Hypothetical: You're a volunteer that welcomes new people to your church, which is missionally-minded, evangelical, and holds to the traditional beliefs of historical biblical Christianity. An explorer of Christianity, who is gay, inquires about their exploration of Christ and wants to keep coming back to learn more but wonders if the church will accept them given their lifestyle. Do you?
1) Let them know in no uncertain terms that homosexuality is wrong and sinful. They are welcome to seek out Christianity but better be prepared to change.
2) Indicate that the church welcomes and accepts seekers from all walks of life. After all, Jesus said come as you are. But you make it clear where the church stands on Christianity.
3) Encourage them to keep coming and inquiring, letting them know that they will be loved regardless. While the church does not approve of a homosexual lifestyle, you keep that under wraps and just pray that they will be found in Christ and that Christ will change their hearts.
4) Send them to the pastor or elders.
5) Tell them to leave, to not return, and to explore Christianity elsewhere.
Would your answer change if the person indicates they are a homosexual Christian looking for a new place to worship?
Please stay on topic and provide scriptural references to support your reasoning. Thank you.
It may be both. We don't know. All we do know is that it's a sin to engage in it, that we should do our best to turn from it, pray for God's help and guidance, repent when we fail, and love one another regardless.
Well I disagree with that as you know, but absolutely we should love one another regardless. Sadly that seems to be lacking from many when it comes to this topic.
Disagree with what? This is where you get confusing. I said we know it's a sin to engage in it and should pray and seek God's help and do our best to turn from it. You either disagree with that or with my saying it may be both. If the former, you said above "Resisting is a different subject though Seek, we're talking about God changing someones sexual orientation. Orientation and behavior are 2 different things. I agree the former does not justify the latter". So again, please clarify your stance on this.
There are many things in this life WE can't change, only God can. But we're admonished to not give into them, whether the thought is still there or not...do not act upon it. If we keep acting upon it without any remorse or repentance, if we seek to justify it as being ok because we feel we were born that way, we can't expect forgiveness for something we're not repentant of.
Our church held a course on additions and strongholds a couple years ago because they realize that being saved doesn't mean people have overcome alcoholism, lust, homosexuality, drugs, etc. The course focused on scripture to help overcome and on finding the reasons for the addiction so one could combat it, and offered support through encouraging one another struggling with these areas.
Good point. Being born again to new life by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, filled to overflowing by the love of God the Father and the grace of Jesus Christ, does not (for most people) result in an instantaneous and radical transformation. In other words, few experience the kind of dramatic born-again experience of Paul encountering the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. When we are born anew, we are infused with God's saving gift of grace, yet we still struggle with temptation (as Paul did), but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit initiates a gradual life-long process of sanctification (of being made holy and Christ-like).
Ok, I'll try to be very clear but a) this may get deleted and b) I can't debate it here due to terms of the site
Do I believe it is a sin to be gay in terms of orientation - No, absolutely not
Do I believe it is a sin for 2 people of the same sex to have sex? - Usually I don't though I go back and forth on this one, there are some good arguments for saying yes but they've not totally convinced me
Do I believe having a desire justifies an action? - No, just because I want to sleep with my wife doesn't justify me doing so regardless
Ok, on the first, no. Having the desire is not the sin. Acting upon it is. Just as the Bible says in your anger do not sin. Therefore, being angry isn't a sin. What we do in our anger however can be.
On the middle one though, I'd suggest you dig in deep on this one. I have things too I go back and forth on, therefore, I keep studying them. This has never been one I've questioned however since the scripture to me is so plain.
And the third is like the first. Like someone once told me, if you see a scantily clad woman and have a lustful thought, you have not sinned. If you drive around the block for a second look, you have.
I've been digging deep, I've gone so deep I'm past the core and now coming out the other side. I read arguments for/against/middle all by people who have questioned it, I read commentaries, I pray, I wrestle.....it used to be plain to me too until I started looking at it deeper, it's why I've changed my views on it.
It seems to be a common misconception that if someone holds the view that gay sex is not a sin its simply because they haven't looked at it deeply enough. Nothing can be further from the truth as my pastor found out to her detriment when she tried to challenge me on this. One of the people I follow on Twitter posted a great statement about this; I love it when people tweet me to tell me what I, a gay man and a priest for 15 years, should know about the Bible and homosexuality. It is extremely unlikely that you (or anyone really) is going to have a passage of scripture or argument that's never been heard and refuted before (my pastor commented at the end of our discussion; "I didn't say anything you weren't expecting or hadn't heard before did I?") though one of the teachers at Eternity Bible College is giving it a good go.
So I'll keep digging and recommend you get a shovel :P
Ok, what would this priest say to refute the direct Bible quotes I posted that specifically mention homosexuality to be a sin?
I don't know, you'd have to ask him. His answer may well be different to mine, I can't speak for him.
Ok, so PM me what answers you would have to refute it. Cause I'm seriously interested in how it can be refuted as I've read the entire Bible numerous times and nowhere have I found any scripture that refutes those. So if it's refuted by something other than scripture, not interested. ;-)