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Did Rick Warren Get it Wrong with Elton John?

Did Rick Warren Get it Wrong with Elton John?


Pastor Rick Warren is a man who has done many powerful and amazing things in furthering the Gospel and seeing lives changed. Of that, there can be no doubt. But recently, his behaviour with singing legend Elton John has caused a media furore.  Question is, did he get it wrong?


The Story

Here’s the story. In early May 2015, to quote, Rick Warren and Elton John teamed up for global health, fronting a US Senate Appropriations Sub-committee to seek funding for, amongst other things, AIDS research. Okay, on the surface of things, having a prominent Christian leader step up for health research funding, well, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

However, during that Senate Sub-committee appearance, it is alleged that the two held hands and joked about kissing. Certainly the photographic evidence appears to point to that as being the case.

Ian Worby, a senior executive with Christian media group UCB Australia, posted a fairly strong, scriptural response to Rick Warren’s behaviour on Facebook, which I then shared with my friends, to generate some discussion.

And boy, did it generate some discussion. You can check it out here.


The Debate

The two opposite ends of the debate go something like this (At this stage, I’m not making any comments, simply trying to report the arguments – my comments come later):

At one end, the following scriptural question is asked:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14)

In other words, if I can paraphrase the argument – what in the blazes is a prominent church leader like Rick Warren doing, by publicly standing with someone who practices and professes a homosexual lifestyle, something which is clearly a sin according to God’s Word? How can Rick Warren claim to be a man of God, if he appears to endorse sin, by joking with Elton John about his sin?

At the other end, is the argument that we’re all sinners and in fact, Jesus came to heal the sick, not those who are well.

When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners. (Mark 2:16,17)

This argument goes that Rick Warren was and is precisely where he should be. Out in the marketplace, with the sinners, just like Jesus was (and is).


Why Your Opinion On This Really Matters

So here’s my question: which side of the debate do you stand on and why? Or are you somewhere in the middle, having a bet each way?

At this point, you might be asking What does this have to do with me?

And my response to that would be, rather a lot. Forget what Rick Warren did and didn’t do. It’s not my job to judge that. What is important here, is asking the question what would you have done … what would I have done?

Would you have showed up at all to the hearing? Would you have stood and sat side-by-side with Elton John? Would you have held hands and joked with him, or would you have done things quite differently?

Because these are questions that face you and me each and every day, if we are seeking to live out an authentic Christianity which on the one hand doesn’t compromise the truth of God’s Word, but on the other shows love, grace, mercy and humility to the fellow-sinners around us.

And that missiology is a difficult and fine line for each of us to walk.

So … what would you have done? How would you have handled it?


The Power of Symbolic Action

Actions speak louder than words. We know that.

So if people want to know who you are, what you believe and what you stand for, they will pay much more attention to what you do than what you say. There’s nothing new in that. In fact, in this regard, Jesus is exactly the same:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name? ’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers. (Matthew 7:21-23)

In other words, for Jesus, our actions are the evidence of the authenticity of our faith and our words.

It turns out that Jesus was a master of symbolic action.

He deliberately healed people on the Sabbath in front of the Pharisees, to teach them about grace and mercy. He deliberately dined out with sinners, to show people why He’d come. He deliberately fed the five thousand, healed the blind, raised the dead … to show the power of God’s Kingdom here on this earth.

And ultimately, those symbolic actions upset the established power base of the religious hierarchy to such an extent, that they plotted His assassination … a task in which they, as we know, succeeded.

The evidence suggests that Jesus chose His symbolic actions very carefully indeed, in order to ensure that they spoke exactly what He wanted them to speak.

That’s why actions are so important. They speak louder than words. And the more “high-profile” a person is, the more loudly they speak and the more profoundly they represent his or her cause.

So the answer to the question “Did Rick Warren get it wrong?” depends entirely on what he set out to say through his actions.


What Would I Have Done?

Before I tell you how I would have handled that situation, let me declare my hand.

With all my heart, I believe the only right expression of the amazing gift of our sexuality, is between one man and one woman, in a life-long, exclusive relationship that we call marriage. I believe that every other expression of sexuality outside of that God-ordained relationship constitutes sin – be it heterosexual or homosexual.

I don’t say that because I want to be judgemental or condemnatory. I don’t say that because I have a holier-than-thou attitude. I don’t say that because I’m a prude. In fact, the only reason do I say that, is that this is clearly what God’s Word teaches, and therefore it is clearly God’s will for our lives.

Having said all those things, given where I live (in the middle of the gay district of Sydney) I have many gay and lesbian people in my life. I care for and love them deeply, and to the best of my ability, as with anyone, I try to treat them with dignity and respect. And I especially care for and love them enough never to sweep the truth of God’s love, the free gift of grace through Jesus Christ, and the need for the sinner to repent, under the carpet.

However, I am also deeply conscious of what my actions say.

If people look at me and judge me for loving the sinner, good luck to them. I have no problem with that at all. That’s exactly what they did with Jesus.

But, if you ask me to stand on a public platform with them, if in any way my presence there could be construed to be endorsing their sin, I would decline the invitation. That’s why you will never see me carrying a placard in a peace march flanked by Buddhists, Hindus and atheists. For exactly the same reason.

I care deeply about what my actions say. And any symbolic actions of mine, need to speak of the grace, mercy and love of Christ, and the deep need of the sinner to repent and turn to God, nothing else.

And above all else, I would never joke about somebody’s sin with them. Sin is no joking matter. It is deadly serious. Deadly.

So for me, to do what Rick Warren did, would be a huge mistake.

Was it a mistake for Rick Warren? I don’t know what message he was trying to convey. And I certainly don’t know what is in his heart. My prayer for him is that the Lord would work mightily in his heart, that the Spirit would fill Him with the truth, and that God’s Word would guide his thoughts, words and deeds.

Footnote: In your comments, please feel free to agree or to disagree with me. I never censor comments of dissent on this blog. However, I believe that all truth should be spoken in love. Any comments therefore, on either side of this debate, which are condemnatory or seek to vilify people because of their earnestly held beliefs, will be removed by me.  


  1. Jesus love – we can only speak the truth with the help of His Holy Spirit.
    In the end its the truth of His Word that sets us free.
    we all sin its up to us to make our choice to live by the flesh or spirit.

  2. By holding hands with Elton John and kissing him on the cheek, Rick Warren could have intended to demonstrate that we should not be afraid to touch an HIV positive person. He may have had in mind Jesus’ touching people who had leprosy and talking alone with prostitutes, or corrupt outcasts like Zachaeus. Whatever he intended, as a pastor and notable Christian teacher, Rick Warren is obligated to explain himself as Jesus did every time. Jesus solidly explained what He intended and His Scriptural support in Mark 3 and Luke 13 when He healed on the Sabbath to make His point.

