It’s now well established that while Catholic leaders remain hostile to gay marriage (and on balance, hostile to full inclusion in Church), a majority of ordinary Catholics are supportive . For evangelical Protestants, most people remain firmly opposed to any form of accommodation to LGBT people, in secular law, or in Church.
However, that is changing, rapidly. Millenial evangelicals, the youngest age group, already support gay marriage. A steadily increasing number of evangelical church leaders are similarly coming around. Tony Campolo is just one example. In this opening statement, he sets our his evangelical, Bible – respecting credentials – and also his new support for “for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church”. (For the reasoning that led to this change of heart, follow the link).
Tony Campolo: For the Record
As a young man I surrendered my life to Jesus and trusted in Him for my salvation, and I have been a staunch evangelical ever since. I rely on the doctrines of the Apostles Creed. I believe the Bible to have been written by men inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. I place my highest priority on the words of Jesus, emphasizing the 25th chapter of Matthew, where Jesus makes clear that on Judgment Day the defining question will be how each of us responded to those he calls “the least of these”.
From this foundation I have done my best to preach the Gospel, care for the poor and oppressed, and earnestly motivate others to do the same. Because of my open concern for social justice, in recent years I have been asked the same question over and over again: Are you ready to fully accept into the Church those gay Christian couples who have made a lifetime commitment to one another?
While I have always tried to communicate grace and understanding to people on both sides of the issue, my answer to that question has always been somewhat ambiguous. One reason for that ambiguity was that I felt I could do more good for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters by serving as a bridge person, encouraging the rest of the Church to reach out in love and truly get to know them. The other reason was that, like so many other Christians, I was deeply uncertain about what was right.
It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.
full statement at Tony Campolo: For the Record
Evangelicals Open Door to Debate on Gay Rights (New York Times)
- Evangelical Leader Tony Campolo Calls for Churches to Fully Include ‘Homosexual Christian Couples’; Compares Christians Who Condemn Homosexuality to Those Who Supported Slavery (blackchristiannews.com)