Conservative heavyweight Al Mohler has weighed in to the controversy generated by Tony Campolo's announcement of his support for same-sex relationships in a podcast talk.
After years of holding a conservative line on the issue, Campolo released a statement on June 8 saying that he no longer believed it was right to reject the moral equivalence of same-sex and heterosexual marriage. He said: "It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church."
Mohler, who is President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said that Campolo had been on a "trajectory" towards acceptance for many years, noting that he had long been involved in controversies with other evangelicals about the inerrancy of scripture, the exclusivity of the gospel and other issues. He said that Campolo's statement lacked "any serious engagement with scripture whatsoever" and compared it with previous statements in which he had argued biblically against same-sex relationships.
Mohler said: "There's also no doubt that from the worldview of Tony Campolo what he is done here is an act of compassion." However, he concluded: "I grieve yesterday's statement by Tony Campolo most because I believe it comes as a direct cost of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I also fear that his statement will be most dangerous to those he has just sought to be most compassionate."