    It’s nonesense to say that “judge not” (Matthew 7:1-3) probibits anyone from critiquing mistaken behaviors. In 1 Corinthians 5:12 Paul tells us and God’s Word teaches, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?”

    If a married pastor sits holding hands with a woman at a charity and kissing her on the cheek, he had better be prepared to explain his justification for doing so. Precisely because Elton John is a gay man, a Christian teacher should at most shake hands, bump fists, etc. Even then the context should make it clear that the Christian guy does not approve of homosexual behaviours and lifestyles. Jesus was not joining a Gay Pride Parade to teach ‘God is love.’ God hates pride and rebellion against His most basic life principles is equal with divination, idolatry and witchcraft. (Samuel 15:23)

    So don’t go around holding hands or kissing people to be seen of men, to get their approval. Lot was in error to so closely associate with homosexuals for the sake of his business and social status. It destroyed his entire family and his walk with God and his two young daughters followed this example into incestuous relations with their father.

    Abraham on the other hand rescued the king of Sodom along with Lot, but he was very careful to accept no gifts from the citizens of Sodom which would have clouded his motives and reputation as a faithful servant of the God who expressly commanded that no one have sex other than in a marriage between a man and a woman. (Leviticus 18)

  3. “I care deeply about what my actions say.” But unfortunately, no sinners will be saved if you spend your time about caring how you appear in the eyes of others. And you would not enter in the tax collector’s home to eat with him because there was a large crowd.
    God looks to you heart, do you love this person (as Jesus Christ gave his life for him). If you do, then don’t turn your back on him because you are in a public place.
    I think you should care more about the destiny of the souls of the sinners, rather than what will the “other Christians” think about me.

    • PS : Just the fact that Jesus expressed his intention (in front of the large crowd) to come in Zacchaeus’ home caused his repentance.

    • I would not be joking or endorsing his sinful lifestyle but if it was for a good cause I see nothing wrong in that. holding hands and kissing is over the top. Jesus didn’t go out and help to collect tax money.

      • “Jesus didn’t help collect tax money.”
        1. This job is not necessarily wrong, it could be done with the right way and mindset
        2. But Jesus sat by his side and shared his plate

        As at Jesus’time, Pharisees and other people who think of themselves “holy” were frustrated by what Jesus did and condemned Him.
        Jesus knew what He was doing, and needing not the self-righteous crowd’s validation. He was guided by love … but the crowd’s heart and eyes were filled with envy and jealousy.

      • Well, after last week’s sermon by Rick Warren himself (Rethinking your sin), he explains that we should not make fun of sin or laugh at it.
        So now it’s clear that he was wrong doing this joke with Elton John.
        I think he has confessed his sin, since then.
        PS : I have changed my mind then

  4. Jesus went to sinners and called sin what it was. He did not play with it as did Mr. Warren. Also know that Jesus warned against sin in the midst of sinners. Jesus would be crucified again today for calling sin what it is. Yet He did love people, Todays straight people living in a heinous sinful lifestyle trying to justify it calling it gay. It is sin and those wicked lifestyles would crucify Jesus for calling sin what it is. God does, thus we should do the same. It is not love to be sentimental with them and and tolerate their lifestyle. They win and feel justified because anyone who calls out their sin they will refer to Mr. Warren. they will say he is tolerant and you are not. God is not mocked. Stand against sin. Stand up, love with boundaries not sin sick sentimentality. Every time I have went out and sinned God stayed where He was and loved me, He did not go out in sin with me and tell me oh they just don’t understand you. He said then and still says today, repent. Repent.

  5. Such clarity, such insight and yet handled with such love and grave…thank you so much, today I believe I have learnt an important lesson concerning my actions…God Bless You.

  6. Let’s face it Pastor Berni, as you would be well aware, living where you live the gay lobby is very vocal and quite powerful these days. Did you know for example that there are more deaths from hepatitis C than there are from AIDS these days.
    The worldwide push for same sex marriage and same sex parents is unprecedented. Please don’t get me wrong l know gay people, they are no different to you and l except with their sexual orientation, and quite frankly is that any of my business unless the person wishes me to know?
    However, what l cannot get my head around is the fact that there are gay priests, gay pastors, even gay churches. Do these people read the same bible that l read?
    In the light of this to see Rick Warren carrying on in such a manner appears very misleading, especially to the very community he is supposedly supporting.
    There appears to be too much double talk in high places. God made man and woman to be together. Families are Gods idea.
    When the world tries to normalise a situation that is not normal ie same sex parents then l feel we are on a very slippery slope. Thank you that you are not afraid of the hard questions, God bless you.

  7. I believe that no unbeliever will choose to think more deeply about God than at their time of death. If this is true then who will Elton John consider, the words of Rick Warren or those who choose to point the finger at him,
    Just a thought

  8. First of all, I’ll like to thank you for being a blessing to this generation.
    With regards to Rick Warren’s actions, I could only suggest that we pray for him so that his words and actions are directed by the Holy Spirit. It’s not an easy thing living in the limelight; it’s only by Grace we can do that.

  9. Maybe, just maybe Pastor Rick Warren, was (is) trying to show we as Christians do love (with the love of Jesus) sinners regardless of their sin…and I pray that the Holy Spirit uses this for HIS glory to draw many unsaved (they are the prize, that we should be striving for) to God! May God bless all involved in this discussion with His peace and love for all sinners because without Jesus we too would be lost and condemned to eternal damnation…lets stop being offended and start truly living like Jesus and let His fruit of the Spirit be our guide. Love being the greatest fruit. Galations 5:22-23

  10. Uhhhhhhhhh, this is a tough one to discern what was the reason he felt he could hold hands with a sinner except Pastor Warren. Maybe we just need to ask him for his side of the story and stop the bashing for a moment. After all Jesus did go to the sinners first. At least that is what the new testament preaches to us. I saw Pastor Warren being interviewed on EWTN and he did a wonderful job. So it would also be interesting how they now feel about him………

  11. With the help of Jesus, we are to love the sinner not the sin. My husband’s niece is living in a lesbian relationship and has bought a child into the world. I pray for her and her family, yet the situation makes me feel sad.

    • No need to feel sad, Jennifer. I can assure you that your husbands niece has more orgasms in one night than you’ve had in your whole life. Dry missionary every fortnight must get very depressing.

  12. Hi Bernie. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about what you would and would not do if faced with this situation or similar. I definitely believe you are right on track with what the Bible says.

  13. What do I think … well before I comment i would like to share a short story with you. one night about a year ago I was sitting with a couple of our grown up kids and the issue regarding marriage laws for gay couples came up. My youngest son challenged me about my thoughts regarding the issue. I need to say that the conversation was loving and respectful for all who took part. I chewed over and prayed about what had been discussed and I felt God telling me to just love..not make judgements…. to do anything less was against his desire. I found that putting down the burden of judgement lifted a great weght from me and I found freedom to love released me to care more for those who did not know Him.
    as far as Rick Warren goes.. I would ask you Bernie to examine all reasons both scriptual and cultural that influences your comment that you would not have done what Rick did. I would add that whilst it may not be the wisest thing he has done in his career (by Christian standards) he was there addressing a very important issue a fact that seems to be sidelined by people wanting to beat him up. Personally I would rather see Christians stand for something, than take a back seat in case it looks bad.

  14. You pose a great question Berni. I have to say that as I was reading your blog, my thoughts aligned with yours (I discovered as I kept reading).

    Putting aside what was or wasn’t done and the people involved, I do believe we have to be careful about what our actions say. As Christians we are being constantly watched by non believers and fellow believers alike, even more so those who hold prominent positions in Christian Ministries.

    This brings to mind 1Corinthians 8:4-13 about eating food sacrificed to idols. What Paul is talking about can be applied to any of our actions as believers. If our actions may in any way cause those new in, or weaker in the faith to stumble then we should not be doing them.

    I do also believe that it is important to love those around us, believers and non-believers alike. After all who is without sin? This doesn’t mean we are to endorse or support their sinful lifestyle. It also doesn’t mean we jump straight to confrontation & thus further alienate them. You are right, it is a difficult and fine line to walk. It takes Godly wisdom and walking in the Spirit. It is easier said than done! I once heard it said that before someone cares about what you know, they first need to know that you care. That’s where the door to lovingly confronting someone about a sinful lifestyle is opened. You in effect earn the right to speak into that person’s life. The way you live and interact with the gay community in your area is a good example of this.

    A comment was made about hypocrisy in the Church on this issue. In 1Corinthians Paul also has a few things to say about those living in sin within the church and confronting them rather than turning a blind eye, but that opens up a whole other topic for discussion.

    May God continue to bless you richly Berni as you continue His Kingdom work!

  15. 1Tim 3:15 ” the pillar and foundation of truth is the Church” might I dare put to question which Church? What Church, comprised of fallible leaders but still teaches the sanctity of life (declares abortion, euthanasia and even contraception as evil) the sanctity of marriage that there should be no divorce and to remarry the first marriage needs to be made annulled. The road to Heaven is a narrow one, yes so we need to know the teachings of Christ that has been passed down for over 2000years.. Because the gate of hell will note prevail againsts Jesus’ Church ( Mt 16:18-21).

  16. Just looking at the number of comments here reinforces my ideas about this incident…my comments may never be seen or read, however his actions are out there for the world to see. What I do and what Rick Warren does is on two different levels. Don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing any form of compromise. The difference I see is visibility. What I say and think has little bearing, but the profile of Rick Warren is such that he has to make double the efforts to walk the thin line. He not only set a standard for the world to see, but also for us in the church. In the last 30 odd years I have seen far too many leaders fall into serious sin or comprise to feel happy about this situation. Try witnessing about Jesus when the people you talk to are so affected by our hypocrisy. The sickening part about it is when they sell out what the Bible teaches and replace it with a new doctrine that tries to build bridges of acceptance. We live in times when the call is to contend for the faith passed down to us, not to change it into what the world thinks is acceptable.

  17. i believe that what ray did felt right in his heart he felt at peace sometimes us christians put our self on another level we are all equeal jesus poured out his blood for all of us, we all go down different paths (BUT) it is never to late to get back onto to the right path how do we know what ray did was wrong the Holy Spirit is a great encourager a great promise amazing things can happen all we have got to do is Trust our God.
    God Bless Pat.

  18. If you believe as I do that the Bible is the Book of life that has a beginning and an end, then you must believe in Gods word and truth, God clearly spells out to all of us the rules that we are to live our lives by, in this discussion regarding homosexuality, the Bible clearly states that sexual relationships other than between a man and a women is a sinful act.

    If Rick Warren says that he is a minister of the gospel then he is not a true believer in Jesus, he is a wolf in sheeps clothing.
    The Bible is clear, the sin of homosexuality leads to hell, and preachers of the Bible should follow Gods word rather than pander to the lusts of this world we live in, aids is a result of a fallen world.

    John 4:23 states. But the hour cometh, and now is when the true worshipper shall worship the father in spirit and in truth: For the father seeketh such to worship him.

    I employ twenty five people, two of these are homosexuals, we have a good friendly working relationship, I am fortunate that I have no hate or malice within me, their sexual preference is never discussed and it is not my place to judge others, all of us will be judged by God at a future time, my belief in God and Jesus has given me the ability to live my life with a lot of love in my heart for others.
    Righteous love does not equate to supporting sin though.

    For the most part homosexuality is the reason for aids in the first place, except for drug users sharing needles and through contaminated blood.

    If sinners want to be saved they should realise that only Jesus saves, there is only one way to be saved and it is through Jesus Christ.

  19. Yes always give an account of hope that lies within you 1Pt 3:11-20… Hoping for repentance.. Leave the converting up to God.

  20. Paul the apostle found an issue in the young church. It was about offering food to a god other than Yahweh before eating it in a meal. Paul said that if he was told that it was offered in such a way then he would refrain from eating it. In my understanding, and as many have said already, if our presence is compromised by the belief of the situation then we should get out of it. This makes a stand that we are ‘for’ the belief or ‘against’ it, and the Lord God will be uplifted.

  21. If Rick Warren made a mistake, the Lord is the one to judge, not people. Do a bible search on judging and see how the Lord abhors this along with all the other sins. I think it is a mistake to have a blogspot that causes people to make a judgment. It would be better to call for prayer that the Lord might use the situation for His glory, rather than worrying if Rick Warren got it right or wrong.

    Praise the Lord that He is in all, above all and through all and see the beginning from the end.

  22. Mt 13:24-30 We live in a fallen world where human nature is weak, and the devil is prowling lion where we will face suffering and sadness because of sin of our brothers and sisters on this beautiful universe. (1Pt 5:-10). However, God loves us so much and wants us to share eternity with Him and His mercy is abundant up until our last breath. He is a refining fire (Mal 3:3 and 1Cor 3:10-18) until we are purged from impurities to be Holy and He is Holy (Rv 21:27) He is the final judge..

  23. its very hard, to be salt and light at times, but we need to be different from the rest of the world

    • I believe you should not joke with God’s Word. It is good that Rick Warren goes to this function for aids research, to help for a cure, but we do not do what the world wants us to do. We keep pure in God’s Word, in Jesus name, amen.

