All graphics and images are copyright of A True Church

Tony Campolo Turns God's Grace Into Lewdness

Dr. Tony Campolo is professor emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He previously served for ten years on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Eastern University and earned a Ph.D. from Temple University.

Dr. Campolo is a media commentator on religious, social and political matters, having guested on television programs like Nightline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect, The Charlie Rose Show and CNN News. He co-hosted his own television series, Hashing It Out, on the Odyssey Network, and presently hosts From Across The Pond, a weekly program on the Premier Radio Network in England. (, hard copy on file)

Campolo denies our Lord Jesus Christ and turns the grace of God into lewdness, just as Jude 4 says men like him will do.

I. Homosexual Christians

Campolo believes and teaches there is such a thing as a homosexual Christian. In his book 20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid To Touch he has a whole chapter in which he argues for this position. On page 108-109 he quotes a "pastor" (with approval) who is speaking to a group of homosexuals and writes,

When I read to those men that nothing could separate them from the love of God, I saw some signs of emotion on their faces for the first time. Then, one after the other, they made special requests for me to read favorite passages of Scripture. I stood there for almost an hour reading Scriptures to those homosexual men before we went to our cars and headed back to Brooklyn. (20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid To Touch, copyright 1988 by Anthony Campolo)

Homosexuals are not in the love of God. God's wrath abides on them, as John 3:36 declares,

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (NAS)

Homosexuals are among those who do not obey the Son, because the Son declares,

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22; see also Romans 1:26-27).

To indicate that homosexuals are in the love of God (Romans 8:28-39), as Campolo does, is to declare them to be believers in Christ, and this is a lie.

On page 117 Campolo writes,

On the other hand, we are hard-pressed to find any biblical basis for condemning deep love commitments between homosexual Christians, as long as those commitments are not expressed in sexual intercourse.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. It makes no distinction as to whether they are expressing or not expressing it in sexual intercourse.

On page 116-117 Campolo argues for Christian homosexual covenants ("lifelong partners") where they have a homosexual romantic relationship, but no sexual intercourse, and Campolo ends this chapter with this paragraph:

There must be good news for homosexuals. In the likelihood that most of them will still have their basic sexual orientations regardless of their efforts to change, we must do more than simply bid them be celibate. We must find ways for them to have fulfilling, loving experiences so that they might have their humanity affirmed and their incorporation into the Body of Christ insured. Homosexuals are our brothers and sisters and must be treated that way. To do less is sin.

Campolo calls what is evil good (homosexuality without intercourse is evil), and what is good (rejecting homosexuals as "brothers") evil (Isaiah 5:20). Campolo turns the grace of God into lewdness (Jude 4). To declare any homosexual to be a Christian is to declare the grace of God a license for perversion. Homosexuality is wicked. It is sinful and the direct result of a rejection of God. Romans 1:18-32 reveals the reason anyone is homosexual is because they hate God. There is no such thing as a homosexual Christian.

If a homosexual were to truly turn to Christ, they would no longer be a homosexual, as it is written:

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Paul told the former homosexuals in 1 Corinthians, "such were some of you" (1 Corinthians 6:11). Some of them were homosexuals, but they were no longer, because they were now in Christ and set free from such wickedness (John 8:31-36).

II. Homosexually Duped

Campolo's perverted view on homosexuality can further be seen in this same book on page 84 where he writes,

One of the meanest arguments against public schools comes from alarmists who contend that public school students can be forced to study under homosexuals and might even be subjected to homosexual seduction. This contention makes me furious - not because I believe there are no homosexuals in the public school system, but because of the implication that homosexuals are some kind of special threat to children. (p. 84)

Please do not get me wrong. I think we should be wary of the sexual seduction of pupils in the public school system! But I abhor the implication that homosexuals are more dangerous than heterosexuals in this regard. (p. 85)

Campolo lacks some serious discernment and wisdom in regards to homosexuals. It is not that a heterosexual could not potentially be more dangerous than a homosexual in some way, but homosexuality is a serious wickedness, and heterosexuality is not, in and of itself, sinful as homosexuality is (Leviticus 18:22). There is a clearly known danger with a homosexual.

Homosexuality is an abomination before God (Leviticus 20:13), and such an abomination is a bad influence. Scripture says,

Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Campolo is deceived and does not see the bad company of a homosexual which is a seriously wicked influence upon anyone, especially children (Proverbs 22:6).

