In a tearful videotaped message Sunday to his congregation, the senior pastor of a thriving evangelical megachurch in south metro Denver confessed to sexual relations with other men and announced he had voluntarily resigned his pulpit.But that didn't stop him from not admitting he's gay until someone called the church claiming to have "overheard a conversation in which someone mentioned 'blowing the whistle' on evangelical preachers engaged in homosexuality, including Barnes." Barnes was confronted and then confessed to "sexual infidelity" before resigning.
A month ago, the Rev. Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in Doug las County preached to his 2,100-member congregation about integrity and grace in the aftermath of the Ted Haggard drugs-and-gay-sex scandal.
I love this response from the associate pastor at Barnes' former church when asked if this situation would "expose the evangelical community to further charges of hypocrisy":
"The criticism is valid if you look at perfection being the mark, because the next person who stands at our pulpit is going to be guilty of not being perfect as well," he said. "Does that mean we have to change what we say about the word of God? We can't do that."Well, actually, you can. There was a time when the word of God supposedly justified slavery, for instance—and I bet you're not preaching that these days. But aside from that, it's not what you say that's the problem—it's more the fact that you're pursuing/supporting discriminatory legislation based on your beliefs, which is predicated on judgment, condemnation, and punishment, all of which are meant to be left up to the Almighty according to the same book you cite as justification for hating on the gays. Just keep your damn noses out of other people's business, and I think you'll find that a lot fewer people give a crap what you say about the word of God from your own pulpit.
(Thanks to Constant Comment for the heads-up.)