An apologetic that requires a seminary degree to stand in a pulpit grows stronger when we see “preachers” like Charles Worley of Maiden N.C. Providence Road Baptist Church. In fact many denominations require a Master of Divinity degree to be ordained or licensed to preach which is not a bad thing. Worley’s tirade covering politics to his solution to homosexuals begs the question, why can’t preachers preach the Bible? The instructions to ministers seemed pretty clear in 2 Timothy 4:1-5. In this passage, Paul exhorts Timothy to “Preach the Word!” He then instructs Timothy how to shepherd with the Word: “Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” Paul also gives Timothy the purpose for preaching the Word: “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” He then concludes by contrasting Timothy’s disposition with those with itching ears: “But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” It seems that by Paul’s exhortation, Worley is the teacher that tells his people what they want to hear. These church members are perhaps people concerned that the county is headed in a morally wrong direction; or maybe, they are political conservatives eager to remove a political liberal in exchange for a political conservative. Either way, the words spoken in his church service were not the Word that God has revealed to men through the Bible.
While the Bible speaks against homosexuality, it does not suggest that we treat those who are practicing homosexuality badly. In fact, we should treat all outside the faith in the same way: tell them the good news! Show them the love that Christ showed us. Homosexuals are not in an exclusive category that Christ cannot redeem. In fact I Corinthians 6:9-11 tells a different story. Paul says that all people who are practicing sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God. He then lists some of the sins that people practice: “Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people.” He breaks any thought of exclusivity that homosexuality is unpardonable or a special sin in two ways. First, by placing it in a vice list, it is a sin like other sins such as greed or cheating. Second, Paul points out that the Corinthian church contained people who previously practiced some of these sins. He states, “Some of you were once like that [practicing things on the vice list]. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (vs 11).
In a similar way, politics has no place in the pulpit. Jesus tells us to“give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God” (Mt. 22:21). Simply put pay your taxes and do what your government expects of you. Paul expands Jesus’ teachings by telling the church to submit to government (Rom. 13:1). Paul also exhorts the church to pray for government authorities (1 Timothy 2:2). It seems that Pastor Worley regrettably seemed unfamiliar with these passages on both homosexuality and government on Mother’s Day. For the sake of the church, he should just preach the Word. However, Worley did not preach the Word of God; he preached his own word. A word for itching ears.