The Rev. Adam Phillips celebrates communion at Christ Church: Portland. Photo by Kaitlyn Winn, courtesy of Rev. Adam Phillips

Evangelicals pull support for Portland church over LGBT stance

The Rev. Adam Phillips celebrates communion at Christ Church: Portland. Photo by Kaitlyn Winn, courtesy of Rev. Adam Phillips

The Rev. Adam Phillips celebrates Communion at Christ Church: Portland. Photo by Kaitlyn Winn, courtesy of the Rev. Adam Phillips

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

UPDATE: A national church spokesman said a pastor's agreement with "ECC positions" is one of "a variety of contributing factors" that determine the denomination's support for local churches.

(RNS) An up-and-coming evangelical pastor has been told his denomination will no longer support his new church in Portland, Ore., because of his support for gays and lesbians.

The Rev. Adam Phillips arrived in Portland in 2013 to start Christ Church, a new congregation sponsored by the Chicago-based Evangelical Covenant Church. Phillips, 35, had previously worked in Washington with a number of advocacy groups, including as director of faith mobilization for the ONE Campaign, the relief and development group started by U2 frontman Bono.

On Feb. 4, Covenant officials told Phillips they were dropping support for Christ Church because of his "personal convictions and advocacy for the full inclusion and participation of LGBT Christians in the church at all levels of membership and leadership," he said in a statement.

Phillips said he agrees with the denomination's position that calls for "celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage," but said the same standards should extend to LGBT members. Since 2004, the Covenant's official position has been to not allow gay marriages, and pastors are told that individual beliefs "must never overshadow" denominational policy.

In an interview, Phillips said "there was a clear red line ... in terms of performing gay marriages, and I was more than ready to uphold that," but he also said he supports "the invitation and welcome of gays and lesbians into full inclusion of the church, and that includes the invitation to marriage, or the invitation to celibacy."

Phillips said he was assured "that the Covenant was a safe place for me to hold these personal convictions" before and after he was ordained in 2007, and that wide-ranging discussions would continue.

Christ Church: Portland surrounds Rev. Adam Phillips and his wife Sarah in prayer. Photo by Kaitlyn Winn, courtesy of Rev. Adam Phillips

Christ Church: Portland surrounds the Rev. Adam Phillips and his wife, Sarah, in prayer. Photo by Kaitlyn Winn, courtesy of the Rev. Adam Phillips

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

"The Covenant assured me everything was OK, until it wasn't," Phillips said in a video posted to the church's website, adding that he was "heartbroken" to be told he and his church were no longer "Covenant-compatible."

"I've been on a journey," Phillips said in the video. "I once believed that fully welcoming and including the LGBT community into our churches could not be reconciled with Christian teaching. These beliefs began to change, however, once I encountered good faithful Jesus followers who happened to be gay."

Phillips said including LGBT parishioners "was not only consistent with the whole arc of Scripture, but was where the Holy Spirit was guiding the church today."

Phillips' change of heart mirrors a larger shift among evangelicals and even Pope Francis as believers reconsider their positions, or tone, on homosexuality. In recent months, evangelical ethicist David Gushee and longtime activist Jim Wallis announced their support for same-sex marriage, and author Matthew Vines' Reformation Project and his book, "God and the Gay Christian," drew attention from top evangelical leaders.

The vast majority of evangelicals, and most conservative Christian churches, however, remain opposed to homosexuality or civil marriage for LGBT couples.

The Covenant, founded by Swedish immigrants in the late 1800s, has not made homosexuality a marquee issue and has not been torn by the same internal fights over human sexuality that have divided Episcopalians, United Methodists or Presbyterians. The church bills itself as "evangelical, but not exclusive; biblical, but not doctrinaire; traditional, but not rigid."

Calls to the church's Seattle-based Pacific Northwest Conference were not returned. Ed Gilbreath, a spokesman for the national church, declined to speak about "personnel matters," but said in a statement that "ECC congregations care about ministering to everyone, including the LGBT community. Decisions on any particular church plant are made between the regional conference and the ECC, taking into account a variety of contributing factors, only one of which is agreement with ECC positions."

For now, Phillips calls himself "a son of the Evangelical Covenant Church" and said he remains an ordained Covenant pastor. His church plant plans to continue, even without the three-year $150,000 support from the denomination. "This idea of being companions to all undergirds all that we do," he said.




  1. The right move.

    “celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage,” those with SSA already have that choice.

  2. Well its the denomination’s choice to support his church. Their money, their rules.

  3. Cue the usual homophobes who will come to defend this bigoted church’s actions, as though they think their opinion matters to anyone. You all know who you are.

  4. It’s a bit hard to say it’s their rules when they don’t seem to have any clear rules on it at all.

  5. “Phillips said including LGBT parishioners “was not only consistent with the whole arc of Scripture, but was where the Holy Spirit was guiding the church today.”

    Hard to predict what crazy things the religious folks will say next.

    The ‘arc of scripture’ is a basket case of inhumanity, filth and disaster.

    This Portland church has decided to IMPOSE ITS OWN HUMANITY AND SENSE OF DECENCY onto the garbage in the Bible.

    Please do not give credit to ‘scripture’! This accomplishment of including LGBT people did not come from a God – it came from human beings who are fed up with their religion but who don’t want to leave their support group and their friends (the church) so they invented a scripture of their own.

    Good for them!
    But for crying out loud people. Give credit where its due.
    ‘Jesus’ deserves nothing for this!

    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

    For goodness sake – you have abandoned the Bible! Excellent!
    Celebrate your liberation. Don’t give it to Jesus – he deserves nothing.

  6. Frankie No-Facts supports a denomination that cares more about hating gays and lesbians than about loving Jesus? Shocker.

  7. Dearest Max,
    It sounds like you have some anger to work out. Maybe Pastor Adam can give you a hand with that.

  8. Pastor Adam seems like a great guy.
    He’s already helping make the world better by abandoning the nonsense of the Bible.

    I’m not the one who has anger management issues. The Bible promotes so much evil it seems unstoppable:

    “the only cure for homosexuals it that they be executed”
    PASTOR Robbie Galaty
    Tennessee Megachurch, September 4, 2014

    1. If that doesn’t make you angry you need to become a human being.
    2. If Pastor Adam rejects Pastor Robbie I commend him – but he is abandoning his Bible when he does so.

    “Homosexuals must surely be killed” – Yahweh (Leviticus 20:13)

    All of this looks like hate speech to me.

    I’m not gay. But if my son was, I’d ask him to consider quitting religion to save his own life.

  9. Eric- Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-12. Preaching the Truth is love and what
    Jesus taught. Read 1 Corinthians 5 and 6 the whole chapters plus you
    should read Romans 1:18-32. Luke 13 says for us to Repent or perish!

    Loving the Word of God/Bible/Truth is what Jesus is about because He
    is the Word made flesh. Jesus and His Word/the Bible are the Truth and
    Jesus said if anyone doesn’t continue in My teachings/follow Me they’re
    not one of His! We must Repent/follow Him/the Bible/have a change of
    heart about sin. The Cross was a perfect example. Two guys were next
    to Jesus on the Cross and only one guy went to heaven cause only one guy Repented/had a change of heart about his sin. We all must Repent!

    Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk and 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all
    drunkards go to hell including those who get drunk on strong wine cause
    the wine Jesus made was a new wine/from the fruit of the vine/diluted and
    made for a symbolic reason not to get drunk plus John 2:10 says that the
    cheap wine was brought out last so best for last refers to poorer/watered
    down wine. Bible also says dont get drunk on strong wine/don’t get drunk
    with wine for it is debauchery so people who get drunk with wine are also
    wrong and go to hell along with those who get drunk on beer/hard liquor.
    Gamgling,being mean/sharp tongues,gossip,pride,premarital sex are also
    all wrong along with coveting/jealousy and taking the Lords name in vain.

    If you say you love Jesus then don’t follow Him/the Bible/religion no Truth is in you! It’s not enough to believe in Jesus. We must Repent/follow Him!
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved. We must Repent!

  10. Left a large Covenant church in Prairie Village, Kansas many years ago as I was accepting myself. What is so weird/hypocritical is that the denomination has allowed for years divorced and remarried individuals into full fellowship including pastors. Such a double standard! LOL

  11. Carl-You are loved by Christ and you are right that all sin is wrong not just
    gay marriage and/or abortion. 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists many,many sins.
    Luke 13 says for us to Repent or perish! We all must Repent! God bless.

