Two pastors who are diametrically opposed on the issues of homosexuality and gay marriage recently debated their theology on an episode of Lauren Green’s “Lighthouse Faith” podcast — and their back-and-forth was insanely cordial and telling.
Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, and Pastor Stan Mitchell of GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee, went back-and-forth in a respectful manner, with Idleman taking a more conservative view on the issue and Mitchell embracing a more progressive perspective.
“There’s no middle ground. There’s not a grey area. It’s either black or white,” Idleman proclaimed at the start of the discussion, adding that loving Christians should want to help others who aren’t living in truth. “True love wants to help those individuals … There’s either ‘the Bible says what it says, or it doesn’t.'”
Host Lauren Green proceeded to present the parts of the Bible in which the issue of homosexuality is discussed, including Genesis, Leviticus, Romans — and Jesus’ words in Matthew 19. Then, she asked, “Does the Bible…condemn homosexuality?”
Idleman wasted no time definitively responding with a “yes,” saying that everyone struggles with something and that he believes there’s no scriptural support for gay marriage or homosexuality.
“If you look at the whole counsel of God from Genesis to Revelation…the quick answer is, ‘Absolutely,'” he said in response to Green’s question. “God didn’t create us this way. It’s a result of our fallen nature. And we should be pointing people to the hope of Christ.”
Watch the pastors also debate whether you can be good without God below:
Mitchell, though, had an entirely different view, saying that he once agreed with Idleman, but now sees it differently.
“I believe[d] the Bible said homosexuality was wrong and I have now come to the conclusion studying the same book, loving the same people … I simply see it differently,” he said. “Scripture is more complex than we would like to admit.”
As for Romans 1, which many believe overtly condemns homosexuality as sinful, Mitchell said that he has read thousands of pages of scholarship and that many people “recognize that this text isn’t speaking about monogamous same-sex adult relationships,” likening it to a type of child abuse that was rampant at the time.
Listen to Idleman and Mitchell go back-and-forth here.