Homosexuality and Christianity

Recently, I’ve had several conversations myself about homosexuality, Christianity and salvation. Also, recently, I’ve had several conversation with friends who are also having the same conversation.

Now understanding the conversation from both sides (many of you who remember me during my teenage years, remember my incredible animosity towards homosexuals, democrats and everything that was ingrained into me by my Christian culture), I realize the argument.

Many groups are arguing for homosexuals to be pastors and leaders in the church and some that I have talked with recently have wanted them kicked out of the church.

This poses a challenging a question to me, and, I would love to hear your input: What is the role of a church in the homosexual? Do we embrace them as our leaders? Or, do we kick them out for their sin?

Before I open it to conversation here are some of my own thoughts.

1. I am a worse sinner then them. Are you willing to kick me out? Are you willing to embrace me as a leader? (1 Tim 1:15)

2. Is our plank getting in the way of us seeing possible beauty in the homosexual community? (Luke 6:41)

3. If you’re seeking to kick them out, are you possibly judging them? If you’re judging them, should we kick you out?

4. If you’re embracing their sin, are you letting them slip?

5. What would Jesus do? What is Jesus doing?

6. Would Jesus invite the homosexual into a faith journey and work out his salvation?

7. Is God’s grace bigger than our perceptions of his grace?

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13 thoughts on “Homosexuality and Christianity

  1. Wilde says:

    1. but are you willingly choosing to continue in your sin and refuse to listen when brothers show you your faults? if this is true, you are to be considered a pagan. (Matt 18:17)

    2. a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough… (Gal 5:9)

    3. We are called to judge and hold to account those within the church, but we are not called to judge those outside of the church. If homosexuals are in the church, we must hold them accountable just like you and I are held accountable by our brothers. We should be admonishing our brothers away from the sin that leads to death and into repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

    4. Do not lay hands on anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others. Keep yourself free from sin (1 Tim 5:22)

    5. The words of Jesus, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matt 18:15-17)

    6. Of course. The invitation is open to everyone.

    7. Of course. But His grace and kindness lead to repentance. “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.” (Heb 10:25-27)

    • corey says:

      Wilde (#5),
      How did Jesus treat tax collectors and sinners?
      Corey

      • Wilde says:

        He hung out and ate with them.

        But here’s the deal. the Gentiles and tax collectors aren’t ‘brothers’. These are people OUTSIDE of the church. The debate is whether or not we are to condone immorality WITHIN the church.

        Paul says this…
        “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one.”

        The fact that we have homosexual pastors and leaders w/in the church is perverse.

        I have homosexual friends outside of the church, but I will never compromise and condone it within the church just to be culturally acceptable or ‘politically correct’.

        God’s word is clear if people would just read it for what it is, but everyone is always trying to make it mean what it does not say for the ‘great’ cause of being culturally acceptable.

        These days, about the worst label you can get is ‘intolerant.’ So people go out and malign the scriptures so they can be the ‘new’ group of Christians who aren’t like those ‘other Christians’ who are labeled ‘intolerant.’ They go out of their way to make sure no one is ever offended and everyone is always accepted completely disregarding the teachings in scripture. They care more about dodging that stupid label then they do about God’s word.

        The churches who are condoning this stuff are conforming to the image of the world, not Christ. Their intentions might be good to try to draw in and relate to people for Christ but the results are sickening.

      • Corey says:

        But in the passage you quoted, they were brothers who were living in sin. When confronted, if they refused to repent, they were to be treated in the same way that Jesus treated tax collectors and sinners, which by your admission is hanging out and eating with them.

        Too often I’ve seen Matt. 18 used as an excuse to remove sinners from fellowship or to exclude people from Christ. That’s not what the passage does. Instead, it invites believers to embrace the fallen brother with love, presence, time, energy, hope…not further judgment.

      • mfries05 says:

        Hey Wilde,
        This isn’t a debate. I’m not here to debate. I’m here to converse. This is a broad conversation about faith and homosexuality, hence, Homosexuality, Christianity and salvation. Its a broad thing. I don’t want this to ever get heated, and have the void of love, as debates tend to.

        I’ve been reading Jesus prayer a lot lately. It would seem that communion with sinners and tax collectors, is an inevitable thing if we are truly seeking Jesus. If Christians had to separate themselves from sinners, they better stay the hell away from me, because I’m as filthy as they come.

