This week, as the headlines in the news were laden with more and more evidence of a world gone mad, the grand prize for the “Best Fiddler While Rome Burns” award goes to Heath Rada, a Presbyterian minister whose sermon (or at least a derivation thereof) is presently making the rounds again on Facebook.
In his homily, titled “To Listen and to Love,” which he has delivered multiple times in churches across the south ranging from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, Mr. Rada, says that the Bible repeatedly calls for divorced women to be stoned. He then proceeds to build on this premise by arguing that as the Church no longer believes in dragging a divorcee into the public square to pelt her with rocks, the Body of Christ should likewise revise its views on homosexuality. After all, the Bible isn’t really clear on this whole sexual morality thing, he infers. Asked to respond to the numerous references from Leviticus to Revelation, where all forms of sexual immorality are clearly defined and condemned, Mr. Rada responded, “Who am I to judge,” adding that it’s all “a constant process of searching” and “there is no simple answer” on such issues.
Here’s the problem with Mr. Rada‘s claims. None of them are true!
The Bible never says that divorced women should be stoned, and Mr. Rada‘s assertion to the contrary is terrible exegesis. This pastor and his followers are either blatantly ignorant or intentionally deceptive, neither of which is a good thing.
And as to his contention that Scripture is not clear on the issues of sexual immorality and the corresponding consequences, what Bible is this man, as well as the thousands of “woke” followers who are smugly reposting his claims, reading?
Maybe they should consider that part of the Bible where St. Paul told the first Christians in Rome that if they “lived according to the flesh [they would] die” and that those who “walk in sexual immorality and sensuality [with their] minds set on the flesh were hostile to God.”
Or maybe if they’ve imbibed the Kool-Aid that everything St. Paul says is homophobic, they should read where St. Peter told the first century Church, “Do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance. … Many will follow their sensuality. … They have eyes for adultery, insatiable for sin. … They blaspheme about matters to which they are ignorant [and they] will be destroyed. … They entice with sensual passions, scoffing [and] following their own desires.”
Or if these folks aren’t that fond of St. Peter, because we all know he could be a bit brash, what about St. Jude, who tells us that “Jesus [judged] Sodom and Gomorrah … which indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire”?
Or if all these Church Fathers carry no weight for Mr. Rada because of their white privilege (or whatever other intersectional sin they’re guilty of), maybe he and his acolytes should consider the words of Christ himself, who closes out the Bible by saying, “Outside are the dogs … those who practice sexual immorality and deception.”
Now, if you’re reading all this and you’re not a Christian, you’ve likely dismissed everything above with a shrug. But if you claim to be a follower of Christ, then everything I’ve cited should alarm you. We now live in a time when women are losing their dignity, children are losing their innocence, and men have lost their spines. Girls are told to become boys, and boys are told it’s better to act like girls. Our country no longer has borders, and our culture no longer has a soul. Our Constitution is maligned, and the Bible is mocked. We are told to fight racism with racism and that we should judge people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. Feelings now trump facts, and scientists now deny science in the name of science. The world burns with the lunacy of the alphabet soup of LGBTQIABLMSJWCRT nonsense, and yet pastors like Mr. Rada foolishly fiddle.
And by the way, St. Paul also said this: “In the last days there will come lovers of self, proud and arrogant. Avoid such people. These men oppose the truth, [they are] men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth.” And St. Peter, the rock upon which Christ built his Church, concluded, “There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring destructive heresies. They will exploit you with false words. They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves to corruption. Take care that you are not carried away with the error of [these] people.”
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).
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