ANAHEIM, Calif. — Popular evangelist Greg Laurie has decried a United Church of Christ pastor who wrote in her recent book that single Christians can have sex as long as it is "mutually pleasurable and affirming."
As reported by The Christian Post, the Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan from the Union Church of Hinsdale in Illinois goes against the grain of traditional biblical teachings in her book Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn't the Only Option — And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex.
Although many Christian denominations teach that it is sinful to have sex outside the bounds of marriage and that unmarried Christians are supposed to exercise chastity, McCleneghan argues that "we can be chaste — faithful — in unmarried sexual relationships if we exercise restraint: if we refrain from having sex that isn't mutually pleasurable and affirming, that doesn't respect the autonomy and sacred worth of ourselves and our partners."
It was later reported that McCleneghan doesn't interpret the Bible as the infallible Word of God.
During an interview with CP at SoCal Harvest in Angel Stadium on Saturday, Laurie, the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, and author of over 70 books, was asked whether or not he believes compromises being made by Mainline denominations are helping lead America away from God.
"Yes, I do," Laurie responded. "I mean, I just read in The Christian Post, which I read everyday, … I was reading about some minister that has written a book that says that it is OK for people who aren't married to have premarital sex. Then, another article pointed out that she doesn't believe in the authority of Scripture."
"Yes, this is a problem because they are misrepresenting God," Laurie continued. "So, someone might believe something like that, or another idea that says they can do whatever they want regardless of what Scripture teaches and this now becomes something that can push people away from God or keep them from understanding what a real Christian really is."
In her interview with CP, McCleneghan clarified that she is not arguing that Christians can do whatever they want.
"My book is really an invitation for people to reflect on Scripture and their experiences in the light of their faith," she said. "It is not an 'anything goes' approach to sexuality, but it does ask readers to consider what is at stake in the ways they order their sexual relationships."
As a number of Mainline denominations, such as the United Church of Christ, have made compromises on issues of sexual morality and marriage, Laurie commented on the impact those compromises are having and how the belief that the Bible is not the infallible Word of God is tantamount to "apostasy."
"We see Mainline denominations in many ways dying," he said. "The churches that are growing and thriving are churches that I would call evangelical and orthodox for the most part in their beliefs. They are churches that tend to evangelize … and encourage their people to share their faith. These are the churches that are actually growing. The ones that are shrinking are the ones that are compromising and watering down what the Word of God says."
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Laurie added that church compromises on biblical teachings are a sign that the last days could be approaching.
"Actually, that too is a sign of the [End] Times because the Bible says that in the last days, there would be false teachers," Laurie argued. "And, it also says that in the End Times, ... there would be an apostasy. When someone gets up and says that the Bible is not the Word of God, I really don't care what their point is. That, to me, is apostasy.
"When someone says that the Bible is not the Word of God and that we can make things up as we go, pick and choose what parts of the Bible we want to believe, that to me is apostasy," he reiterated.