Thursday, February 26, 2009

Church Divided?

Now, there was a story in recent news that caught my attention. Now this is not a new story, but it is one that apparently many church's have been struggling with. This particular article caught my attention because in addition to discussing the issue of allowing homosexuals to become church clergy, it also made one particular statement about this issue: "This ought not to be church-dividing, even if there are strong differences." Now, what is interesting to me is that I completely agree with this statement, though not with the intention that this particular speaker intended. I do not think this should divide a church, I'm wondering why it is even an issue in the church. Lets look at what scripture has to say about these issues. Because the God is unchanging, Malachi. 3:6, lets look at the old testament first. Leviticus 18:22 states “You(male) shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female ; it is an abomination.” Obviously, God did not approve of homosexual relations. Since God is unchanging that still holds today, but lets look at some new testament scripture as well. Romans 1: 25-27 states “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions ; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” Since context of scripture is extremely important, lets start with that. In this context, The Roman church had begun to fail to give honor and thanks to God for all he had done for them. While believing they were wiser than they were, they began to exchange the incorruptible image of God for corruptible images of man, animals and idols. Therefore God gave them over to the homosexual passions, which are UNNATURAL. New testament agrees with the old testament that homosexual tendencies are sin. Incase you do not see the relations yet, lets examine some additional verses. 1st Corinthians 6: 9 – 11 states “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God.” Now, here it directly states that all of these sinners, including homosexuals, will not inherit the kingdom of God. It also says some people who used to, key words “used to”, have these tendencies were sanctified and now justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, some may still be confused that I agree with the statement “This ought not to be church-dividing, even if there are strong differences.” I don't believe this should even be an issue in the Church. In Romans 12: 1 – 2, Paul states “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” For your bodies to be a holy sacrifice, you must now be involved in homosexual activities as described in the previous verses. Just because the world is beginning to “accept” homosexual activities, the Church should not follow suit. This is not saying that the Church should yell and scream at homosexuals. On the contrary, it should show the love of Christ by reaching out to them with Christ's love in the hope to help them understand that Christ loves them and to encourage them to stop living in the sin of homosexuality. The church should not accept homosexuals, or any unrepentant sinners, with open arms into positions of Church authority. This is one of the things that scares me the most. God explicitly states homosexuality is a sin, and in James 3: 1-3 it says “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.”. When blatant and unrepentant homosexuals takes a position of authority and leadership in the Church, they are leading the congregation in such a way they will believe that homosexuality is not wrong, when the Bible explicitly states otherwise. These clergy are setting the church up to fall and themselves up for greater judgment and punishment. I'm not saying Christian leaders are blameless, they struggle with sin as well. The difference is that they should repent of their sin and learn to trust God in order to free them from their sin. This is why I do not think the Church should be divided over this, but moving to put a stop to it all together. It is scripturally unsound and will lead to greater sins in the Church. Work with the homosexuals to encourage them to stop, but if they will not... drive them from the Church because they will not repent of their sin. Follow the example of Matthew 18: 15 – 17 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If that person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. If the church decides you are right, but the other person won't accept it, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.” Try to reach them, but if it is impossible do not allow them to be members of the Church. If they were members they would not continue in this sin, they are not brothers or sisters in Christ. Treat them as unbelievers, though do not hate or mistreat them with anger. Now I did single out homosexuality here, but it should be noted that this applies to all sins, not just homosexuality. Homosexuality was the topic of the particular article I read.

Take care not to accept sin as those around you.

No comments:

Post a Comment