Martin, again rightly, has apologized for the two tweets and gay groups have expressed appreciation for the action of CNN and the statement of Martin. Stereotyping is unfair and even hinting at calling for violence against persons for their appearance is wrong.
But, this account says that some gay groups are also upset with columns, like this one Roland Martin wrote in 2006. In this particular piece, Martin, a Christian whose wife has been a Baptist pastor for decades, explains why the majority of the African-American Church cannot see living out a homosexual life style as anything but sin. In it, Martin speaks truth against the prevailing powers of American culture. Here are a few excerpts:
[What must be understood is] that the fundamental issue is that gays and lesbians want to be accepted and embraced by the church, and not acknowledge that they are engaged, in the eyes of the church, in sinful behavior...there will never be a happy medium on this issue.Martin's tweets were wrong and he's to be commended for his apology.
As individuals, gays and lesbians - those claiming to be born this way and others who say they have evolved to live a homosexual lifestyle - are naturally going to want to live their life as they see fit. And yes, the last thing they want to do is sit in a church and listen to someone from the pulpit castigate their way of life. I get that. But someone who is living with a member of the opposite sex while not married also doesn't want to hear that being preached. And surely the man or woman cheating on their spouse prefers not to hear their behavior cast as being sinful and unGodly.
But for Christians, going to church is not supposed to be a feel good exercise. We are expected to be convicted, and encouraged to walk away from sin and live a more Christ-like life. In my church, this goes for the woman who is an alcoholic, the child who continues to be disobedient to his parents, the young lady who is hell-bent on stealing, and the person who is gay.
Yet what churches must do is make it clear that their doors are not closed to anyone, even if you homosexual.
My wife, an ordained Baptist minister for 20 years, has counseled many men and women to walk away from the gay lifestyle, and to live a chaste life. She has asked heterosexual men and women to abstain from sex until marriage. For her, the obligation is to her calling as a minister of the Word, rather than bowing to societal pressures. She loves gay and lesbian church members dearly, and prays with them, talks to them, and breaks bread with them. But what she cannot do is compromise the integrity of the teachings of Christ.
It would be nonsense for the body of Christ to launch a gay and lesbian ministry that is not focused on teaching God's Word - including those that address homosexuality. Preaching about the dangers of becoming drunkard - which Paul wrote about in the Bible - must be taught alongside of Jesus' admonition in Matthew 19 that God has only called a man and woman to marry.
If a gay or lesbian individual is not willing to belong to a church that preaches this, then they should join whatever house of worship to their liking. But if someone expects to join a church that is rooted in the Bible, then they should be prepared to hear a sermon that might, in the words of the Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III of Dallas' Friendship-West Baptist Church, "bowl down your alley or sit in your pew."
The church is called to love our fellow man, preach the good news and set the captives free - free from a life of sin.
That isn't being homophobic. It's being a Christian. And no one should have to apologize for that.
But he has nothing to apologize for in upholding, as he does in the column cited above, the Bible's teachings that sexual intimacy is reserved for men and women in lifelong marital covenants with God and each other.
There's a lot of bullying happening today, even within our churches.
The bullies of political correctness, heedless of the loving will of God, want to shut the mouths and the scruples of any who try to speak God's liberating Word to those imprisoned by their own sinful desires. These folks push a false gospel of tolerance that tolerates the spreading of lies that contradict the will and Word of God while being harshly intolerant of anyone who dares to question the prevailing mores of contemporary culture. These are the same kinds of folks who, in bygone days, would have stoned the prophets and said:
"Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way [of God], turn aside from the path [following God], let us hear no more of the Holy One [God]..." (Isaiah 30:10-11)Church, we dare not shut up!
To be silent in the face of sin is a sin itself and something for which we will have to one day give an accounting to our Lord.
If we are silent, Christ will pose the same question to us that He will undoubtedly pose to all who have claimed Jesus as Lord, yet acquiesced to sin, including the churches that allowed swastikas in their sanctuaries in Nazi Germany, churches who today embrace the worship of goddesses as well as the God ultimately in Jesus Christ, and churches who turn the salvation God offers for free to all who turn from sin and believe in Jesus Christ into an achievement of human works, among others. The Lord is sure to ask:
Why didn't you love your neighbor enough to speak the truth to them about the dangers to their immortal souls posed by their sins? Why didn't you lovingly call them to turn to Christ, Who forgives sins and gives those who humbly surrender to Him the power of His Holy Spirit to resist sin and walk with Him?As Martin rightly says, we need not apologize for telling the truth. God's truth is the only thing that can set any of us free...from sin and from death. Are we willing to idly watch as people destroy themselves? Don't we love them enough to tell the truth no matter what society says?
These are questions I ask myself each day and I pray God will give me the strength of character and faith to follow His way and not my own.