Recently a man was put on hold as a musician for the praise band of a large church in my area. You can read about it here. The reason: the man officiated a homosexual marriage. The outcry was enormous.
I am not here to talk about the legality of homosexual marriage. That has been decided and I can do nothing to change it, whether I want to or not. But I do have something to say about the church and its right to decide upon and uphold its standards. First of all, the church is not a government institution. It is a place where people come to worship and be taught about God. It does not hold the same standards as the government; it holds the standards it believes are right as laid out by the Bible and that church’s interpretation of it.
How is the church supposed to function according to its standards if it is not allowed to uphold them? Condoning actions within the leadership that are clearly against the standards of the church destroys its ministry. How can a church claim that it is following Christ if it is led by people who are clearly not complying with what the church believes are Biblical standards? If churches no longer have the right to act according to Biblical standards, then the right to freedom of religion has been compromised.
So for those of you who think Mobberly Baptist Church’s actions concerning Johnny Griffith are unjust, who think that any church’s refusal to exalt same-sex marriage is intolerant and bigoted, remember that the church has the right to follow God as it sees best whether you like it or not, whether the government approves of it or not, just as you have the right to enter into or participate in a same-sex marriage whether the church likes it or not.
The Word of God is clear: homosexuality, among many other things, is a sin. And just as the church expects all of its leaders not to participate in sins such as drunkenness, sexual immorality, and divorce, the church expects its leaders not to participate in same-sex marriage. The church is called to love, yes; the church is NOT called to tolerate blatant acts of rebellion against God in its leadership. This is not bigoted; it is Biblical.
The church should love homosexuals, but it should never exalt homosexuality. Griffith’s actions in a celebration of homosexuality were clearly not in line with the Bible, so he was removed from a position of leadership in the church.
No, the church does not hate him.
No, the church does not hate gay people.
No, the church does not hate anyone.
But no, the church cannot put someone in a position of worship leadership when that person is clearly not being obedient to God and is not repentant of their sin.
Same-sex marriage is officially legal, yes. But the church’s moral stance against it is not illegal. It is just as bigoted for someone to say that the church cannot function according to its statutes as it is for the church not to tolerate same-sex marriage. Don’t take away the church’s right to the freedom of religion in an attempt to impose your own moral standards (or lack thereof) on everyone else.
And for goodness’s sake, if you don’t like what the church is standing for or against, don’t attend it. No one is forcing anyone else to go to Mobberly or keeping anyone else out. Mobberly Baptist Church is just doing its best to uphold its Biblical standards. It may lose some members, but numbers and the approval of man have never been the mission of any truly Christian church.
“Now the overseer must be above reproach.” – 1 Timothy 3:2
EDIT: Mr. Griffith has posted a comment that I believe everyone who reads this article should read, as it answers some questions and adds his perspective.
Also, all future comments will have to be approved first, so they will not appear immediately. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post.