A Christian university, North Park University of Chicago, Illinois, has suspended a campus pastor after she officiated a same-sex wedding for a former student. Sadly, we’re seeing such a thing more and more—professing Christian leaders who ignore the clear teaching of God’s Word and instead adopt the values and thinking of our day (moral relativism), leading others astray.
Apparently, Judy Peterson, the pastor who was suspended, stated in an email “that she was fully aware that she was breaking one of the ethical guidelines for clergy when she went ahead with the ceremony, but said that she stands by her decision.” She went on to say,
This was not a flippant decision done with disregard for religious rules, but rather a discerned decision to stand with my brothers in the same way Jesus has stood with me; in everything and at all times, no matter what.
But she isn’t just disregarding “religious rules”—she’s disregarding the very Word of God, the one who created the institution of marriage! The Bible is clear on this issue—marriage is for one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27, 2:24) and homosexual behavior is sinful (1 Corinthians 6:9–11). She hasn’t made a “discerned decision.” She’s made a foolish choice to ignore God’s Word and encourage others in a life of sin and rebellion against God’s infallible Word.
She’s made a foolish choice to ignore God’s Word and encourage others in a life of sin and rebellion against God’s infallible Word.
Jesus doesn’t stand with us in our sin, as this pastor has done for these two men. Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sin—including the sin of homosexuality. He doesn’t encourage us to continue in that sinful lifestyle, but, through his Word, calls everyone to repent and put their faith and trust in him, living as slaves to righteousness rather than slaves to sin (Romans 6:18).
Interestingly, from statements the school’s leaders have made, it appears that the university (which has an LGBT student group on campus) didn’t actually want to suspend Peterson, but her credentials were revoked by the university’s denomination, Evangelical Covenant Church. The university said it “sincerely regrets and is sorry for the hurt and confusion” in regards to the suspension, which, according to The Christian Times, “the school places squarely on the ECC.” It appears the university doesn’t stand on the authority of God’s Word on this issue, so it’s not surprising its campus pastor doesn’t either.
As Christians, we need to get back to the authority of God’s Word in all areas—including the area of marriage and sexuality. Instead of allowing our thinking to be shaped by the world, we must “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.