Southern Baptist preacher Charles Stanley recently made news when he declined an award from a Jewish organization because of his anti-gay views. For many years, I read his In Touch devotional everyday. Well, that ended when he said “AIDs was God’s punishment to America for accepting homosexuality” He said homosexuality is “destructive” and “separate for God.” His books and Bible study guides were a major part of my spiritual journey in the early years but that was for naught. There is a big disconnect with his teachings and what Jesus would do with regard to the LGBT community.
“Some proclaim they are living a gay lifestyle, but nothing is happy or gay about the destructive behavior of homosexuality,” he wrote in his 2007 book, Landmines in the Path of a Believer. “Anything that opposes the principles written in God’s Word leads to one ending—the end Solomon mentioned, a place of extreme emptiness where wind and sorrow breach the soul. Ultimately it ends in a place of extreme emotional sorrow and separation from God.” Source: Christianity Today
While I agree that we have the right to our opinions and religious freedom, with regard to the definition of marriage, it’s disingenuous, at best, to embrace the right to discriminate against any group of people. It’s one thing to say you believe that marriage should b between a man and a woman. It makes the argument of the right wing evangelicals laughable because they are willing to engage in discrimination again. Have we learned nothing from the dark days of racial unrest in this country when blacks were denied basic rights because of the color of their skin.
The U.S. Constitution affords us inalienable rights and that goes for the gay community as well. We don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the Constitution we choose to uphold. Hiding behind religion is certainly not going to give people like Charles Stanley and other right wing evangelicals a basis to dance around discrimination.
Stanley says homosexuals will not get to heaven unless they stopped being gay. He said, “There is no peace, no joy, no happiness no matter what they say.” “And medical research has proven absolutely unquestionably that a person can be freed from homosexual activity if they want to.” Sounds like the views of the Scribes and Pharisees.
Stanley’s doctrinal position regarding homosexuality and other issues are very flawed, but he seems to be digging in. He once claimed that America was heading for Socialism, while subtly laying the blame at the feet of the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama.
“There is a tide that has touched the shores of our land and reached the heart of our nation,” he said against the backdrop of the U.S. flag. “It is a tide that is bringing with it ideas and philosophies, actions and attitudes that will ultimately destroy the way of life that you and I have.” The influential pastor and founder of In Touch Ministries listed 12 things involved in the tide. Among them are the financial crisis and the move toward socialism……
“The tide is bringing in a control that will indeed attempt to silence the truth and will attempt to squash the religious devotion and worship of the people of God.” That tide began creeping in many years ago, he noted, when the government and the courts began banning prayer at schools and removing references to Jesus, God and the Ten Commandments from the public square, Stanley noted. “It is an attempt to destroy the Christian spirit in America,” he said.
“There is a war going on against Jesus,” he declared. “It’s part of the strategy. The primary reason for this war against Him is He is interfering with the plan to make this a socialist nation. Mark it down. It is the truth.”
Among the other elements of the dangerous tide are: terrorism, turning our backs on Israel, the announcement that the United States is not a Christian nation, increasing national disasters, a departure from the biblical view of marriage, and support for killing the unborn, Stanley listed. Source: Christian Post
He talks about turning our backs on Israel, but how about the apartheid-like treatment of the Palestinians and black migrants to Israel? Surely that Lord must be displeased. I am not here to make a case to boycott Dr. Stanley. He has the right to free speech, but we don’t have to support him or his right wing views. So, I will no longer read his devotionals or support his ministry. He has a history of making virulent homophobic statements.
Dr. Stanley’s son, Andy Stanley, who leads North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA., recently said that “church should be the safest place in the world” for gay youth. I don’t know where he stands on gay marriage but I do know, as a member of his church, that he will not turn gays and lesbians away from worshiping at North Point. Though he seems to have taken a soft landing on homosexuality, I have found him to be a man who stands for diversity.