|Bishop Jim Swilley|
(screen capture from Church In The Now website)
I first heard of this story on Twitter from Ed Stetzer who is President of LifeWay research. You can read his take on this story by reading his blog here. You may ask, 'Why post this story?' Well I want to state at least two reasons why stories like this should concern us, they are related to the ones stated in Stetzer's post.
1. Swilley goes into some detail about not being able to choose the fact that he's gay. Obviously an ongoing debate. Yet along these lines of sexuality he mentions the recent incidents of teenagers being bullied and even committing suicide because they came out as gay.
We sometimes think the church is immune to this, but we are not. We may very well have teenagers and even adults that are struggling with this issue yet many times the church is silent. Are churches prepared to deal with issues such as this? Most conservative churches speak against homosexuality but are we able to show mercy, compassion, and love at the same time as we speak against the homosexual life style?
2. Swilley's understanding and interpretation of scripture obviously is obscured, for one, by his desire to bring his now open homosexual lifestyle on par with his supposed Jesus centered ministry. He essentially goes on to say that the apostle Paul is on target about Jesus but not about sexuality. (When he mentioned this honestly I was blown away)
I obviously don't know Bishop Swilley and I respect the fact that he was open and honest to his congregation and thus far is showing grace not retaliating or speaking evil on those that are saying harsh things against him and his ministry. Though he has also received a huge positive response to his 'coming out.'
We as Christians need to stand firm on clear biblical principals. Here at Bathos we believe that a homosexual life stlye is not biblical. Yet we also believe in the sound biblical principal that we must love all regardless of where they are in their journey in life.
So what do you think of all this?