In those interviews, gay marriage came up as it always does if you are a pastor.
His answers were an attempt at a non-answer. He said in a sermon, “Some churches want us to give blanket answers on huge issues. Well, my Bible says, be attentive to individual needs. So I’m not gonna make polarizing political statements about certain things in our Christian community right now. No matter who says what, we won’t be pressured into giving blanket statements to individual needs. Never.”
He has also said he won’t “Preach on homosexuality.” But that is misleading.
When you don’t preach on something, you are preaching on that thing. You are just saying what you think won’t be as controversial or the thing that won’t lose you your following.
He says that “Hillsong has a stance on love, but has conversations on everything else.” On the surface, this sounds nice.
But he is falling into the trap so many pastors and leaders fall into: being vague.
The problem is this, homosexuality is talked about in the bible. Not as much as some Christians make it out to be. It is listed with other things for example in 1 Corinthians. The amount of sermons and blog posts on gay marriage dwarfs the amount of sermons and blog posts on adultery, stealing, greed (except at Christmas time), getting drunk, revilers, or swindlers.
Let’s take another example from 1 Corinthians 6. It talks about our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit and yet, there are a lot of Christians who are unhealthy and destroying their bodies because of what they eat and drink. Every time there is a potluck at a church, there is a good chance we just sinned according to 1 Corinthians 6. Not always, but most of the time.
There is a clear problem when a pastor is vague and it is this: The problem with not preaching on things in the Bible is that Christians and non-Christians then don’t know what is in the Bible. They don’t know what they believe about something. They don’t know what God thinks about something. A Christian can’t have a conversation with a non-Christian about an issue if they aren’t taught. In the same way, a non-Christian can’t be confronted by truth if they don’t hear it.
This is one reason I think it is important to preach through books of the Bible. It keeps pastors from preaching on their soap box issues (and only talking about their soapbox issues), but it also allows pastors to not skip things. When you say, “I won’t preach on _____” you’ve just said I will skip passages in the Bible when I get to them because I don’t want to talk about them.
That is a low view of the Bible. God inspired those words for a reason.
What do you think? Should a pastor say they won’t speak on a certain topic? Is that ever an appropriate step?
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