Moreover, Scripture gives two examples of how radically sexually aggressive homosexuals can be (Genesis 19:4-11; Judges 19:22-25). The potential danger from these kinds of people is alarming!

III. Aids

Campolo's perverted view on homosexuality is further revealed in this same book on page 15 where he writes,

The idea that AIDS is some kind of special condemnation from God upon homosexuals because of their sin not only is absurd; it also dishonors God. All disease and death are allowed by God as consequences of the Fall in the Garden of Eden. But to say that AIDS is a special disease created by God to torture homosexuals suggests that God has a special axe to grind with homosexuals that He does not have with the rest of us.

God had a "special axe to grind" with the Sodomites when He rained down fire and brimstone from heaven upon them (Genesis 19:24), "because the outcry against them [had] grown great" (Genesis 19:13). They "were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord" (Genesis 13:13). Their sin was "very grave" (Genesis 18:20). They had "given themselves over to sexual immorality" and had "gone after strange flesh" (Jude 7). Ever since then they have been "set forth as an example" (Jude 7) "to those who afterward would live ungodly" (2 Peter 2:6). To this day, they suffer "the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7).

It is true that God has a serious axe to grind with the rest of mankind (Psalm 7:11-13; 11:6), but God has particularly declared that homosexuals receive in themselves the due penalty of their error (Romans 1:27). AIDS is a good example of this. AIDS predominately afflicts homosexuals.

IV. False Gospel

Campolo denies our Lord Jesus Christ by promoting a false gospel in this same book. On page 63 he writes,

The church must do something for those who have become dependent on pornography. One idea would be to sponsor support groups on the order of Alcoholics Anonymous. Christian leaders could initiate "Pornographers Anonymous" groups, so that individuals who have been seduced into a pornographic lifestyle might find brothers or sisters in Christ who can help strengthen them against temptation.

To be saved from dependency on pornography, or to be saved from a pornographic lifestyle all one needs is Jesus Christ, the Savior (John 8:31-36). To suggest a "Pornographers Anonymous" group is to suggest another gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). [For more on AA, see]

V. Perverts God's Love

In this same book on page 26 Campolo writes,

A lot of people criticize the popular television preacher Robert Schuller, claiming that he does not adequately point out that we are sinners. The truth is that Schuller does point out sin for his listeners, but he puts more of an emphasis on the grace of God. Schuller is able to help people feel good about themselves by convincing them that in Christ, they are not condemned for their sinfulness, but loved for their wonderful possibilities.

Besides his endorsement of one of the more obvious false teachers, Robert Schuller, and his perverted self-centered "feel good about themselves" doctrine (Matthew 5:3; Mark 8:34), Campolo perverts the love of God making it based upon people's "wonderful possibilities." God's love is based on the fact that God is love (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 4:8, 16). It has nothing to do with us. To say that it is related to someone's "wonderful possibilities" perverts the love of God into something it is not (Proverbs 30:5-6), and robs glory from the One to Whom it is due (Romans 11:36).

VI. Accepts False Religion

In this same book on page 35 Campolo writes,

Recently, I was a speaker for a large assembly of Seventh Day Adventists. Some evangelicals believe that these brothers and sisters are part of a cult that negates the essence of the gospel. However, ever since the stalwart Donald Grey Barnhouse, one of the deans of evangelical theology, carefully examined their theology and ended up declaring them fellow Christians, most of us have regarded the Adventists as very much a part of the Protestant mainstream.

It is evident Campolo is not blessed, as the Psalmist wrote,

Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Psalm 40:4)

Seventh-Day Adventists have turned aside to many lies, yet Campolo respects them as "brothers and sisters" in the faith. Seventh-Day Adventism is a false religion. Please see our report Seventh-Day Adventists, On The Road To Hell.

Also, on the Charlie Rose show on January 24, 1997, speaking in the context of a Buddhist monk's claim to know Jesus Christ, Campolo says,

"I'm not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians." (HyperScribe LLC, 1535 Grant St., Denver, CO 80203, transcript #1821, hardcopy on file).

Ephesians 2:12 gives a good example of the state of people before they were Christians. It declares that they were "without God." Campolo's way is extremely broad (Matthew 7:13-14), and it leads to eternal destruction (i.e. hell, Revelation 21:8).