  24. ‘“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone …”‘ (John 8:7)
    I will throw no stones. I repent of my sins, and will trust in my/our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

  25. I have read the comments with interest as my lesbian sister and her partner have recently had IVF and are expecting a baby together soon. I have been through an incredible roller coaster of emotions since the pregnancy was announced – not least because I have two very small children myself and how do I explain this to them? The Lord has been clear with me that it is not my place to judge anyone – Jesus will do that in His time. It is my responsibility to let my sister know that I don’t agree with what she is doing and thereafter I am to love her, her partner and the beautiful child that will soon arrive. My children will grow up in a confusing world where science makes the unnatural possible and the law tries to create marriage righteousness. My actions in standing on the Word while demonstrating love will help my little ones navigate the world we live in. And I know I am going to need buckets full of Gods Grace but I am determined that Satan will not split my family over this. There is no such thing as a point of no return with Jesus and I need to ensure my actions let my sister know that.
    Thank you Bernie for the forum to discuss 🙂

  26. I stand completely with your viewpoint, Bernie. I love my homosexual family members and friends and would certainly dine with them (as Jesus did!), help them when they are ill or struggling, etc. However, I do not support any of their gay causes, protests, or anything in line with promoting the gay lifestyle. I would decline any invitation that centers around gay activity, including a homosexual wedding.

  27. Hi Bernie,
    To my knowledge Jesus went around with many different people from all walks of life. He touched them to heal them. The meeting was for raising money for Aids research something we would not need if people led a life according to Scripture. People over the years have been making each other ‘sick’ with STD’s and have had to be treated medically and spiritually to be healed. Healing has to start somewhere and it takes courage to find a point of contact with someone so that further help can be felt to be there if that person asks for it. What any of us do is answerable to God for each of us individually. May we pray that something positive comes from this for both concerned. Only God Knows if a faith changing experience will be found.

  28. There is a lot of evidence that R.W. is a double agent. A wolf in sheep clothing. We will see more evidence of this as the great day draws near .

  29. Good argument l think pray for a healing for the spiritual sickness that Elton John has, and hope that the intention of the good pastor was to save and not be tied up in politics and worldly power. Anyhow not judging suggesting prayer that’s all.

  30. Maybe you should ask Rick the “why” question and get it from the man himself. Let’s not be to quick to judge. Maybe he was supposed to be there? It is easy to blow things out of proportion and damage a persons good reputation. I think you should ask him yourself and report that back to your readers and not stir up rumors and speculations unnecessarily. “His Grace is sufficient”

  31. Thanks for your perspective on this Berni. I have come to the conclusion that homosexuality, which I don’t understand, is not a sin but a difference or ailment that people are born with just as many ways humans can have that are not “normal” by most standards. Typically the real issues that Rick Warren and Elton John were urging to be addressed – health issues- have been ignored by people attacking them, taking the comment about kissing seriously. Lets see more Christian love and concern for problems such as aids which tragically can affect anyone.

    • Mmmm I think the bible has made it clear about that issue. Sin is sin, just like stealing or killing. You can’t say people do it because of their way they are made. We are all made in the likeness of our Creator. If He says He doesn’t like it then we should obey Him.

    • Mr Webb

      Sin is SIN ……PERIOD ! ….the Bible itself says ” ALL ( not some as you say ) everyone, men, women, children, homosexuals, transgender, and so on and so on……Romans 3.23 : for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God NIV .

      What part of that don’t you understand ?…… one is born that way either, there is no medical evidence to support that. Can you understand that ?

      Sin is sin ! no one gets to see God without that saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    • Mr Webb, it is refreshing to read that someone can actually see that being a homosexual, while not understanding this difference is not a perversion, but rather a different characterisitic of some people, much in the way that blue eyes, blond hair etc is.

      . With reference to Tom’s comments, I fully agree that sin is sin. It does not however give us the right to decide what is and isn’t sin, that is for God to decide and He has set the standard of behaviour across the board . HE IS LOVE and while God will not countenance human abasement in terms of adultery, paedophilia, physical abuse, rape racism – anything that does not show love towards HIS creation, God also has nothing to say about loving relationships, irrespective of whether they are between a heterosexual or a same sex couple. The key here is LOVE.

      • You are quite right Veedot. It is up to God to decide what constitutes sin and what doesn’t. And on this particular matter He has already decided and made His decision clearly known to us.

        Romans 1:18-27
        God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

        The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

        For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

        Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

        Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

      • HI Berni, thank you for your reply. It is lovely to be able to discuss such a relevant topic today. I am very familiar with the pass age you have quoted in Romans. I have spent many hours studying it. Again, I will agree with you that the behaviour being discussed here has absolutely no place in any society, heterosexual or homosexual. I would like to mention though that what Paul seemed to be referring to in this passage, was more the sociological norms of that time period. We know that Rome was inundated with idol worship. We know that anyone who worshiped those roman idols, was also quite likely to indulge in intercourse with the temple priestesses and or priests, as part of their worship, which also included intercourse with animals, all as part of fertility rights.irrespective of their sexuality, and yes, I am pretty sure that this was directed at heterosexual people too, not just the “eunichs” referred to in the scriptures..
        There was no love here, only debasement and lust in the name of their idols. Taken in context with the rest of the Book of Romans, it seems to be quite clear that Paul was writing to his followers to avoid going this route and to remember who their Messiah is and what His message was. Yes, I believe that if you indulge in the kind of behavior that Paul refers to in the passage above, then yes, one does become “addicted” to degrading one’s body. Paul,being an intelligent and learned man, would certainly have warned his followers against this kind of idol worship and sexual sin.

        What is very clearly not mentioned in the passage above, is a loving caring or committed relationship between two people,irrespective of their sexuality.

        It is one of my deep concerns that we Christians tend to forget that God has also created people who are different, be that in their sexuality and many other areas, race etc, and that if they walk this earth with us, then God loves them too,and, if God loves them, then He has given them the right to exist as well. Maybe, just maybe, we should examine our thinking and put away all of our own preconceived ideas about what sin is and find out exactly what our ADONAI Jeshua stands for.

      • Veedot
        Gods says a lot about love, read (1 Corinthians 13:4-)
        Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
        Wow what a statement and definition from God on love.
        What else does god need to say about love?

