Recently a federal judge struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex “marriage.” The ruling is being appealed, so same-sex weddings aren’t allowed in Kentucky yet. But according to a recent report in USA Today, a Kentucky church is already planning its first gay wedding ceremony.
Joseph Phelps pastors Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, and he’s already shown his rejection of biblical authority in Genesis. I blogged a few years ago about an exchange Phelps had with one of our supporters, where he told the supporter in a letter that our evangelistic Ark Encounter will be promoting a “religious theme that runs counter to all intelligent understandings of this earth.” In other words, Pastor Phelps believes biblical creationists don’t even hold an intelligent view of Scripture!
In contrast to AiG’s high view of Scripture, we would say Phelps has a terribly low view of the authority of Scripture.
Now, in a controversial move (though not unexpected knowing how Phelps treats the Scriptures), Highland Baptist Church has agreed to perform its first same-sex wedding, in the hope of influencing the culture. This decision should come as no surprise, because once you compromise Genesis, the foundational book of the Bible, you leave the door wide open to compromise other areas, such as the doctrine of marriage. Once someone allows outside ideas like evolution and millions of years to be used to reinterpret Scripture, then it follows logically that they would use outside ideas (like same-sex “marriage”) to reinterpret the clear teaching in Scripture about marriage.
Pastor Phelps’s view of biblical creation in Genesis demonstrates his utter disregard for God’s clear words in Scripture. And his church’s view of homosexual behavior and same-sex “marriage” is really a result of that same sort of compromise in Genesis.
Now the book of Genesis is the foundation for marriage—a foundation that is reiterated by Jesus Christ in the New Testament when he quoted Genesis 2:24:
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4–6)So, what is this Kentucky church’s goal in its decision? According to one of Highland’s pastors, they want to be seen as “inclusive.” In 2012, Phelps wrote regarding their welcoming of homosexuals into the church that “I believe we are called with a different message—one of welcome and inclusion.” You see, one of the biggest problems in churches like this is that they want to live according to their own personal opinions and faulty interpretations of the clear words of God (Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10). The authority of God’s written Word isn’t as important to them as man’s fallible opinions. Additionally, they’ve corrupted the gospel of Christ into a worldly and carnal message of embracing sinners without any need for repentance of homosexual behavior (which the Scripture clearly declares is sin), and acknowledgement of their sin at the foot of the Cross (Acts 20:21; 26:20).
Now, as I said above, a failure to believe Genesis as literal history—in this case God’s ordination of marriage for one man and one woman—can lead to a faulty presentation of the gospel. And a gospel built upon a faulty foundation will fail to correctly preach Christ. Let me explain.
1 Corinthians 6:9–10 lists homosexual behavior as a sin that will bring judgment by God on the unrighteous. The beautiful truth of Christ’s gospel is found in verse 11, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Yes we should be welcoming of practicing homosexuals with the love of Christ, but with a clear presentation of His death for their sinful perversion of God-ordained sexuality between one man and one woman in Genesis 2:24. Anything less misses the meaning of what the love of God really is, not an inclusive message but a saving gospel (John 3:16).
The church shouldn’t encourage people who struggle with same-sex attraction to engage in sinful sexual practices. No, church leaders like those at Highland Baptist should be finding ways to share the gospel with unbelievers and encourage Christians to live in a way that’s pleasing to God.
For more on this important issue, I urge you to read the articles “Church Take Heed! Matthew Vines’s Unbiblical Case for Same-Sex Relationships” and “Are There Really ‘Gay Christians’?” We’re seeing more and more church leaders accept homosexual behavior as normal for Christians instead of calling it what it is: sin. Pray for Highland Baptist Church, that its leadership and congregation will repent of this flawed view of God’s Word, stop leading people astray, preach the pure gospel of Christ, and return to the authority of God’s Word in every area.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,