        Matt, how can we be peacemakers if we enter into the presence of sinners and tax collectors with the mindset of them being filthy? Doesn’t that bring angst and possible arrogance?

        Thank you for conversing though matt,
        It means a lot to me to have all perspectives,
        I think that this stuff can unite us like Jesus asked us to be in his prayer,
        Mike

  2. mfries05 says:

    Hey Matt,
    Thanks for replying.

    Here are some more thoughts:

    I’ve heard a recent survey that said that 85% of pastors look at porn monthly. Should we fire 85% of pastors?

    All of your passages about confronting homosexuals are all contingent upon relationships that are already in a covenant? Should we even be having this conversation if we are not in covenant relationship with other homosexuals?

    Are we called to judge our brothers in Christ? God is pretty clear about judging anyone. (Matt 7:1-2).

    Matt what do you think about the idea of judgment in the Old Testament? The idea of judgment in the Old Testament is consistent upon the idea that God allows others to remain in the death of their sins? That is his judgment.

    I am not in any which way condoning anyone’s sin. That would be contributing to their death. But, I think in order to get anywhere in this we must clothe ourselves in humility, realize that our sins are greater than theirs, and, question, re-question and move toward Jesus (Whatever that looks like).

    Thanks for your thoughts Matt,
    I appreciate it,
    Mike

  3. Wilde says:

    For sure man. Its always good discussing things with you.

    “I’ve heard a recent survey that said that 85% of pastors look at porn monthly. Should we fire 85% of pastors?”

    That’s irrelevant. You can’t compare a group of sinners who DENY their sins and therefore do not struggle with them (homosexuals who claim to follow Christ) with a group of sinners who ACKNOWLEDGE their sins and actually do struggle and battle against them.

    Also, I wonder how many of those 85% of pastors have even been confronted by another brother in the church about their sinful habits. If there’s one thing the church is lacking now a days, its accountability and reproof. Everyone is too afraid to offend anyone so these things often stay in the dark and as a result you end up with people leading the church that poison the church.

    “All of your passages about confronting homosexuals are all contingent upon relationships that are already in a covenant? Should we even be having this conversation if we are not in covenant relationship with other homosexuals?”

    I don’t know what you mean by this?

    “Are we called to judge our brothers in Christ? God is pretty clear about judging anyone. (Matt 7:1-2)”

    The answer is yes. Paul expounds on this with bold clarification in 1 Cor 5. Read the full chapter for more understanding but here is the meat in v9-13
    “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any >>>so-called brother<<< if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES."

    In v2 he calls people who disregard these wicked things from within the body as ARROGANT "2You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst."

    "The idea of judgment in the Old Testament is consistent upon the idea that God allows others to remain in the death of their sins"

    I disagree. What about Sodom & Gomorrah? Or the flood? Or in the garden? Or when God sends His people into exhile? Or when he destroys a whole group of people or even just single man by striking him down in his sin? What about the armies that God has sent to destroy people as judgment? Or droughts and famine etc…?

    If letting people remain in sin was how God judged, no one would care about God's judgment. That's the wussiest judgment ever. Allowing people to remain in their sin is not judging. Listen to how ridiculous this sounds… So yeah, there was this super awesome righteous judge that judged so incredibly justly and her name was Judge Judy. Yeah, and this dude, Tommy, was brought to court cause he committed 1st degree murder. And since Judy is such an awesome judge and all, she allowed the man to go free and keep killing as many people as he wanted. What an amazing judge…

    "I am not in any which way condoning anyone’s sin. That would be contributing to their death."

    Then what are you doing?

  4. Wilde says:

    Corey,

    “When confronted, if they refused to repent, they were to be treated in the same way that Jesus treated tax collectors and sinners, which by your admission is hanging out and eating with them.”

    On the surface it looks like you have made a wonderful logical statement. It all makes sense at first glance. But it is built on quite a faulty interpretation of logic in the text. The problem is in your paraphrasing.

    Your paraphrase turns what was meant to be a ‘relation’ to the gentiles and tax collectors into something completely different making assumptions in the process (AKA twists the text to say something it never said).

    Your version- if (A) he refuses to listen, THEN (B) treat him like Jesus treats the gentiles and tax collectors.

