Relating his stance on same-sex marriage, a New York City megachurch pastor has on more than one occasion publicly claimed that Jesus only dealt with the root issues of the heart—not merely the symptoms of sin. Jesus never took a stand on the moral issues of His day; thus, we should not make general statements regarding important moral issues of society, but only deal with these controversial issues in personal dialogue.
I want to make a few observations regarding his statements.
From a practical perspective, many pastors with large ministries who rent in liberal cities such as NYC are very careful what they say regarding same-sex marriage and other moral issues because they can easily be thrown out of spaces they are renting. Thus, in their minds, they have to be more cautious than ministries who own their own buildings. However, this caution should never become a doctrinal issue for the church at large; it should merely be a method and or strategy for one particular church or pastor (whether they are right or wrong to take this posture).
Regarding the moral issue at hand—do you really think Jesus, if He were here physically ministering today, would not take a position on social issues such as slavery (as evangelical Christian William Wilberforce did and eradicated the slave trade in the British Empire in the 19th century, or as Charles Finney did, who was an avowed abolitionist in the 19th century ardently preaching against slavery during the Second Great Awakening)?
Was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrong to use his pulpit to fight racism and launch the Civil Rights Movement?
What about today? Would Jesus not preach against the sex slave trade or the abuse of children today? What about the Holocaust? Was Dietrich Bonheoffer wrong for speaking out politically against Hitler for exterminating the Jews and forcing Fascism on the nation? Would the early Church apostles have fought abortion if they were in ministry today?
It is easy to know the answer to this since, the oldest extra-biblical document we have on record is the “Didache” which is a short treatise giving the early church guidelines for faith and practice. In this document that many scholars date to the middle of the first century A.D., the church took a stand against abortion and infanticide. (Yes, the church has historically been publicly vocal against abortion for over 2000 years since the Roman Empire practiced abortion and infanticide!)
Furthermore, the early church preached against slavery and even released slaves in the presence of the bishops during worship services during the second and third centuries. Even John the Baptist was put in jail because he preached against all the evil things King Herod was doing (Luke 3:18,19)! Hence, John was beheaded for politically incorrect preaching and prophetically calling out his earthly ruler!)
Therefore, since same sex marriage has ramifications for all family life, every time a pastor preaches on the biblical framework for marriage and family it flies in the face of culture, even if alternative forms of marriage are not mentioned!
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SOURCE: Charisma News
Joseph Mattera is overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church, Christ Covenant Coalition, in Brooklyn, N.Y.