I just got an email from ProtectMarriage.com. Something caught my eye as I was scanning through it. Apparently there are 4 types of pastors (in California) when it comes to homosexuality. Check out this excerpt from the email:

UNDERSTANDING CATEGORIES OF PASTORS
May I take a small detour? As it relates to this issue in California right now, there are four types of pastors:

CATEGORY 1. Pastors who are convinced that the Bible supports homosexual activity as normative and acceptable. They violate the integrity of the Word of God. Treat them with respect as persons, but do not spend time debating with them. Speak kindly to them and don’t argue. But they have done much to damage the role of Christianity in our nation. They badly distort the Bible’s message.

CATEGORY 2. Pastors who are oblivious to the peril in California right now, as it relates to our ability to continue to preach the entire Bible with freedom, without fear of reprisal, without fear of censorship by the “politically correct police.” Talk to these pastors. They will see the truth if you reach out to them. They badly need education and accurate information. They can be brought to understand truth, if you will kindly and patiently share it. Take time. Talk to them.

CATEGORY 3. Pastors who possibly know what is at stake, but who are so concerned with “how we will be viewed” that they will not speak out on the issue. Speak kindly to and about these pastors. However at the same time, be thankful that they were not Peter and John in Acts 4:19-20 (But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”). If they had been, the Gospel would have disappeared before 100AD.

My Ph.D. is in church history, thus I am fascinated historically with the topic of those who preserved the Gospel by being willing to be counter cultural. We have the Gospel today in part because followers of Jesus were willing to be misunderstood by their culture, to be, when needed, politically incorrect. CATEGORY 3 Pastors do not grasp this. Spend time discussing the issue with them if there is clear evidence that they can be moved to truth. If that evidence is not there, then move on. Your time is best invested in CATEGORY 2 Pastors.

CATEGORY 4. Pastors who “get it,” discern the times (1 Chronicles 12:32), and are willing to “take the heat” for the sake of truth. Thank you for being brothers and sisters in this struggle! Thank you for standing for the truth of Scripture, when it is not popular to do so. The present culture will be unkind to you. History, however, will be most kind to you. It will not look favorable on CATEGORY 3 Pastors. Determine to be – and remain – a CATEGORY 4 Pastor. It hurts. It costs. The Gospel always has.

When (and I repeat “when”) truth wins in the November ballot, those pastors in CATEGORY 3 above will continue to enjoy their freedom to preach and teach, due to the fact that pastors in CATEGORY 4 paid the price for that freedom to continue.

I thought this was very interesting, and I’m still wrapping my brain around it. What do you think?

Designer. Communicator. Solutions Architect. Husband. Father of 4. Friend of God. I've dabbled in building, graphic design, worship, music, media, communications, connections, leadership, and now I'm an executive pastor at Rancho Community Church in Southern California.

17 Comments

  1. In my neck of the woods, there is a fifth type… by the name of Phred Phelps. That dude is whacked, and he is *not* on the side of God. He and his followers petition with signs that say “God Hates Fags” and is teaching the doctrine of Hate. While I agree that we must preach the truth of the word of God, I also believe that our role is to love one another. Love the sinner, but not the sin… isnt that the phrase? Either way, hate in the name of religion, or of God is a load of crap.

    I completely agree that homosexuality is a sin, and that it is really the product of wounding not “nature”… but I do NOT feel that homosexuals are in any way lesser or unworthy of God’s love. In fact, I believe that only through *God’s LOVE* will they ever find the way to life, and life to the fullest like Jesus promises. That promise is for them too, Jesus died for them too… We CANNOT forget that.

    ScottMochas last blog post..It’s hard to convey

  2. Thanks for the post, it was very interesting… the photo about made me sick but I am still trying to absorb the actual data

  3. hmmmnn categories are always fun right?

    so basically they are encouraging people to get political about helping homosexuals discover how Christians operate? i’m not sure that enacting laws will really do a lot. don’t get me wrong i love the Bible and stand on it and i love homosexuals because Jesus died for them. i think there may be a better way that doesn’t involve a vote.

    i thought it was interesting how he described those who preserved the gospel as being counter cultural and he was right THEY were. i’m not so sure i can say the same about today’s Christian leaders, i think a better word would be sub cultural.

    James McLeans last blog post..I don’t really know what I’m doing

  4. I’m with Scott on this one. I can’t believe the email left off the category 5 “wacky, sinful, homophobic, bigot” pastors who sow seeds of hate. They need to read the “but do this with Gentleness and Respect” part of 1 Pet. 3:15

    Jesus came full of grace and truth. Don’t skimp on the truth – but don’t skimp on the grace either.

