Campolo: “God Gave Up His Power”

In an attempt to address “social change” as part of an annual H. Shelton Smith Lecture, Emergent leader Tony Campolo made some interesting comments to get his message across. The following was taken from a report in The Pendulum by senior reporter Adriana Miano.

Campolo said he believes that God chooses to love his people, and in doing so releases his control over the world. He went on to state:

“In order to express his love, God gave up his power.

We assume that Campolo is speaking of God becoming a man in the Person of Jesus Christ. However, Colossians 2:9 states, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

Jesus never gave up any power nor His deity, in fact while on earth He:

Raised the dead (John 11)

Knew the hearts of men (John 2:24-25)

Knew all things (John 4:16-19, John 16:30)

Performed all manner of miracles never seen (the Gospels)

Controlled the weather (Luke 8:25)

Forgave sin (Matthew 9:6)

Holds all things together (Colossians 1:17)

Is eternal (John 8:56-59)

Campolo later went on to address the issue of Proposition 8 in California, regarding homosexual marriage:

Campolo said he was troubled by the recent Evangelical Christian movement to pass Proposition 8 in California, which revoked the right of homosexuals to marry. Though the Evangelicals demonstrated great political power, it came at the high cost of turning many members of the gay community against Christianity, he said.

In what seems to be a ploy to support his social justice message, Campolo is then cited as stating:

All Christians are “Christian to a point,” he said, referring to what he said is the tendency of Christians to only adopt the religious customs and traditions that are easily suited to their lifestyles.

If we understand Campolo correctly, it seems his position is that the concept of overcoming one’s “Christian to a point” problem, and “only adopt[ing] religious customs and traditions that are easily suited to their lifestyles,” is only problematic when it does not fit in with his social justice agenda. However, those who are “Christian to a point” when it concerns moral issues (when certain biblical morals aren’t “easily suited to their lifestyles”) seem to fall into an entirely different set of “biblical” standards for Campolo. Because in Adventures in Missing the Point Campolo concedes the following:

Two Christian homosexual men I know in Chicago solved their problem of loneliness by entering a covenant wherein they promised to, 1) live with each other “til death do us part,” and 2) do so celibately. They chose to live together as lifelong partners “in love and tenderness” but without erotically sexual behavior. These two men claimed to be enjoying the humanizing benefits of a genuine love relationship that has given them mutual blessings, but that [they] did not violate biblical admonition against homosexual intercourse. I have recently learned of a number of other evangelical and homosexual couples who have adopted a similar arrangement.

By the way, I call this a homosexual covenant rather than a homosexual marriage because of the sexual consummation implied by the latter word. And covenant connotes a lifelong commitment of mutual obligation, which does not necessitate sexual intercourse.” –Tony Campolo, Adventures in Missing the Point, 2003, pp. 207-208 (Zondervan)

No Mr. Campolo, we would call this compromising what the Bible clearly says and giving fallen men too much credit in thinking that they can control their flesh, with its lustful desires.

One comment

  1. Thanks for the articles concerning the Emerging “Church”. It has been at times discouraging over the past 20 years of pastoring to watch how this Emerging doctrine has come into the Body of Christ and caused many to compromise and many pastors to do so in the name of ‘reaching the masses’,which is code for ‘I want a Big Church.’ It is refreshing to have ministries like yours that remind me like the Lord reminded Elijah when he had defeated the prophets of Baal, I am not alone!