The Sunday after the conference, Stanley devoted his sermon to addressing criticism of the event. He described Biblical marriage as between only one man and one woman, but talked about homosexuality as a part of someone’s identity—“a category all unto itself.” Stanley said he doesn’t condone sin, but also doesn’t “draw lines,” only “circles” that include all who want to follow Jesus.
This effort to sever ethics and theology is a textbook move of the theological liberalism that flourished in mainline denominations, according to Andrew Walker, associate professor of Christian ethics at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and also managing editor of WORLD Opinions. Stanley emphasizes love, but the Bible says love and truth are inextricably linked, Walker noted in a tweet. Any position that separates the two is neither sustainable nor theologically sound.