By Ian M. Giatti, Christian Post Reporter
image above: Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio. | Screenshot: Vimeo/American Family Studios
WN: First, I cannot agree with the stated opposition of the pastor to homosexuality as in the phrase in italics, from the article highlighted below:
“What happens to homosexual people, in my ‘experience,’ is that they are either reviled or they are affirmed,” he said. “The Christian has to say, ‘We will not treat you in either of those ways. We cannot revile you, but we cannot affirm you. And the reason that we can’t revile you is the same reason why we can’t affirm you, because of the Bible, because of God’s love, because of His grace, because of His goodness. (Emphasis added)’”
My above comment said, the pastor authentically wrestles with the larger issue of acceptance or rejection in the context of his reading of Scripture. And in the sermon seen below, he directly distances himself from American Fundamentalism1–having been formed by British, not American, Evangelicalism. In the pastor’s Evangelical context of commitment to sola scriptura2, I found him most refreshing.
I go to that website–The Christian Post, where this story was found–to better understand conservative Evangelical thinking.
Pastor and Christian radio personality Alistair Begg says he’s “not ready to repent” over remarks he made in a podcast last year in which he recalled advice he gave to a grandmother to attend her grandson’s same-sex wedding.
Pharisaism is alive and well in our own hearts. We have to guard against it. . . What distinguished Jesus from the Pharisees was in a word, grace.–Alistair Begg
The controversy stems from recently resurfaced comments Begg, 71, made in a podcast for “Truth For Life” in September, in which he discussed his new book The Christian Manifesto: Jesus’ Life-Changing Words from the Sermon on the Plain.
Begg serves as senior pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, along with his radio ministry “Truth For Life,” carried by nearly 1,800 radio stations nationwide.
As part of the podcast, Begg touched on a specific question he said a grandmother asked him about her grandson, whom she said was “about to be married to a transgender person,” and whether she should attend the wedding.
Despite the podcast being nearly three months old, Begg’s advice resurfaced on social media, leading to a controversy that ultimately led to American Family Radio (AFR), the radio ministry of the American Family Association, making the decision to “no longer air” “Truth For Life” after more than a decade.
Please see the video of his sermon with a powerful title:
Please click on: ‘I’m not ready to repent over’ same-sex wedding advice
- The outstanding historical account of Fundamentalism is that of Church historian Ernest Sandeen: The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism, 1800-1930. In that book, the author refers to “Plymouth Brethrenism” as “quintessential fundamentalist.” That is the tradition in which my wife and I were raised–albeit in Canada. Happily, I can partially distance as well that upbringing from the American brand in particular. For an idea of somewhat how I see things–though do not know what to call it!–please see my Easter Song and Reflections on the Resurrection 04-17-2022. You may inform me on how to call it. But please don’t just call me names!
- I, on the other hand, subscribe to solus Christus–Christ alone is the Divine Word of God, while Scripture upholds him as that. For more on this, please see chapter 4 by Brian Zahnd, “Jesus Is What God Has to Say: A Tabor Meditation in Appreciation of Vladika Lazar Puhalo” //52, in Clarion Call of Love: Essays in Gratitude to Archbishop Lazar Puhalo.