Complementarianism is about bringing the “progress” of the culture wars into the conservative church while pretending to retain orthodoxy. Complementarians started with feminism, but many of the biggest names are now doing the same for the LGBT agenda. Much of the battle here is to overcome Christians’ feeling of disgust at homosexuality. Conservative Christians need to be taught what the rest of the culture has already accepted:
- Being disgusted by homosexuality is a grave sin and a sign of hateful bigotry.
- Gays are special people, and due to the virtue of diversity every organization must include gays and every person should demonstrate their lack of bigotry by having gay friends.
Pastor Matt Chandler does an outstanding job with both in his speech to Equip Austin, an event produced by the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) in 2015. For a partial transcript of the speech see “The Church Must Be a Place Where It’s Okay Not To Be Okay.” Matt Chandler on Homosexuality & the Church. Chandler explains that conservative Christians are hateful bigots who need to overcome their disgust of homosexuality (emphasis mine):
One of the things I’ve seen is that some people are very terrified of homosexuality. The accusation that Christians are homophobic actually is true about certain Christians I’ve been around. They are mortified of homosexuals; they are grossed out by [them]. And the gospel (really on any subject) reshapes us to a place of compassion, it reshapes us to a place of love, and it reshapes us back to an eager hope for reconciliation in all things.
Later in the speech Chandler explains that every Christian should have a gay friend (emphasis mine):
All of us are going to have gay friends, family or co-workers. That’s a giant umbrella. And listen I want to push that you should have someone in that umbrella in your life. If you’ve so withdrawn from these types of relationships then I think honestly when all’s said and done you’re not really helping in the relationship between what appears to be two warring factions although I would argue that we’re really not at war. There is a war going on, it’s not between us right.
There are some other bits in Chandler’s speech that will ring familiar to my readers. This speech is from 2015, and even then Chandler was laying the foundation for Allberry and Butterfield’s hospitality message that Christian families need to give gays access to our children:
Here’s how I want to encourage you. One, this is the place where genuine friendship and hospitality pays dividends. I have found that where I disagree with someone on theology, life and practice, those disagreements can remain and there be genuine friendship — if a relationship has been built. So come into my home. Sit at my table. Let’s hang out. Let’s go see this movie. Let’s go grab a drink. I’ve got a party at my house on labor day weekend. Come over to my house, bring your friends, and let’s just hang out, swim and barbecue…
Allberry and Butterfield argue that gays deserve access to our children because intimacy with our children is the reward Jesus promised them for following Him, to make up for the intimacy they are giving up by leaving the gay lifestyle. Back in 2015 Chandler laid the foundation for this as well. He says that gay Christians are special because by giving up the gay lifestyle they have given up more than the rest of us:
There’s no question that the invitation to come and follow Christ is the invitation to come and die (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). And yet there are some crosses that are heavier than others. Scott Sauls (a pastor in Nashville) one time talked about having this yearning for companionship while fighting for sexual purity as a single man. It was difficult, but should never be compared with those who earnestly desire that kind of companionship and sexual companionship for whom that’s simply not coming in this lifetime.
This is subtle because it twists the idea of repentance. Instead of Christians being grateful to God for being delivered from sin (something awful), the idea is that non gay Christians should be grateful to gay Christians for giving up their life of sin (something of great value).