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  • Esther Good

“Compassion Is Giving Me Clarity”

Updated: Jan 24

This is the most powerful sermon I have ever heard on the topic of homosexuality. It moved me to tears more than once.

If you can find the time, I strongly urge you to watch the whole thing.  If you absolutely cannot spare the time, start by reading the outline of the first part of the video below, then skip to minute 45.

  1. This is a sermon by Danny Cortez, the pastor of a small Southern Baptist church.

  2. He begins by explaining that he has changed his views on homosexuality.  He knows this is against the church’s statement of faith, and he knows it is grounds for termination.  He understands that this might be his last sermon at the church.

  3. He apologizes to the elders and congregation for not being open with them throughout his journey to understand homosexuality, which ultimately led to a change in his views.

  4. He recounts how every year, between 1 and 3 people from the church would seek him out and share that they were gay.  He says that he would tell them the Bible was clear on this issue, and that they must remain celibate to honor God.  He explains how this interaction felt so different from his interaction with those who struggled with drug addiction, adultery, their faith walk, or any number of other problems.  Instead of being life-giving, his advice felt hurtful.  He was essentially telling them that they may never fall in love.

  5. He explains how after one of these former church members left the church, she urged him to do some intensive study on the topic of homosexuality in the Bible.  He agreed. In the sermon, he chooses to focus on his findings about the passage in Romans 1.  He makes four main points.

  6. First, the passage in Romans 1 contains a list of sins, which in Romans 2 is used as a reference to say, “because you also do these things, don’t judge others.”

  7. Second, the passage seems to be a reference to Gaius Caligula, a Roman emperor who is infamous for raping his own general, among other things.  Danny asserts that if he gave a sermon saying, “Politicians sleep with interns, and then lie about it,” everyone would understand what he was talking about, but in 2000 years it might be interpreted that interns should not have sex.

  8. Third, he explains that the word “arsenokoitus”, is so rare that it is difficult to accurately translate and has only been translated as “homosexual” starting in  1950.

  9. Fourth, Danny did a lot of in-depth study of homoerotic literature from the time that Romans was written and found that what was depicted was a brutal culture of rape and abuse, something that is very different from a homosexual relationship of mutual respect.

  10. Finally, Danny spent a lot of time meeting with and listening to LGBT people, hearing their stories, and seeing the ways in which they have been rejected and marginalized by the church.

  11. Start watching from about 45 minutes and watch for at least 5 minutes.

You can find a follow-up article here.

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