Tony Campolo on women preachers and sodomy...

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. (John 10:11-15)

On the one hand, we have the Good Shepherd. On the other hand, we have Dr. Tony Campolo who, characterizing a Baptist statement against women serving as preachers, said the statement was...

...about as evil a statement as one can make. It's one thing to be wrong, but that isn't wrong, that's sinful. The Bible says, 'neglect not the gift that is in you,' and when women are gifted with the gift of preaching, anybody who frustrates that gift is an instrument of the devil...

The Baptist Press article demonstrates Compolo's rejection of the Word of God; he is a false shepherd and it is the duty of elders to expose him and guard the sheep under their care from him.

Although I am angered at Campolo for his part in the destruction of God's little ones, causing them to stumble, I am more angered at the many, many evangelical leaders who have aided and abetted his evil work. For years, it has been clear to anyone with biblical discernment who and what Campolo is, and that placing tender souls under his authority is destructive to those souls. So why have chaplains and presidents of evangelical colleges around the country let this wolf into their sheepfolds? In the past few years, Campolo has been given the lectern or pulpit an average of four hundred times a year...

I remember, for instance, my daughter coming home from Taylor University and telling me how her favorite chapel speaker was Campolo--in fact, the favorite speaker on campus, if I remember correctly. Feeling the pressure (wise) from my wife who was sitting in the front passenger's seat at the time, I held my peace, praying God would reveal to this child of mine the wickedness of Campolo's demagoguery. And I praise God that this daughter saw through Campolo's rhetoric soon after.

But what on earth was it that caused that grand old gentleman, Jay Kesler (who at the time served as Taylor University's president), to place the souls under his care under the authority of Campolo? Was he blind to Campolo's opposition to God's truth? Kesler's view of Campolo should be clear from the following: Kesler called Campolo "one of the few authentic prophets in our society." (Christianity Today," January 24, 2003)

Back a decade or so ago, two events made it clear what Campolo's commitments weren't: First, his wife wrote a letter to the editor of "Christianity Today" promoting monogamous covenantal sodomite unions; and second, when he was interviewed by JPUSA's Cornerstone magazine concerning Christian therapy for those tempted by homosexuality (with the goal of helping them resist their temptation), Campolo let loose with a withering skepticism. Spend just a few seconds googling something like "Campolo homosexuality," and you will turn up hundreds of documented statements, any one of which ought to cause Campolo never to be given authority over the tender souls of God's precious little ones again.

Consider this statement by my friend, Bill Mouser, of the International Council on Gender Studies:

Tony and Peggy Campolo... appeared at North Park College Chapel on February 29, 1996, to present their views on Christianity and homosexuality. While expressing considerable sympathy for homosexuals in the church, Mr. Campolo's rationale for maintaining classical Christian prohibition of homosexuality reduced to an appeal to tradition. Yes, he did mention Scripture, but primarily to dismiss each of the relevant gay-unfriendly texts as irrelevant or hopelessly obscure. The one passage he claimed couldn't be "gotten around" is Romans 1:18ff, especially beginning at verse 26. At that point, Campolo turned the mike over to his wife Peggy, who proceeded to demolish that Scriptural barrier to homosexuality with these words:
I'd like you to note that Paul wrote Romans in the city of Corinth where the prevailing religion was the worship of Aphrodite. Aphrodite was a hermaphrodite with both male and female sexual organs and in the worship of Aphrodite people played the role of the opposite gender and engaged in sexual orgies with same sex prostitutes who were available in the temple. It was against these orgies that Paul wrote in the first chapter of Romans. There is an obvious connection between idolatry and homosexual practices in Romans one and what Paul says here cannot be applied to the kind of relationships created by loving homosexual partners who are making a lifetime monogamous commitment to each other.
Here is the entire transcript.

For many years now Campolo and his wife have been conniving at sodomy. So where are the faithful shepherds? What on earth are evangelical college chaplains and presidents, not to mention Reformed Seminary's President Frank James, doing placing our son's and daughter's souls under this man's authority?

If Campolo is preaching in chapel services of Christian colleges and seminaries around the country, this is a position that holds spiritual authority and ought only to go to those men whose lives and families--including wives--conform to the biblical requirements outlined in 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Sadly, the evangelical world has long since ceased to be a community of faith and has become an emotive and experiential community, driven by the personality cults holding the center of the huge business of conferences and publishing.

We ought not to deal with false prophets by debating them publicly, but by silencing them. Campolo's preaching engagements and book contracts must dry up. It is the duty of men delegated the responsibility of guarding God's flock to end his free access to the sheep.


I'm curious what brought on this diatribe against Campolo. The latest article that you quoted was from 2003. Did something push you over the edge and compel you to write about it now?

Yup, a long memory.

Usually, I'm leery of any preacher who accuses another of apostasy, heresy or general pastoral mopery and dopery. Too often it becomes a weapon in clerical infighting and degenerates into false witness. I have to say, though, Tim when you do it, I'm inclined to believe you. I've seen you disagree publicly with other teachers without accusations.

