From time to time we publish messages sent directly to us in regard to a blog we have published. On June 12, we published a blog titled, Renton Pastor: "Radical Shift On Same-Sex Marriage," regarding Pastor Leslie Braxton of New Beginnings Church in Renton, Washington, telling his congregation to rethink same-sex marriage and saying he has made a "radical shift" in his own thinking on the subject.
He said during his Sunday morning sermon, "I am a student of Moses and Paul, but am a follower of Jesus." He told his congregation that because Jesus didn't directly address same-sex relationships or marriage, he now supports it on the basis of the Golden Rule, etc.
I received this response from Pastor Darrell Elliott at the Neighborhood Church in Bellevue and have permission to publish it.
What the pastor from Renton failed to realize or acknowledge is that if Paul is unreliable or unqualified to give moral counsel, he is then equally unqualified to give us instruction on doctrine. If that were so, then we, the Christian Church, have no doctrine of Grace. Jesus never uses the word in any of His teachings referring to God’s unmerited favor. So, according to the pastor's line of reasoning, if Jesus does not teach it directly, we have no responsibility to adhere to it. Therefore, no doctrine of ‘salvation by grace alone’ exists. Paul was also a sold out follower of Christ, I Cor. 11:1, and is the scripture writer (2 Peter 3:16) who was used by God to develop the blessed doctrine of GRACE.
If our pastor friend were a follower of Christ, he would acknowledge this as true.
Jesus also employs the Greek term ‘pornea’ to describe sexual immoral activity as a violation of marriage sex. Pornea, is a broad descriptive term which includes homosexual behavior in the Lexicon. He does address it. However, in the Greek/Roman culture Paul was ministering to, homosexual sex was much more prevalent. The Hebrews had the prohibitions from the law the gentiles had no such prohibitions.
Thank you, Pastor Elliott.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.