|Campolo. The Evangelicals have the same rule|
as the WELS-LCMS-ELS:
no one can criticize their heroes,
for any reason.
The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Thursday, March 24, 2016
That crashing sound you heard Monday morning was waves of change breaching the levees of the evangelical Christian world when one of its most venerable icons, the Rev. Tony Campolo, came out in favor of full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church.
While his name may not be as familiar outside the evangelical bubble as his contemporary, the Rev. Billy Graham, Campolo, 80, is undeniably a pillar of the evangelical world and has been for close to 60 years.
Both Campolo and Graham, 96, are best known and beloved first and foremost as preachers largely unencumbered by overt denominational or political biases. Like Graham, Campolo also has been a spiritual counselor to U.S. presidents and has played the role of public pastor in times of national sorrow and joy. (Since I first heard him deliver a version of it during chapel when I was a student at Wheaton College in 1989, I cannot recall a single Holy Week passing without hearing his classic “It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming!” homily at least once.)
Graham and Campolo, both Baptist by tradition and creed, have been among the leading voices of mainstream evangelicalism, and their influence spans several generations. Together they helped shape the direction and expansiveness of the church as it attempted to navigate H. Richard Niebhur’s Christ and Culture paradigms and be in the world but not of it in the midst of ever increasing pluralism.
So when Campolo posted a statement on his web site this week announcing that he had changed his mind about homosexuality and was “urging the church to be more welcoming” to LGBTQ people, it was a big deal.
A very big deal.
In his statement, Campolo, a sociologist who earned a doctorate from Temple University, said in part: