I’ve been avoiding this topic for quite some time. 4+ years of blogging about sex, and I’ve barely mentioned the issue of homosexuality. Why have I been avoiding it? Well, to be honest, I wanted to flesh out my own beliefs. My own denomination has just barely started talking about the issue. We’re quite a few years behind. In my parents denomination, I believe in the next 5 years, each local church will be taking a stand on whether or not to allow members of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Queer) to also be members of their church. A decision that will likely split each and every church.
This is a huge, monumental discussion, that, well, I think is too important for me to stand on the sidelines about.
So, I’m going to stand up and say my piece, knowing it might split our community as well.
Let me come right and say it. I believe the Bible speaks clearly on this subject: that the practice of homosexuality is wrong. By extension, this means so is practicing bisexuality.
I’m not going to point to the verses, because everyone knows them. This isn’t a new topic. I’ve heard the arguments for and against, from laymen and theologians, biblical scholars, from people with doctorates in this field, from those who literally translate the Bible from our oldest copies of the texts, like the dead sea scrolls.
And the simple fact is that I can read the Bible, and it overwhelmingly tells me that this is wrong, and there’s a logical consistency to that stance that I don’t see in the argument against the plain text.
But, that’s not the point of this post. In this post, I want to talk about how we deal with it. Homosexuality is real. It’s here. How do we respond?
Orientation vs Behaviour
Firstly, I think we need to recognize a distinction between orientation and practice, or behaviour. While I will stand firm in my belief that practicing homosexuality is a sin, I cannot say that having a homosexual orientation is a sin, nor is being tempted by it. The Bible is clear, that temptation is not a sin. Jesus himself was tempted (I’m not saying Jesus was tempted to be homosexual, I’m just saying He was tempted in general). Since Jesus never sinned, temptation is not a sin. But, Jesus also didn’t entertain that temptation. He rebuked it, He fought it, He used scripture to protect Himself from it.
So, having a homosexual, or bisexual orientation is not wrong. But, entertaining those orientations is.
We cannot hold people accountable without their consent
A second principle I think we need to realize is that we cannot hold anyone accountable who will not be held accountable. Accountability is an invitation extended and then accepted. Too often we as a Christian community try to enforce accountability beyond our right to do so.
While the Bible is clear that we should keep our brothers and sisters in Christ from sinning, that we should hold them accountable, it is also clear that those outside of the church, we have no right to judge.
And yet, we step into political arenas to do just that. What does it matter to us whether homosexuals marry? What does it matter to us whether it is taught in public schools? What does it matter to us whether it’s seen on TV? We share this world with non-believers. In truth, we live in it, but it is theirs, until all is remade. We have no right to say that gay marriage should not exist. We have no right to say it shouldn’t be taught in schools, where we are the minority. We have no right to say it shouldn’t be on TV.
What we have the right to say is that we won’t perform those marriages in our churches. That we will not send our children to those schools. That we will not watch what’s on TV.
Make no mistake, those each will be battles hard enough for us to win.
We should evangelize equally
The gospel is freely given to the world, and we don’t have the right to temper it, or to filter who gets it. When we preach, all should be allowed to hear. When we hold services, all should be allowed to attend. It is not our place to choose who the Holy Spirit should have the opportunity to convict. In any case, He’ll convict who He can, but let us not make it any harder.
So, we should welcome, with open arms, any into our churches as attendees. Homosexuals, bisexuals, and the rest of the LGBTQ community should have the opportunity to feel welcome into church, just as anyone else.
Some may say “but what about our children, they should not be exposed to this”, but they’re already exposed. Every time they walk down the street, every time they turn on the TV, every time they watch a movie. Let us not shield them from reality, but rather teach them about it. Model for them how to respond, what is right and what is wrong. Show them what God’s love is like, that it is given, universally and unconditionally.
We should be clear about our beliefs, but not target people
Now, if we are accepting those in the LGBTQ community into our churches as attendees, let us not suddenly start preaching about homosexuality as a sin. We don’t suddenly start preaching about smoking when we get a new attendee that smokes. We don’t start preaching health reform when we get an overweight attendee. As the Bible says, we give milk to young Christians. Show them love first. Meet their needs. Then, when they’re ready, they can hear the truth. In fact, they’ll probably ask eventually. Then, be clear, but loving. Firm, but compassionate. Uncompromising both in law and grace. Just as Jesus was.
Can you be Christian and a practicing homosexual?
Yes. I think you can. But that doesn’t mean you’re right. I’m a Christian and I’m overweight. That’s not right either. There are Christians who are thieves. Christians who are adulterers. Christians who are liars. Christians who are idolaters. Whatever sin is out there, I can almost guarantee there is a Christian doing it somewhere.
Christianity is not about being perfect. I’ve heard is said that the only different between those inside the church and those outside of it, is that we are aware that we are sinners. Following Christ is about knowing that we’re wrong, and working to be better, knowing we can never be perfect, that we need Christ to save us, and then living as close to that perfection we can, out of gratitude for His sacrifice, His love, His grace.
So, yes, I think there are Christians who are homosexual. I think some realize they’re in the wrong. I think some haven’t been convicted yet, and may never be. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t genuinely seeking Christ and following Him. It just means they’re theology is incorrect. I dare say we all have at least one piece of incorrect theology in our beliefs.
It’s like a man trying to get to a far away city, but with the wrong map. Does he want to get to the city? Yes. Is he going in the wrong direction? Probably. It is possible to be a sincere Christian, but go in the wrong direction. Ultimately, I think God cares more about your heart than your behaviors, which is not to say He doesn’t care about your behaviours. At some point, what you do affects what you believe. Eventually you’ll realize, or be told, that you’re heading in the wrong direction. Let us hope we all listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in those cases, rather than insisting that the city is still further along the same road and that we know where we’re going.
We have the right to withhold church membership
One of the most difficult topics is that of membership within the church. Membership in a church comes with an acceptance of church doctrine, and a commitment to uphold it. This is separate from being a Christian. In my denomination, baptism comes with membership, and I’ll be honest, I’m not in favor of that practice, for a variety of reasons, but ultimately because they are two very different things.
One is an acceptance of Christ, and a vow to follow Him. The other is an acceptance of man-made doctrine (faithfully trying to follow the Bible, but still man-made), and a vow to follow it. Too often we confuse the two because we blur the lines between being a Christian and being a church member.
So then, if church membership is a vow to follow church doctrine, and your church doctrine says that practicing homosexuality is wrong…then practicing homosexuals (and bisexuals) should not be granted membership. Simple as that. Because membership comes with a responsibility, that you will uphold the denominational beliefs, that you will teach them to the young, that you will model them in your life.
Of course, then we have the cases of church will errant doctrine that believes practicing homosexuality is right, and thus will grant membership. But, if these churches aren’t in our denomination, then our ability and right to hold them accountable is diminished.
And then comes the really unfortunately practice of letting each church in a denomination decide for themselves. Because now you have two churches in the same denomination with opposing ideas of who can be a member and who cannot. One may even become an elder or deacon (and possibly pastor) in one local congregation, but then be refused membership if they move to another area. This causes some serious practical problems as well as a very confused doctrine.
