IRVINE, Calif. – Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship church took a break from his recent sermon series on the book of Revelation to talk about political hot button issues that have especially come into focus during the election season.
"We're living in a time where it's politically incorrect to have certain views. If you stand up for a certain issue you will be labeled in a certain way," said Laurie, who in addition to pastoring his Southern California church is well known for his large evangelistic events throughout the nation and other countries, which have been held for more than three decades.
"Some would go, oh no, don't talk about those things, you are getting political now. It is not my intention to get political for the sake of being political," he said. "It is my intention to address an issue from a biblical worldview if it has political ramifications or even if it doesn't. It doesn't matter to me."
Laurie discussed some of the Ten Commandments as they related to issues such as family structure, gay marriage, homosexuality, abortion, and capital punishment.
"I'm not going to back away from a topic just because it is a political hot button in the moment, because these are spiritual issues and these are moral issues. Don't forget slavery was once a political issue, too. It was the law of the land. You had the right to own slaves. Was that wrong? Well, of course it was," Laurie explained.
He said Christians need to stand for what is true, especially when moral issues have "a little bit of a bleed over into the political world."
"We must think and we must act biblically. This is very important because there are people, even Christians who are well-meaning, who have a biblical worldview sort of intermingled with a lot of emotion, also influenced by what might be politically correct or culturally acceptable," Laurie preached. "What I'm suggesting to you is that I need to have a complete biblical worldview and I need to make my decisions based on what the Bible says."
Laurie began with the Fifth Commandment, which says to honor your father and mother, to talk about family structure and how it has eroded in today's society.
"God has established the order of the family. It's been said a family can survive without a nation, but a nation cannot survive without the family. God set it up – bringing a man and a woman together in marriage and then of course ultimately with children and grandchildren. That's his order. What does he start with? Honor your father and mother," he said.
"We have certainly lost sight of this commandment. In fact, the Bible tells us that one of the signs of the end times will be a lack of respect for one's parents. In the last days there will be an attack on the family."
He added, "Notice it says honor your father and mother. Not honor your father and father, or honor your mother and mother, or honor your mother and her live-in lover or her partner. We tamper with God's order at our own peril."
Laurie said there is a movement in America to redefine marriage and family. Media and modern culture are pushing for same-sex marriage, and the normalization of homosexuality is gaining momentum, he said.
"With the emphasis on gay marriage and homosexuality you would think a huge percentage of the population must be gay now," Laurie said. "I've heard some advocates say it's as high as 25 percent. Many accept the premise that it's at least ten percent." However, he shared that a Gallup poll revealed that only 3.4 percent of the U.S. population are gay.
"Although it is a very low percentage it has come right to the doorstep of the church," he said. "People like to portray Christians as anti-gay and gay bashers, but that's not the case at all. We don't see this as a worse sin necessarily than any other sin. I don't see the Bible distinguishing the sin of homosexuality as the greatest of all sins.
"We're not going out of our way to be critical of a person in a certain sinful behavior we're just saying, hey look, we're not going to back down, if the Bible says it's a sin, it's a sin. The Bible does not give a confused statement on this topic."
On the subject of abortion, Laurie said that the Bible recognizes the unborn child.
"Every child is created by God and should be given a chance to live," he said. "God has a plan for every baby out there regardless of the circumstances of their conception. They are no illegitimate children, maybe illegitimate parents."
Laurie's sermon, "Hot Button Issues," is archived online at Harvest.org.