If Oprah Winfrey asked you on national TV to give your position on homosexuality, what would you say?
That’s the dilemma that Dallas megachurch pastor T. D. Jakes faced several months ago. Before I tell you what he said, I want to point out one fact. This is a tough question in one sense because the tide is most definitely running against those of us who believe in the traditional family and who accept the Bible as the true Word of God. A recent LA Times article carried this provocative headline: “Americans Increasingly in Favor of Gay Marriage, Gun Rights.” That’s an unusual combination to be sure. The article says that 47% of those surveyed favor gay marriage while 43% oppose.
Whenever Christians speak out on homosexuality, we face certain challenges:
We are likely to be opposed.
We may be branded as bigots.
We may be misunderstood by our own people.
Times have changed even inside the evangelical church. Many people are pressing us to stop calling homosexuality sinful and to admit gays and lesbians to church membership. Sometimes we are unfairly linked with extremists like that crazy church in Kansas that spouts hateful rhetoric at funerals.
We know from experience that shouting at people doesn’t work. We also know that we are to speak the truth in love, but how do you do that to a generation that denies the very concept of truth?
Let me go back to T.D. Jakes for a moment. I’m aware of the controversy surrounding his views of the Trinity and the “prosperity gospel.” Those are very serious issues that need further discussion, but that’s not my point in this message. I’m simply using him as an illustration since he was in fact asked by Oprah Winfrey to give his stance as a pastor on homosexuality.