A California pastor apparently thinks telling parents of gay children to "alienate" them and "turn them overt to Satan" is sound advice.
John MacArthur of the Grace Community Church in the San Fernando Valley responded to a question from a listener on his "Grace to You" show who asked how to react to an adult child coming out.
"If that adult child professes Christ, claims to be a Christian, then that becomes an issue for confrontation of the sternest and strongest kind because that falls under Matthew 18," which discusses dealing with sin in the church. "If they profess to be a Christian, you have to alienate them, you have to separate them. You can't condone that; it's inconsistent with the profession of Christ. So, you isolate them; you don't have a meal with them; you separate yourself from them. You turn them over to Satan, as it were as scripture says."
MacArthur does clarify that his advice is for parents of Christians. Parents of non-believers, he says, should bring the Gospel "compassionately, directly, confrontationally" to "expose that sin and all other sins, and call that person to salvation and repentance."
Anabaptist author Benjamin Corey of the religious blog Patheos challenged MacArthur's statements as hypocritical, since he targeted sexual "sinners" while disregarding others, like the greedy, idolators and drunks.
I’m just glad that I worship Jesus –- not MacArthur (or even Paul himself!). Jesus is the one who religious conservatives hated because instead of shunning, he had meals with people. The drunks. The hookers. The swindlers. You know, the kind of people we’re supposed to shun. This is precisely why we are to make Jesus -- and nothing else -- the center of our faith and practice. Because it is through Jesus we find that sharing a meal, not alienation, is what love looks like.
MacArthur's remarks might not come as a surprise to those familiar with his sermons. Back in 2012, MacArthur condemned the Democratic party for supporting what he refers to as the "homosexual revolution." This "revolution" came about, he claimed, because God abandoned the nation and "unleashed on the world the horror of AIDS." At the time, he defended this position as "love speech."
(Hat tip, Towleroad)