Wonder How Liberal Preachers Defend Homosexuality? Here’s a Sermon Doing Just That, (From the NICL Discussion Group)

(Editor’s Note: The Northern Illinois Confessional Lutherans, NICL for short, have a private e-mail list for the group. This afternoon NICL member Rev. Roger Gallup posted this  excerpt from a recent Episcopalian sermon.  BJS is pleased to publish articles from NICL and other confessional groups which are cataloged on the Regular Columns page.)

In other words, a lot of people do very good things out of evil, self-serving motives-such is the hypocrisy Jesus rightly says corrupts the good works of the law-abiding Pharisees. A lot of other people do things that make them social outcasts and yet have redeemable motives, like the prostitutes, tax-collectors and sinners with whom Jesus spent so much of his time sitting at table.

So it doesn’t matter, in and of itself, if you’re gay or lesbian, or whether you’re one of those white, Anglo-Saxon males some folks want to exclude from the human race.

If you are a loving, faithful, positive homosexual person you warm the heart of God. If you’re an abusive, exploitative person, gay or straight, you defile yourself and damage others.

If you’re a decent white guy who’s trying to understand the world and make it a better place, good for you. If you’re a smug, condescending, covertly abusive white guy, you’re defiling yourself and damaging others.

The role of the Christian is not to focus on the external behavior but the inner motive, and to do it in a way that points forward toward God and not backward to sin. Put simply, the Christian chooses to love people, not to shame them.

The job of the Christian is to confirm the goodness of good motives in people.

The job of the Christian is to call people from damaging, defiling motives.

The job of the Christian is to encourage people to look beyond their bodies so they can know one another as souls. Souls, where our true motives lie. Souls, where our true identity and our best selves are to be found.

The entire sermon can be found here.

Posted in NICL permalink

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

Wonder How Liberal Preachers Defend Homosexuality? Here’s a Sermon Doing Just That, (From the NICL Discussion Group) — 10 Comments

  1. Thanks for the link. I’ll stick that in my “Sermons of Jeremiah Wright and other nut cases” file.

  2. Look inside yourself? It’s reversed from what we are taught. I’m glad I don’t need to look inside myself at my motives. I can look to the cross of Christ. Thanks be to God!

  3. It’s the religion of the Cub Scouts: “Do your best!” –#4

    That’s maligning Scouting, which teaches that boys should be “morally straight”. Scouting is harassed these days for its stand against including gays.

  4. No, not maligning Scouting. I was both a Cub Scout and Boy Scout and have nothing bad to say about either organization.

    Just saying that the motto of the Cub Scouts is not the Gospel. “If you are a loving, faithful, positive . . . you warm the heart of God.”

    I do see how you could read my first comment that way though – should have phrased it better.

  5. I just read the whole sermon. Blecchh. The whole concept of “Law” is wrong from the very start.

    “Pharisees to Jesus: Why are your disciples breaking sacred law? Jesus to Pharisees: Law does not matter. Only motives matter.” Um, no, Jesus suggested no such thing. The problem with the Pharisees was their abandonment of the true Law of God in favor of human traditions. Jesus blasted them for their terrible abuse of God’s Law.

    Is anyone else chilled by the suggestion that as long as your motive is love, the Law doesn’t matter? Who ever believes they *aren’t* acting out of love– even rapists, murderers, and adulterers? Anyone can read themselves into this sermon as the average nice guy with good motives who’s just trying to make the world a better place, while the bad guy is the one who dares to suggest that maybe we oughtn’t be engaging in certain behavior.

    The silly body/soul divide is just Gnosticism re-surfacing where it’s convenient to excuse sexual indulgence and permissiveness, to say that whatever we do in the flesh doesn’t matter.

  6. From #7: “…Is anyone else chilled by the suggestion that as long as your motive is love, the Law doesn’t matter? Who ever believes they *aren’t* acting out of love– even rapists, murderers, and adulterers? Anyone can read themselves into this sermon as the average nice guy with good motives who’s just trying to make the world a better place, while the bad guy is the one who dares to suggest that maybe we oughtn’t be engaging in certain behavior…”

    IIRC, seems like this is called “situational ethics” and it became fashionable in the 1960’s by an Episcopal priest by the name of Fletcher (I think). He began his thread of logic in this arena in small ways – e.g., if your family is starving to death it would not be unlawful to steal a loaf of bread because your motives were earnest (to feed them). Then it quickly moved into more heinous territory which included things like abortion and euthanasia.

    More liberal protestant denominations were happy to accept this line of thinking. I remember being a youthful member of a pre-merger United Synod Lutheran church where Fletcher’s book was taught in Sunday School classes, believe it or not. Our family only managed to put up with that nonsense for about a year or so and then moved to a more conservative LAC congregation, which of course, was only a decade or so away from taking that same step. The ELCA is simply built upon this entire line of thinking.

  7. Confirm the goodness of good motives in people?

    After reading this sermon, I believe I’m motivated to walk downstairs and open a large bottle of powerful-good beer.

  8. The sermon is, of course, wrong. But what is the root of the error? The root is that we are saved by a something that is not Jesus. We are saved by a gospel that is “love” and by right believing.

    I am not getting that his point was to “defend homosexuality” or even that he was a “liberal” preacher. There are alot of “conservative” antinomians out there. False doctrine does not come in liberal and conservative flavors. The pharisees were the conservatives of their time and the sadducees were the liberals. they were both pretty wrong weren´t they?

    There are things he says here that are right on the money and should be praised and identified as such. and that good stuff is mixed with alot of error.

    The way to combat error is not to present something like this with the misleading banner “example of how liberal pastors excuse homosexuality as not being sinful”.

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