The Church and Homosexuality

Posted: March 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

There are explosive issues that surround the church in every age. Today, the most explosive issue is probably that of homosexuality and the Christian. Can you be a practicing homosexual and a faithful Christian? Should we use phrases like, “Gay Christian,” or something else? The questions are legion and the conversations are numerable.

I believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is not part of God’s original design. Instead, same-sex sexual attraction is the result of Genesis 3 and the fall of mankind into sin. I do not believe that those who struggle with homosexuality are worse sinners than myself. With Paul, I say that I am the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). Yet, just as I must repent of my sins (and they are numerous), so the homosexual must repent of their sins and trust in Christ.

The audio linked below tries to bring together a few leading voices in order to address whether or not the church is failing “gay Christians” pastorally. In other words, what is the pastoral response to this issue and has the church failed in that area?

For what it is worth, I do believe the church has failed those who struggle with homosexuality. We often sound more hateful than loving. We want to make sure we announce anathema over homosexuals instead of assuring them that there is grace and forgiveness and new-creational life that comes through the new birth and faith in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). We scowl instead of weep. That is one evangelical failure.

Traditionally, the evangelical church has not failed theologically. That is, the church is right (and has been right) to affirm heterosexual relationships as God’s good design (Gen. 2:23–24). The church is right to preach and teach that homosexuality is sinful (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10) and not part of God’s good design. Though evangelicals have failed in numerous ways, this is not one of the failures.

Now, what is painfully obvious in the discussion below is that you cannot talk about the pastoral response to homosexuality in any meaningful way when you disagree on the fundamental theology regarding the issue. Referencing the audio linked at the end of this post, Denny Burk writes the following:

“The host tries to frame the discussion not as a debate about what the Bible says but as a discussion of the church’s pastoral response to homosexuality. As the conversation unfolds, it becomes clear that this tack is a dead-end. One can hardly bypass biblical truth in formulating a pastoral response to homosexuality. It would be like a doctor prescribing treatment before reaching a diagnosis. He can’t offer treatment if he doesn’t know what the problem is. And if he administers treatment based on a misdiagnosis, he will very likely harm the patient.”

Listen to the audio discussion here.

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