I’m proud to call John Lindell my friend and pastor. It’s a tough job pastoring the largest church in the area; everybody’s watching and everyone wants to take shots. Consistently I’ve watched him stand for the clear teaching of Scripture whether it’s popular or not. Recently he was asked to speak to Springfield Task Force on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, a group I addressed last month. The request was for an evangelical presentation of Bible on the topic of homosexuality, something John is well equipped to deliver and he did so with excellence (his manuscript is here on his blog).
Unfortunately the media, specifically the Springfield News-Leader, has taken this as an opportunity to malign John and push forward their own agenda by publishing, on the front page, a letter of attack against John and those who hold conservative evangelical theology. At the same time the folks at the News-Leader have refused, thus far, to publish a response by Dr. George Wood affirming John Lindell and his conservative theological stance on homosexuality . Dr. Wood is an outstanding conservative theologian and General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God (Dr. Wood’s letter can be found here).
The summary is this: The Bible clearly teaches that a homosexual lifestyle contradicts God’s design for male and female. The Bible calls it sin. It’s not the only sin, it’s not the worst sin, but it is sin. That doesn’t mean that every person who experiences same-sex attractions is sinning and going to hell. What it means is sexual behavior has moral consequences. God cares about how we express ourselves sexually. He has communicated what is in line with His design and what is not. Adultery, fornication, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, and pornography (among others) all fall outside God’s design for human sexuality.
As Christians our stance is to love people as Christ loves people and to speak the Truth in love.
My good friend and colleague Dr. Mark Yarhouse has written and researched extensively on the subject. His perspective as a psychologist, researcher, and conservative evangelical Christian is profound. I strongly recommend his book Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends to any who wish to read further on the subject. It’s practical and useful, clinically and theologically.