Would a homosexual be proud to say I go to your church?

2010/03/24

I was day dreaming a couple days ago as I walked to work and got emotional.  I thought about Brian, Ellen, Mike, Adam, and the lady with the hat.  And felt pain like I hadn’t felt in a long time.  I’ve read a lot of books by a lot of famous guys.  Most of them about church growth.  Because if you didn’t know this, I want to be a senior pastor at a church… hopefully this comes sooner than later.

But I was developing my future churches belief system, and I realized I’ve never thought about how my church will ‘handle’ homosexuals, and immediately God humbled me.  I came to the point of quoting, with tears, Jon Foreman;

“would you create in me a clean heart oh God,

Restore in me the joy of your salvation.”

I realized that through all these books that talked about how to reach, men, women, children, youth, black, white, latino.  It was never talked about how to reach those who need to feel love from a religion which has failed them.

A religion the preaches 

Even though the christ preached love your neighbor as yourself, I wonder what the sign they hold up against themselves look like.

Anyway, let me say to you who deal with lustful thoughts, saying God’s name in vein, or you idol worshipers, God has the same judgement for you. Sin is Sin, and no matter how you spin it, you are hell bound with it in your life.

But every week in most churches the way out of bondage is preached, even the fact that you will sin again is preached and brought up, but that same love isn’t shown to someone who is homosexual?

Why is it, that as a body of believers, we have decided that the Father isn’t good enough at judgement and that he needs us to help him?

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6 Responses to “Would a homosexual be proud to say I go to your church?”

  1. A. Haertling said

    Ryan, I am encouraged by your heart for the lost. To start, I humbly pray Christ would be the focus of my words and I am thankful to see the fruits of the spirit in your words.

    God does love His elect, and he makes it clear that He expects us to love each other and to treat one another with grace and mercy.

    Your heart and your words display a love and compassion for the lost that is most correct.

    I willingly admit I’ve not had a lot of firsthand experience between homosexuals and the church body, and I’m ignorant of what or why God has placed this group upon your heart.

    But I do have some thoughts to share about what you said.

    “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (NIV)

    (1 John 1:5-7)

    The word “walk” in this passage is “περιπατέω” (or “peripateō) in Greek. I bring it up because the translation “walk” is kind of lacking. Peripateō can mean walk, but more literally translated it means “to be characterized by”. It’s used to describe not how a person “walks” but how a person lives.

    John talks about living in the light. He continues on to say in 1 John 3:4-6 that “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”(NIV)

    God makes His opinion of Homosexuality clear in the Bible. He clearly states that it is sinful.

    “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”(NIV) Leviticus 18:22

    “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (NIV) Romans 1:27

    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”(NIV) 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    This is God’s law. He expects that those who walk with Him keep His commandments (1 John 2:3-6) and even says that those who obey His commandments are the ones who love Him (John 14:21)!

    To go against God on this matter is idolotry. It takes faith that should rest on God’s law and puts it upon man. To change this law is to say to God “I know better than you do in this matter”.

    I read your words and I don’t see a case being made for homosexuality, so please don’t jump to defense. I bring up these things because I want to lay a clear foundation for what I am about to say.

    The Bible calls God’s elect to conduct themselves in a very specific way. We are charged to live as Christ lived (1 John 2:6); to live a life of grace and love.

    We are all sinners and as you put it so well, “sin is sin”. None of us deserved the sacrifice the Father and the Son made for us that day at Golgotha. He displayed immaculate mercy and grace and we are to go forth and show grace to others who don’t deserve it.

    When we are wronged by another we are to forgive them, not once, not three times, but seven times seventy times (Matthew 18:22) — as many times as it takes! When we are slapped, we are told to turn the other cheek.

    But….when we come togther as the body of Christ we are called to uphold the body and keep it “as a pure bride”.

    A person who practices homosexuality is by no means beyond the love of God, and deserves the same amount of grace and compassion as anyone. But when such a person commits to enter the body of Christ, give over their life to God, join the church– then a conversion and new birth must take place.

    A person who overtly practices homosexuality but insists on Chrisitanity is a person who “walks” in darkness. It’s that word “peripateō” again. They are characterizing their life by their sin.

    God doesn’t promise that a conversion to Chrisianity means we will never sin ever again. But homosexuality is a different matter than most sins. It is something by which a person chooses to define themselves. It is a lifestyle that a person walks by, and it is a picture of a person trying to serve to masters — God and themselves.

    God promises deliverance from our “bondage” as you said:

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”(NIV) 1 John 1:9

    This is the heart of the Gospel message, that Christ delivers. It is a message I MUST believe because it is the only hope a sinner like me has left.

    With love in Christ-
    Ally

    • I didnt read every word you wrote, because well I’m ADD, And I was just talking with tonya about this, I am not in any way condoning homosexuality any more than any other sin, I am simply saying, that the church has made homosexuality different then sin.
      All sin is a choice, and all sin is bondage, thats the free will God has given us. Whether it murder, or saying God’s name in veign, or even if you like at christs example of lustfull thoughts, sin is choice and the same freedom is available to every sin. So the same acceptance of a person is needed. Thanks Ally!

      • Randy said

        You have brought up that homosexuality is treated different than other sins. Once in your original post then again in your reply.

        I offer up another solution:

        The way the church treats homosexuality probably isn’t what needs to change. It’s the way the church treats sin in general. The church is called to keep itself pure. We as church leadership need to be willing to teach an unpopular gospel, and practice church discipline.

        Here are a couple verses:

        Colossians 1:28-29
        “We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.”

        Check out:

        1 John 2:15-17
        Matthew 18:15-17

        1 John 2:3-6
        We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

        Read context –
        Titus 2:15
        These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

        So in closing, it is not that we should bring the homosexuals into the church but that the church should be removing pervasive sinners from its mists. Allowing unrepentant sinners to gather with the Saints perverts the church. I do believe you are one of the Saints from all my experience with you. I only pray that you can turn to scripture before anywhere else for your church planning (that is not to say that you don’t). We must look different than the world. I find that much of the church these days have been striving to look like the world and not Christ.
        I could put you in contact with some repentant homosexuals that meet with a foursquare church in Portland and they could probably give you a good idea of how God reached them. From what was passed on to me they even said much of what I have. The homosexuals can be shown love but cannot be brought into our fellowship until there is repentance.

        With much love,
        Your brother in Christ,
        Randy

        Link to a good blog on church discipline:

        http://www.gospel.com/blog/index.php/2010/01/21/have-you-ever-experienced-church-discipline/

      • thanks for your input randy but I think you are way off base. the words that paul speeks to are for people in the church that deny the freedom, the hypocrites.
        To me if you just look at the example of the blameless one that surronded himself by those adulterers, and sinners, on a regular basis. if we dont present the same grace to everyone the same loving heart healthy way then that is when we become pharisees.
        But we can agree to disagree 🙂

  2. A. Haertling said

    Sorry, just a note:

    I meant to write “TWO masters” not “to masters”.

  3. E. Murphy said

    I will not judge those who have sinned because I have sinned.
    I will not judge those who are different because I am different.

    Ryan and I have talked at length about this subject, I love his heart.

    Also, I have complete faith that God’s judgment is complete and sufficient and he does not need my help in this matter. It is my goal in this life to spread his love consistently and to not halt his great plans with my lack of understanding and mere human intellect.

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