I was just reading an article at GetReligion.org about homosexuals within the church, and was intrigued by the following paragraph:
“…Some gay evangelicals truly believe that to follow their sexual orientation means abandonment by a church that provides them with emotional and social sustenance — not to mention eternal damnation. Keeping their sexual orientation a secret, however, means giving up any opportunity to have fulfilling relationships as gay men and women.”
This cuts me to the quick!
Is the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that if we turn in faith to Him as our Savior, yet are tempted by the same sin after that, that we are then condemned to hell? Is that message that if we then fail in our attempt to “no longer sin”, that He will take back our salvation?
Is the message of the Gospel really that we will no longer sin if we turn in faith to the Lord Jesus?
Try telling that to the Apostle Paul. Try telling that to uncounted millions of believers down through the ages. Nobody has been able to get rid of the grip of sin on their lives, not completely anyway. It seems God, in His eternal wisdom, has decided it’s best for us to fight the sin in us as long as we walk the earth, though some claim it loses much of its power after our repentance. It’s still always there.
So what happens when someone comes to faith in Christ Jesus, but doesn’t accept the idea that his own sexual preference is condemned by the Bible as sin? Is that person saved? Only God knows the heart. Perhaps that person lives in rebellion against what the Bible says and continues willfully to engage in homosexual practice. I think this is another situation altogether, because coming to faith in Jesus Christ necessarily involves a surrender of one’s self, and while it may not happen immediately, I have to believe the Spirit would work on that rebellious person and convict him of his continuing sin, resulting in repentance.
There are, on the other hand, people who have lived the “gay” lifestyle, who come to faith in Christ Jesus, and though they are saved, they find themselves continually tempted by those same homosexual tendencies that led them in that direction in the first place. They seek forgiveness and cleansing with tears. Shouldn’t they be treated with love, understanding, and forgiveness by their local church? After all, such were some of us!
It seems to me the difference is in the heart – contrite or rebellious. If the person has a broken and contrite heart over their sin, the church should be welcoming and supportive.
On the other hand, a proud gay person who gets in the face of the church, insisting that they be treated like anyone else and be accepted despite their promiscuous gay lifestyle and their belief that they should be allowed to celebrate and promote that gay lifestyle within the church; that person has a proud and haughty spirit and has not repented and truly turned in faith to the Lord. That person should not presume upon the church, that it should allow them in.
It is no different than with any other sinner. We, the church, are to be the assembly of the redeemed sinners, not a den for the rebellious.
I had really hoped I would be able to write this post in a quiet, reasonable, loving manner. But God help me, I can do nothing other than what I have done here. To the homosexual I plead with you, do not turn away from the Lord Jesus when he calls, but do turn away from your sin.