In my original blog article of February 12, 2021 entitled “My Thoughts about Max Lucado’s Apology to the Washington National Cathedral” (link My Thoughts about Max Lucado’s Apology to the Washington National Cathedral | Steve Belsheim ) , I mentioned that Max’s 2004 sermon had been taken down from the Crosswalk website at his request. Someone (John Doe) read my article and sent me a link to his sermon. The link is at What God Says About Gay Marriage -Spiritual Living, Christian Faith (archive.org)
I took a look to see, if indeed, Max said something for which he ought to apologize. Keep in mind that the Bible is the standard, and not society’s norms, by which one ought to evaluate whether or not an apology is in order. In short, I do not see anything Max said that warrants an apology. Let me very briefly discuss his sermon.
He correctly notes that if gay marriage is endorsed, the door may be opened to polygamy and incest. This is not a stretch since polygamy and incest are not as serious sexual sins as homosexual sex. At his article “Is Homosexual Practice No Worse Than Any Other Sin?” (link: Is Homosexuality Really No Worse than Any Other Sin? (pulpitandpen.org)), Dr. Robert Gagnon writes:
Why are there no positive exceptions? The reason is evident: A male-female prerequisite belongs to an inviolate foundation supremely sacred to God. Homosexual practice is a direct violation of that foundation. Polygyny is a violation of the monogamy principle that is only secondarily extrapolated from a male-female prerequisite. Incest is a violation of a requirement of embodied otherness that is only secondarily extrapolated from the foundational analogy of sexual otherness established at creation. Consequently, homosexual practice is worse than incest and polyamory because (1) it is a direct attack on a sexual paradigm instituted at the very beginning of creation, whereas incest and polyamory prohibitions develop later only secondarily from a male-female paradigm; and (2) homosexual practice, unlike incest and polyamory, is never practiced by positive characters in Old Testament narrative or sanctioned by Israelite law.
Max Lucado also correctly says that “God’s voice trumps” all other sources. No intended reference to former President Trump since “trumps” is the word Max used.
Max divided his sermon into three very basic sections.
The first section was entitled “What Does God Say About Marriage?” Max presented the biblical model beginning with God’s statement that it was not good for man to be alone. He then traced it through to where the man and woman leave their parents and are united where the two become one flesh. See Genesis 2:23-24. What Max said seems very biblical to me. So far in God’s plan for marriage there is no mention of same sex marriage. Max noted that the written recordation of God’s idea of marriage was at a time when society was sexually-saturated with many perversions. Max ended this section of his sermon with:
The God of the Jews put the genie of sex into the bottle of heterosexual marriage. Homosexuality, by its very nature, resists this truth.
The first section seems biblically sound and does not provide a reason to apologize.
The second section was entitled “What Does God Say about Gays?” Max said that Jesus would speak to gays with compassion and conviction. This conversation would include the statement that “God never approves sexual union outside of marriage.” Max also pointed that the Bible “never minces words” that homosexual practice is an abomination. He points out that God’s denouncement of “homosexual intimacy” goes through the Bible from one border to the next. He ends this section with:
From start to finish, Scripture categorically condemns same sex intimacy. Why? Some answers are found in our concluding point:
The second section seems biblically sound and does not provide a reason to apologize.
The third section was entitled “What Does God Say About Gay Marriage?” In this section, Max set out three compelling reasons to oppose gay marriage and they were: (1) the legalization of gay marriages will erode the traditional family, (2) legalized gay marriage will lead to legalized polygamy and other deviations, and (3) the highest reason, however, for opposing gay marriage is simply this: God does. Max presented many valid details supportive of each reason that are worthwhile to consider.
Near the end of his sermon, Max showed love and compassion toward the homosexual community:
Where does that leave the church? Contrary to the tragic decision made by our Episcopalian brethren-we must react as Christ reacts-with simultaneous compassion and conviction.
Compassion. Yes, homosexual activity angers God. But who among us has not angered God? It wasn’t homosexuality that caused Jesus to cleanse the Temple. It was self-righteousness and greed: two sins that dog all of us. Let there be no gay bashing among God’s people. No arrogant parading of signs.
There is no justification for gay jokes. Do we mock the alcoholic or shun the gossiper? Let’s show the same grace to the brother or sister who struggles with sexual sin. Is the church not a collection of saved sinners? In fact, numbered among the members of the early church were some former homosexuals.
But, also at the end of the sermon he told the truth:
Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers-none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you. (1 Cor. 6:9-11 NLT italics mine) Ex-gays worshiped in the early church. Ex-gays worship in this church.
Except for one point, the third section seems biblically sound and does not provide a reason to apologize. One statement seems in error when Max says:
Let’s show the same grace to the brother or sister who struggles with sexual sin.
If he means a practicing homosexual is a saved person, i.e., brother or sister in Christ, then it appears he runs afoul of the teaching of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. If he doesn’t refer to a believer, then he uses the expression “brother or sister” loosely. Possibly, too loosely in light of this context.
Overall, I do not understand why Max felt the need to apologize. I believe his sermon was very good and timely in 2004 and still today. Of course, today, the same-sex marriage ship has already sailed at least in the eyes of the law, but not in God’s eyes. In reality, it is what God says and not man’s laws that govern how a believer ought to live.
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change.
Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved and a more concise description at my (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ).
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