    Billy Chias last blog post..Transparency on a Wednesday

  5. Hmmm. Interesting I guess. Not sure what category he wants to box me into. What about those of us who have no problem fighting for and standing for biblical truth, but aren’t convinced yet that legislating my beliefs onto others through a ballot is the way to do that.

    A bit different that Peter and John in Acts if you ask me. I still just struggle with the fact that it really is a legal issue the way I see it more than a spiritual issue. As of now, no authorities will come knock down our doors cause we refuse to marry homosexuals in our church. That would be a different story.

    Click on my name here for an interesting discussion on the issue over at my blog.

    bobbys last blog post..Giants Game

  6. Marriage is a promise and commitment before the Lord – not a government or state certification. I think we should stop expecting non-believers to act like believers. We’re only called to judge those WITHIN the church. My only concern is preserving the church’s right to free speech. I do believe the day is coming when we’ll have to choose between having freedom of speech in the pulpit OR having our tax-exempt status. That’s when we’re going to have to make some tough decisions…

  7. Personally I have a real hard time with categories. People aren’t that simple. Experiences and lives are different.

    Jeff has brought up a really important aspect of this whole “marriage” discussion. Marriage is a Godly instituted agreement. What the state has done with it has nothing to do with what God intends it to be. the state cannot take away or change the covenant of marriage that God has instituted. No matter what they decide to do with it.

    brent(inWorship)s last blog post..EXCLUSIVE! Breaking News!

  8. I agree with Jeff… “stop expecting non-believers to act like believers.”

    Good stuff.

    erics last blog post..Guest Blogger

  9. jen

    wow interesting……. as a believer If we stay focused on the 2 most important things 1. love god and 2. love others – everything else falls into place.

  10. wow.
    what an article… but, i also agree that there’s the 5th type of pastor. and, honestly, i don’t have a clue what to do with them.

  11. I love the comment that states:

    “Marriage is a Godly instituted agreement. What the state has done with it has nothing to do with what God intends it to be. the state cannot take away or change the covenant of marriage that God has instituted. No matter what they decide to do with it.”

    I never thought of it like that. Very cool.

    Jeffs last blog post..God’s wrath and the mysterious Babylon: Part 3

  12. alex

    Well this has been and continues to be a great subject of discussion, especially within the church. Here’s some of my favorite comments:

    “i’m not sure that enacting laws will really do a lot.”

    “What about those of us who have no problem fighting for and standing for biblical truth, but aren’t convinced yet that legislating my beliefs onto others through a ballot is the way to do that.”

    “Marriage is a promise and commitment before the Lord – not a government or state certification.”

    “the state cannot take away or change the covenant of marriage that God has instituted.”

    So you can kind of get an idea of where I am with this issue right now. What kind of gets me going is how this issue will get pastors outside the walls of their churches – to protest against state legistlation, to basically burden lost and hurting people with laws that they are not able to live up to.* Yet there are millions of starving children, homeless children, families losing their homes in their cities, marriages falling apart, people addicted to all sorts of things, etc. And yet pastors don’t want to lift a finger for those issues but will jump at the chance to make homosexual marriage illegal. I’m not much better, and it sickens me. God help us.

    *I believe that as a person enters into a relationship with God, and grows closer and closer to him, he or she begins to understand God’s design for life, and begins to understand what obedience is all about.

  13. heather

    Alex I am standing up clapping!!!

  14. alex, exactly! this is what i meant about my comment about him thinking they were being counter cultural by voting to enforce Christian standards on people who don’t know Christ. this is not counter cultural it is taking the christian sub culture and trying to demand that others live up to it (which often times does not even have biblical standards). this is not how people come to love the truth of Christ, they must see it in us being with them, loving them and showing them that Jesus changes lives. woo hoo! i love life this way!

    James McLeans last blog post..I don’t really know what I’m doing

  15. God have mercy on us because we just don’t get it…

    Peters last blog post..Bands I like!

  16. Chris

    Let me state that one of my long-time friends is a homosexual. I do not judge him for that characteristic. He knows I do not agree with it and we leave it at that. He is still a dear friend.

    However, the crap that the Mormon church is taking over their stand is amazing in my opinion. I applaud them for standing up and speaking out.

    It amazes me that the gay community cries that they want to be heard, yet when someone comes forward with a differing opinion, they protest their worship centers and churches.

    Anyone else think that’s a little hypocritical?

    Thanks for the great read!

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