Mission America

Christian Commentary on the Culture

Faith Leaders Mislead Youth

“Evangelical” left say they’re Christians, act like Pagans

So homosexuality, bisexuality and cross-dressing are okay with our Lord? That would mean there’s no difference between such an “enlightened” approach and the behavior of pagans in the Old Testament...hmmm...

“This one...keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So said a homosexual gang member to Lot in the city of Sodom (Genesis 19:9).

If you listen to some prominent religious leaders today, the same attitudes prevail. It’s all been a big misunderstanding, because it's traditional Christians who are at fault. They are simply primitives enslaved by their own “fear” and even “hate.” We are not to take Scripture too seriously because there are newer messages, newer insights revealed to those who can be entrusted with such things.

The superstars of the “evangelical” left who take this view have strong credibility with youth and students in today’s high schools and even some Christian colleges. This isn’t too surprising, when some of these colleges increasingly permit behavior that violates core biblical principles. (Example: Spring Arbor University in Michigan hemmed and hawed for many months last year before finally deciding to dismiss a male professor who had begun cross-dressing. To its credit, the school finally did the right thing.)

Secular academia is of course enamored with these wolves in sheep’s clothing, because they work hard to distance themselves from the “religious right.” Their spin on “faith” makes it possible to define for today’s youth what constitutes real freedom, faith, and dignity: going to homosexual bars and bathhouses, or women having breasts amputated to “become” men. This can all take place before and after one’s mystical prayers to a New Age “Jesus.”

What do the “evangelical” left offer our kids? A little research reveals glaring problems with the following folks:

1. Jim Wallis and Sojourners magazine. Wallis, author ofGod’s Politics, has been misleading youth for two decades now. We don’t have space to go into all the problems with the Sojourners approach, except to say that if you scratch the surface, you’ll find their care for the poor and the environment cloaks theology which denies Christ’s divinity, His miracles, the sin of homosexuality, the standard of male-female marriage, and Christianity’s exclusion of false faith. Over the years, Sojourners has regularly featured radical feminists, followers of New Age/occult faiths and proponents of homosexuality.

Wallis along with Tony Campolo has launched a movement of what they call the “Red Letter Christians.” This approach claims to focus solely on the words of Jesus (the “red letters” in some Bibles) and not on the rest of Scripture. What they actually do is discuss only some of Christ’s messages, like the Sermon on the Mount and loving our enemies. This props up the left-wing agenda of easy compassion, i.e., poverty, anti-war activism and race relations, while the much more challenging issues surrounding homosexuality, gender integrity and salvation through Christ alone, are studiously avoided or worse, as unbiblical solutions are validated. Yet these are also Christ’s words.

The “Red Letter Christians” avoid passages revealing Jesus as Messiah Christ (like John 4:26) and as our sole path to salvation (like John 14:6), as well as Matthew 19:4-6 or Mark 10:5-9, where Christ says that “from the beginning” humans were created “male and female” and that the two become one in marriage. Homosexual behaviors or “same sex marriage,” changing genders and polygamy all violate Christ’s teaching.

2. Tony and Peggy Campolo. Tony Campolo is professor emeritus at Eastern University, and was a spiritual advisor to President Bill Clinton. This husband-wife team regularly speaks about “social justice” and “human rights” at pro-homosexual group gatherings. They’ve been featured at several conventions of PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, an extreme group that advocates parent acceptance of homosexuality and even cross–dressing by very young children.

The Campolos do “good cop/bad cop” presentations with Peggy favoring “same sex marriage” and claiming this is compatible with Christianity, while Tony says he’s in opposition. Yet he maintains one can be a Christian and claim a homosexual identity as long as one is celibate. He also bemoans the supposedly horrible treatment the “religious right” has given homosexuals over the years, parroting the standard victim posture of the Left.

Tony’s writings are a confusing mish-mash of double-speak, where he seems to affirm Scripture in one sentence only to undermine it a few pages later. Like Wallis, he’s popular with those who want to do “whatever” and call it Christian. Those who have little doctrinal knowledge — unfortunately, many of our kids — are easily duped by this approach.

3. Mel White and Soulfource. Mel White was a speech-writer for such Christian leaders as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in the 1970s and ‘80s. He suddenly revealed he was a homosexual, and after leaving his wife and kids, White formed an organization in the late 1990s called Soulforce. He now travels to mostly Christian college campuses demanding acceptance of homosexuality. His approach is like that of many homosexuals in Christian settings: pushing for “dialogue” and doing it all in the name of “social justice.” Some colleges like Wheaton, Azusa Pacific and others have foolishly given him a platform, lending credibility to his destructive message. Other schools like Liberty University wisely did not allow the group a public audience. The best approach is that of a Christian college president I spoke with last year: ignore Mel White. “He’s just looking to create controversy and get publicity,” was this administrator’s analysis.

4. Homosexual “Christian” Groups. Most major denominations now have spin-off groups of practicing homosexuals, claiming people can be proudly “in the lifestyle” and still be Christians. Among these are Dignity USA (Catholic), Integrity (Episcopalians); Lutherans Concerned, More Light Presbyterians, Evangelicals Concerned, Affirmation (United Methodist), Rainbow Baptists, etc. Then, there is a homosexual –based denomination called Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). One major denomination welcomes open homosexuals: the United Church of Christ.

5. “Emerging” church leaders: Philip Yancey, Brian McLaren, Rick Warren ,Rob Bell. The “emerging” church concept is very popular among America’s Christian youth, but it sometimes strays into very un-Christian territory.

Philip Yancey speaks very sympathetically about homosexuality and was interviewed by the homosexual site “Whosoever” which is pro- homosexual. On that site, Yancey talks about his friendship with Mel White (discussed above). He also calls homosexuality sin in one paragraph, only to basically deny it in this passage:

As I've attended gay and lesbian churches, I'm also saddened that the evangelical church by and large finds no place for homosexuals. I've met wonderful, committed Christians who attend MCC churches.1

MCC are Metropolitan Community Churches, which are openly homosexual. It is an unbiblical position to believe that open, unrepentant homosexuals can also be truly following Christ.

Brian McLaren flirts with mysticism and New Age sympathies, even as he claims to be a Christian pastor. (See www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com for much excellent material on McLaren). On homosexuality, he’s very compromised. McLaren wrote recently concerning pastors:

Frankly, many of us don't know what we should think about homosexuality. We've heard all sides, but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say "it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us." That alienates us from both the liberals and conservatives who seem to know exactly what we should think. Even if we are convinced that all homosexual behavior is always sinful, we still want to treat gay and lesbian people with more dignity, gentleness, and respect than our colleagues do. If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex. 2

He’s wrong. It’s not complex. Homosexual behavior is always wrong. Would it be “complex” to him to talk to an adulterer? How about a pedophile?

Rick Warren is a sad case of what seems to be power going to a good pastor’s head. Since the worldwide success of The Purpose-Driven Life, Warren has taken a very troubling turn to the left in his sympathies, associations and biblical faithfulness. He chose the issue of worldwide AIDS for a summit at the Saddleback Church in Los Angeles where he is pastor, yet he invited not a single person who spoke against the epidemic problem of males having sex with males, which continues to the single largest factor in HIV transmission in the U.S. The conference did have one ex-homosexual speaker ( who chose not to speak about this critical problem).It also featured prominent Democrats like Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) who is both pro-abortion and a supporter of homosexual “marriage.” Warren did not have to give a platform to a man like this. It sends a horrible message to our youth who are looking for guidance on these issues.3

Rob Bell, pastor of a church in Michigan and author of books popular with youth like Velvet Elvis, went on a tour in 2007 called “Sex God.” This title of his latest book kind of says it all. He is a big proponent of mysticism and New Age techniques as a part of Christianity. He also heads Nooma, producers of videos/DVDs popular with youth groups. Bell is evasive and misleading about homosexuality, even mouthing a favorite talking point of pro-homosexual groups: that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.4

Ben Witherington writes an insightful blog and recently interviewed Bell. The responses were troubling, he says,
.....when Rob Bell was asked about homosexuality. His answer was evasive in part, and disturbing in other parts, and clearly unBiblical in other parts and in this he sounds like some other leaders in the Emergent Church movement...

Witherington goes into more detail about Bell’s answers. Read the blog here for more details:http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/02/rob-bell-hits-lexington-and-packed-out.html .

Our kids need leaders who teach God’s word faithfully, not those who may be lining up for their millstones when the Lord returns. Let’s monitor our kids’ role models and make sure the teaching is sound.


1. http://www.whosoever.org/v8i6/yancey.shtml 
2. http://www.christianitytoday.com/leaders/newsletter/2006/cln60123.html 
3. http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/791771591.html 
4. See our rebuttal to this common statement athttp://www.missionamerica.com/articletext.php?artnum=257