On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, HI. Immediately following the attack, President Franklin Roosevelt described that day as a “…date which will live in infamy.” The President’s declaration officially entered the United States of America into World War II.
On February 9, 2014, Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church in LaMirada, CA, announced that “…he no longer agreed with the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality and was instead ‘gay affirming.’” (1) At that time, New Heart belonged to the Southern Baptist Association of churches through its membership in the Los Angeles Southern Baptist Association of the SBA. Shortly after that declaration, Danny Cortez’s son, Drew, proclaimed his homosexuality. New Heart voted to approve Pastor Cortez’s position, too. February 9, 2014, marks a day of infamy for Cortez and the Southern Baptist Association.
Dr. Albert Mohler described the significance of these statements. (2) The church’s affiliation with the SBA brought them under the authority of the SBA’s confession of faith, the Baptist Faith & Message. It asserts the immorality of homosexuality and the Biblical position of marriage as between one man and one woman for a lifetime. Further, the SBA confession of faith excludes from its membership any church that approves of homosexuality. Therefore, the SBA should have removed Pastor Cortez and New Heart Community Church from its membership because of their endorsement of same sex sexual activity.
As of the date of this article (08/25/2014), the SBA has removed neither Pastor Danny Cortez nor New Heart Community Church from their memberships in the SBA. Nor has the SBA issued any reprimand or other punishment against Cortez or New Heart. In the face of clear Biblical error and their own requirements, the SBA blinked. They rejected Biblical authority and caved into the demands of the culture. February 9, 2014, truly marked a day of infamy for Pastor Danny Cortez and the SBA.
The Bible records the story of Eli and his sons in 1 Samuel 2.12-3.18 and chapter 4. Eli’s two sons profaned the people’s sacrifices for their own benefit. They even practiced sexual immorality in the Tabernacle. Although Eli spoke to his sons regarding their wicked behavior, he did not restrain them. For this reason, God brought upon them the severe judgment he promised Samuel that he would do. Eli’s tolerance of his sons’ sinfulness destroyed them. (3)
This story corresponds to the circumstances that Danny Cortez faced. Danny knew of His son’s homosexuality before his proclamation to the church. According to numerous articles that describe this situation, Danny Cortez behaved similarly to Eli with his sons. However, Danny neither corrected nor restrained his son’s sinful practices. Instead, Pastor Cortez not only approved of Drew’s sin, but also led New Heart to support homosexuality, contrary to the SBA confession of faith.
Sadly, many parents with children who encounter same sex attractions and homosexuality follow the paths as Eli and Danny Cortez. They fail to correct their children from their sinful practices. Further, pastors and church leaders in the professing Christian church exacerbate the problem. They, too, follow Eli and Danny by leading the church into the increasingly popular approval of homosexuality. They deny the Biblical authority against it, approve of the cultural mores regarding it, and fail to teach God's provision for those who suffer under homosexuality’s bondage. (4)
Today’s culture demands a tolerance toward homosexuality that more closely resembles approval than mere acceptance. The culture punishes any difference of opinion on this volatile issue and promotes those who support it. The world rejects objective truth, specifically Biblical authority that contradicts its paradigm.
Christians and the church of Jesus Christ face enormous pressure. The world insists upon the full approval of homosexuality by redefining the Biblical stance upon it, which some adopt. Others attempt to diffuse the furor by refusing to comment upon it. Some behave in an unloving fashion. Few stand for the Biblical statements that clearly identify homosexuality as sin. Sadly, an even smaller number love those who experience same sex attraction and homosexuality.
This article does not permit the explanation of the Biblical position on the sinfulness of homosexuality. However, the reader can study it in the short, timely book, Homosexuality, Christians, and the Church at this link.
In addition to its identification of homosexuality’s sinfulness, the Bible warns Christians and the church of the increasing presence of false prophets who oppose Biblical authority. In Mathew 7, Jesus alerted his disciples to the presence of false prophets, who would lead people from the truth into error. Many exist today, and, because they espouse non-Biblical positions on homosexuality, they lead many astray. They look like Christians/sheep, but inwardly posses the character of wolves, clouding their identity. The reader can find help in the identification of false prophets so prevalent today and their implications for the church at this link. (5)
In Revelation 2, Jesus gave his final warnings to Christians and the church regarding the approval of sexual immorality in the church. (6) He warned the churches and their pastors in Ephesus and Pergamum of the presence of the sins of the Nicolaitans. These men advocated the sexual immorality that Baalam taught the Moabites to use against Israel to cause Israel to sin. (7) Jesus held these pastors of the churches accountable for the sin in their churches. He called them to repent of their sin, or he would judge them by warring against them.
Today, Christians, pastors, and church leaders must remember the example of Eli and the words of Christ to the churches in Revelation and our liability of God's judgment. Christ calls us to reject conformity to the world and to stand for Biblical authority in opposition to the culture. In these days, Jesus calls out a people for his kingdom. He invites you and me to repent of our sin and to trust him as our only savior from sin. Will you join me and follow Christ?
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