    God’s version if (A) he refuses to listen, THEN (B) let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

    Your (B) is an action, how we should ‘treat’ him
    God’s (B) is a RELATION, how we should relate to him

    Read the text as it is.
    “let him be to you”

    Your paraphrase is misleading and leads to faulty logic.

    If we take it as what the text actually says, as a RELATION, then the scripture makes a lot more sense and lines up with what is written 1 Cor 5, not to mention 1 John as well.

    1 Cor 5 is an example of exactly what we are talking about. Paul calls these people “so-called brothers” and tells us not to even eat with them.

    You, however, are telling me that scripture says we should eat with them and due to the faulty paraphrasing are actually making scripture contradict itself (AKA making God out to be a liar). Again, read 1 cor 5.

    Let me make it clear. We are not to associate with “so-called” brothers within the church. We are to have nothing to do with them. They go on willfully sinning after their faults have been brought before them. 1 John tells us that these people are not of God. They claim they follow Christ but don’t.

    There are 3 groups of people. Legit born again Christians who are truly God’s adopted sons, people of this world who live in sin and do not know Christ, and people who live in sin yet claim to follow and know Christ that creep into the church (Jude 1:4)

    I am not talking at all about how we treat people here. This is not about treating homosexuals differently because they are homosexuals. This is about relating differently to the homosexual who claims they are not in sin yet say that they follow Christ. Not because of the sin they’ve committed, for everyone sins, but because they continue to “practice” it. This goes for all sins and those who “practice” them. Not just homosexuality.

    • Corey says:

      Matt,
      Let’s try again:

      How did Jesus relate to tax collectors and sinners?

      (I’ll get to the 1 Cor. passage in a bit, but I want to flesh this one out first)

      • Wilde says:

        Certainly not as a brother in the church. He related to them as those who were lost, those who were in need of salvation. Those who walked in darkness. This I say in light of old testament prophecies concerning who the gentiles were (Matt 4:15-16; Is 9:2) in the context of bringing light to the darkness.

        But in terms of relation only, they are not brothers in Christ. They are of this world.

        So in relation to you, he is not your brother.
        So in relation to Christ, he is not His brother.

        Remember this scripture speaks only of relation here, and instructs us in no way how to ‘treat’ or ‘deal’ with them. We need to ask who are the gentiles and tax collectors in relation to us? for that is the comparison being made here. not how do we or Jesus relate with the gentiles and tax collectors.

        “let them be…” This is who they are.
        “let them be to you…” This is who they are in relation to you.
        “let them be to you as a gentile and a tax collector” This is who they are in relation to you as a gentile and tax collector is in relation to you.

        At the beginning of that process in Matt 18, the relation he has to you is that he is your brother. By the end of the process Jesus says that if he still refuses to listen, then let him be to you as a gentile and a tax collector. Its a relational shift.

        Remember scripture can’t say what it never said. I get myself into trouble when I read too far into things (although I still find myself guilty of this more often than not. It’s hard not to sometimes, you know?). I end up with something that I ‘think’ God’s word is saying but after reading other scripture realize that I believed it said something that it never said.

        And if you think this scripture is calling us to eat and hang out w/ these people talked about in Matt 18, then how do you reconcile that idea with other scripture such as 1 Cor 5. or 2 Thess 3:14-15? (I’m sure there are also other examples as well)

        I just can’t see how it fits. Maybe you can show me but it just seems like it doesn’t line up at all with Paul’s teaching and dealings in these type of situations.

        2 Thess 3:14-15
        If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

  5. Wilde says:

    Mike,

    I don’t think you quite understand what I’m saying. I’m not saying to not associate with sinners. Because you are right, we are all sinners and if you read 1 Cor 5 then you would of heard Paul say this…
    “I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.”

    I am talking about a specific group of people here just as Paul is.
    Not true born-again Christians who sin and battle against it.
    Not sinners who do not know Christ and are of this world.
    But people who claim they are Christian yet ‘practice’ sin. They harbor it. These are the people I’m addressing. This does not include ALL homosexuals, just the ones who openly live in sin yet claim Christ as their Lord.

    We are called not to associate with these people. This is not a debate. This is me trying my best to share truth with you guys and what scripture clearly says. I’m trying to tell you that you guys are making scripture say something it never meant. I am simply offering up correction here and offering an explanation as to why these other interpretations are wrong for your sake and the sake of your hearers.

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