How do we deal with homosexual Christians?
So, we will need to learn to exist in this panorama of Christian stances towards homosexuality. And there are some simple ground rules I think we can follow to do so:
- Recognize that we are all trying our best to follow Christ, and so treat them, not only with respect, but with love and compassion.
- Understand that it is not our job to change someone’s convictions, that is the Holy Spirit’s job. You can actually do more damage than good trying to confront someone with the truth before they are ready.
- Be honest and transparent, when asked, about your stance, but don’t attack them. There is a time and a place for this discussion, but in day-to-day life, it doesn’t need to be brought up. If you are talking about an evangelistic campaign, it’s not applicable. If you are discussing transferring a homosexual couple into your membership, then it definitely is. And if you are asked point blank about what you think, you better be prepared to share your thoughts, even if your answer is “I don’t know yet”.
And really, these are no different than dealing with any other sin in our midst. Love the sinner, hate the sin. A difficult balance to strike, but one that is possible. We do it all the time. With our friends who smoke, or go out and get drunk. With our spouse that is gatekeeping, or who fights dirty in arguments. With our unbelieving loved ones. We show them compassion while lamenting their choices, wishing they would be convicted to change, but extending love for them, regardless or their choices.
So, there’s my stance for any who are wondering where I sit on this issue. Feel free to comment below, for or against. I’ll accept any comment that is respectful, as is my standing policy on any post.
73 thoughts on “Homosexuality and Christians: How Do We Respond?”
I think you did well tackling a very difficult and controversial subject. Our denomination split over the issue a few years ago. The Seattle area formed their own “area” in our denomination supporting ordaining gay pastors. The rural areas rejected the gay agenda in our churches, and we wrote a doctrinal stance against it. I am in an area right on the border of Seattle, so I see first hand the pain this caused. There is one pro-gay pastor yet in our group, but most have moved to the other pastor group. In our church there have been some strong feelings against gays from home schooled kids. They have not been able to separate the sin from the sinner.
Thanks Mike. Yeah, we need to be careful about how we teach our children, especially in a homeschooling situation.
Thank you for “getting” it. Clearly homosexuality is wrong from a scriptural perspective, but the politics of this world should not be the concern of the Church. I believe Christ put it, “then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s”. It has long troubled me that Christians passionately support political people that are outright against taking care of the sick or poor among us, in the name of preventing homosexuals from having civil (worldly) rights extended to them… but at the same time, you have also reminded me to not get hung up over those who simply have the wrong map, but who are trying to follow.
I think John 4:1-42 should serve as a good blueprint here. Christ interacted with a Samaritan woman who was not living a morally correct life, and made a believer out of her with love and grace, not fire and brimstone. And at no point did he insist that she change her ways before she would be allowed to drink His water.
Right, God loves us just the way we are….and too much to leave us that way. The call to change comes after the invitation is accepted.
True…but he did also tell the woman who they were stoning to “go and sin no more”
@Impressed, you’re thinking a different section (John 8), although there are similarities.
That said, I could also use John 8 to support my opinion. Yes, Christ told the woman to go and sin no more, but at the same time he advised the Pharisees that they, as sinners themselves, did not have the right to pass judgement and “cast the first stone”. Further, Christ Himself also refused to pass judgement on the woman.
I don’t believe that condoning homosexuality is the same as showing love and grace to those engaged in it, despite their sin. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, yet God still loves us anyway. We are called upon as Christians to show similar love and grace to others, even though they are sinners, because the hard truth is that all of us are. The idea that some sins (such as homosexuality) are more repulsive to God than others (say lying, coveting, or perhaps failing to love your neighbor) is a very “human” way of looking at it. I don’t believe that God sees it that way. In fact, Christ even notes that sometimes the “bigger” the sin forgiven, the stronger the redemption (Luke 8:36-50). People tend to forget (or not be aware?) that God recruited a “murderer” to spread the new covenant to the Gentiles, and pen nearly half of the New Testament (Acts 7:54-8:1, 9:15). The point of all this is that God will convict people with the Holy Spirit according to His own plan. It’s simply not our place to pass judgement.
You did a great job on this I think
Be prepared though for attacks. Some will try to attack you (not realizing that their issue is with God and the bible, rather than you specifically) so just brace yourself and stand firm Please.
By the way, could you shed some more light on which verses say we have no right to hold anyone accountable outside the church? And how far do you think that extends with respect to other sins like murder, stealing, lying, etc etc?
I’m not sure I can point to a singular verse, but rather a pattern in the Bible. Whenever it speaks of us judging, it’s about fellow believers, otherwise it tells us not to judge. Also, there is a logical consistency to it. How can we judge people who have not given us the authority to judge them? Anyone in a church has either implicitly or explicitly placed themselves under the authority of that church, but people outside of a church membership have not.
How far does this extend…well, in other cases, luckily we have civil order on our side. Murder is a crime, not only a sin, as is theft. Lying too, in certain circumstances (unfortunately not in all). If murder didn’t have civil order claiming it was a crime…then we wouldn’t have much recourse, would we? I don’t think we, as a church, could, for example, lock up someone who was killing. We could lock ourselves up to protect each other. We could leave the cities or something like that. But, we don’t have the authority to act as police. Not unless the entire nation was agreed on the religion (like in Israel’s time).
1 Corinthians 5
12 For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders (non-believers)? Do you not judge those who are within the church [to protect the church as the situation requires]? 13 God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside [the faith]. Remove the wicked one from among you [expel him from your church].
Ultimately we don’t need to judge sinners because they already have their judgement, they are not bound to the laws of Christianity as they do not follow Christ.
Yeah, that’s a good one.
Cogent and empathetic treatment
I wrote a big huge long post then just deleted it because no one will read something that long so here’s my short reply:
I loved the majority of your post Jay Dee, I love also how you didn’t include intersex in LGBTQ like many people do (as intersex is about physical characteristics, not orientation and shouldn’t be included with orientation even if orientation has biological basis), but I vehemently disagree with your implication that Christians should stay out of the politics of gay marriage.
The problem is, the politics about our gay marriage, isn’t just about two people of the same gender getting married. It’s about so much more. It’s about the legal relationship between children and gay “step” parents for starters – although even if gay marriage is not legalised, this will still be an issue, just one that is akin to children with defacto “step” parents. But the serious issue surrounding gay marriage is how it effects access to things like adoption, artificial reproductive technology access, who goes on the birth certificate of children born to “married” gay couples etc.
