the church and the homosexual
by paul hoffmaster
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THE CHURCH AND HOMOSEXUALS
The Church has left its directive route of establishing the Kingdom of God and has been drawn into conflicts that are causing the church to be on the defensive. The world wants to bring the Church into the arena of carnal reasoning. It knows that it will not take much to throw the Church into a self destructive mode by bringing up issues on which even the Believers are divided.
One such issue is homosexuality. On this subject, even the Church has conflicting opinions within its base. Some denominations not only accept homosexuals into their membership roles, but even ordain them into the ministry. The world draws the Believers into the court of public opinion and then tramples their shallow responses before the laughing multitudes of the unsaved.
The Church does not owe the world an explanation on any issue that is founded in the Word of God. The Believer needs to grasp the reality that the Bible and its standards is the guide book for the children of God and not for the unsaved. Jesus warned to not cast our pearls before swine, for they will be trampled underfoot. (Mt. 7: 6) I do not expect the world to understand the things of the kingdom anymore than a scientist would expect a second grader to understand physics. Yet we engage the world in dialogue that many times leads to the Church being ridiculed and maligned.
The scriptural teaching on homosexuality is very simple and precise. The Bible states that when mankind began to humanize God and worship the created more than the Creator, the road to the perverse began to be laid. Men became vain in their imaginations, thus leading to the darkening of their hearts. They changed the glory of God into images they could see and touch. The lusts of manís heart became more and more perverse. Seeing this downward progression, God gave mankind up to the lust of their heart. Men began to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Vile affections began to surface. Leaving their natural desires, they explored areas that were against nature. They began to burn in their lusts for those of the same gender. Men did not retain God in their minds, so God allowed their reprobate mind to be the driving factor in their life. (Rom. 1:21-32) Because of mankindís fallen condition, their distinction between right and wrong ceased to exist. God never made man sin. Mankind made a conscious decision to depart from the ways of God. Because of those decisions, mankind reaped what it sowed. God did not make a person a homosexual.
The Church must not distinguish between the sin of homosexuality and any other sin. A sin is a sin. Is homosexuality any worse than adultery? If not, why donít we get as vocal against adulterers as we do against the homosexuals? The Church is tricked into defending the Word of God against such things as homosexuality by saying there is a distinction between a practicing homosexual and a non-practicing individual. Jesus never implied there was a difference between thinking about sin and doing it. If you thought it, you committed it. (Mt. 5:38) The Church must stop letting issues separate itself from its true message. Notice in the text in Romans that God lumps a number of sins in the same category as homosexuality: unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, full of envy, murder, deceit, gossip, backbiters, arrogant, disobedient to parents; just to name a few. Whenever we make distinctions between sins we will become non-effective in our mission of outreach. The only way for a sinner to turn his life around is coming to the foot of the cross, acknowledging his sin, and then letting the blood of Jesus cleanse him. What should be the role of the Church to the Homosexual? The same as to a backbiter or adulterer.
The Church must never become answerable to the world. If the world wants to understand what the Kingdom of God is all about and how it responds to certain issues, it needs to meet the One whom we serve, than it will understand what we believe.
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Hi Paul, Your article is right on. A sin is a sin is a sin. The issue with homosexuality as you point out is that by the church appointing openly gay people they are in effect saying it is not a sin. After all they would not appoint an active adulterer. Homosexuality seen as not a sin means no repentance needed and therefore no forgiveness. Nonbelievers especially like to compare their sins to others and think they are okay, a good person. They are comparing their self righteousness with what they can see in others and setting themselves up for how they will be judged - Matt 7:2, by their own righteousness. As believers we are supposed to be past comparing sins like the Pharisee does at the altar in Luke 18. If we are comparing I believe we are still relying on our own self righteousness like the Pharisee. What we need to do is react like the tax collector in the same parable. Again, your article has great insight. Thanks for posting it and welcome to FaithWriters we are glad to have you here. God Bless, Mike Edwards