There are some things in life I need help understanding. Anthony Tyrone Evans, Sr. is one of them.

Tony Evans is certainly a committed Christian man. He is also a highly educated man. He has a Doctor of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dr. Evans is a wildly successful pastor as Senior Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship which claims to have 9,700 members and over 100 ministries.

He is the founder and president of The Urban Alternative, a national organization that seeks to bring about spiritual renewal in urban America through the church. His daily radio show is heard through over 500 outlets in the US and in over 40 countries worldwide.

I am pretty sure Tony is a wonderful husband to his wife of 42 years and a spectacular father to their 4 children and grandfather to their 11 grandchildren.

But in a May 4 “Christian Post” interview, Dr. Evans espouses ideas that I find it hard to imagine a thoughtful intelligent man sincerely holding, let alone broadcasting to the world.

In the interview Dr. Evans is asked why he thinks the “issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage seems unavoidable nowadays.”

He replies,

I think this issue has taken a dominant position in the Church and in the culture because it does infringe on the re-definition of the family. With that redefinition, it’s weighted heavier in terms of its implications both for, not only the family, but then how the Church functions in light of it, and how the Church interacts with the culture in light of it. It seems to have a   than other sins, and that’s why it gets the dominant attention it’s receiving.

Think about that. Same-sex marriage or homosexuality in general has “a much greater potential impact” than child abuse, rape, murder, genocide. I do not know how to respond to that argument.

The issue of impact, was one of the turn-around considerations in my thoughts on same-gender relationships. Seriously, who is being hurt if George and Joe feel genuinely called to commit themselves to a life-long monogamous same-sex intimate relationship? Even supposing George and Joe are wrong in their deeply held conviction, who is being harmed? What precisely is the desperately harmful “impact” on the well-being of the human community?

In response to the second question Dr. Evans and I actually agree…. at least in the beginning.

He is asked if  people are right to accuse “Christians that (sic) harp on homosexuality of being hypocritical by appearing cold on other issues, like divorce and adultery?”

Dr. Evans surprisingly responds,

I would say to a degree that they are correct.

Of course he then proceeds to say that the proper response to this failure on the part of “Christians that harp on homosexuality” is not to stop harping on homosexuality but to harp equally on other “sins”.

Asked, why it is so important for Dr. Evans that “homosexual sin” be firmly and tenaciously nailed to the wall, the doctor responds, because

there are illnesses and diseases that are more poignantly connected to homosexuality than typically heterosexual relationships.

I wonder if the good doctor tackles gluttony with equal zeal. The US epidemic of obesity is certainly causing irreparable damage to the physical well-being of millions of Americans.

But perhaps most tragically of all, when asked what Christians are supposed to do in response to the experience of same-sex sexual attraction, his pastoral advice seems to be that they should suck it back, get over it, repress their desires, get healed.

It’s a sin, no matter how you feel about it or what your orientation is. I’ve talked to men who feel like they’re overly sexual, and therefore are attracted to any female who walks down the street. I will not excuse his activity with every female just because he feels driven in that direction. We’ve got to bring that passion under the lordship of Jesus Christ, like we have to bring any passion under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and that includes same-sex attraction.

I find it incomprehensible that a man, who does not share or understand another person’s most deeply felt experience, can condemn those experiences when they harm no one and seem to be the source of light and beauty in their lives. The counsel to deny, ignore, or repress your most sincerely held feelings is a counsel that has the potential to afflict more harm on the human community than any same-sex loving relationship has ever caused.

Tony Evans is my brother. I am sure he sincerely believes the things he says. I wish I could understand this man and his damaging beliefs.