What makes this story even more interesting is that the timing of Rev. Lamb’s recent confession seemed to coincide with the timing of three alleged extortionists’ recent attempt to squeeze $7.5 million out of Lamb’s ministry. As long as the preacher paid up, these three would shut up about his affair. At the end of the day, Rev. Lamb “refused to use God’s money” to pay off the extortionists and decided to come clean instead.
But what really arrested my attention in this story was a statement made by Rev. Lamb’s marriage counselor, Fred Kendall. When asked to comment on Lamb’s affair, this is what he had to say to the Daystar CTV Network audience:
“He had one inappropriate period of misbehavior–with one person. And it wasn’t a man and it wasn’t a transvestite. It was with a woman—and she was a Christian woman.”
Well, that’s a relief! At least it was a Christian woman….and at least it wasn’t an affair with a gay man or cross dresser. For real, Mr. Kendall? That’s your comment to the world? You sound less like a marriage counselor and more like a politician’s press secretary trying to spin the facts to make your boss look good.
Not only does Mr. Kendall smugly mitigate the seriousness of this grievous act by drawing obvious comparisons to the fall of former evangelical heavyweight, Ted Haggard (which is quite the loving and respectful thing to do to a penitent brother in the Lord, don’t you think?), but he echoes an outrageous notion that is found in many evangelical circles. And here’s the notion: that heterosexual sin is somehow more acceptable in God’s eyes than homosexual sin.
When a friend of mine found out that his brother-in-law was steeped in pornography, he said, “Well, at least he isn’t gay. The porn they found on his computer was regular porn—not queer porn. So we can thank God for that.” This incredibly ignorant statement originates from the same evangelical imaginarium that Mr. Kendall’s does. It comes from a poisonous place in our thinking that has confused a biblical stance on sexual morality with the belief in these hierarchal sins constructed by an evangelical subculture.
Let’s get honest here. The preeminent reason why sins like homosexuality and abortion are at the top of many Christians’ List of Heinous Transgressions is because they both have liberal political agendas behind them—ones so powerful that they threaten to offend the fragile conscience of the typical American Christian who would rather make homosexuality and abortion simply go away rather than deal with and minister to the people who are caught up in it all.
The last time I checked, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians deemed both adulterers and homosexuals ineligible for inheritance to the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:8-10). No hierarchies. No comparing your own sin to that of another. No making up your own standards so that the gravity of your own sin seems less weighty. After all, we are all broken deep down and just want feel whole again. In our idolatrous efforts to meet these needs for intimacy on our own terms, some of us seek fulfillment in heterosexual sin while others, because of different factors, seek it in a homosexual context. Simply put, we all need Jesus just as desperately and just as equally.