The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is in turmoil over the issue of women serving as pastors in churches. Saddleback Church, a megachurch formerly led by Rick Warren, started the controversy by ordaining three women to the pastorate.
Following Warren’s retirement, Andy Wood, former pastor of the similarly-minded Echo Church, took over at Saddleback and he wasted no time in appointing his wife, Stacie, as the “teaching pastor” at the church.
Unfortunately, Wood’s disregard for Scripture doesn’t stop there. In a video recently surfaced by The Dissenter, he and his wife, Stacie, expressed confusion over whether a gay couple who convert to Christianity should divorce because “God hates divorce.” Yep, like a deer caught in headlights when that question was brought up to him during a podcast with his wife.
In another video we found last year, Andy Wood, while pastoring Echo Church, as most compromised pastors do, took an extremely soft stance on homosexuality stating that homosexual desire isn’t sinful unless it’s “acted upon.”
But in that same clip, he later goes on to compare his marriage to a homosexual marriage asking “what if God asked me to give up Stacie and my kids,” as though this were the same thing as God commanding homosexuals to stop fornicating and living in sin.
Now, if you are gay and this is the passage of scripture that somebody has used to tell you that you were going to hell, I want to say I’m sorry. Because that’s not what this is teaching. In fact, watch what Paul does next. He says this, here’s the list. He says “Those who indulge in sexual sin, or those who worship idols, or those who commit adultery, or male prostitutes or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or are greedy people, or drunkards, or abusive or cheat people, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.’
Now, let’s have a moment of honesty. We don’t have to say which one, but how many of you can identify in that list of sins at least one time at some point in your life you have violated that standard? Just raise your hands up high, okay?
The rest of you, your next cuz you’re lying. Right? So if that’s what the Bible teaches, if that means that we’re going to go to hell as a result of that, every one of us would be sentenced to an eternity apart from Jesus, based upon that of sins. And maybe you’ve been apart of a church that zeroed in on one of those areas of sins. All of those. Every single one of us as human beings are broken before God, in need of a savior.
(Even?) of ourselves, we deserve to spend eternity apart from Jesus in a place called hell. And notice how Paul when he highlights it, when he talks about the subject of homosexuality, he doesn’t say ‘homosexuality’. He says it’s ‘the practice of homosexuality’ that is the thing that is the sin inside of our hearts. See the desires inside of our hearts, we all have different desires that have the propensity to move us away from God. (Editor’s note. Exegeting the unique phrasing of NLT translation, which is a dynamic equivalent translation, is a really dumb thing to do and makes no sense)
And we’re born with desires away from the perfect will of God. And those desires have the potential to lead us, every single one of us to death and relationship apart from Jesus. It’s not the desire that is the sin, it’s what you do with it. It’s how you act on it.
And this is hard. Again, this is really hard. Because in our meeting with a group of people in my office, there’s this one young gal, and she starts sharing her story. And she says, ‘you know, In many ways have become convinced that this is, this is not what God wants for me, but I deeply love this person right next to me, and I feel like I might need to surrender this to God.’ And she said, ‘I want you to know my struggle because I’m saying to God, as hard as this is, as difficult as this is, more than anything I want You. And if this thing separates me from You, in experiencing your joy and your peace in my life, I give it back to you.’
And I’m sitting there and I’m thinking. ‘What if God asked me to give up Stacie and my kids?’ That’s what that feels like. It’s not easy and sometimes we just throw out platitudes and we just say things.”
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Now, before all the naysayers comment and email me telling me that Andy Wood affirms homosexuality as sin, yes, clearly he is saying that. At least in words, he’s saying that. But is this how a Christian pastor should be thinking about sin? Should we be mourning over having to give up our sin when we come to Christ? Giving up our sin should be a joyous event, not something we lament while comparing our sin to something that God called good, like an actual marriage.
Put it this way: what if God asked me to give up murder? What if God asked me to give up drugs? What if God asked me to give up stealing? What if God asked me to stop swinging or committing adultery? Of course, that sounds absurd and nobody who truly comes to Christ would mourn over having to give up a lifestyle of sin. It may not necessarily be easy, but we should be more than happy to do it.
Here’s the clip.