Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tough Questions: How Should Christians Respond to Homosexuals? (Part 1)

I know this is a "hot" topic but it was one of the questions from our congregation that Pastor Dan preached on August 30 at Parma Heights Baptist Church. Homosexuality is widespread these days. Many families have people who are homosexual or know someone who is so this is a very relevant topic. By posting this I am not trying to be controversial but sincerely want to let homosexuals know there is a way out and that all Christians do NOT hate you.

Basically, homosexuals think Christians hate them. Some may but they are wrong! We should love like Jesus. Jesus does not hate homosexuals!

On August 30, 2009, Pastor Dan preached on this topic at Parma Heights Baptist Church, looking at the world’s perspective and then comparing it to God’s perspective. Then we heard from two men who left the homosexual lifestyle to find out how Christians can minister to homosexuals.

This is such a long post that I’m going to do it in two parts. Tomorrow I’ll post the stories of Bill and Jeff, the two former homosexuals that shared with our congregation how best to respond to homosexuals. I found this to be very interesting and helpful in understanding homosexuality a little better than I did before.

The World’s Perspective--Prevalent Attitudes:
Who am I to judge, to each his own.
Homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle.
Every couple ought to have the right to marry. The trend is legalizing same sex marriage.

Pastor Dan quoted Ex-gay activist, Michael Johnston who said:

The world was telling me that if this is the way I felt, then that was who I am, so go ahead, live that lifestyle. But what I needed to hear from the church was what God’s Word says. That homosexuality is a sin. Did I like hearing it from church? No way. Did it make me feel comfortable? No. What it did was convict me of my sin and bring me to repentance. Homosexuals need to hear the truth about their sin because it’s only in hearing the truth that the truth will set you free.

God’s Perspective--What Does The Scripture Say?

Leviticus 18:22: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman. That is detestable.

Romans 1:24-27:
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 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.

I Corinthians 6:18-20:
Flee from sexual immortality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Genesis 2: God’s plan for our sexual fulfillment has always been 1 man and 1 woman in 1 marriage for a lifetime. That will never change.

Churches have usually dealt with the issue with one of three approaches--none of which is like Jesus’ approach:

1) Condemnation: Through picketing, labels, protests, rallies, no wonder homosexuals ask, “Why do Christians hate us?”

2) Embrace: Some denominations say it’s okay, they are tolerant and even ordained gay ministers. Tolerance though is the virtue of people who don’t stand for anything.

3) Ignore it: Some choose what they think is the middle ground by just ignoring it and not addressing the issue at all.

Jesus’ approach in dealing with people’s sin was always with love and compassion so that is the example the church should follow too. Personally, I try to do this.

Examples of Jesus:
The Samaritan woman who was married five times and had a live-in boyfriend, Jesus confronted her but did not condemn her. (John :1-24)

The woman caught in act of adultery was not condemned, but forgiven and told to go and sin no more. (John 8:1-11)

According to Romans 2:4, it’s God’s kindness and patience that leads to repentance.

HELP IS AVAILABLE! Check out these resources if you need help leaving this lifestyle of sin or if you know of someone who may need some help:

Exodus International--North America
P.O. box 540119
Orlando, FL 32854

The Way Out: Seeking Freedom from Homosexuality
Betty Kalbes, Director

When Homosexuality Hits Home: what to Do When a Loved One Says They’re Gay by Joe Dallas

You Don’t Have To Be Gay: Hope and Freedom for Males Struggling With Homosexuality Or For Those Who Know of Someone Who Is by Jeff Konrad

Loving Homosexuals as JESUS Would: A Fresh Christian Approach by Chad W. Thompson

I haven't read any of the above books but have included links to them on Amazon so you can read the customer reviews about them and make your own decision as to if you think the book would be helpful to you or not.

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The Bumbles said...

Hmmm - well, I completely disagree with your church's teachings. I think that telling a homosexual that there is a way out is very intolerant. It is like telling someone who is black that there is a way to be a different color. Or telling a woman there is a way to be a man. You are who you are. You can choose to modify your behavior as the men you mention have done, but I'm not sure it keeps you from being what you are inside. It is a slippery slope to tell someone that what they do is wrong. It may be against your beliefs but that is what they are - things you believe in. It doesn't mean what you believe in is right. Just like my beliefs may not be right either. What is important is to let everyone have their own beliefs and accept differences. Not in converting people - in religion, sexual preferences or otherwise. Live and let live so to speak. Interesting series of topics you are presenting. Thanks for letting an opposite viewpoint be presented.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

The Bumbles: I know this is very controversial and thought about whether I should post it or not. I am certainly open to opposing views. I think the exchange of different ideas is how we learn so I thank you for your comment but don't make any apology for posting my beliefs. I admit I don't fully understand how someone can be born homosexual yet there are people who say they were.

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