The first I heard of Tony Campolo was back in the late 80s, and he sounded like the next big thing in Christian evangelization. He was apparently the darling of youth conferences everywhere. I'm sad to see him go off the rails this way. So much potential shot to Helen Gone for a desire to be reconciled to the world.

Inquisitive: Since Campolo is on record with this kind of rhetoric even in his last book (which is about a year old), are you willing to say he's changed his tune?

Tim: If you're interested, I did a 4-part review of Campolo's Speaking My Mind back when I started my blog. (your spam filter blocked the link to my bl*gspot blog. I am sad)

Nice work. I'm glad I followed Phil's recommendation and started reading your blog.

How sad that someone like Tony Campolo (and his wife) would be given a forum at so many churches and educational institutions. Also, Inquisitive, what difference does it make how old the article is that Tim quoted from. As long as Compolo is still a satanist and has not repented of his scummy ways, then any mention of him is good no matter how old the source material (again, provided it is still relevant).

As I am not a biblical scholar, as many who post here are ( or think they are), and do not keep current on who many of these people like Campolo are, it is nice to see them mentioned periodically, even if it is old news to many of you.

I do not think Campolo has any appreciation for the inevitable consequences of his bastardized interpretation of scripture. I should pray for him, but I'm not that good of a Christian yet. Instead I'd rather get a chuckle out of pondering him spending an eternity in hell as the guest of honor at a "butt-stab" convention hosted by a herd of angry homosexual rhinoceros(es). OUCH! and nothing to cool the burn either.

"Instead I'd rather get a chuckle out of pondering him spending an eternity in hell as the guest of honor at a "butt-stab" convention hosted by a herd of angry homosexual rhinoceros(es)."

People like you give Christians a bad name. Shame on you. This is not junior high school.

Well Light, some people just have no sense of humor. I am sorry if you (or anyone else) were offended by my description of Campolo's time in hell. The "people like you give Christians a bad name" comment is a bit puzzling as I do not believe I know you, so just how would you know what kind of a Christian I really am. You do not know my level of spirituality, nor are you aware of any good works I may be doing. I am not perfect, as my "junior high" sense of humor may illustrate, but I dare say that I conduct myself in a manner more according to Christ's instructions than you have ever thought about doing yourself. See, it's great to study the Bible and give it a scholarly analysis, but that in no way makes one a Christian. In fact, many times it does just the opposite as Campolo illustrates. Campolo and his wife analyze scripture and contort it to suit their own evil purposes.

Speaking of blog police, Mike, seriously, if I could I would make you stop embarrassing yourself. Right after pointing out that you guys don't know each other and that he doesn't know what kind of Christian you are, you say:

"I dare say that I conduct myself in a manner more according to Christ's instructions than you have ever thought about doing yourself."

Are you serious? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!


I don't take exception to junior high humor. I've been known myself to be rather immature with my humor. But taking pleasure in the eternal torment of others does not remind me of Junior High. It reminds me that God "is not willing that any should perish." It reminds me that there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth." It reminds me of High School when I saw someone cut himself with razor blades and stick pins and needles into himself during Latin. It reminds me of college when I first met people who took pleasure in watching real footage of executions, curb-stomps, and torture. It is sick. Hell is sad. It is not a matter of humor or celebration.


>I constantly witness unchristian behavior from people who are certain they are good Christians.

If you find people who are certain they are good Christians and you witness no unchristian behavior then you aren't looking closely enough.

It is a very dangerous thing to condemn another soul to hell. I believe in the middle of Mark it states "with the measure you use, it will be measured to you". Dr. Campolo has spent his whole life focusing on the first and 2nd greatest commandments, especially the second. While you appear to be spending your time putting your energy into condemnation (read James 4:11-12), Dr. Campolo has devoted his to service to the poor. I feel comfortable stating that Dr. Campolo is responsible for more saved souls than all of the people on the blog (including me) combined! I will agree that Tony is quite liberal and I don't agree with all of his views (he dos NOT condone homosexuality - he just believes that Satan is winning on both sides as the "christian" church is spreading much more hate than love. Interesting that Jesus never commented on homosexuality, nor did he ever directly rebuke the "sinners" of this world. He only the rebuked the pharisees - those who spent their time condeming others instead of loving others as Jesus did, and no, I am not one of these new age people who believes that we should just all love each other and whatever is right for you is ok. I am actually quite a conservative christian. I encourage you to go to and listen to two of his messages (Its Friday but Sunday's coming and Living with Passion). If you can listen to those two messages and still believe that this man does not actively follow the Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior then I would love to hear back from you. As for Mike (the gentleman who made the butt-stab convention comment) - I cannot imagine a comment farther from the way Jesus Christ spoke and lived his life while he was on earth - Lord have mercy on your soul.

Mike M:

I agree that it is wrong to wish anyone to hell. What about calling for God's discipline (or judgment) on someone doing a great evil? You had David doing that in the imprecational psalms, in his authoritative role as king; and Paul calling for God's curse on anyone who didn't love the Lord Jesus, in 1 Corinthians 16. Campolo is a false prophet, a classic Northeastern liberal Baptist -- based on that, do you think God is pleased with him or angry toward him?