Wherever possible (where there is no abuse or neglect of the child, no domestic violence, no addiction, no adultery, or death or other reason why two biological parents can’t raise the child in an intact family) a child has the right to an intact biological family. Having raised a child in a non intact family where staying an intact family was not possible, I know how damaging it is to a child. And where an intact biological family is not possible, a child still has the right to some sort of mother and father wherever possible – while an adopted parent or step parent is never quite the same as a biological parent, I have seen first hand how having an opposite gendered “non-biological” parent helps a child to get over some of the damage of not having the biological parent in their life. I only have to look at my daughter to know that all the brilliant, involved, strong male role models in the world cannot make up for not having a father. For example, my brother, her uncle, is the same age as my husband and has been a brilliant male role model to her and spent as much time as he possible could being a good model to her before we moved away when I remarried – yet despite that, it was never the same as having a father – and while my second husband isn’t quite as naturally gifted in interacting with children as my brother is, there was an immediate good change in my daughter after we got married to have someone she can call a father in her life. My daughter adores her uncle, and they are so close that when the three of us used to go out places and do things together, that people would constantly comment on what a great “dad” he was because of how close they are (and they look just like each other too). My brother has been more of a dad to my daughter than most men are to their own children sadly. But it can never replace having someone to actually call dad in her life. A biological father is always the best option, and while that is not always an option, children benefit so much from having a non-biological father whenever possible. (and don’t even get me started on the cruelty of kids being raised with no mother, biological or non-biological).
If gay marriage only ever involved two gay people with no children involved, then it wouldn’t be an issue – but as long as children are deliberately denied their God-given right to at least the possibility of at least some form of both a mother and a father by the legalisation of gay marriage, then Christians do have a duty to fight against gay marriage. God has given us a duty of care to protect children – and that includes in the political and legal arena.
And then there is the whole issue of the fact that in some states and some countries where gay marriage has been legalised, some ministers of religion and some entire churches are not protected from being forced to choose between risk being forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies or not performing marriage ceremonies for anyone at all. And no secular celebrants or other wedding vendors are given protection at all. Even speaking the belief that gay marriage should not be allowed has seen some religious people’s lives destroyed by being sued, harassed, etc.
It matters to Christians if homosexuals marry because it effects vulnerable children and it effects human rights and freedom of religion and freedom of speech. It matters what is taught in public schools because in many countries (certainly here in Australia) many parents cannot afford to send their child to a Christian school and are unable to homeschool either so public school is the only option. And history has shown in these areas (one only has to look at the issue of Evolution being taught in schools), that at least here in Australia, even more so since a national curriculum was brought in, it’s only a very short matter of time after ideas are forced upon public schools to indoctrinate children with, that the government then forces religious schools to teach the same dogma to their students or lose their funding (which basically means the schools then are not financially viable). Not quite the same issue, but this has recently happened to some Islamic schools over teaching views the government disagreements with on other issues – and without government funding, the schools simply cannot afford to run.
It’s a massive thing here at the moment with the campaign to introduce a curriculum called “safe schools” in schools. At the moment it’s only proposed for public schools – and it will involve children as young as 3 being taught that homosexuality is normal and acceptable, as well as things for only slightly older children like masturbation is perfectly fine and healthy, promiscuity is normal as long as you do it willingly, etc. But with an enforced national curriculum in nearly every educational subject, if this “safe schools” doctrine is introduced to state schools, it will only be a few years after it will be forced upon all private schools to teach as well.
It matters what is taught in public schools because of the many Christian families who cannot access Christian schools. It matters because what is taught in public schools is usually quickly forced on Christian schools not long after. It matters because again, this matter effects CHILDREN. Because children are vulnerable and we have a God-given duty to protect the weak and oppressed, and three year olds being taught that homosexuality is normal and healthy is not okay, whether their parents are Christians, some other religion, atheists or even satanists. We have a duty to fight to protect children. Adults can do as they please as long as everyone involved is consenting, but we have a moral duty to protect children from being indoctrinated that sinful, morally damaging behavior is normal and healthy.
So while I totally agree with you about what you’ve written for how individuals are to treat LGBTQ individually, and how churches should treats individuals – in fact I think what you’ve written is extremely good in that area – I have to totally disagree with you that Christians shouldn’t care about politics, the law or what is taught in public schools (or shown on TV for that matter).
Otherwise we may as well just turn a blind eye to everything that certain groups in society are okay with such as paedophilia, rape, murder, theft etc. Or showing porn on general TV at times kids are usually awake etc.
Christians who do fight against gay marriage (particularly
Your “short” message seems to have been cut off, but I think I get the point.
So, the problem is that fighting it won’t actually change anything. Christians are the minority now, and we will until the end of the world, I think. You can forbid gay marriage, but it won’t stop gay common-law marriages, or just “living together”. Whatever you want to call it. It won’t stop one of them adopting a child. It won’t stop one getting artificially inseminated. It won’t stop a mother or a father leaving a family to be with their homosexual lover and taking the kids with. It won’t help. That is not a problem that can be solved with legislature. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a problem that can be solved before Jesus comes back at all. The world is just not heading in that direction.
And the same goes for schools. Fight, rage, yell, scream all you want. We won’t be heard. It is not our world. We are living on foreign soil, as it were. I understand not all can afford Christian schools, that it’s not affordable, but I think that’s because of our Christian culture. In the denomination I grew up in, almost every child went to private school. Can’t afford it? No problem, you can pay it off in decades if you need. No government funding, not outside involvement. It was possible, because every family supported the school, whether they had kids there or not.
But, that’s rare in our culture now. People don’t want to support Christian education, especially if they don’t see a direct benefit (like their kids being in it).
So, yes, I understand it’s not perfect. But, we’re not going to get perfect. It’s not worth fighting this battle that we know we’re going to lose. We should focus on teaching our children right from wrong, so that when they are confronted with it, whether it be in school, or on TV, or on the street, then they know how to respond. Our kids will get bad grades in social studies for bring contrarian. We’ll lose jobs for having faith. We’ll be persecuted more and more as time progresses. This is our future. And yeah, it’s not fair. Especially to those who don’t have a choice. That’s the “problem” with free will….their parents had a choice. But, without free will, we wouldn’t have love either. That’s the trade-off. Until one day we have perfect wills and have seen what choosing wrong looks like.
Unfortunately, one day our children’s children will probably be taken away from them by child services, because they’re being indoctrinated by “intolerant Christians”. I fear for the days to come. But, I don’t think we can stop it. It will get worse before Jesus returns. “Even so, come Lord Jesus”.
I appreciate your stance though. You, of course, are welcome to get as involved as you like in politics. I will choose to focus my energies elsewhere.
Thanks for your short version?Lol
As a christian man in a straight, monogomous marriage for 25 years, who has struggled with same sex attraction for most of his life, I can say that I appreciate your point if view. I spent most of my life convinced that there was something wrong with me, that god had abandoned me due to his failure to fix me, and that I was condemned. It has only been in the last 5 years or so that I have come to peace with my condition, accepting the fact that I am attracted to men, but that I have chosen to love and cherish my wife to the exclusion of all other men and women. Unfortunately, my condition has led to quite a lot of anxiety and fear for my wife which we continue to work through.
Again, I appreciate your post. It would be great to see more content geared toward supporting and encouraging those in my position. Thanks, again.
One more thing. I stumbled upon this verse the other day and it was so encouraging to me as some days i don’t feel like I’m making any progress at all:
Corinthians 3:18Amplified Bible (AMP)
18 And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.
This was a considerate, humble, well-thought out article on this this topic. Far too often Christians have hated the sinner while claiming to only hate the sin–and then wondered why their LGBQT neighbors or coworkers want nothing to do with them. The world is supposed to hate us, but because of Jesus, not because of our political stance or our calloused attitude toward others.
I appreciate the distintion between a same sex orientation and homosexuality. Because of our fallen humanity people have orientations toward all sorts of sinful behavior–otherwise known as temptation. We are born with a sin nature that will never choose to honor God. The gospel is the only thing that can change that by giving us a brand new nature–political answers will never address the heart. However, as believers we still struggle and fight against the flesh. Choosing to obey the flesh is always sinful–it is just as wrong for me to pursue any other woman than my wife sexually (which most of us could argue is a “natural orientation……”) as it is for man or woman to pursue a member of the same gender sexually.
Because of the Fall, we are messed up at every level of our being. We do not condemn a person born with a birth defect or a mental disability, those are unfortunate consequences of our sin against God. So why do we single out someone with an orientation toward homosexuality, which is another unfortunate result of the Fall? Every orientation toward sin is a result of the Fall–I have taken way too many trips to the buffet in my lifetime, which is usually nothing more than obeying my flesh.
However, wanting to fill my plate again, but refusing to do so is completely different. If we helped those with same sex desires sort through them and fight for holiness instead of condemning them for being honest about it, maybe we could open the door for the gospel of Jesus Christ to make the only difference that will really help.
Excellent article; thanks for posting this. I’ve had similar thoughts that the sin of homosexuality isn’t any worse than any other sin. I’m curious how you’d respond to an invitation to a gay wedding. Let’s say the couple are close acquaintances, not close friends or family. If a friend is a gossip, I would avoid being in situations where it appears that I support their sinful behavior. From that perspective, I’m leaning toward not attending a gay wedding. What do you think?
I think I would go to the wedding, but decline any invitation to be part of the wedding party. That’s where my boundary is, I think.
I took the same stance with my sister-in-law who married outside of the faith. I came to support her to show that I love her still…but could not stand for her choice. That’s just how I see it.
Then again, my sister is getting married this year, and I accepted to be the MC. She doesn’t attend church, though I think she still believes in God. Her fiancee…I don’t know what he believes, nothing strongly I don’t think. But, my sister is very aware of my views regarding marrying outside the faith. It’s a difficult position to be in. I guess I take it on a case by case basis. I don’t have a formula.
I think everybody has some sin or sins that are more tempting to them than other sins, and I don’t think it makes any difference if that temptation has a root in a person’s biology or not. Unless we are mentally deficient in some way we have the ability to choose our behaviour.
In my faith, a homosexual person who abides by God’s commandments can enjoy full fellowship in the Church. Those who choose to engage in homosexual relations face the same kind of consequences as heterosexuals who engage in sexual sins, and the church will do what it can to reclaim the sinner through Christ’s atonement.
I have to disagree though when you say we have no right to say gay marriage should not exist etc. We have every right as citizens in a free country to speak our mind and try to rally others to support what we believe. If we have the support of the majority, we have the right to shape the laws of the land but we are not obligated to be silent when in the minority. God gave these commandments for a reason, there are consequences to a society that doesn’t follow them. We have to do our best to shield our families from it but we should also point out those consequences to the world as they become more visible and continue to stand for what we believe is right. It can be done without spreading hate, but it will be called hate no matter how it is done.
Right now the gay rights movement is slowly turning into a movement against freedom of religion, and if we do not continue to speak up I expect the day will come when society deems teaching Christian morality to your children is a form of abuse that justifies them taking your kids away to be raised by others who accept the worlds view on such things.
Agreed, as individuals we have the right. I meant to express that we should not expect Christianity as a whole to have a larger voice. We are the minority.
I’m not so sure about that. Same sex marriage is being imposed from the courts in the vast majority of cases. When people actually vote on it, even in liberal areas like California, keeping marriage as between a man and a woman wins. Don’t fall for the propaganda from the few who control mass media.
You said, “We have no right to say that gay marriage should not exist. We have no right to say it shouldn’t be taught in schools, where we are the minority. We have no right to say it shouldn’t be on TV.”
Umm… Well… actually we do have that right. At least in the USA we have been given a voice, and it isn’t wrong to use it. Granted we need to speak the truth in love, but we can say we don’t want this or that taught in school, and we can say what we do want taught. We may not win, but we can speak up. In fact we should speak up. The problem with the homosexual issue is that Christians have ignored so many other horrific sins in the past that, specifically hetero-sexual sin that we’ve discredited ourselves in the homo-sexual sins debate. In many cases we are bigots because we’ve refuse membership to a practicing homosexual, but not even remove an adulterer from teaching Sunday School. Just some additional thoughts.
As individuals, yes. As a church saying our will should be imposed, no. Frankly, we’re the minority. So yeah, vote as an individual if you wish. That is your right.
Unfortunately, your post implies a bit of isolationism and/or defeatism. We are to be in the world not of the world. Romans 13 must be tempered (Hardened) with an understanding of many like Moses, Mordichia, Esther, Daniel, and of course Paul’s own demands for his rights as a Roman Citizen. The church as an organization is divided many are claiming that the Bible is wrong, this is from people claiming to represent the Body of Christ. The Church must stand up to them, and rebuke them, the church doesn’t vote nor tell people how to vote, but it does say what the Bible says and it must do that even if it isn’t located in “free” society, note the names I mentioned above. Beyond that, in a “free” society those who may speak and vote should be “free” to do so.
I’m not arguing that individuals shouldn’t vote. Merely that we should not think our vote will count as more because we have the moral high ground. After all, everyone thinks they have that.
But, too often I see Christians enraged by the result of a political vote or move. Why? Do we not expect the world to drift further from God’s commandments? I do. So, if you like, vote, if you don’t want to, don’t. But, I don’t think the church should act as a political entity, nor should its members expect the church to have a political in the arena merely because it’s a church.
Having been a Christian for a long time, and thinking I knew most of the answers, I now find myself wondering what the Gospel message of salvation really is. One of the questions I have is, does the person need to repent of sin in order to receive salvation?
I have heard it said that the sinner, in receiving Christ, turns away from sin and towards God, and that this is called repentance. If true, then what if a homosexual person doesn’t believe that homosexuality is a sin? How can they repent of something that they don’t believe is wrong? But if they don’t repent of it, can they be saved?
Btw, I know what Calvinism says about repentance, but I am not a Calvinist and do not accept their view of it.
Good post and thread, Jay. You’re preaching to the choir, so to speak, but encouraging to me is there is a segment that is still disapproving. Better it hadn’t come out of the closet, so to speak, but media in drips and drops, made it mainstream. Look at the devastation from the HIV, the carryover to the straight medical system and frankly, once homosexuality became mainstreamed and “a-ok”, the flood of all the rest came up behind. Gay marriage, the entire alphabet soup of sexual depravity is all on the menu and if you turn even one jaundiced eye toward it, you’re a bigot and a fiend.
