By Mark Tooley, The Steam.
Can Evangelicals who are liberal politically continue to affirm orthodox Christian teaching about marriage and sex?
Likely the tension will increase as two prominent voices, one a longtime social justice activist, the other a former Christianity Today editor, announced their affirmation of same sex couples.
“I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church,” declared a news release from 80 year old Tony Campolo, a longtime popular speaker, Democratic Party activist and sociology professor at Eastern University in Philadelphia.
Quickly responding to Campolo on Facebook was retired Christianity Today editor David Neff, who cheered: “God bless Tony Campolo. He is acting in good faith and is, I think, on the right track.”
Campolo’s stance was hardly surprising to anyone who’s followed his career, often aligned with Sojournersmobilizer Jim Wallis. Less predictable was the annoucement from Neff, although he in recent years became more associated politically with the Evangelical Left.
A rambunctious and emotive stage speaker often prone more to rhetorical hyperbole than precision, Campolo argued for same sex couples based more on personal experience than theology or empirical data. For years he and his wife Peggy have publicly debated each other on homosexuality, as she touted the liberal stance and he ostensibly affirmed the traditional Christian position.
But it’s clear his heart was not in it. Campolo typically emphasized his distress over “homophobia,”as in his widely read 1993 book, Twenty Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid to Touch, always recalling the abuse and suicide of a homosexual classmate, while reluctantly admitting that Scripture and Christian tradition disapprove homosexual behavior.
Over the years Campolo performed a minuet on the issue, dancing up to the boundary, and sometimes seeming to cross it.
Breaking News: 2 billion Christians believe in traditional marriage. And so do we. By Mark Galli, Christianity Today.