Does service to the poor make up for, or excuse, being a false teacher? E.g., if Francis d'Assisi believed that he was saved by taking the Mass and leading a good life, did his life of self-denial make that OK?

Campolo is a theistic Marxist in his economics (I know, it makes no sense). How certain are you that Campolo's beliefs about Christ and God are sound? If you can't get your views of human sin right, can your understanding of the Gospel be straight?

Jesus said several times that Moses' Law was divinely inspired (e.g. the Sermon on the Mount). That means that Jesus affirmed the O.T. system and its death-penalty for homosexuality. Were the Apostles divinely inspired when they condemned jomosexuality? Did Jesus Christ write the 10 Commandments? When Jesus called on people to "repent of their sins", what sins do you suppose He was referring to? Only non-sexual ones?

"Following Jesus" is defined in 1st John as obeying God's moral laws and staying true to Bible truth. Would you have defended Hymenaeus and Philetus as great men of God who were following Jesus, even though they taught that the resurrection had already happened and had overturned the faith of some? What if Hymenaeus was an avid witnesser? Would Paul not have excommunicated him for that reason?

newcovenantliving @ blospot

I am a Christian but embarresed to come across such a smug, judgmental, and dismissive attitude as the one you have displayed. Shame on you, Sir.

Thanks for the response Jack, but I have a few comments/questions in response. How exactly is Tony Campolo a false teacher when he is spending his time traveling to Haiti to see what he can do to find food and shelter for the thousands of children and adults who are starving to death. How exactly is he a false teacher when he is telling those same people to put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for He will be able to rescue them from their lives of despair. I suppose if while Tony is trying to save the lives of these children and show them the love and mercy of Jesus Christ if they stop him and ask him if he is a theistic marxist he would maybe be forced to say yes, but something tells me that isn't happening. Your response seems like an attempt to show us your vast historical and theologic knowledge - which is impressive, but I have a feeling if the pharisees had access to blogs in their era they would spend their time spouting off their theolical knowledge and raining down fire and brimstone on others while I think Jesus would rather have us out amongst the "sinners" of this world showing the love of Jesus through our actions. A high IQ is not a requirement for salvation. Again, just go to and listen to "Living with Passion", and don't try and dissect it for its deepest theological concepts, instead try and feel Tony's passion for loving Christ and loving your neighbor - which is the one true calling Christ asks of us.

My reply is this: that the doing of socially good works is not an indicator of doctrinal orthodoxy, or reliability. Mother Theresa did many good works, but, based on her written and spoken works, she didn't preach or teach the Gospel.

You should actually respond to what I wrote, rather than resorting to insults.

One doesn't discern through feelings -- that's Obi-Wan Kenobi thinking, not Christian. Rev. Campolo's emotions toward the poor are unimportant in this regard, as well. The test of Christian orthodoxy is doctrinal. There are many kind, generous Mormons, too, as well as secularists and agnostic Jewish folk, so being kind and generous doesn't even make you a Christian, let alone a doctrinally sound one.

Tony Camplo's interview in the wake of Hurricane Katrina:

"But when the Bible tells us about the grace of God, it is giving us the good news that our loving God does not give us what we truly deserve. Certainly, God would not create suffering for innocent people, who were-for the most part-Katrina's victims.

"Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed. Nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say that God is omnipotent. Kushner points out that omnipotence is a Greek philosophical concept, but it is not in his Bible. Instead, the Hebrew Bible contends that God is mighty. That means that God is a greater force in the universe than all the other forces combined."

God is not omnipotent? God is not in control of things like hurricanes?

This sounds a great deal like Open Theism.

How can anyone deny God's omnipotence, and have any reasonable claim to represent the God of the Bible?

I apologize for the insult - that's obviously not the point of all this. My point is that sometime, being well educated christians, we lose focus and spend a great deal of time trying to have deep theological discussions to make us feel good about ourselves and our breadth of knowledge. Though there is obviously a great deal of benefit in delving into God's teachings and values I would suspect that at the final judgement we will not be given an exam on doctrinal orthodoxy. Instead, we will be asked what we have done to bring others to the banquet table. I am a physician in an inner city hospital where to the majority of patients can barely read or write - which is actually consistent with the majority of this world's population. So believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is about as far as you can go in their doctrinal orthodoxy. Therefore, I have a place in my heart for Dr. Campolo going into the poverty stricken places of this world and asking those people to place their faith in the One person who can rescue them from their dismay and offer them a reward greater than they can image. To me, that sounds like completely sound doctrinal orthodoxy. While I agree that some of Campolo's thoughts are radical and possibly wrong, it seems hard to argue with the number of people he has influenced by showing them the love of Jesus Christ. I think the people who fall into the category of "the least of these" are more powerfully influenced by people who show them feeling, Obi-Wan Kenobi style, than they are influenced by complicated theology. I high IQ is not required for salvation, feeling the love of Jesus Christ and giving back is.

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