Churches are criticized for supporting traditional sexuality. Are you publically encouraging a pastoral response or prophetic response?
We do not want to address that every time we are in the pulpit. The position we take is: If we come to it within the biblical text, we are going to address it and be faithful to what the Bible says.
We have people coming in here from a gay background. We want them to know that they are welcome to hear the gospel, receive Christ, and have a life transformation. We need more wisdom to navigate these things. This is just another type of sin. Everybody is struggling with sin. A person happens to be struggling with same-sex attraction, or whatever, let's see what God has to say about that. Let's help this person get victory.
What is Calvary Chapel's place in the larger evangelical movement, particularly in advocacy on issues such as immigration reform?
Calvary Chapel has been isolated when it comes to the bigger picture of evangelicalism. I do not think it's been healthy. I would like to see us more engaged. But some of the things you've mentioned like immigration reform—these are not things that I am going to address from the pulpit necessarily. We obviously need immigration laws. Personally, I feel like the church sometimes has too much to say and quite often is saying the wrong thing about it.
Individual Christians should be involved. I do not want to get up in the pulpit harping on some purely political issue. That is where churches are making a huge mistake. Sometimes there is a clear biblical perspective on it, and sometimes not. We have to use our judgment and the wisdom God gives us to see what the common sense solution is or what the best possible thing is. We might not have a Bible verse to apply to it.
Is ministry to American Muslims a priority?
We are very proactive in outreach to Muslims. We have a large university that has a huge Islamic population on the campus.
God is bringing the mission field to us. There is a better way to approach it than being combative. When I was a Roman Catholic, if people came to me and wanted to talk to me about the pope being the Antichrist, I did not want to hear a word they had to say. Muslims feel the same way. If you come on the attack, then you are closing a door instead of opening a door. I am not saying we do not tell it like it is. Let's tell the right stuff.
What do you see as the greatest threat to pastors today? Is it the classic temptations of money, sex, and power, or something else?
The most dangerous is power. We always have to be on our guard, maintaining humility. I am very dependent on God for everything I do. If I forget that and start thinking that I'm doing this because I'm an expert, then it's not going to be long before I become unraveled. Every time I approach the pulpit, I am in the same position: "God, unless you show up this is not going to go well. So please, come and help."
You can follow Timothy C. Morgan on Twitter @tmorgan815.