Dockery: Christians must not ignore cultural controversies

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)--Standing for truth requires confronting the cultural controversies of the day, Union University President David S. Dockery said during a campus chapel service May 5.

“People today may not want to hear this,” Dockery said. “But the contemporary vision of a ‘user friendly’ God is not the God of truth, the holy God who has made Himself known in Christ. We must understand that these are not just cultural controversies that we can ignore. Much is at stake for the sake of the Gospel, the Church, and our society.”

Dockery pointed to national controversies that have pushed the issue of homosexuality to the forefront of the church’s moral and social agenda.

“It is not an issue we have chosen, or would have chosen,” he said, “but it is now a matter we cannot ignore.”

Dockery said that Scripture is clear in calling homosexuality a sin and in defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“I am sure that marriage, if it is truly a marriage, can be nothing other than a covenant relationship between one man and one woman,” he said. “Anything else is clearly unacceptable.

In addition, Dockery said the New Testament “holds no place for avowed homosexuals to serve in leadership capacities in the church.”

Dockery said that, while homosexuality is not the only sin in the New Testament, it has become the front-burner issue of the day.

“According to Romans 1, it is the prime example, it is Exhibit A of how the world, how a society, how an individual suppresses the truth of God,” he said.

But the church’s response should not be one of self-righteous judgment, Dockery said. Christians must minister to those who need help, telling them that the answer is found only through Christ.

“We need to seek to understand those who struggle with homosexual issues, to reach out to them [and] to minister to those sick with AIDS,” he said, “but we cannot be true to Jesus' prayer for sanctifying truth if we affirm homosexual practice or same-sex marriage as anything other than inappropriate, wrong and sinful. In our desire for unity we cannot seek peace and harmony at the expense of truth.”

Dockery read John 17:17, in which Jesus prays, “Sanctify them in truth, your Word is truth.”

“That is Jesus' desire for His church today,” he said. “He prays that we would be united in His Word and sanctified by His truth.”

Download Story