Let's drop back three yards for a moment and check out 1 Corinthians 13:13
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Andy Stanley's sermon of this morning was under the microscope after being bashed for being too easy on homosexuality this week. He didn't answer the question directly today, but focused on majoring in loving ones fellow man.
Every time we pick up the scripture to find a law or a command or an instruction on anything – and there are hundreds of them in the Bible – remember that Jesus asked us to make sure that we "look at all of that through the filter of" the two greatest commandments: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments," he said.
God, Stanley added, does not want us to use His law "to unnecessarily hurt and disenfranchise people."
Some people are going to be hurt by what we say even if we say it lovingly, but we don't need to do things that score points if it scares off someone we're trying to help.
On one level, Stanley is dead on. Love is the first answer to how we respond to people, not bile. Whatever sin someone might be burdened with, the idea that this is a child of God whom He cares for comes first; repairing a broken relationship with God and the sinner is more important than doing a Master of the Obvious smackdown of the sin.
However, given that he was being grilled on a given front, some sort of note on the gay front would have been helpful. The sermon will get ignored by the heresy-hunters who want to put Stanley in the Rob Bell Memorial Doghouse for doing Love Wins 2.0 since he didn't directly address the question.
Stanley might well be lurching in a more universalist route like Bell, but he seemed to be delivering a very good message at the wrong time, at least as it related to answering his critics; that being said, getting into a pissing match with Al Mohler isn't what a sermon is about, teaching your flock is.