Leviticus 18:22 (New American Standard Bible)
22‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)
9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
The Bible is very clear about homosexual relations. These types of relationships are forbidden by God. Since this is a growing issue in our country, the church must address homosexuality from the pulpit. We cannot be silent and allow the politically correct movement to mandate our speech and limit our religious freedoms. Since this issue needs to be addressed, how should we deal with it?
A good example of what we should not do can be seen as some Christians protest pro-gay rallies. I’ve seen videos and images of Christians screaming at pro-gay activists while holding signs with scriptures such as Leviticus 20:13,”‘If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.” It disturbs me to see Christians yelling at groups of homosexuals with no evidence of truly trying to witness to these people. Yelling and being hateful to homosexuals only shows them a form of Christianity that is false. Instead of attacking these people, we need to witness to them in truth and in love. We can stand against the sin of homosexuality and present our arguments in a civil manner. There is no need to engage in behavior that is not appropriate and acceptable by true Christian standards. How can we present the Gospel of Christ to these people when we are yelling at them, attacking them, and calling them names? Do we really want to follow the Law and put homosexuals to death? If we follow the Law, are we willing to stone our children because they disobey us time and time again ( Deuteronomy 21:18-21 )? Are we willing to follow the Law fully? If we will pardon our rebellious children, then we should be willing to pardon the homosexual. If we break one Law, then we have broken all of them (James 2:10).
We need to:
- Love the homosexuals enough to tell them the truth.
- Welcome them to our church as any other person in need of Jesus Christ.
- Distinguish between loving the sinner and hating sin.
- Teach homosexuals that they must repent of the sin of homosexuality
- We need to understand that we cannot change them because only the Holy Spirit can change them.
- Be patient with them and treat them no differently than we treat our friends and family.
- Take the time to answer their questions and explain to them why God called homosexuality sin.
- Preach the Gospel again and again with love as we depend on the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin.
What we should not do:
- Hate the people who are homosexual.
- Name call and belittle them.
- Make it a point to target them from the pulpit just because they are attending our church.
- Make them feel like 3rd class citizens.
- Compromise the truth about homosexuality just to make homosexuals feel welcome in our churches.
Should we treat homosexuals any differently when they come to our church? Do we truly welcome them in to hear the Gospel? We should welcome everyone to our church without making them feel unwelcomed. I’m not accusing all Christians of this type of behavior, but I have been in churches where people with certain sin problems are not really wanted. I know some Christians will worry about how allowing gays into the church could possibly influence people in the church. Most gays know when they walk in the doors how many churches feel about their lifestyle. We must not compromise the truth just so gays will fit into our congregations. My advice is to treat homosexuals the same way we treat all people who visit our church. We must preach the whole council of God to all people and be mindful to where the Spirit is leading us. The Gospel is offensive to the carnal nature of mankind, but that does not mean we make it a point to target certain people just to offend them. I’m not saying to avoid the subject of homosexuality. I’m saying that we must preach in love and truth, trying to convey the love of Christ by teaching them how He offered Himself for the forgiveness of our sins. We must preach the truth about homosexuality even when homosexuals are sitting in our pews.
How do we address Christians who are openly homosexual?
If a professing Christian is a homosexual we need to rebuke him/her with the Scriptures. If s/he does not repent of this sin, then we have nothing to do with them (1 Cor 5:1-13). This rebuking and separating is the same for all open sin regardless of the type of sin because sin is sin. We should not make exceptions for open sin. God is sovereign and holy, therefore His Word is final. We cannot create a gray area in the Word where a gray area does not exist.
In the United States, we have the freedom of speech, freedom of religion (and freedom from religion), and freedom of the press. Gay people have a right to be gay by our laws. Gay people, like all citizens, are already protected by our laws; therefore, I do not advocate any special rights based on sex, race, etc. All Americans are under the US Constitution and all are equally protected by it. With that said, I have every right to condemn the sin of homosexuality and to speak against this sin. This does not mean that I hate the individuals, and it does not mean that I advocate any type of violence against these people. I advocate preaching the Gospel of Christ and praying for the Holy Spirit to draw them to repentance. Even when pro-gay groups demonize our beliefs as homophobic and racist, we need to stand firm on the Word of God while being as much like Christ as humanly possible. We need to stand by the Word of God and point out we are also protected by the Bill of Rights. We must remember that our freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully assemble also applies to pro-gay right groups. Therefore we need to respect our Laws even when we disagree with those who are protected by the Law. When we are confronted by the politically correct, we need to hold fast to the Word of God with one hand and hold the U.S. Constitution with our other hand to remind them that we have every right to condemn the sin of homosexuality.
How do we benefit the cause of Christ by acting like a bunch of crazed soldiers from the inquisition who are out to rid the world of evil? We do not need to be like the Pharisee who condemned Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:11-13); we need to reach out to all sinners just like Jesus Christ reached out to those who were lost. We are all born sinners (Romans 3:23). We are not under the Law because we are under Grace (Colossians 2). We need to love the homosexual and hate the sin of homosexuality (Romans 12:8-10).
1 Timothy 1:6-15 (New American Standard Bible)
6For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,
7wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
8But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
13even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
14and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.