  12. An evangelical entrepreneur elects to use an indulgent disposition toward homosexuals as a marketing strategy and his denominations tells him they will no longer sponsor him. It’s a perfectly banal story. Evangelical congregations of this sort seem to absolutely fascinate your editors (if no one else). Did you ever ask yourselves why?

  13. There is nothing loving about accepting, condoning, affirming, celebrating or remaining silent over sinful behavior. That’s what hate looks like.

  14. Divorce can be repented of. So can homosexual behavior. No hypocrisy.

  15. Frank, It certainly is hypocrisy when the Covenant denomination doesn’t require divorced individuals to become celebrate for the remainder of their lives!

  16. There is nothing loving about a place of fiery torment forever (egads!!), when it simply does not exist (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10). Hellfire is what hate looks like, and God is love (1 John 4:8).

  17. Anybody want to take a shot at answering Art’s question there? Or does it make y’all uncomfortable?

  18. Because nothing says love, compassion and forgiveness like shunning those who promote equality for their fellow man ….

  19. Fran-Jesus warned us about hell because He loves us/doesn’t want
    us to go there. Telling people there is no hell like you do is not love
    and you are calling God/Jesus a liar becasue He didn’t warn us all
    for no reason/go to the Cross to save us all from eternal sleep like
    your false doctrine/heresy teaches. Bible says it would be better to
    lose your eye/cut off your hand than to lose your soul/go to hell. If
    there is no hell why would the Bible say there is? Revelation 20:10
    and Revelation 20:15/Matthew 13 :41-42/Matthew 25:41 and 25:46.

    Emmanuel means God with us so He/Jesus is God as part of the/a
    Trinity/Godhead plus Jesus said before Abraham I Am showing us
    He existed before His birth. The birth of Jesus was a miracle not a
    creation as you say. Revelation 1:17-18 Jesus says I AM the First
    and the Last plus first born over creation refers to His rank not He
    was created. While Jesus was on earth He had to submit to the will
    of the Trinity/Godhead and is why He said the Father was greater
    only because He/Jesus was doing the will of the Trinity/Godhead.
    Godhead appears in the Bible a few times but now that He/Jesus
    is back in heaven He is co-eternal with God the Father/Holy Spirit.

  20. Fran-Those verses in Ecclesiastes mean they’re in hell and have
    no knowledge of anything going on in the earthly world not that a
    soul ceases to exist. The soul is eternal but the body goes to the
    grave. We were/are all created as eternal beings. If He/God/Jesus
    could have destroyed the devil God would’ve but the devil was/is a
    created being just as we are. God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit are the only
    ones who were not created and exist as all one God with the three
    parts. God the Father/God the Son/Jesus and God the Holy Spirit.

  21. Exactly,

    This is the purest Christian instruction:

    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonians 3:14)

    How much misery has this philosophy brought to the world? It cannot be measured.

  22. Wow! So proud of this pastor — who is clearly listening to the Holy Spirit as it guides and directs him. Amen!

    and by the way for all of you hateful commentators above — you can’t twist your version of exclusion and oppression into “love” no matter how hard you try. I just want to remind you that Jesus said many would say “Lord, Lord,” in the final days and he would answer “Who are you?”

  23. Cranmer-Jesus said many will say to Me Lord,Lord and not enter heaven
    and many will say to Me Lord,Lord did I not prophesy in Your name and
    in Your name perform many miracles then the Lord will tell them all plainly
    depart from Me you are a worker of iniquity I never knew you! They can do
    many works/say they know God but if they do not Repent/follow Him/have
    a real relationship they still go to hell even if they go to church/sing songs
    and perform so called “miracles” and prophesy in His name because many
    of these so called “healers”/ “prophets” are real frauds. Telling people the
    Truth about their sin/rebuking the people is real love. We all must Repent!

  24. You see, frank, this is exactly the double standard in action. And as usual, you can be relied upon to promulgate it.

    John gets divorced from Susan for some other reason besides adultery. John has committed a sin because he was divorced. Your standard allows him that luxury of just saying, “Gee, God, I’m sorry about that.”