The reprehensible portion of the culture of the alphabet soup of sexual depravity, if you will, is the sanctioned public school advocacy toward the children and the vulnerable teens. The recruitment starts young, the push in schools begins early to make it right and fun and well, shucks, just another way to live your life. With two mommies and/or two daddies,we present just another kind of family, right? All marketed to children, 50 or 60% of whom are from hetero-divorced homes, making it seem even more ok, since hetero families don’t work so well, right? Well, not after Secular Christianity made it ok and acceptable to divorce, that is. And they play that aspect up too. And of course, what I refer to as the Secular Christian Community (any so-called “Christian” organization that supports all this) is completely on-board. I expect, any evening now, the Vatican to light up in the beautiful rainbow colors, because that IS coming to a Catholic Church near you.
Meanwhile, the toll on medical resources, the recruitment of children, the advocacy is leading to more of what has always been true, the deaths of homosexual men at an average age of 50 from the Hepatitis, AIDS and a few others they haven’t even acknowledged publicly, I’m sure. They don’t miss a stat when it comes to tobacco and driving without a seat belt, but the one statistic that is as sure as sugar they gloss over in their advocacy for the behavior. That’s all, really, except for one thing.
They weren’t born this way, God didn’t make them that way, they CHOOSE to be this way. Being an empathetic old cuss, admittedly, for many of the men, it’s probably easier than dealing with women, Ha! I certainly understand lesbian women, I love women too. The transsexuals, bisexuals and the rest, I have only contempt for because all that alphabet soup THEY take in is code for, “I will nail or be nailed by, anything that walks”. Then you have the NAMBLA perverts (Look it up, it’s too gross for here) and on their heels is the bestiality class. The proverbial slippery slope and once gays got their toe in the door of societal and political acceptance and a President elected who is himself of questionable sexual heritage, all the rest was sure to (and surely did) follow. It was NOT God’s plan, they were NOT born that way, it is a behavior and it is an abomination. It is a choice.
My 2 cents, your mileage may vary!
I agree mostly with what you wrote, but in reference to homosexuality in the political arena- When homosexual marriage was put to a vote in my state, I voted against it the same way I would vote against anything the Bible says is sin. I don’t egg homosexual people’s houses or boycott their place in public life, but I vote on principle.
In my country, gay marriage was legalized over a decade ago. To fight it now is to be going against the majority. What I meant is not that you can’t vote, but rather that we should not expect that our votes should have more weight simply because we are right. Vote, but know eventually we will lose. Even in those states that turn it down, it will be brought up again and pass eventually.
Thanks for the clarification! I agree that it’s inevitable- the supreme court overturned the decision of any state that voted against it.
I did not know that. Thanks for sharing.
Regarding voting and such, I would like to point out a strong reason to not mix your religion and your politics. As Jay Dee noted, it is possible, even likely that at some point in time the prevailing majority will not be Christian. You would not want a fundamentalist majority to start pushing a decidedly anti-Christian agenda — and no I am not talking about things like allowing non-believers to marry in ways you disagree with, I am talking about infringing on your rights to practice your beliefs that target you specifically. Think Afghanistan’s Taliban. Equal Protection is an important thing, and is what prevents the minority from getting trampled by the majority. It is possible to support freedom of religion, even for those who aren’t of your religion. It is possible to support freedom of speech, even if the one talking is David Duke. And it is possible to support equal protection under law, even if the protection is being extended to those who are not acting in accordance with your beliefs. As such, I personally support extending the civil benefits of “marriage”(*) to homosexuals. Jane and Jill’s domicile are going to exist either way, and there is no good reason not to let them have equal rights under law. That doesn’t mean I agree with their lifestyle, but at the same time, their choice doesn’t affect my marriage or life in any way. I’d rather leave equal protection in tact and make sure my rights to freely act in accordance with my beliefs is not infringed upon later. And to be very clear, I do NOT believe a Church should be compelled to perform a wedding against their beliefs… that crosses the line into infringing on the rights of the Church… but civil benefits, I see no reason to oppose them. And even if you disagree with the notion that we shouldn’t care about homosexuals having legal rights, I will under argue that it is FAR more important to spend that effort on other things. It is way more important that we tend to the sick and poor, and protect people’s right to not be killed violently at random, and various other social issues. If you read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Christ spent WAY more time healing the sick and feeding the hungry than he did rebuking the wicked, and even there he spent much more time rebuking selfish greed and judgmental pharisees than he did condemning adulterers and homosexuals. I don’t think that is incidental.
(*) Note: one hang up that I think Christians get caught on is that Godly “marriage” is different from civil “marriage”, in the same way that “right” the direction is different from being correct “right”. If we had a do-over, we should not have used the same word when writing it into law. A homosexual partnership is clearly not a “one flesh” Godly marriage. But, I don’t see any good reason to consider it different in terms of a legal partnership. We’d probably not even be discussing this if the law spoke only of “civil unions” when discussing inheritance law, tax code, and such, and people who got “married”, also had the option to form a legal “civil union” at the same time. That ship has sailed as the term has been coded into law over centuries and is entrenched, but it does help if you force yourself to see the two concepts as different things.
“A homosexual partnership is clearly not a “one flesh” Godly marriage. But, I don’t see any good reason to consider it different in terms of a legal partnership.” That is an advocacy. Yet, there are the Unitarians and others joining these ladies and gents in religious and “Godly” ceremonies in church, these aren’t merely “civil unions”. Therein lies the beginning of the slippery slope. But you’re correct that this is a done deal, a sailed ship, as it were. Not only is the camel’s nose under the edge of the tent, that camel is dancing on all fours inside releasing all sorts of droppings that will never get cleaned up, such as the acceptance of and demand for the the sexual depravity alphabet soup of sorts aboard the ships of the Navy and service of the Army and such, the frightful expense of their diseases distributed among the rest of us and worst of all, the advocacy and recruitment of the kids from the earliest ages possible. High prices to pay, but I digress. Sailed ships and all.
But at the start, just the formality of a legal partnership, no harm done, what’s the problem with you Christians?
You’re stretching words to get to advocacy… But ok, I will just own it… I STRONGLY advocate not discriminating against anyone under worldly law, with my rational being that I don’t want precedent being set for future laws that might be discriminatory towards me or my beliefs. My “advocacy” has NOTHING to do with my opinion of the lifestyle. It entirely has to do with my opinions on discriminatory law. It’s no different than the fact that I support the rights of radicals to speak, even though their message is appalling, because I value my own right to speak. Let’s try this. Imagine that there was the legal concept of a civil union between two people that conferred legal benefits, and that it was available to any two people, unless they were married by a religious authority, with the rational being that allowing a legal benefit in that case would cross church and state boundaries. Wouldn’t that feel discriminatory to you? I get that this topic is hard because the word “marriage” has been given a worldly meaning by centuries of being encoded in worldly laws, but it really is two different concepts. The legal contractual benefits of “marriage” are *different* from the Biblical concept of “marriage”. I see no compelling reason why the world’s law can’t allow those who I disagree with to have the same legal contractual rights as I do. I wouldn’t want to open up the “slippery slope” to worldly laws that forced Muslim or Hindu beliefs upon me, or that discriminated against me for my Christian views, or things even worse than that. If you lose equal protection, the “slippery slope” is towards things like Christians having to wear yellow crosses on their clothes, and not being allowed to run their businesses on equal terms, and beyond. Don’t believe me? Ask a Jew of German origin about it.
