In a Feb. 26 WorldNetDaily column, Larry Ross comes to the defense of pastor Robert Jeffress, claiming his statements about "issues of homosexuality and AIDS" -- the uproar over which apparently caused Tim Tebow from speaking at his First Baptist Church in Dallas -- were "misrepresented":
As the drumbeats reached a deafening crescendo, Tim Tebow abruptly announced his change of plans, announcing via a series of tweets, “Due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance.”
Immediately the tide turned again, with #TebowCaves trending on Twitter and many in the Christian community asking the quarterback to prayerfully reconsider. A coalition of Texas and national pastors representing many denominational and ethnic backgrounds issued a statement standing with First Baptist Dallas and Dr. Robert Jeffress. The group called on Tebow to fully understand what is at stake if he succumbs to pressure by those who try to marginalize and demean individuals who stand for biblical truth.
Of course it is ultimately Tim Tebow’s decision where and when he speaks. But considering his minister at First Baptist Jacksonville is the former senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas and the two churches both emphasize biblical preaching and share traditional historic doctrines of the Christian faith, it appears that his cancellation was for pragmatic and professional, not principled, reasons. Noting he needed to avoid controversy at this time, Tebow indicated he would like to speak at the church at a future date.
Like many evangelical churches, First Baptist Dallas is built on the truth of Scripture, even though at times that approach can be perceived as controversial or counter to the prevailing winds of culture. Contrary to myriad editorials of late, the Christian gospel is a message of hope, not hate; salvation, not judgment; emphasizing God’s love, grace and new beginnings available to all.
The reason for the recent media firestorm is not because the Bible has changed, but because society has changed.
Note that Ross never actually quotes what Jeffress has said. Right Wing Watch provides a summary:
He has described gays and lesbians as “perverse,” “miserable” and “abnormal” people who engage in an “unnatural” and “filthy practice” that will lead to the “implosion of our country.” Jeffress argues that the gay community employs Chinese “brainwashing techniques” in order to have homosexuality “crammed down our throats.”
Jeffress has also said that represents “the genius of Satan,” suggested that Catholics too will go to Hell, and he has called Mormonism a “cult” that is “from the pit of Hell.”
Perhaps Ross would like to explain where Jeffress' statements are "a message of hope, not hate; salvation, not judgment." Because we're not seeing it.