      • HI Brian, Thank you for your comment. Yes, I totally agree with what Paul wrote when he wrote the letter to the Corinthians. He certainly has made it abundantly clear what love is in His eyes. However, and here is the rub. Far too many of us Christians, choose to condemn and judge others who are different – possibly because deep down, we fear what we may not understand. We all know that love conquers fear, but very few of us are able to make this a reality in our lives.This is the sadness that I feel when I see people judging and or condemning something that they have no experience of. (watch how a black man walking down a street in a white suburb is viewed. The immediate hypothesis is that he is looking for somewhere to break in – fear and suspicion with no rationale). Reverse the scenario now and be a white man walking down a street in black suburb. You would be viewed with animosity and suspicion, and in all probability feel extremely nervous and fearful.This goes for race, religion and also gay or homosexual people Heaven forbid, this goes for the physically and mentally disabled as well.
        I personally knew three beautiful gay people – all Christians, mind you and one a Pastor – who have committed suicide because they were not accepted as human beings who were different from the norm. (Fear, again) A good friend of mine, also a church minister, chose not to live a lie (sin) and told her congregation that she was marrying her partner (a loving relationship, not debased, lustful, adulterous or poly amorous). Her congregation had the rational and common sense to see that her choice in partner would not make a difference to their minister and her service to her ‘straight’ congregation. Love in action here? Sadly, the self elected officials who have usurped God,s headship of this particular traditional church, chose to condemn and remove her. That church, today, has lost at least 80% of its congregation in protest, and even worse, it has lost the power to reach out to those who are in anyway “different” and not understood, thus “feared” because they are different. If we as Christians want to be true to what God requires of us to be i.e. a light shining in the darkness, then we all , irrespective of race, color, creed or sexual diversity, need to learn to love and not fear the difference we see around us. This does not mean that we should accept sin, in the form of adultery, multiple partners, orgiastic behaviour at all. That goes for straight people too, not just gays. And yet, sadly perversion, sado masochism prostitution, pornography, swinging, adultery, are all tolerated and overlooked more easily, when indulged in by straight people.It is still sin, and we know that God loves the sinner, but not the sin. So why should it be any different with gay people in committed and loving stable relationships who do not behave in lewd lusting or reprehensible behaviour. We as Christians, should use the same standard for all and not allow our own fears the alter Gods standard at all.

  32. It may be a bit harsh but I think it’s a disgrace to followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  33. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)

    It does say ALL men.

    Personally, I do not agree with anything Rick Warren does or has to say. That said, shaking the hand of a sodomite and smiling does not mean I condone the sin of sodomy. As a missionary, I live in a country where sodomy is commonplace, although 95% of the people claim to be Christians. Obviously, the state religion has failed these people. Freedom from besetting sins can only come through scriptural salvation. Errant teaching and and a failure to love those seeking love lies at the doorstep of the church (Body of believers) I embrace every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender that I witness to. In doing so it opens the door to having an opportunity to present the love of Jesus Christ via the Gospel. Railing on people, as is so common in many denominations, only impedes the cause Christ.

    In 55 years of the Christian life I have yet to ever meet the person that did not know they were a sinner; that includes those who are LGBT’s. Every testimony of an LGBT person who got saved has told me that they knew of their sin, but denied it because they wanted to be loved. Once they found the love of Jesus Christ they openly admitted that they always knew it was wrong.

  34. I have long since worried about Rick’s testimony’s… ‘Chrislam’? Really??
    I choose to stay away from his teachings and methods, but I do not judge. He will stand one day before our Lord and account for his actions.

  35. Let’s all pray. Are we not accusing this man of God? Let’s be like Jesus Christ who came to intercede for us, not Satan the accuser of brethren. He made a mistake let’s move on. I don’t know what my opinion is going to change. Let God deal with him. God is the one that sees the heart.

  36. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, how very sad to read some of these harsh unloving comments from members of the Body of Christ! How on EARTH (pun!) will folk like Elton John ever hear the Good News of Jesus if we treat him like a pariah? Jesus treated the woman caught in adultery with such love – and she had just been caught in the act (of course so had her partner but he wasn’t hauled up in disgrace). I was personally thrilled that a brother like Rick Warren was interacting with such a high profile figure whom none of the rest of us could ever reach! Which of us who look on know WHAT conversation went on between the two men? It’s all so reminiscent of the treatment Jesus received from the religious law-givers and enforcers. May the Lord break our hearts for the lost!

  37. Berni, you are absolutely correct….follow the full context of God’s word (and Word!).
    Yes, it is right to love (agape and phileo) ALL people, but one MUST be wise and very careful not to ‘BLUR’ one’s message or intentions to hearers and those who see one’s actions.
    Followers of God’s word can make decisions based on His standards.
    BUT, a non-believer does NOT understand God’s standards (1 Corinthians 2:14) and can (probably will) draw the wrong conclusions…Spiritually dangerous conclusions!
    I have not heard of Rick Warren’s explanation of the events, but to me, R. W. has APPEARED to have not been wise in his actions and words. God’s message of love and sin (particularly homosexuality) has been ‘blurred’, and may lead unbelievers to a conclusion that is totally opposed to God’s word.

  38. I agree with you 100% because at the end of the day we are to be salt and light to the world. We cannot compromise and joke around with God’s Word. And it’s true what you said in your blog, we don’t know what is going on in Rick Warren’s heart but as Christians we should know that the world is watching our every move and we should be sending the right message with our actions.

  39. Hi Bernie,

    Thanks for getting me onto your blog!

    This is a very complex situation and an interesting one since I received a message from one of the men in our Men’s Breakfast group which reads as follows:

    “A lovely little girl was holding two apples with both hands.
    Her mum came in and softly asked her little daughter with a smile: my sweetie, could you give your mum one of your two apples?
    The girl looked up at her mum for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite on one apple, and then quickly on the other.
    The mum felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment.
    Then the little girl handed one of her bitten apples to her mum,and said: mummy, here you are. This is the sweeter one.

    No matter who you are, how experienced you are, and how knowledgeable you think you are, always delay judgement. Give others the privilege to explain themselves. What you see may not be the reality. Never conclude for other”

    That was a very pointed message for me since I am inclined to be impatient and have little time to spare for people who want to explain their actions if it does not deliver what I want.

    In Rick Warren’s circumstances, perhaps the right thing is to address him directly, in a loving christian manner, and present the controversy that is raging (not that I think for a moment that he is not aware if it!) and ask him for his comments on the motives behind his actions and the interpretation which some people have put on them.

    I would like to see what you think of my comments.

    Yours in Christ,
    Craig Nain
    Cape Town
    Republic of South Africa

  40. Berni, I agree with your stand. Love the sinner not the sin, whether it is a murderer, liars, theives or whatever. All sin is the same in Gods eyes, and without the grace of Jesus, accepting him as our saviour, once and for all, and becoming His child forever, there is no hope. He died for one and all.
    As for Rick Warren. Why not ask him what he thinks of his actions and what his intentions were? As you so rightly said. We are not his judge and for that I am grateful. My philosophy is if you want to know the truth of someone, go directly to the source and ask them outright, face to face. Have a chat and discussion about it in love, as one believer to another. There is so much in media now that is taken out of context that we are very quick to jump to conclusions too. Thereby the grace of God go I!
    Thank you for your amazing insights, honesty and daily devotions. They continue to challenge and grow me. Yours in Christ, Ginny

  41. In my opinion God doesn’t like the act these gay people do. I believe God loves each and one of us. When Jesus Christ came He sat with the prostitute and she used the alabaster oil on Him, He dinned with the tax collectors and sinners. Elton is a sinner just like you and me, he needs to be shown the light. I don’t think holding hands with anybody is a sin at all. I hold my patients everyday but agreeing to kiss another same species goes beyond me when especially you know the truth which always sets us free. Why he joked about it only he knows. It’s not funny at all. I can only hope that while holding hands the man of God can tell Elton the truth

  42. sorry slip up ! its NOT my opinion that counts…….

