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ROME — Prominent Evangelical pastor Franklin Graham has denounced the abandonment of biblical morality on human life and sexuality by many churches in recent times.
“Many churches today are being influenced by culture when it should be the other way around — the church should be influencing culture with the Word of God,” Rev. Graham noted Friday.
“There are denominations and many churches that have compromised on what God’s Word says about things such as homosexuality, marriage, and abortion,” he added.
As a counterexample, Graham praised the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, which recently adopted a statement on biblical sexuality that has critics up in arms.
The statement, which church members are required to endorse, declares that “God creates people in his image as either male or female, and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice.”
“I believe marriage is instituted by God, not government, is between one man and one woman, and is the only context for sexual desire and expression,” the statement continues.
Rev. Graham lauded the measure, calling it “something that every church in America should adopt” because it “takes the ifs, ands, and buts out of it.”
“Way to go First Baptist Church of Jacksonville! I hope thousands of churches will follow your example. God bless you!” he concluded.
Just last week, the progressive Catholic bishop of San Diego, Cardinal Robert McElroy, adopted just the sort of capitulation to secular society on matters of sexual ethics of which Graham warned.
In a rambling, theologically incoherent article in the Jesuit-run America magazine, McElroy pushes for an Anglican-style yielding to people’s lowest instincts.
The cardinal rejects “the tradition that all sexual acts outside of marriage constitute objectively grave sin,” urging that the Church revisit its sexual morality.
In the specific matter of homosexuality, McElroy further proposes abandoning “the distinction between orientation and activity,” since “it inevitably suggests dividing the L.G.B.T. community into those who refrain from sexual activity and those who do not.”
In other words, the cardinal suggests erasing the distinction between feeling temptation to sin and yielding to it. The old adage “Love the sinner, hate the sin” would now become “Love the sinner and his sin as well.”
In this same vein, he proposes inviting everyone to participate in Eucharistic Communion, even those who are guilty of grave sin and have not been reconciled to God, since “we are all wounded and all equally in need of healing.”