A few days ago, Kirk Cameron, the actor from Growing Pains fame, said that homosexuality and gay marriage aren’t good things. He didn’t just say it in the privacy of his home or even at his church – oh no! He said it on national TV during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan! Hollywood celebs couldn’t tweet their disgust fast enough. His former Growing Pains costars Tracey Gold tweeted, “I am a strong supporter of the #LGBT Community, and I believe in equal rights for all. #NOH8 #LOVE.”
Alan Thicke, who played Cameron’s dad on the show, jumped on the bandwagon as well. Perhaps he thought he was being funny when he tweeted, “I’m getting him some new books. The Old Testament simply can’t be expected to explain everything.” I, for one, wasn’t laughing.
It wasn’t just celebs who jumped in with both feet to label Kirk Cameron as a bigot. From the snarkiness of E! Online to the outright name calling from an atheist writer on the Huffington Post, folks are feeling free to call him every thing but a nice guy.
Through all of the name calling, one celebrity stood up for Kirk. Stephen Baldwin tweeted, “GREAT JOB Kirk !!! Let’s pray one day Piers Morgan finds true Salvation, God Bless!” Two local pastors talked with me about it for an article I was writing for Examiner.com. Three people … THREE!
Since the bible clearly states in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that people who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God, where are the comments from our pastoral leaders? There is no way that Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen, Ed Young, Eddie Long, and the 1410 “mega church” pastors in the United States ALL missed hearing anything about this.
Perhaps they wanted to be like one local pastor that I asked to share his thoughts. I was told that he never speaks to media (despite the fact that I am, first and foremost, a pastor myself) and if he had anything to say about it, he would speak it to “us, his congregation” on Sunday. (I immediately thought about the 99 vs. the 1.) Or maybe they were trying to mimic another local pastor who wouldn’t comment until a pastor of a mega-church had spoken about it publicly. (Rather a catch-22 there – “You say it, no you say it! I’m not gonna say it. Hey! Let’s wait on so-and-so to say it.)
Yes, I know, I’m the one sounding snarky now. And I apologize to you and to God. But I’m furious about this and I can’t keep my mouth shut. I am a pastor – called by God himself to share His love. Part of that love is a set of rules (just like all of us parents have for our kids). If we see someone breaking one of those rules and we say nothing out of fear of being called a name, we are just as guilty as they are.
I’ve never done heroin, but if I see someone getting ready to shoot up and don’t say, “Hey! That stuff can kill you!” (I have read about it and what it does to the human body), I might as well be cheering them on. It’s the same with homosexuality (or adultery, or stealing or fornication or any of the other sins). I may not have committed them and have personal knowledge, but I have read what the Bible has to say about them and I’ve read what the eternal result will be.
Is this gay-bashing? No! And Kirk Cameron wasn’t bashing anyone either. He wasn’t advocating violence against gay people. He wasn’t calling them bad names. He was simply sharing the truth found in the Bible. Just because it’s not politically correct doesn’t make it wrong.
Here’s the thing … we are all sinners who fall short of the glory of God. Yes, I said it … ALL of us. We all have one way to forgiveness and salvation – Jesus. The Bible tells us that if we ask for forgiveness, our sins will be removed from us as far as east is to west. The key word there is “ASK.” If you believe that there is nothing wrong with your behavior (be it cheating on your spouse, sleeping around with the same sex or the opposite one, stealing from work, etc.), then you’re not asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness is like salvation – it’s for every one, but God isn’t going to force it on you and it’s not a “I breathe, therefore I get” kind of thing.
So I would tell someone who told me that they were gay the same thing I would tell people who were cheating on their spouses … “The Bible says that is sin. The wages of sin is death. You can’t roll around in sin and demand that God is going to ‘get over it’ and change the rules for your particular sin.” Though I’m sure that some will call this hatred, it’s anything but hate. I speak the truth because I care. If I didn’t love my fellow man, I would say, “Hey – you do what you want to as long as you don’t try to drag me into it. It’s your life and your eternity and it’s not my business.” Come Judgment Day, I won’t be answering for your sins, but if I see you sinning and say nothing, I will have to answer for that. No name anyone here could call me is worth my eternity!
Contrary to what we would like to believe, God is not Burger King! You don’t get to have it your way! We all have rules (pastors have even more than “normal” folks because we not only have our own personal rule sets like you, but we also have to answer for the way we lead our flock). While I mess up just as much as the next guy, I try with everything in me to learn from my mistakes, ask for forgiveness and move beyond them. Being quiet when I see something wrong? That’s not an oops I’ll have to answer for! So if I find out you’re sleeping around with someone other than your spouse, I’m going to say something. If you tell me that you’re gay, I’m going to say something. If I know you’re planning on robbing someone – again, I’m going to say something! Ditto for the other sins as well. I love – therefore I have to because to keep quiet, in my mind, is as bad as seeing you in a burning building and not only NOT trying to get you out, but not even bothering to call 911 because I don’t want it to seem like I’m being judgmental or nosy.
“Judge not,” you say? Well let me finish that for you … “lest ye be judged by the measuring stick with which ye judged.” I won’t ever tell you not to do something that I’m knee deep in and I would hope that someone out there would care enough to do the same for me!