EDITOR, The Tribune.
Bishop Michael Curry is an engaging communicator. This is evident from his Royal Wedding sermon and, more recently, his sermon at Christ Church Cathedral on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE). But more important than being engaging, a preacher of God’s word must be faithful to God’s word. Sadly, by this more important measurement, Bishop Curry falls far short.
Although Bishop Curry preached from two very different texts (1 John 4:7-8 for the Royal Wedding and 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 for the UBE service), on both occasions he preached the same message: Love is the way. And without any distinction, Bishop Curry called everyone to live out the love expressed in 1 John 4:7-8 and 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, which is an impossibility; because only those who have been born of God can love that way. Let me explain.
The personal pronouns “we” and “us” are frequently used in the New Testament letters. And the mistake many people make in reading the New Testament letters is this: They take the pronouns “we” and “us” and apply them universally to the whole world. But in 1 John 4:7-8 and 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, “we” and “us” refer exclusively to those who belong to Christ — those who have been born again. And not everyone belongs to Christ because not everyone has been born again.
Bishop Curry made this mistake when he universalised the ability to fulfill God’s command to love in both his Royal Wedding and UBE service sermons. For example, in his Royal Wedding sermon, he quoted these words from 1 John 4:7-8: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and those who love are born of God and know God. Those who do not love do not know God. For God is love.”
Bishop Curry then went on to talk about love in such an unbiblical way that many unbelievers, including the United Kingdom’s former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, an atheist, raved about his sermon and praised him for it. Why? Because Bishop Curry gave the false impression that even unbelievers are capable of the love that God commands. But before we can truly love one another, we must truly love God. And we will only truly love God when we truly know God. And we will only truly know God when we are born of God, which is a work of the Holy Spirit.
In both of his “love is the way” sermons, if Bishop Curry had pointed out that only those who are born of God can live out the love that God’s word calls for, instead of unbelievers raving about his sermons and praising him for them, many would have criticised his sermons and reviled him for them.
But more troubling than universalising the ability to love as God commands, Bishop Curry is not a faithful minister of God’s word because he supports and promotes what God’s word condemns and prohibits: homosexual marriage. Many Christians who are impressed with Bishop Curry’s “love is the way” sermons are unaware of this. And many are also unaware that the Episcopal Church of the USA, which Bishop Curry heads, is under sanction from the Anglican Communion for allowing its clergy to perform homosexual weddings. And, undoubtedly, many are unaware that Bishop Curry and the Episcopal church remain unrepentant and have recently gone further in their apostasy by removing the terms “husband” and “wife”, as well as references to “procreation”, from their marriage liturgy.
Yet, God’s word remains unchanged. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (ESV). Clearly, Bishop Curry and others like him do not believe God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous, so they support homosexual marriage.
No doubt, Bishop Curry will continue to tell everyone that love is the way. And he will continue to be engaging; but he will also continue to be unfaithful. And this is because the love that Bishop Curry promotes is a love that hates what God loves and loves what God hates.
May the Lord grant his people discernment and courage to reject unfaithful preachers, whoever they are, including those who are engaging.
PASTOR CEDRIC MOSS
July 31, 2018.