  43. the word “Gay ” is not even in the Bible…….never was or is or will be, how sad, my wifes name is Gaye….so after enduring much inuendos she changed her name, is this what our so called modern society has become ? that plain spoken English cannot be spoken without incurring the wrath of those who howl about ” fair mindedness ” ?, Christians are falling over themselves to be part of the world, Jesus said we are to be the light on the hill and the salt in the unleavened bread, without the contrast of salt, the bread is tasteless, how many are now tasteless ? how many are now part of the state of

    2 Timothy 3.2

    “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,”

    Sadly some on here say to not judge others……..What Jesus does tell us is not to judge by our own opinions, but instead judge by the word of God, that is what it means to judge righteously. He always encouraged the people to judge. God told Israel to judge the prophets in the Old Testament.

    The apostle Paul showed us how to judge so there would be no second guesswork. the apostle Paul said, “If anyone preaches another gospel let him be accursed” Would anyone say to Paul’s face “your judging.” In 2 Thess. 3:14-15 “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” Strong guidelines that many avoid to do today. These are done not to condemn but to bring repentance and restoration.

    We are to judge according to Gods immutible standard, that is the key and that is the differance, its MY opinion or word that counts, its the written word.

    Bernie your stand is correct, Mr Warrens is NOT according to Gods holy word, one is biblical the other, well, frankly will lead you to a awful place.

  44. Sadly the salt of Rick has lost its savor

  45. I strongly recommend the book . “The subversion of Christianity” by Jacques Ellul published by Eerdmans. It explains the behaviour of Christians like Rick Warren.

  46. AIDS is largely a sexual disease related to sexual sin. So it is strange for a pastor to be linked with this. The sinners involved need to be reached with Jesus, not drugs.
    He should not be displaying any delight in obvious sin. He ought to shine Jesus’ “Go and sin no more.”
    Crazy thing about people not wanting Jesus is they think they first have to give up stuff and they have no desire to. But, they don’t know that they can’t give it up until they receive Him and are transferred from darkness to light and given power to change along with the desire.

    • ‘AIDS is largely a sexual disease related to sexual sin’ – while sex is one way to spread AIDS, there are many other ways which affect countless innocent people. There is a desperate need for a cure for AIDS – a disease which has resulted in orphaned and abandoned children and abandoned and murdered women and destroyed families and communities throughout many developing as well as developed countries. Perhaps this is what motivated Warren to combine efforts with John. However, I think, like Berni Dymet, that there are rather better ways to achieve this.

  47. W.W.B.D? Now we know 🙂

  48. I think many christian denominations have overtime made decisions to disobey the scriptures, with the seemingly less weighty (not saying it is) such as men with long hair or hats, tatoos, women with head coverings, women preaching etc., to what we are seeing now, gay preachers (not saying rick is)
    It is not my place to judge rick. I do not know him personally and did not see this event, but my view is that the church must repent and follow the scriptures not the world!

    • Mauricio, I think that you are probably a spiritually perceptive person, and there are too few of these in the world. Thank you for your comment that churches should follow the is valid.while I know that the issue here is Rick Warren’s inapropriate behaviour, I think that the issue runs much deeper and that most Christians are simply going by what their Pastors say, and views they may have are simply and trustingly followed as Gospel, without any personal in depth study of the Word and listening to what our Creator may say on an issue. Right back in Genesis, we are told that when God had finished his creating He was pleased with it and “It is good”. Later, much later, the Scriptures report that Jesus commented that man is essentially a Spiritual being, which Corroborates back to Genesis where God says let us make man in our own image. God is Spirit, and so are we. We just need human bodies to live on this planet. Now here is the question….. If, as Jesus said, we are spirit beings, then why do we put so much emphasis on the outer flesh garment (our bodies) and whether they wear pink booties or blue booties? While I agree that some Homosexual people are off the rails with their behaviour, which is what the Scriptures condemn,homoexuality is not what the true sin of Sodom was( Ezekiel 16:49-50) The rest of the Bible, including the Christian Testament, references Sodom several times. Not once does it mention same-sex attraction. In the original texts, the word “fornicator” is used. This, by its enterpretation basically gives us a clue that the ORIGINAL writers were not referring to loving Relationships, but attempts to dominate, abuse, shame and humiliate – much the same way rape is described today. it is a pity that this has been lost in translation, thus giving rise in modern society, of exactly what the original sin of Sodom was, – inhospitality, domination, humiliation and shaming of people not of the same tribe,( look at the bias worldwide towards the Jews), persuasion( hetero versus homo sexual, Jew versus christian, versus hindu, moslem – in fact ANYONE who does not see things the same as WE do) or even in a number of instances color ( just look at how people of african/negro decent have also been violated, abused and disempowered throu the centuries).
      My only question is this. Do we have the right to do this? No, Jesus has said more than once that the new commandment he has given us and indeed shown by example is to LOVE one another as He has loved us, and there is NO qualification to that statement by Him at all. Just a little food for thought here, but if the church endulges in judgemental behaviour and thought patterns, in the Name of Jesus, aren’t we showing the exact behaviour that the Sodomites were guilty of?

  49. I’m a mother, with a gay son, he means the world to me.
    He doesn’t live the life style I would wish for him, but, as someone once said to me, “the story isn’t over yet’.
    My prayer is that he will meet good people who will guide his way.
    Please be careful how you judge, maybe just try loving other people, pray for them, and let God do the rest.
    He will always be my son, and I will love him no matter what the future holds.
    I also love his friends, and try to just be there for them if I can.
    Who am I to judge anyone?

  50. Hey Bernie.
    It is a sensitive topic and we are not meant to judge. But When we all are faced with what we want in life we are forgiven by god through Christ and to be close to god we need to go through him with him in the unity of the Holy Spirit Caution for those who represent god first hand as a priest/paster but step over the line tô try to follow earthly ways and make light of

  51. Hopefully not for the self-righteous of the world, or their Riches. If they do not accept the Gospel according to Jesus. Then wipe your feet at the door and don’t return.
    The world will be devistated if Elton accepted Jesus as his King. Heaven would rejoice at the saving of a Sinner.