    If he were truly repentant, and if Susan were truly repentant, they would remarry. If they married others they would be compounding their sins with fornication AND adultery.

    But of course, being heterosexual, they are forgiven.

  25. Art’s question seems to be directed at RNS’s editors, not at the commentariat. So it’s no surprise that it has gone unanswered.

    The answer, however, is pretty obvious and unambiguous so I’ll go ahead: RNS is a propaganda site with the primary goal of presenting Christianity as an “inclusive” warm’n’fuzzy love-fest. This goal is achieved by overemphasizing the religion’s tiny and ineffectual “progressive” wing (especially “progressive evangelicals”) while ignoring or downplaying the greater size and influence of right-wing Christianity.

    That is why they keep running stories like this one. RNS is playing the role of Good Cop. “Oh, that Fundamentalist Bad Cop is so mean and unfair, isn’t he? But now Progressive, LGBT-Inclusive Good Cop is here! You can trust me. I’m your friend.”

  26. Author

    I respectfully disagree. This is a story — and a national one — because it shows the real-time tensions that are developing as evangelicals (in this case, Adam Phillips) take a second look at their beliefs on homosexuality. It’s not just Adam; polls and surveys show a small but noticeable shift among evangelicals on the gay issue.

    Our job at RNS is not to trumpet one side or the other — indeed, we try very hard not to — but to document the changes that are going on around us. The Covenant’s pushback to Adam and others is a remarkable demonstration of the shifts happening in society, and it’s our job to tell people how those stories are playing out.

  27. It’s very simple. A follower of Christ who is single, whether homosexual or heterosexual, can be a fulfilled single person in God’s grace. Homosexual sex is included in sexual sins the Scriptures. There is no way around it.

  28. Kevin Harris- Amen/very well said! Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-12
    lists many sins not just a homosexuals but many people today only want to talk
    about abortion and/or gay marriage. We must be Biblical. We all must Repent!
    Luke 13 says Repent or perish and 1 Corinthians 5 says we must rebuke a sin!
    Bible says to Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved! We all must Repent!

  29. Atheist Max, what utter nonsense! The Bible is 66 books spanning nearly 1500 years! It tells it straight, warts and all. That is one of the reasons I think it is divinely inspired! To accuse the Scriptures of evil is highly ignorant!
    I suspect you are referring to the ancient theocracy, which was for a specific time with it’s strict laws and exacting of God’s judgement upon horrible nations. It pointed forward to Christ’s fulfilling what the Law couldn’t do. You have no case against the Scriptures.

  30. @Kevin Harris,

    “you are referring to the ancient theocracy…”

    1. Why were God’s first rules so immoral, even for a barbarian?

    “Kill your neighbor”
    “Rape their wives”
    “buy slaves”
    “cut off your wife’s hand”

    2. Why are God’s new testament rules even worse?

    “Execute my enemies in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “deem them unworthy…remove your blessings of peace.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:13)
    “Don’t waste on [those] people. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)
    “shake the dust..for a Testimony against them.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)
    “..let that person be cursed!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)
    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)
    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
    “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who…(2 Thessalonians 3:6)
    “I came NOT to abolish The Law (of Moses)” (Matthew 5:17-19)

    Jesus endorsed all of Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Exodus, Genesis, Judges – etc.


    “And the daughter…if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” – Yahweh (Leviticus 21:9)

    If this is not despicable and horrible
    and beyond all humanity I don’t know what is.

    You are defending the indefensible.

  31. Karla,

    The body is the soul, that person with physical attributes and personality. As Genesis 2:7 brings out:

    “And God went on to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man BECAME a living person.”

    Interestingly enough, when God gave Adam and Eve the judgment of death after they sinned, he advised then that “in the sweat of your face, you will eat bread until you return to the GROUND, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to DUST you will return.” Where is the reference to fiery torment forever?

    Also, Ezekiel 18:4 brings out: …”The soul who sins is the one who will die.” There is no immortality of the soul or person. We all die because of inherited sin and imperfection through the actions of our first parents (Romans 5:12).

    Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10 does refer to the grave; there is no separation of body and soul, since they both mean the same thing. Those who die go to the grave, not aware of anything at all. This is really a loving arrangement from a God who is love (1 John 4:8).

