Jeff Miner is the Senior Pastor of Life Journey Church. His church has launched a billboard and Internet campaign titled “Who Stole Jesus.” According to the Christian Post 32 billboards will be put up in the Indianapolis area, all directing traffic to a website. Miner reacted to the Christian Post article about his church’s campaign by saying “We want to have a thoughtful Biblical discussion.” This Sunday, October 16, 2011, Miner preached a sermon to his congregation titled “When Jesus Encountered A Gay Couple,” defending one of the points his website makes:
The real Jesus celebrated diversity in God’s creation, including gay and transgender people (Matthew 8:5-13; Matthew 19:1-12). Many churches today call diversity an abomination.
Although publicly Miner claims he wants “a thoughtful Biblical discussion,” his sermon did not start with a Biblical argument. Rather, Miner begins with a story about people being afraid of things they do not understand. Then he moves into a long joke about the “gay agenda.” Miner insinuates such an accusation is absurd while he outlines a “gay agenda” having things like hair appointments and taking over the government. Jeff Miner, a gay man, certainly has an agenda that is no laughing matter. If miner had no agenda, he would have no billboards, no websites, and wouldn’t be preaching about homosexuality. Miner would be lying if he were to say he didn’t have an agenda. His agenda obviously includes homosexual behavior being accepted as acceptable by Christians. I don’t think he would argue with that; if this isn’t one of his objectives, then his campaign would make no sense.
An agenda obviously exists, but there are communication gaps and straw men arguments flying about concerning that agenda. Miner says Christians are afraid that the gay agenda includes items such as recruiting children, destroying marriages, and bulldozing churches. True Evangelical Christian concerns however are different and were not addressed. Evangelical Christians are concerned that people like Miner will be teaching false messages such as this sermon undermining the Biblical teaching that homosexual behavior is sinful. It is true that Evangelical Christians are concerned for their children, however, the concern is not exactly as Miner explains it. Evangelicals are concerned that their children will become numbed to sin. They are concerned that the government, schools, and other authority figures will be contradicting their faith by telling their children the homosexuality is not a sin. They are concerned that laws will be created preventing them from teaching that homosexuality is a sin.
Miner builds up a straw man that is easy for him to tear down. If he really wants to have an honest discussion, he should discuss his true agenda and the true concerns of Evangelical Christians. Neither of which are just a joke.