  52. Bernie, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Over the past few months I have been reading a lot of reports based on the actions of Ps. Rick Warren. One of his core political thrusts is something he calls P.E.A.C.E. (can’t remember what the acronym stands for) but he is seeking to bring together disparate groups and individuals with the aim of eliminating world conflict and ushering in his version of peace in our time.
    Groups he is trying to bring together are Catholics and Protestants (under the leadership of the Pope, who he visited recently); Muslims and Christians (and all religions) and of course the Gay community. He doesn’t believe in criticising any other group but trying to work in harmony with it.
    He is a friend of President Obama and was chosen by Obama to give the initial Inauguration Prayer.
    Rick Warren is acknowledged as being one of the top 15 or 20 most influential people in the World at present, so what he does, directly and by association, carries a lot of weight.
    If we look at the state of the church in the U.S. and the West in general, I think we are seeing the great falling away or Apostasy referred to in Scripture. Many prominent leaders, including Ps. Warren, I believe, are selling a watered down Gospel. Some churches no longer preach the necessity of repentance, others embrace the sinner to the degree that his sin is also accepted.
    When we look at the ministry of Jesus, He certainly loved the sinner. But like you Bernie, He would never have marched in a Gay Mardi Gras or married two homosexuals and thereby blessed their sin.
    I feel Ps. Warren is treading a dangerous path and is in need of prayer to the degree that he will see the error of the things he is promoting. Peace will never come through the efforts of a man, particularly when so much compromise is called for. It will only come when the Prince of Peace returns.
    Blessings, Alan

    • Amen Alan!

  53. Very well put Bernie…..I truly believe that your comments line up with Gods word… many begin with righteous intentions but step over that line……we are in this world not of this world and its important that we show love and speak the truth according to Gods word….Rick followed the world view of ‘when in Rome…..’

  54. I don’t know what motivated Rick Warren to do what he did, but I do know that the Bible warns us to abstain from all appearances of evil, and advises us against causing our brother to stumble. His actions could easily be misconstrued by people, even if they were perfectly innocent, therefore I think he made a mistake in being seen to behave this way with an openly homosexual man. Yes, Jesus ate with publicans and sinners but he did not join in with their sinful activities, and this photo could make it appear that Rick is embracing the lifesyle of the man he is with. I’m sure it was innocent, but the ‘appearance of evil’ shown in this photo especially in this day and age where a picture can circle the globe in a matter of seconds, serves to remind us all we need to be very circumspect in our actions.

    • Hi Trish. I can see from the way that you write, that you are an excellent communicator. You obviously take time to proof-read what you type, before you send or post it. Refreshing. … your comments are very clear and very valid. Well done!! ……. you are also an animal lover?? Terrible how much cruelty there is in the world. Wish the church would do a little chatting about how we could provoke governments to take the animal issue seriously. Most Christians look at me blankly when I bring the subject up. The lord has to look at so much darkness … 24/7/365. Thanks for your well written thoughts.

  55. Love your gentle approach to this issue Bernie. Thank you so much. What Jesus says is the most important thing as my opinion counts for nothing. God hates the sin but loves the sinner. Is Rick Warren the only one bending or is Elton John prepared to bend too? My husband and I were only speaking this morning about how the dark can’t exist in the light and vice versa. We all have to become Holy. When Jesus returns he will complete our salvation – to me this means that there will no longer be any sin in this world – only light. I hope that Rick Warren has spoken to Elton John about the love and saving grace of God – isn’t that what is more important than the cause they are supporting? With God’s light there won’t be any need for such causes or rally’s or marches because we will all have chosen to come into God’s light. Praise God when that day comes. God is always the answer. Having said that, my husband and I are attending a fund-raiser for homeless youths – we mix with them, teach them about God, give them hugs and love them whilst encouraging them to come to Jesus and away from their addictions. To help them to seek to get rid of the sin in their lives (same as what we do!). We each have to make daily choices concerning our salvation. Elton John is a great ambassador and Rick Warren a bringer/teacher of the truth (which has to be uncompromising). I pray that one day, maybe even today, that Elton John will realise that he has been blessed with an amazing talent and life and give thanks (as we all should) to the One who is the life-giver. Not one is righteous, we all need to continue to self check and seek the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin – and then be prepared to repent. This is what the believer has to help the non-believer to also achieve – so that they too have a chance of eternal life. Wide is the path that leads to destruction, we can only enter through the narrow gate (Matt 7:13). It is so important to demonstrate the love, grace and mercy of God but not at the cost of our own precious salvation. It is indeed a fine line which can only be walked successfully with the help of Jesus.

  56. To me it is not rocket science, my wife and I know homosexuasl and lesbians and treat them with manners, courtesy and politeness, however a normal human relationship is between a man and woman, because that is how God made us, I cannot condone any other so called lifestyle such as , transgender, multiple partners or anything else for the same reason, what I do in public DOES matter to me and to God, God calls me to be his standard bearer for my family, church and society and to uphold biblical values and standards at all times, I believe I am accountible to God for my actions, both public and private, Rick Warren has sadly endorsed a sinful lifestyle, like the Kundalini false spirit he has endorsed he again shows his lack of care for the word of the living God, as a leader who others follow he will lead many tens of thousands downwards.

  57. Hi Bernie,
    thank you for your Biblical measured response. I agree with your position on this issue. What I find interesting is that there is enough evidence to demonstrate that the homosexual lifestyle is a significant contributing factor for the spread of Aids. It is a contradiction therefore to see Elton John asking for funding for Aids research when his lifestyle is part of the problem!
    I have no problems for a Christian like Rick Warren to present to the Senate sub-committee in his own right but to get ensnared in a photo shoot that gives opportunity for damaging comments is not wise. As Christians we have to be “in the world” but not “of the world”. Our lifestyle should be such that we give no offence to the gospel.

  58. I live in a retirement village and quite a few residents living together are unmarried. I mix with these people, accept them, give them a hug. According to God’s law adultery and homosexuality are wrong. I don’t feel as if I am endorsing their behaviour by my acceptance of them. However I think it is entirely different when you are in a public meeting when any show of affection can be easily misconstrued. It could be seen as an endorsement of another’s lifestyle. Therefore I think Rick Warrens actions were unwise.

    • Maybe unwise in our eyes, but who knows what doors are open to Rick Warren, because of a simple gesture that if it were a friend next to him, there would be no comments on this at all..
      Consider Philip Yancey, who on request from a close friend who had left his marriage and become gay, accompanied him during a Gay parade, and was dismayed to see how many ‘Christians’ were hurling abuse from the sidelines. It didn’t change his stand, but he did it to support his friend, for who does know the future changes people make ?