    The scriptures you cite about eternal torment are parables of Jesus or symbols in the book of Revelation that are not literal. They are a symbol of eternal death and not eternal torment, with no resurrection possible (applicable to Adam and Eve, the wicked ones in Noah’s day, for example).

  32. Fran-Wrong again! Ecclesiastes 12:7 says the dust/body returns to
    the ground then the spirit returns to God where people are entered
    into heaven or sent to hell. Bible says that it would have been better
    if Judas had never been born so that again shows that hell is a very
    real place of punishment not sleep. Matthew 13:42 says that hell is
    a place of weeping and gnashing of the teeth. People who are just
    sleeping don’t weep and gnash their teeth. Hell is very real whether
    your false religion likes it or not. You can’t take parts our of the Bible
    because you don’t agree and in fact the Bible warns the people who
    do that will be eternally condemned to hell. Matthew 25:46 says hell
    is eternal punishment not sleep! The rich man was in torment in hell
    and wanted to go warn all his brothers not to come to this place/hell
    but was told he couldn’t cross over because hell is real and eternal.
    We are/were created as eternal beings so we live on eternally as we
    have talked about before. Don’t you think that if God could have got
    rid of the devil He would’ve but we are created as eternal beings so
    the soul is eternal. We either go to eternal heaven or a eternal hell.

  33. If it were only that simple — I appreciate your desire for it to be that simple Kevin. But its not. I mean, ISIS thinks its that simple too!

  34. read romans one it pretty much spells it out there max and as the bible says the fool hat said in his heart there is no GOD. max one day you will remeber the words you typed here saying Jesus deserves nothing as the bible says every and that means you to max knee shall bow max and maxe’s tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is lord and you will taste those words for an eternity that never ends.

  35. Sorry Karla, but your reasoning is flawed. The bible says that “Without illustration, he (Jesus) would not speak to them” Matthew 13:34, Mark 4:34

    You have to remember that Jesus taught MAINLY by illustrations and parables. So his sayings cannot always be taken LITERALLY.

    Also, According to the KING JAMES VERSION of the bible which I can assume you use Revelation 20:14 states:
    “14 And death and HELL were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

    1Corinthians 15:26 “The last enemy DEATH is to be brought to nothing”

    So if “HELL” is cast into the lake of fire and destroyed it cant possibly be a place of ETERNAL torment. HELL is the common grave.

    Besides, for God to allow a place of torment to exist would make him sadistic and no better than the devil. Because then the devil would have to rule forever in hell.. Which make no sense since the devil is to be destroyed and Christ is to break up his works. (1 John 3:8)

    A loving God would not allow the devil to torture people forever. That would make him a willing participant in evil, logically is inconsistent with a God of love. I can understand the idea of hell frightening many people into serving God, but he doesnt want us to serve him out of dread, rather out of our love of Him and willingness to learn the truth and choose to obey. Fear not dear Karla, there is no eternal torment.

    I’ll leave you with this final thought for consideration. If your child willingly disobeyed you, but you found out that a wicked man INFLUENCED your child to disobey, would you give your child to the wicked man to punish for you?? Likely, you would discipline your child in love, and remove that wicked man from his life forever.


  36. Jay-I appreciate your feedback but the Bible is clear that hell is
    real. The Bible says that hell is real and was made/prepared for
    the devil and his angels so man was never intended to go to hell.
    Matthew 13:42 says hell is a place of weeping and a gnashing of
    teeth so hell is real plus many people have died and gone to hell
    then come back to warn people as Jesus warned people because
    He is loving/doesn’t want anyone to perish/go to hell so some of
    the people died and saw hell yet then were allowed to come back
    because He is full of Grace. Look what happened to sodom and
    the people who were not on Noahs ark. Read Revelation and all
    that’s going to happen to unrepentant sinners. In Ecclesiastes it
    says that the dust/body returns to the grave but the Spirit goes
    to God to be judged either going to heaven or then sent to hell.

    To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord so a
    person who says all we do is sleep is wrong becasue once they
    die then comes the judgment but God allows some to come warn.
    Would Jesus go to the Cross/warn us if all we do is sleep? Bible
    says it would have been better if Judas had never been born so
    you need to do some more research on hell cause it/hell is real.

