“Let’s just be clear: This isn’t middle space,” Mohler said. “This is declaring sides, and this is not the side consistent with biblical Christianity. This is the side that I believe is not only incompatible with biblical Christianity but cannot coexist in one space with biblical Christianity.”
David Gushee, another speaker at the conference, believes that the church should change its mind regarding sexuality, something he argues in his book titled, “Changing Our Mind.” Mohler said Gushee believes that the “Christian church has been historically wrong on this issue” and is very clear about his position.
“I’m instead asking whether devout gay and lesbian Christians might be able to participate in the covenantal marital sexual ethical standard,” Gushee writes in his book, “one person for life, faithful and exclusive in a loving non-exploitative, non-coercive, reciprocal relationship that is the highest expression of Christian sexual ethics, which in fact a goodly number already doing.”
“In conclusion to this point, I can’t find a compelling reason to say ‘no’ anymore,” Gushee adds. Mohler noted that Gushee’s stance on same-sex marriage is “absolutely free from evasion or confusion.”
“He’s speaking on the platform at the Unconditional Conference at the invitation of Andy Stanley and his church,” Mohler continued. “So this conference is taking a side. This is not the middle. Honestly, looking at the materials written by and presented by those who’ll be speaking at the conference, this is nowhere near the middle.”
“What we see here is a departure from historic normative biblical Christianity,” Mohler said. In an article for WORLD, Mohler further said, “Stanley has been moving in this direction for years, often by suggestion and assertion but clouded by confusion and the deliberate avoidance of clarity.”
Andy Stanley Gives Statement Affirming Traditional View of Marriage
On Sunday, only hours after the close of the controversial conference, Stanley clarified that North Point Community Church holds to the traditional view of marriage that God has outlined in Scripture.
According to Kate Shelnutt, Director of Editorial, News and Online Journalism for Christianity Today, Stanley dedicated the service’s message “to responding to Al Mohler’s critique of him and the church’s involvement in ministry to parents of LGBTQ kids.”
“You shouldn’t be criticizing us—you should be coming to learn from us!” said Stanley. “Every evangelical church, every conservative church needs to figure this out.”
The pastor alluded to the recent controversy generated by the Unconditional Conference while emphasizing “compassion for people with shame about ‘who they are'” and said that he “wants to ‘draw circles not lines,'” said Shelnutt.
Quick summary of Andy Stanley’s message this am: While the Unconditional Conference got the attention of critics recently, ministry to hundreds of parents of LGBT kids has been happening at North Point for years, to help them in their faith and their relationships w their kids.
— kate shellnutt (@kateshellnutt) October 1, 2023
Stanley also said that the church’s ministry to parents of LGBTQ+ children is nothing new, but rather has been going on for years.