I didn’t consider it your advocacy, merely that that is how that segment of society treated the term “legal partnership” to get us from a relatively innocuous there to here. I’m ok being discriminatory and judgemental on this subject because much is lost of the Christian influence on a better society in times past. For years in the Northeast, I’ve seen the gay men and women being married in civil unions in Vermont and N.H and later, Massachusetts and garner themselves equal rights to heterosexual couples as regards adoption. When THEIR breakups would occur, the “partner” listed as maternal whether by adoption or actual birth (the artificial insemination babies of lesbians) would simply move to Virginia where I lived at the time this started happening.
Of course, in Virginia, the judges didn’t recognize these “unions” and would throw out the non-maternal partner’s request for joint custody, and to throw yet another wrench of disapproval would frequently issue a restraining order against the non-maternal partner so the maternal partner would have unfettered freedom to go find her next “partner”. All routine in the gay community, split up, leave to the South, get rid of that partner for good. Still happening because the statutes are different in different states and the “partner” in a gay “marriage” that wants to dispose of the old partner needs only move South to have said unions rejected and restraining orders issued. The only thing recognized is the birth certificate, not the union. And I’m ok with THAT. I never thought homosexual “partners” of ANY stripe should ever have been allowed adoption rights. It’s wrong and that’s that.
This is what we allowed, what was wrought on our society, in addition to all the other problems. So yeah, while I understand the situation is a done deal and will never be reversed, the damage done drives me to consider these “unions” as “less than” and subject to my own discrimination. These are folks I choose not to regard with equal regard and my respect of married Christian couples.
Please understand, Josh, I’m at peace with you, NO disrespect intended, just a difference of opinion on societal and biblical “policy”, as it were. If my opinions and intolerance for the acceptance and denigration of marriage in this country are indeed evil, God will have His way with me in due time, I’m sure. Peace.
Jim, just for the record I wasn’t calling anyone out as being intolerant. I am at peace with you as well. My opinion is mostly on the basis that the world’s law is not guided by God’s hand, and safeguards such as equal protection are critically important where laws are written by fallen men. And yes, the whole custody thing is a mess… but here is a case in point, God’s version of marriage isn’t severable, while the world’s legal contract is. There are plenty of ugly custody battles between divorced hetrosexuals who have new partners that are ugly in their own ways. In any case, no, I don’t think it’s being intolerant to consider a legal “marriage” by worldly law different than a spiritual “marriage” by God’s law. I think that was actually the exact point I was trying to make.
I understand and no harm, no foul. We disagree and good thing honorable men can. But God’s law on the subject built all. In that comfort, secular law strayed. God may forgive on some level, but there will be Hell to pay. The world’s secular solution garners no respect or tolerance from me and my and billions of others’ ilk. Orthodox Jews, Christians and (oh my!) Islam’s tenets agree, this not being good for society and mankind and spreading the seed and fruit of mankind mustn’t be accepted. Now, I don’t say follow Islam’s policy of stoning, nor the scarlet A of old-time Christianity. But by God, don’t throw it in my face and especially do not advocate to the children.
All of that has been done and much, much more. More is the pity for all of the secular elements. I am a Christian in more than name. I don’t tolerate this in my in my heart even as I must follow the secular law. We agree to disagree.
Sounds like it could have solved a lot of problems if it had been legalized country wide…
Yeah, I agree. That’s a good point, I think. That we should be fighting for free will. After all, I think that’s large part of the point of our existence here. To choose God willingly. Well, in order to do that, we have to let people not choose God.
I get the feeling from your comments that you think all homosexuals are crawling with diseases, that they are all sleeping around with anyone they can get their hands on. I don’t think this is an accurate assessment.
All? No, but gay men join one to the other way out of proportion to heterosexual unions. The men are far more promiscuous because MEN are more promiscuous. More opportunity, more incidents, more disease, because their activities (need I be graphic?) are far and away more receptive to these diseases. Now, in my business, there are folks coupled for life. But the young men and their biological environment in bars, clubs and public saunas and baths is burdened with far more sexual encounters. To compare the promiscuous homosexual aspect of sexual relations to heterosexual promiscuity is to compare dollars to pennies, hence the greater incidence of HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis in the gay community.
Why the tolerance for this activity?
I think you are relying on old research and propaganda. Recent statistics place homosexuals as being just as promiscuous as heterosexuals. Then again, the entire landscape of promiscuity is eroding and life-long monogamy is now a rarity…
Still, the point is, I think you need to adjust your stereotypes. You’re propagating hate propaganda and demonizing the people not the activity.
Well, I could pull up NIH and CDC stats, recent ones, but you can look those up. I don’t argue for one or the other when it comes to promiscuity, per se, (although the HIV and hepatitis stats are unarguably higher for gay men), however, one cannot argue that monogamous, Christian or otherwise, lifelong heterosexual, fruitful marriage is a healthier option, safe to say? The option advocated by the bible? I don’t see a lot of gaywithinmarriage participants here at sexwithinmarriage, frankly. Those folks would laugh themselves silly at Christianity and biblical tenets of course.
My point is, they laugh at and belittle Christians, so why do Christians defend and equivocate?
That wasn’t the argument. We all agree that a monogamous, Christian marriage is the ideal, though you cannot make the same argument for the rest of the world. Many will vehemently disagree with you.
Either way, one cannot compel someone to be Christian or to act as a Christian. The concept violates the fundamental principle of Christianity: Love.
By the same token, then, heterosexual unions between non-Christians should be called something else as well. As should a union between a Christian and a non-Christian.
I’m not so sure I’d go as far as to say that God sees unions of non-Christians, or those in which one spouse is a believer and the other isn’t as not being marriages by His definition. The Bible very clearly defines Godly marriage as the joining of man and woman as one, but I don’t recall reading any verses that add “believer” as a qualifier. I’d point again to John 4:16-18, where Christ refers to the “husbands” of the Samaritan woman as one example where Christ acknowledges the concept of marriage among non-believers. I’d also point out that Godly marriage actually predates “Christianity”. Marriage existed before Christians did, so the notion of drawing distinction based on “Christian” faith is difficult in that context.
We’re told not to marry with unbelievers, and arguably all the commands in the Bible are only for believers. Therefore the very command to join a man and a woman is directed at believers, no?
The thing is, as fallen people, we all routinely do things that God told us not to do, and the amazing thing about God is his ability to redeem those choices for us (both in terms of salvation, but also in terms of working in mysterious ways). Fundamentally, I think the difference is that a marital union between two non-believers can exist within God’s definition of marriage, just as a union between a man and woman who are thieves, and not listening to God. The same can’t be said of a same-sex union, as the nature of it is against God’s intent. I mean, it’s possible for the two non-believers to have been “married” for decades, be completely faithful to each other, and even if by accident, live as God intended for spouses. It’s also possible for them to come to believe many decades after they joined. Their union wouldn’t then be invalid because it was made before they believed?