  37. cranmer you took the verse out of context you quoted the verse refers to people that are depending on their good works as the means of their salvation instead of what Jesus did for them on the cross and accepting that as their only means of salvation. the hole homosexual thing about accepting them as member is like telling GOD i don’t care what you say GOD we are going to ordain them and vote them in as members anyway breakng GOD’S law. you see we live under grace now but the day of grace ends at the rapture and GOD’S law will again be the law of the land during the millennium. as far as people in heterosexual relationships go that have divorced being in churches you are correct in that the dating of said individual that are still married and end up divorcing and remarrying someone else you will never know the mess it causes in someones life but if they repent of this act and turn from it they are forgiven because the bible says if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all not just some but all of our unrighteousness but at the same time he expects us to turn from that sin and and do it no more. ordaining homosexuals and marrying them and allowing them to become members knowingly with them living in open sin is never condoned by GOD at any time and that goes for anyone being married and having an affair and the church knowingly doing the same for them. GOD knows people are human and will make mistakes and he is willing to forgive us our mistakes but also expects us to turn from those ways that includes all of the sexual sins people have listed here but he also does not expect us to divorce the second wife and remarry the first, 2 wrongs don,t make a right and it is a bit legalistic and pharisaical to say otherwise but as long as they have confessed that sin and turned from it they are forgiven unlike the homosexual that refuses to turn from the sin they are flaunting in front of everyone and saying accept me as i am well GOD does not bend to our will but we must bend to his. when Jesus seen the women at the well and told her that she had been with 7 men and the one she was with he did not tell her to divorce the one she was with but said go thy way and sin no more. we know what GOD thinks of the sin of same sex unions and same sex sexual acts by the judgement he sent on sodom and gommorah and the cities of the plain so why do we think he would condone such acts today?

  38. @max it seems that you like to take snippets of verses and put them here for affect such as luke 19:27 Jesus is referring to the judgment seat known as the great white throne where sinners will be judged that have refused his free gift of salvation and it will be no ones fault at that point but the person standing before the righteous judge as to the fate they have chosen by their rejection of his free gift and that is everyone’s choice to make. people will say a loving GOD would b=never send someone to such a place and in a way they are correct but at the same time GOD did not send them there they made the choice by the rejection of his free gift and he is just passing judgement on them for breaking his laws. you can say whatever you want to and i am not going to get into that endless discussion but you as well as everyone else has to come to the realization and accept that he is GOD and he can do as he pleases he does not answer to anyone he makes the rules and tells us what he expects of us and we either accet it or reject it that is just the facts of it. let me give you something to think on, we as humans cannot wrap our minds around who GOD is because we are finite and therefore are unable to comprehend a being (GOD)that is infinite that had no beginning and has no end and exists outside of time and space both of those human concepts mean nothing to him in his omnipotent and omniscient self so how can we as infinite and mentally limited humans began to even question someone like this motives for what he has done and is going to do we just have to accept it or reject it and he gives us that choice to do so but also warns us of the consequences of that rejection because it is not his will that any should perish but he is also not going to give anyone a free pass.

  39. You know what god really likes? Periods and paragraphs.

    you know what god really hates? People who presume to know the status of his relationship with anyone else on the planet.

    There is a reason why Jesus spoke about not judging others for their alleged sins, worrying about speck of sawdust in the eyes of others and ignoring the veritable forest in one’s own, and questioning those who would bar the gates of heaven to other people.

  40. 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists many sins right along the homosexuals so
    all of those go to hell too if they don’t Repent not just homosexuals.
    We are to judge between right and wrong/rebuke a/the sin but not
    stand in the judgement seat of Christ so the do no judge verse is
    meant for us not to judge in a hypocritical way but judge if the sin
    is wrong so we are not to practice sin whether it is homosexuality
    or coveting,being mean,gossips or sharp tongues,getting drunk or
    premarital sex in any form,gambling,jealousy,takin the Lords name
    are all wrong too but many only focus on abortion and homosexuals
    so their sin doesn’t seem so bad. All sin is bad. We all must Repent!
    Preaching against a sin/rebuking someone/telling them that they are
    wrong/their sin is wrong is not judging so we need to get that straight.
    Bible says Repent and believe Gospel to be saved! We must Repent!

