(Photo: Harvest Ministries)
Harvest Crusades evangelist Pastor Greg Laurie joined a growing number of Christian leaders speaking out against the suspension of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson from the popular A&E show for expressing traditional views – albeit in his blunt style – about homosexuality that were published in an interview story with GQ.
"It seems to me that some people who talk the most about tolerance are the most intolerant toward anyone who dares to disagree with their views," Laurie, who also pastors Harvest churches in Southern California's Riverside and Orange counties, stated in a blog posted on Thursday. "As Christians, we are not wanting to force our views on anyone. The fact is, we are, as a whole, tolerant of other people's choices, even if we don't agree with them. But what is being asked of us is not tolerance, but acceptance and endorsement of sin. We cannot do that."
Phil Robertson, who mentioned homosexual behavior among a list of other sins, said Christians cannot judge whether someone is going to heaven or hell, and argued Christians should love those with same-sex attraction.
The growing number of Christian leaders and politicians who have publicly expressed outrage – with some not at all surprised by the controversy –over the suspension include: Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and Russell Moore.
"Phil Robertson. A plain-spoken follower of Jesus is now 'in trouble' for speaking his mind, and more specifically, for holding to a position that is taught in Scripture," Laurie writes. "What Phil said has been described as 'hateful,' 'anti-gay,' etc. A&E has pulled him off the hugely popular show Duck Dynasty as a result. I don't know how stressed Phil is about this. He's probably out duck hunting."
Laurie explained, "We believe in God, the Creator and designer of the world and all of its creatures. We believe He has provided, as the Bible teaches, an intended design for sex and marriage. We choose to hold to that, while being tolerant of those who choose to disregard it.
"We stand with Scripture on the topic of homosexuality and every other sin the Bible speaks of. And we will continue to tolerate and even love those that disagree with us. It would be nice if that were a two-way street," he writes.
A video of an interview that Laurie did with Robertson accompanied the evangelist's blog post.
The GQ interview with Robertson begins with a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians, in which he said, "Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right. ... We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job. We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus – whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort 'em out later, you see what I'm saying?"
In his typical blunt style that has made his show popular, he added: "It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical."