Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
Jonathan Leeman addresses a number of important reasons why pastors need to address the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage: “Pastors, Homosexuality, and Same-Sex Marriage.”
Though this ought not to be made the primary focus or the major topic of one’s ministry, it must be addressed through the teaching and preaching ministry. In addition to these moral issues, I would also add that we must also be thinking about and responding to the issue of transgenderism. That, however, will be a post for another day.
Leeman lists four reasons these moral issues must be addressed by pastors in their ministries. I include only the headings:
- Unlike a number of ethical issues, this is an embattled one, around which an evangelical consensus is still forming.
- If you don't teach your people on this matter, who will?
- If your congregation does not see you stand clearly upon God's Word, how do you expect them to stand?
- You want the church to grow in holiness both for God's sake and for the nations' sake.
Leeman’s concluding words:
I'm not encouraging you to be a cultural warrior, or to raise up a church of cultural warriors. But I am saying it's our responsibility to teach the church to be the church. Teach them that true love is inseparable from holiness. Teach them that God will judge unrighteousness. Teach them that God laid down his life for the unrighteous, and so should we. Teach them to love their enemies.
My plea and prayer: Teach and model to the church to be the church!