Pastor Greg Laurie is pushing back against same-sex marriage advocates who call Christians intolerant and "homophobic."
"I hate the word 'homophobic,'" Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, said Thursday, "because I can just as easily come back and say 'well, you're biblophobic (fearful of the Bible) to say I'm homophobic.'"
"Enough of the phobic already! I'm sinophobic. Sin is sin," he said during the Thursday night Bible study at Harvest Orange County in Southern California.
Laurie addressed the "hot-button" issues of homosexuality and marriage while preaching on the fifth commandment of honoring one's father and mother.
"It doesn't say honor your mother and mother as in two women married, or honor your father and your father, or honor your mother and her live-in lover," he said.
"God established the family ... He and He alone defines the family. Maybe that's why Satan hates the family so much and has effectively declared war on it because God loves the family.
"Tamper with God's formula, if you will, at our own peril."
Like many pastors who have spoken on the issue of marriage, Laurie said the issue is not political, but rather moral and biblical.
"We have to bring the biblical worldview to everything and if it happens to affect an election ... [or] the way you vote, fine, you should vote biblically, right?"
The congregation applauded in agreement.
Homosexuality is a sin, he preached, and God speaks "very clearly on this issue."
"Anyone who says they found a way biblically to justify a homosexual relationship is simply ignoring what the Scripture plainly teaches."
People may struggle to understand God's standards, but Laurie reminded the congregation that God is the source of truth and anything He says is true and they just have to live with that.
Another hot-button issue Laurie addressed was abortion. The next commandment of the Ten Commandments is thou shalt not kill.
"It's a sin and it's murdering unborn children. There's no other way to look at it biblically," he said.
Laurie is opposed to exceptions for abortions even if a mother's life is in danger.
"I don't care how the child is conceived. It is what it is," he said.
A mother's life being in danger is a very rare occurrence, he said. But even in such a case, Laurie is against aborting the child.
He illustrated his point by setting up a situation where a child is ahead of his or her mom as they are crossing the street. A car comes speeding toward the child and the maternal instinct, Laurie said, would be to push the child out of danger even if the mother risks her own life.
The maternal instinct is "to save the life of the child," he said. A mother's life being in danger during pregnancy "seems like it can be an acceptable risk," he added.
Giving a biblical case, Laurie preached, "The Bible is very clear on this simple issue. Life begins at conception, not at birth ... God says I formed you in your mother's womb. Each child is created by God [and] should be given a chance to live."
Veering into politics, Laurie said he could never vote for a candidate that approves abortion on demand. But he told the congregation to make their own decision on that.
Again, the congregation applauded.
Laurie also preached on other commandments such as thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not lie, and thou shalt not covet.