  59. I like what Leon has said, very good content. Thank you also Berni, I understand your point fully. God bless, Elaine

  60. Rick Warren has made it clear in many public forums that he does not support homosexuality, the redefinition of marriage or the changing view that to be tolerant we must accept all of another persons views and beliefs. (Look on YouTube)

    Jesus provided us with clear directions. He was opposed to the self-righteous and told them that his ministry was to call the sinner to repentance. Rick Warren has stated a similar position toward individuals in the homosexual lifestyle, as had Berni and probably any follower of Jesus who has been associated with that community. He condemns the act and lifestyle but demonstrates love to the the individual

    I don’t know the full context of the interaction between Rick Warren and Elton John, and the spin that has been put on it by the our usually biased media (from all sides of self interest groups) but wonder why there is a deliberate attempt to discredit him when his position on these issues has been clearly stated.

    I sometimes wonder if the church (organised religion), in constantly searching for any ways to publicly condemn it leaders, has lost its focus on what Jesus wants us to do.

    Poor choice, opportunistic sensationalist reporting – let’s wait for Rick Warren’s response before we openly and publicly condemn him and provide the secular media with more ammunition to discredit the “church”

  61. Good points! Berni, I admire you for your courage to express your opinion. I totally agreed that “actions speak louder than words.” I really care and love my gay and lesbian colleagues. I socialise with them. However, if I were a church minister or a marriage celebrant; I definitely would NOT marry them. I like Rick Warren, and hope that his action would not be a stumbling block. Hope he could explain his action to help us understand.

  62. Thanks Berni for such a sensible response on the whole situation.. All I can learn from this discussion is to be aware of my actions.. Every action has consequences following you, sometimes for the rest of your life..

  63. Mmmmmmm. interesting. How hard it is to show Gods love when your heart is breaking for the sinner. Thank you Berni for showing your perspective.

  64. John 13:23-25 KJV
    “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?”

    Viewing this I would like to show people that same gender affection is not bad. Homosexuality is wrong. But not loving these people because they sin would also be wrong (we are all sinners but I refer to the unsaved living in it, I think you understand what I mean). I think I love those of them that have a good heart the most because that’s where I came from. I would never go drinking, drugging or engage back into the lifestyle to be there for them. But i know what its like and what holds people there. I know what I needed to escape and I try to be there for a select few so they might one day be free from it too. I choose a few because I don’t have it in me to be there for too many. Still growing myself I need more positive habits around me to counteract my own negative habits. Run fast for God and if he points a few people out to you to help don’t dismiss them. You don’t have to join in their game to be there for them, to be there friend, but you can be the person holding the other end of the rope while they try and figure out how to not sink in the sinking sand. Then one day they might trust you enough and have watched you enough to know that not sinking means climbing out altogether and taking someone’s hand.

    • I have always hugged and kissed friends of whatever gender, my husband is the same. It does not mean we are gay, it means I’m your friend and I’m there is you need me.

    • nothing wrong with men kissing each other, but it is the sexual acts of the same gender which sinful

      just something i like to note, an interesting article i came across concerning the words Jesus Christ spoke about euncuhs, eunuchs at that time were men who were not interested in women but gave themselves wholly to GOD

      when homosexuals say they can’t help themselves they were born that way, they just may very well be telling the truth, when you read this verse

      Matthew 19:12
      For there are some eunuchs who were so born from their mother’s womb, and there are some eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

      but who have been born from there mothers womb that way, have been painted as a bad picture because of the media

      if you know any homosexuals show them this verse and hear there responds and thoughts on this

  65. Thank you so very much for clarifying your stand, which I think is Biblical. It gives me something to say as we are confronted with this many times. This is loving but Biblical. GOD bless you and your ministry.

    • I so agree with Dorothy Luckert and wanto to agrre with her action to bless your ministry .

  66. I think many churches and Christians are starting to get very hypocritical about this. We as Christians stand with sinners everyday, each other. Pastors especially. Pastors know about secret addictions, affairs, domestic violence, or other sins that we don’t necessarily agree with, yet every Sunday, and often throughout the week these sinners are ministered too, and allowed to be full members of the church community. We allow them to come to church, we allow them in homes, we go out to dinner with them, and we allow them around our children. The fact that we single out homosexuals and say that we won’t stand with them is hypocrisy on the level of the Pharisees. Sinners are all around us, and if a sinner is doing something in secret, and at least one other person knows about it, and doesn’t take a stand against it, then you are standing with that person. There’s no ifs ands or buts. Yet homosexuals are not to be stood with because they are sinners. The argument is “well they are open about it” as if that’s a criteria for sin to be repudiated. When we openly stand with another brother or sister in Christ who we know is secretly sinning, then you are committing the exact same offense, as standing with a homosexual in public agreeing with them. I am not pointing fingers, I have a log in my eye. I’m not pointing out a speck in someone else’s eye either. We pick and choose the sins in which we rail against, and right now it is fashionable to say we are taking a stand against homosexuality. It feels like Matthew 7:21-23, that was quoted in the article. It feels like many are doing that here on earth. We need to minister to everyone, allow everyone, and love everyone. Don’t we love our enemies? Are we not supposed to shine our light in the darkest places? If that means standing with a sinner to support a correct cause, then so be it. If the sinner uses that platform to somehow demean God, or promote atheism, or tear down the faith then that is different. If helping a sinner advance their cause, and the sinner doesn’t stop you from using their platform in the cause of Jesus, then shine a light in a place I’m sure needs shining.

    • Matthew, I fully agree with you in all you say that we are all sinners with manifestations of that in all kinds of ways – public and private. As we are meant to shine a light in every dark place so that strong holds may be brought down that set themselves up against Christ, I agree with Berni that you must be careful in your stand not to further the cause of the sinner who is not ready to let go of their strong hold; your last sentence suggests that we should stand with them even if it advances their cause…? Where there is sin, let Grace abound, and we should all make sure that we rightly divide the Word of truth in the proper context in which it was given us.

    • Well said Matthew. I totally agree with you

  67. So well articulated Berni and in my opinion, an argument that lines up with God’s word. I agree with your perspective whole-heartedly.

  68. something very very wrong!!!! I fear we are being programmed to accept certain things. I am very concerned about certain events taking place at the moment, but I keep praying into each and every situation. Praise our Lord Jess, please come back soon. AMEN.

    • Dawn, i completely agree we are being programmed to accept certain things. Pedaphillia i believe will by the end of this century be legal, sex change back and forth will be as normal as homosexuality is now, polygamy will be more main stream and with it their ‘rights’ for marriage to be between 3 or more people with the subsequent legal rights.

  69. A well argued, thoughtful and sustainable perspective. Thanks for having the courage to express your views with such clarity and calm strength.

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