Believers? Who cares? Secular, or not, Man-Woman is the point. So, if the man and woman are not saved or otherwise “religious” at marriage, their “less-than” piety then sinks to the level of a man-man or woman-woman union in the eyes of Christ? I realize you’re VERY forgiving of homosexual unions, attempting to elevate them to the level Christ approves, but that’s a real and secular stretch. Again, we must agree to disagree. The notion that Christ forgives man-man or woman-woman unions that cannot, by their very construct, be fruitful is nonsensical.
We must agree to disagree and allow God to sort this out.
Now you are putting words in my mouth, and untruthful ones at that. I flat out said in my post that I am not for homosexual practice. I’m not sure I could have been any clearer. I’m also not for alcohol consumption, smoking, atheism, Sunday keeping in lieu of Sabbath, and a host of other things. But, I would not fight to remove your right to do those things. It’s your choice whom you serve. Just as it’s theirs. In our church, we have the right to sanction and to censor. Outside of a gathering of believers, we lack that right. We don’t have the authority (except the authority of a single voter, just so no one is confused).
So, yeah, we can agree to disagree…that’s sort of my whole point. They (homosexuals) disagree with us, and we have to agree to disagree. Otherwise God would have simply destroyed Satan immediately upon his rebellion. Instead, He gave Satan leave to live out an existence apart from God. And that a being with no hope of redemption. Should we treat these humans who have a chance any worse?
Again: hate the sin, love the sinner. I’m not seeing that in your arguments. I’m seeing stereotyping, I’m seeing character assassination. I’m seeing slander and propaganda.
And then you say that Christ will not forgive homosexuals if they repent. I would like to see you find a verse to support that one. Because I think I could find a dozen to say Christ can forgive all sins (except the one unforgivable one, which I don’t think is related to this at all).
But in that vein, they are not repentant. Repenting is not in these folks’ collective vocabulary. Again, I don’t care what they do. At the end of the day, all I want is for them not to advocate to the children and not be a burden, both of which they are. But they are less than, they are not fruitful and holy. They are indefensible. That isn’t slander, that’s denying that they are of God or nature. They are, at best, God’s creatures gone astray. As a group, they are not repentant. As I said, that isn’t for us to deal with, that is for them to deal with when one day, they face God in an unrepentant state. That doesn’t put words in your mouth and that isn’t old-fashioned rhetoric.
That’s just how it is.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)
Love my neighbor? These particular neighbors HATE me. You too. All Christians. Forgive them if you will, but never forget them. They are not benevolent. Not towards you, to our children, toward our families or faith. I don’t forgive them the damage they do. Not my job. God will have to do that. My job is to oppose them.
I will pray for you. I sincerely hope that you find the way eventually. I will offer once more, however, that the second sentence which reads, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your father in heaven” was way more important than the first sentence. Quite clearly Christ instructs us to show love even to those who “HATE” us. I would argue that homosexuals don’t inherently hate others the way you say, but that is irrelevant, as Christ is pretty clear in his instruction that we should show love anyway. At this point, I doubt that my comment pointing out the words of God will reach your heart today, anymore than I think that “political opposition” will convince a practicing homosexual to reverse course and find Christ, but I pray that God speaks to your heart in His time.
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,Â bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.Â If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.Â Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
No, they are not repentant, but neither are most of them convicted.
That happens a lot in Christianity. For example, in one denomination they say speaking in tongues is required for salvation. In another, they say speaking in tongues is of the devil. Which group are Christian? Arguably both. They’re both faithfully TRYING to follow God. However, they cannot both be right. The doctrines are mutually exclusive. So, they can both be Christian, while living a sinful life, one or the other (or both), not convicted of the truth.
Same true holds here. I have heard many strong arguments for the practice of homosexuality, from strong Christians who 100% believed what they were saying and used the Bible to back up their views. I don’t agree with them. I think they have it wrong. But they are convinced that it’s true. So then, who am I to say that they are not Christian because they don’t see the truth that I see?
What is it to be Christian? To accept God as creator. To accept that we are fallen. To accept that we need a saviour. To accept that Jesus is that saviour and that his gift of salvation is for us. And to accept that salvation.
We all do these things. We accept, we proclaim. We wait His second coming. How do you then say they are not brothers and sisters in Christ, however misguided? How can you claim they are unrepentant, while you still have unrepented sins in your life that you are not even aware of? I know I keep finding more in mine as I grow closer to God. I will never be aware of all of my sins, let alone convicted and consciously repentant of them specifically.
What we all are is repentant of our sinful nature. That we do sin, and will continue to sin. So, I reject your premise that they are not repentant as a group.
But, I agree, will will all face God and mourn for the sins we didn’t even know we were committing. Our hearts will break at the pain we’ve caused Him, and that He still loves and accepts us if we are willing to be accepted and to love Him in return.
Man-man is one thing, woman-man, whatever their religious affiliation is quite another.
Are we to equivocate man-man, woman-woman to the righteous man-woman? They are not equivalent to God. The gay/transgender community are destructive to the birth rate, the courts, the medical system. It isn’t equivalent, it is not fruitful as we were ordered to be, there is a cost to this. And, they advocate to the children, youngsters too young to sort these issues out for themselves, in their own time. The community pressures society (And is successful) to advocate to the children. Everyone is ok with this? I have the feeling I’m about to be banned.
Why would I ban you? So long as you stay civil, you’re welcome to debate.
I know that, but others would have. I stand as one man against the unnatural, unholy union of man-man/woman-woman lobby. They started it when they painted me as a bigot for resisting their effect on society. Then, it wasn’t sufficient that I keep my trap shut. They instead, insist that I accept and celebrate their perversion. And so it goes. I hereby refuse to accept it on any level and agree to disagree. And in the most remarkable venues, still I must defend nature and God and resist the justifications and advocacy for their position. They are indefensible. They are welcome to their perversion of God’s will, but I don’t accept it. To accept their behavior is wrong. I’ll tolerate it, I’m not going jihad over it, but I don’t accept it. That’s the extent of my posting on the subject. Sexwithingenders ain’t my thang and never will be.
I am not others, though you seem to continuously want to lump people into very broad categories. Except yourself, of course… You, apparently, stand alone as the remnant of God’s people… at least in your mind.
Sadly, it seems you missed the entire point of the post. I’m sorry I could not convey it to you.
I missed nothing once it got to a point, Jay. These folks are a broad category all on their own. They are not holy, fruitful, nor righteous. They are men who lay down with other men, women with women and they expect all of us to celebrate them. I refuse. Yes, I lump those folks into a broad category of sinners looking to drag us all down. If you wish to stand with them, I can’t stop you, I cannot dissuade you. I refuse to stand with them. They are abjectly hostile, as a group, to Christianity. I’ll stand alone if need be, but I do not stand alone. You go with them. Stand with them, lie down with them, in principle, defend them. Your arguments constitute all of these. I don’t know how you rationalize, but there are lots of rationalizations on a civilization’s path to Hell. The gay community is an awfully thin slice of sinful humanity to defend. But that’s how they do it. First job, convince the laymen.
Yep. Missed the point…and not only of the post I’m afraid.
No, they are very “fruitful”?
