Pastor and Christian radio personality Alistair Begg is standing firm amid controversy over remarks he made in a podcast last year, expressing that he is "not ready to repent."
The comments, which recently resurfaced, were part of a September episode of "Truth For Life" where Begg discussed his book, 'The Christian Manifesto.'
Begg, 71, who serves as the senior pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and hosts the radio ministry "Truth For Life" broadcasted on nearly 1,800 radio stations nationwide, faced criticism for advice he gave to a grandmother regarding her grandson's upcoming same-sex wedding to a transgender person.
Despite the podcast being several months old, the remarks sparked controversy on social media, leading American Family Radio (AFR), the radio ministry of the American Family Association, to decide to "no longer air" "Truth For Life" after more than a decade.
Addressing the issue in his Sunday sermon at Parkside Church, Begg spoke about compassion versus condemnation, cautioning against the "inclination toward Pharisaism" within our hearts.
He clarified that his counsel to the grandmother was primarily focused on preserving the relationship.
"In that conversation with that grandmother, I was concerned about the well-being of their relationship more than anything else,” Begg explained. “Hence my counsel. Don't misunderstand that in any way at all."
While acknowledging that he might respond differently in another situation, Begg firmly stated, "But the fact of the matter is, I'm not ready to repent over this. I don't have to."
In his sermon, Begg drew parallels between the approaches of Jesus and the Pharisees in dealing with the culture of first-century Palestine, emphasizing the importance of understanding the context and intention behind his advice.