For about 30 years Tony Campolo has been a favorite of mine. I remember the first time I heard him speak, he preached his famous "It's Friday, but Sunday's a-Comin'" sermon. Later, he spoke at Taylor University while I was a student there. I will never forget his dramatic, controversial use of profanity. I was changed forever (in a good way). Since then I have read many of Campolo's books. I have heard him speak several more times, listened to his tapes and watched his videos. I have tried to follow his career/ministry on a pretty consistent basis.
That's why I was so excited when Campolo did an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report a few weeks ago. I was watching the program and Campolo just showed up. What a wonderful surprise. And then, like he has done so many times before, Tony Campolo wrecked my life.
Here is what he said; "Homosexuality is not a threat to marriage, divorce is." Did you get that? I have always had reservations about the anti-homosexual position that many evangelical Christians hold. I do believe that homosexual activity is sinful in the eyes of God. But, at the same time, I believe that all people are created in the image of God. God loves all people equally, no matter what their lifestyle choices. I am uncomfortable with many of the political positions that Christians take in this area.
If God loves my gay brother as much as he loves me, should I hate him? Shouldn't I love him and show him love?
And isn't it completely possible that you and I (and a lot of other people as well) have ruined the God-created and ordained institution of marriage? Don't we corrupt marriage when we diminish the significance of extra-marital sex? Don't we decrease the importance of marriage when we accept unmarried people living together? When we look the other way as couples are divorced don't we lessen the integrity of marriage?
And so, let us realize the hypocrisy of accusing the pro-homosexual elements of the political world of endangering marriage. Collectively, we have endangered marriage. By what we have done and by what we have left undone we have created (or at least allowed) a crisis in the USA. Let's not blame someone else. We did this. I wonder if we would even be considering civil unions for gays if we had not already been treating marriage with such contempt.
Let there be no mistake; I am not making a case for the acceptance of civil unions. I am making a case for the reclamation of marriage and sexuality, as God intended it to be.