  41. It really comes down to people confusing Biblical authority for moral authority. Obviously the two have nothing to do with each other.

    Much of what constitutes “sin” is rather arbitrary and capricious in application. Sin is not immorality. Following Biblical precepts is not making moral decisions. The conflict is between compassion, moral judgments and humanity vs. bigots who want to quote scripture for excuses to act badly and claim authority over others.

  42. @cranmer,
    Kevin is absolutely correct in what he is saying. The Bible is clear that homosexuals do not inherit the kingdom; however, being a “homosexual” requires action, just as being a theif requires that you actually steal. we are all prone to sin, and we are all prone to different kinds of sin, but what the Bible lays out as sin is, indeed, sin. It is clear in God’s word that anyone who is attracted to the same sex must not act on that in any way…just as heterosexual individuals must not even look at another individual in a sexual manner outside of marriage. both adulterous acts and homosexual acts are condemned in the Bible, so it would make sense that they would be held to the same standard as all other sin. You must follow the teachings of Jesus in order to inherit God’s Kingdom, and it has been layed out for us what is and is not permissible.

  43. This is exactly how I predicted how the transformation of the ECC into a liberal UMethodist-type church would start. A North Park Seminary pastor would either reveal he (or she) was gay or take a pro-gay marriage stance. This would cause controversy which would eventually lead to a new, more wishy-washy ECC resolution, similar to what the United Methodist Church now has. And make no mistake, the UMC will soon be marrying gay couples. And eventually (10 yrs), the ECC will as well. But it ALL really started with the discarding and/or adulteration of the Scriptures regarding women in ministry. And this is why we left the ECC. Stick to God’s Word, or your church will go this route as well.

  44. Amen! Mindlessly approving of behaviors that are clearly contrary to God’s Word is not love. Never has been, and never will be. What we are commanded to do, however, is demonstrate Christ’s love to the person engaged in these behaviors. Even when Jesus did not condemn the adulteress, He implored her to go, and sin no more. Others should follow this example.

  45. Pastor Phillps. Thank you for your strength of convictions. I support you and your congregation in your thoughtful Christ centered response. I applaud your sticking to the gospel of love and the same radical inclusion that Jesus demonstrated towards the socially outcast: women, Samaritans, the infirmed, lepers, the enemy (Rome), the poor, the needy, the eunuch (gender divergent) and all who were marginalized. Jesus never condemned but offered hope and love. God bless. It is time to move away from the idea that God has a punitive agenda. Continue to embrace the truth that God is the author of love. Have courage, this move of God towards a true faith that includes all his creation, all his children, will not be stopped. (see the whole Bible)

  46. The rigidity of warring sides in the “debate” over gay marriage, serves as a wake-up call to all Americans who realize that fundamentalism takes many different forms.

    The “unquestioned” absolutes of both religious and secular ideologies are not known for flexibility and openness toward dissenting voices, and often, they are used in the service of radical agendas with a win-at-all-cost mentality.

    This battle of fundamentalisms is evident in the gay marriage battle, as the warring sides ignore/ bypass the following issues:

    1. Consideration of the rights of traditional societies and cultures to accept and defend a definition of marriage that is not secular or modernist.

    2. An honest and candid look at the medical problems associated with the long-term practice of gay/ bisexual lifestyles.

    3. A. admission that the study of gender and sexuality worldwide reveals a much wider variety of behaviors and practices linked to “ma

  47. …”masculinity” and “femininity” in “traditional” marriages.

    4. Recognition that some passionate
    support for “gay” marriage may actually stem from decades of bitterness from those who grew up in homes rattled by divorces.

    5. Admission that law makers do not automatically leave their sexual passions outside of the courtrooms when pushing for radical redefinitions of marriage in the decision-making process.

    6. An honest historical assessment of what happened to past societies that elevated homosexuality and/ or bisexuality as the highest expression of intimacy.

    7. An understanding of how the precedent of redefining marriage may open the doors to other court decisions in favor of non-traditional “marriage” unions (polygamy, polyandry, group marrages, etc.).

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