Churches and entire denominations are falling prey to a twisting and devaluing of the scripture when it comes to marriage, homosexuality and transgenderism. For example, American Family News has covered the drift North Point Community Church in Atlanta and its pastor, Andy Stanley, have undergone when it comes to addressing homosexuality in the church:
Andy Stanley: "And I know the verses, I know the clobber passages, right? Goodness, I know 1 Corinthians 6 and I know Leviticus and I know Romans 1. It's so interesting to talk about all that stuff."
M.D. Perkins is research fellow of church and culture at American Family Association and author of "Dangerous Affirmation: The Threat of 'Gay Christianity.'" Perkins told American Family Radio on Wednesday that one telltale sign that a church or pastor is slipping is how they value the Bible.
"One of the first things I listen for is how and where scripture is used in what they're saying, and is scripture reverenced or is it minimized?" he shared.
Perkins argues describing verses that explicitly condemn homosexuality as "clobber passages" is a prime example of minimizing the Word of God. And he warns fellow believers to watch for a pastor who is overly concerned with the feelings of gay people who might come into the church.
"There's always this emotionally manipulative kind of statement within that that says, You know, gay people already know that it's wrong. They don't need to be reminded of that. We already know what the passages say. And so, they just need to hear that they're loved. They don't need the kind of shame that comes along with the passages."
Perkins contends there is a right way to present the love of God to gay individuals or any other person caught in sin: Be kind but firm.
"One of the first things I want to hear is that there's no vagueness. There's no wishy-washy, there's no trying to make this appeal to the broader group," he added.
Columnist Ray Rooney addresses that issue directly in a recent piece critical of advice from a well-known evangelical pastor to a grandmother who was torn about whether to attend the wedding of her grandson to a transgender person.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.