I’ve written about or quoted Tony Campolo in a half dozen blog posts….HERE.
I love Tony Campolo and have followed his ministry...and his wife's ministry....for years. She has always been for the full inclusion of LGBT folks in the church. Tony, well, not so much, although his heart was always kind and tender.
It looks like Tony finally came around. There has been considerable backlash about his statement published on June 8th but he is no stranger to backlash. He has been riling up fellow evangelicals for years. He was even “tried” on heresy charges. In fact, he is the only living evangelical to have endured such a thing. And at the hands of his fellow believers. From Wikipedia:
Campolo was the subject of an informal heresy hearing in 1985 brought about by several assertions in his 1983 book A Reasonable Faith, particularly his claim that, "Jesus is actually present in each other person". The book became a hot button issue, and the controversy caused Campus Crusade for Christ and Youth for Christ to block a planned speaking engagement by Campolo. The Christian Legal Society empowered a "reconciliation panel", led by noted theologian J. I. Packer, to examine the issue and resolve the controversy. The panel examined the book and questioned Campolo. The panel issued a statement saying that although it found Campolo's statements "methodologically naïve and verbally incautious", it did not find them to be heretical.
What pompous asses Christians can be. It seems to me two of the beliefs that mainstream Christians hold nearest and dearest are their beliefs in hell and the depravity of homosexuality. They are also unwilling to take a closer look-see beneath the surface meaning of words in their modern bible translations to see if perhaps they could be mistaken....if the traditional church could be mistaken. That’s how Tony came to a different conclusion.
I was deeply uncertain about what was right. It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.
Another quote from Tony….
However, I am old enough to remember when we in the Church made strong biblical cases for keeping women out of teaching roles in the Church, and when divorced and remarried people often were excluded from fellowship altogether on the basis of scripture. Not long before that, some Christians even made biblical cases supporting slavery. Many of those people were sincere believers, but most of us now agree that they were wrong. I am afraid we are making the same kind of mistake again, which is why I am speaking out.
Good for you, Tony….
You can read his statement HERE.
And another article that talks about his change of heart and whether this might be the tipping point for evangelicals is HERE.