And this is part of the problem. I write a post about how we need to be respectful and compassionate, regardless of their behaviors, and your response is to reference a derogatory term for them. I don’t think that’s appropriate or in good taste to be honest. It’s an attack on them as people. This is exactly what we need to stop.
Jay, great work addressing this type of sin within the context of the church. My only concern is you didn’t relate this sin to any other ‘public’ sin that is plaguing America. We have ‘public’ sins of Christians not taking care of the poor, not taking care of His Creation, not taking care of their marriages, and not taking care of God’s Temple (their bodies). But we don’t have qualifiers in the Church for those sins, but now we are adding a qualifier for homosexuality. Why is that? Can we list any other qualifiers for membership? Most qualifiers for church membership are belief based, not lifestyle based.
And if we add to the conversation about non-public sins, such as liars, cheaters, gossipers, and addictions. Those don’t make a public scene, but have just as destructive qualities within the church. Those non-public sins are ‘harder’ to find, but they exist and we don’t qualify that for membership, nor do we rarely kick someone out of a church once it is found. We just ostracize them until they find another church…cuz there are so many.
My concern is we treat people fairly. As you said, the Church has a lot of sinners. We don’t kick any other sinner out of the circle of community for their ‘obvious’ sin. So, why start now with homosexuality? Remember, Ezekiel 16:49.
I appreciate your feedback and understanding. Keep up the good work.
This is a fair point, although I think I would note that much of Jay and I’s “softer” stance is largely based on what you’re saying… I think that Christians have a tendency to rank sins, and for some reason homosexual relations gets put on the top. I suspect that there are two major reasons for this. First, people who aren’t tempted towards this sin don’t understand it. Everyone can relate to being tempted to lie or steal, but I don’t think the same is true for same sex relations. Second, there is a certain level of commitment inherent in a relationship. Failing to care for the poor today isn’t an inherent commitment to not do it next week. However, being in a sinful same-sex relationship has an inherent commitment to continue the same course of action. That being said, I think it is a mistake to associate “rankings” with sin. I don’t believe God sees it that way, and if He does, I doubt His rankings match the contemporary consensus. Don’t get me wrong, all sin is offensive to God, but based on Christ’s teachings, if God does rate some sin more offensive than others, failing to love each other and be generous to those who are less fortunate is likely more offensive to Him than same-sex relations (Mark 12:28-31). In either case, I would say that the point Jay and I have been trying to make in the post and comments is that while Christians should condemn the sin itself, as we should any sin, we are all God’s children no matter how lost. I think it’s a Friedrich Nietzsche quote, that “those who would fight monsters should take care to not become a monster themselves”. It’s a fine line between hating the sin and hating the sinner, but when we cross that line we sin just as much as the person we would rebuke.
Well, other sins weren’t really the point of this post… I mean, I can’t address the wide spectrum of every topic in every post.
Yes, my denomination does actually have a fair number is “removal of membership” offenses if they continue after being rebuked. And we have removed people’s memberships who make it clear they have no desire to follow the church’s stance on particular offenses.
And I agree, if we’re going to uphold these standards, we should uphold all the standards. Doesn’t mean we should stop restricting membership from practicing homosexuals, but rather that we should encouraging the rest just as strongly.
As for “non-public” sins. Well, that’s merely a matter of logistics. We cannot gauge someone’s heart, or what they do in their own home. But, if we learn of someone committing adultery, we will certainly be holding them accountable. How could we not?
I really don,t have the time to read all of this. I can say from personal experience that the Lord delivered me from a life or death of homosexuality. It is a very empty life where the main focus is on who I choose to have sex with! It is very very empty. There is no peace in it at all. I lived in this for about 10 years before getting saved and then God started the long journey out. I would never again ever want to go back again!! I can say that the bible says in the last days people will gather together teachers who will tickle their ears with things that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus. We are living in a time where that is happening. Many are deceived into sugar coating what the bible clearly says on this subject. You cannot be a christian and a homosexual – the two are absolutely opposite! Remember that the bible says that the antichrist is one who lacks normal affection – rather he will be a homosexual. I will end with saying that Jesus will save anyone regardless what they have done or were they have come from. He will give you a wonderful life if you put your trust in Him! I have been living a great life with my wife of 28 years and 5 beautiful children. I know from experience about this so called lifestyle or shall I say death style. It does not work, ever!
Peace in Jesus,
I take issue with the phrase “love the sinner but hate the sin”. I think it should rather be “love the sinner and grieve the sin.” Hating the sin is alienating. It lacks empathy or any understanding of the situation the sinner is in which led him to his choices. It makes him reluctant to seek out confidantes in whom he might confide and seek council. If he knows he faces the risk of hateful condemnation he will continue silently in his pain, wondering where is God in his community of supposedly loving Christian friends.
Grieving over the sin would instead create an atmosphere of understanding, or at least attempted understanding. An environment of empathy where it is safe to share your dark struggles without fear of rejection or, as JimChristian would describe it, being the sole cause of the collapse of our society as we know it.
Grieving over the sin is not the same as condoning the sin, but unlike hating the sin, makes it possible to enter into the painful struggle with the sinner as he makes his way through it. Hating the sin tells the sinner that he is on his own until he gets his issues straightened out.
It is a difficult thing to die to yourself by denying yourself those relationships which every fiber of your being is sure will make you whole. It is made more painful when it is suggested that you shouldn’t have cravings for those relationships to begin with. As if something is wrong with you. And you need to get right and fixed before you should consider entering into community with your Christian friends.
No one chooses their cravings. Christians living with same sex attractions are lonely and isolated from the community they should be able to look to for support. The popular conversation about homosexuality lacks empathy, widening the gap between those with same sex attractions and their straight neighbors.
A good point. Thank you for pointing that out. I will try to adjust my vocabulary.
I love you lord!!!! And you love him Lord also so with that said in all of our post it’s about Love it is a standard of all of us with Christ in love … and ultimately glory to God
SSA is so right. We can’t help others if we are full of judgement or disgust. Love is the greatest commandment. We need to love everyone no matter their sin, that’s what will bring sinner’s to God. I understand Jay Dee as well there’s no use in fighting homosexual rights, such as to marry or the law makers that grant them.. That battle is not ours, but God’s.
Remember the bible’s parable about the weeds (sin) and the wheat (righteousness), and what the sower (Christ ) says. Let them grow together and at the end of the harvest the weeds will be pulled and burned and the wheat will be placed in the barn (holy place). So our main purpose should be spreading the gospel of Jesus with love, so that as many souls as possible can be saved. We should be the light that leads other sinners out of darkness. No one will walk into the Church if they feel that you hate them because of who they are. We were sinners of all types before. If someone turned their back on us, we may not be saved today.
These are the last days the word of God tells us that these things are going to happen, but remember God is still in control. We should be praying for their salvation! We should not be worried about our kids or anything in this world because we are in the world and not of the world. Our faith in Christ will sustain us and our family. God is our owner not the world or the things of this world. Teach your children the right way to go. Teach them God’s word and love. Again pray, pray and then pray! I heard a bunch of concerns but not much about faith in our Creator.
Prayer of a righteous man availeth much!