Political Preaching or Preaching About Sexual Ethics?

Greg Strand – July 9, 2012 1 Comment

Is gay marriage driving young evangelicals away from the church? This question is being discussed by many. One of the major concerns of those younger evangelicals who would answer in the affirmative is that they want to move away from the political emphasis.

In response, Denny Burk (“Could gay marriage debate drive young Christians from church?”), wisely and helpfully, raises a few issues to consider. I include some excerpts of his three points.

  1. Pastors need to beware of ‘politicizing’ the pulpit. Partisan politics should not shape the message of men who are called to preach the gospel. . . . Rank partisanship is one thing. But bringing the gospel to bear upon fundamental moral questions is another.
  2. Faithful pastors are going to preach the whole counsel of God, even when it offends people (2 Tim. 4:2). That means they will preach what the Bible says about sexual ethics. . . . Every sexual act outside of the covenanted union of one man and one woman in marriage is sin. That includes pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, and more. [Some confuse] political preaching with preaching about sexual ethics. Both of them are controversial. The former should be avoided at all costs. The latter must be embraced at all costs.
  3. We shouldn’t evaluate Christian sexual ethics on the basis of how much they may or may not alienate people. We have to base our beliefs on what scripture teaches, not on what we think people may be offended by.

I appreciate Burk’s three points. I especially affirm one of his underlying principles: political preaching must be avoided at all costs; preaching about sexual ethics must be embraced at all costs.

Greg Strand

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Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

One response to Political Preaching or Preaching About Sexual Ethics?

  1. Ernest Manges July 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    This issue of same-sex marriage is a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate two things:
    1. Caring grace towards those who believe that we hate them (sometimes this belief has some good evidence, sadly)
    2. Uncompromising fidelity to the clear ethical standards to which we are called by Scripture

    It is precisely because this issue allows us a space to demonstrate both that we ought to wisely and prayerfully use it in ways that will honor God and show care for people without compromising our faith.

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