …” (Ex. 20:1-17).
“Now it will be, if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings will come on you and overtake you if you listen to the voice of the Lord your God” (Deut. 28:1-2).
Can you imagine a time when God might change His mind and grant approval for one these commandments to be violated? Do the commandments of God adjust to an ever-changing worldview, new cultural standards or more open moral behavior?
Apparently there are times when God says, “Maybe.” How else can you explain super megachurch Pastor Brian Houston’s explanation a year ago that Hillsong Church was having an “ongoing conversation” about gay marriage? He went on to say,
“This is a conversation the church needs to have and we are all on a journey as we grapple with the question of merging biblical truth with a changing world.”
When the Word of God is specific what biblical truth needs “merging” with a changing world? When God says, “No,” what is there to grapple with? Apparently, from Pastor Houston’s perspective, there is a lot.
Pastor Stan Mitchell, pastor of GracePoint, a megachurch in Franklin, Tennessee, announced to his congregation that practicing homosexuals can be members of the church and hold their gay weddings in the sanctuary. He declared,
“Full privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill and willingness. That is expected of all. Full membership means being able to serve in leadership and give all of your gifts and receive all the sacraments; not only communion and baptism but child dedication and marriage.”
City Church, San Francisco’s largest evangelical church, announced in an open letter to their church family that LGBT Christians would now be welcomed into memberships.
Tony Campolo announced, June 8, 2015:
“It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the church.”
According to these and a growing number of other church leaders, if the person professes they have received Jesus in their heart; they don’t have sexual relations with anyone until their gay marriage; they are faithful to their gay marriage partner; and they are living holy and godly lives; they should be welcomed into the church family and given full acceptance as born-again believers. They should also be eligible for leadership in the church. And because “gay Christian couples relationships seem to work in the same way as ours,” according to Tony Campolo, we should accept, welcome and conduct gay marriages in the Christian community.
What are we to make of the following Scriptures?
“You shall not lie with a man as one does with a woman. It is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22).
“There must never be a cult prostitute among the daughters of Israel nor a cult prostitute among the sons of Israel” (Deut. 23:17).
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
So, apparently there are times when God says, “Maybe.”
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as Lead Pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dean has been married 45 years to his wife, Wanda. They have three children serving in full-time Christian ministry. Their two daughters are missionaries in Croatia and their son is planting a church in Portland, Oregon. They have nine grandchildren. Dr. Dean is known for training many leaders who are in full-time ministry around the world. He has completed a Masters in Ministry, a Masters of Theology and a Ph.D. in practical theological with an emphasis in marriage and family counseling. His enthusiastic and challenging ministry has made him a popular teacher and conference speaker. He has written eight books and is presently writing the third book in a trilogy Freedom Series. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett – Foundational, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest