By Chelsen Vicari, Institute on Religion and Democracy.
The last few weeks have seen a lot of commentary on pastors leading the same-sex “affirmation movement.” Church leaders like the infamous unorthodox author and speaker Rob Bell, evangelicals Stan Mitchell of Gracepointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and Danny Cortez of New Heart Community Church of La Mirada, California are just a few of the movement’s leading affirmation pastors.
So when a pastor takes a public stand to say, “I have a deep pastoral concern that Christians and churches are flinching all across our culture” it makes us ooh and aah a bit in wonder and admiration. This was the reaction to Dr. David’ Platt’s keynote address at the annual National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention held in Nashville, Tennessee last week. What should be the norm for Christian leadership is increasingly becoming the exception.
Platt, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board and author of the books Radical and A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture, began his address by pointing out the hypocrisy of Christians who advocate for less controversial social issues while avoiding others like life, morality and marriage altogether. “We are passionate against poverty and slavery, injustice that we should stand against, but issues that don’t bring us into conflict with culture around us. Yet on issues like abortion or so-called same-sex marriage, issues that are much more contentious in the culture around us, instead of being passionate, we are strangely passive.”
“Ladies and gentlemen the gospel does not give us that option. We cannot choose to pick and choose which social issues to apply Biblical truth to,” Platt said. “The same gospel that compels us to war against sex-trafficking compels us to address sexual immorality in all of its forms.”
“We must apply the gospel consistently, compassionately, and courageously,” said Platt as he went on to lay out four biblical foundations that have significant culture implications when denied God’s truth:
1.) God Creates Us as a Demonstration of His glory
2.) God Designs Man and Woman for the Display of His Gospel
3.) God Judges Us by His Righteous Law
4.) God Pursues Us with His Redeeming Love
“These four truths together form the essence of the gospel,” said Platt as he pointed towards the implications when Christians accommodate culture.