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Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby Glenn Guy » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:03 am

Should churches today accept/reject homosexuals? Recently it seems there is debate regarding the proud members of the LGBT community and their place in (or out of) the church. Thousands of churches worldwide welcome them and are even led by them. Shall they be welcomed as members? Sunday school teachers? Elders? Bishop/Deacons? Pastors?
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:12 am

Yes, churches should welcome homosexuals. The church has an open-door policy: Everyone is welcome. It's a spiritual hospital for all comers. That's the whole point.

But you asked about other things as well. The Bible consistently says homosexuality is wrong, in a number of different situations and in both Old and New Testaments. But it never tells us why; it just unequivocally says it's sin.

Membership in a church is an affirmation that a person believes what that church believes, has agreed to follow the leadership, and wishes to be in community with the other people who are members there. Each church would have to make its own decision for this question.

As far as teachers, elders, bishop/deacons, or pastors, I say no. Since homosexuality is consistently and unequivocally deemed a sin, a church would be remiss to to put "an unrepentant sinner" in a position of authority.
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby Sure Breeze » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:04 pm

> As far as teachers, elders, bishop/deacons, or pastors, I say no. Since homosexuality is consistently and unequivocally deemed a sin, a church would be remiss to to put "an unrepentant sinner" in a position of authority.

So previous, repentant homosexuals are OK?
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:08 pm

Yes, I believe previous, repentant homosexuals are OK, but I know some Christians who strongly disagree with me on that one. To me, a murderer who repents is forgiven (Moses was one of those). An adulterer who repents is forgiven (King David was one of those). Paul also was complicit in the martyrdom of Stephen. Any individual who has repented of their sins and left their sin behind them, having repudiated that part of themselves and made a life change, following the Lord in love and obedience, pursuing the path of holiness, is forgiven, made into a new creation (2 Cor. 5.17), and can pursue God's call on their lives. That's my perspective but, as I said, I've been denounced by Christians for that view.
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby Slipped Tongue » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:43 am

Doesn't the bible also say that no sin is greater than another and all are equally abhorrent to Yhwh? So with that logic, a heterosexual preacher who does other sins constantly is fine...but not a homosexual one?
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:44 am

Actually, the Bible tells us that some sins are greater than others, even though all sins are abhorrent to YHWH.

John 19:11, Jesus said, "The one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

Matthew 11.22-24 (Luke 10.12), Jesus indicates that the sins of Korazin and Bethsaida will result in a greater punishment for them. The implication is that they are greater sins.

Luke 12.47-48 indicate that there are different degrees of infraction, and punishments that fit the crime.

It's true that sin is still sin (Rom. 3.23), and that all sin is abhorrent to YHWH (James 2.10). But it's still true that some sins are worse than others (we aren't given the ranking, though), and that those who commit lesser sins will be punished less and those who commit greater sins will be punished more. Everyone will get what is fair (Rev. 20.13; 2 Cor. 5.10).

A heterosexual preacher who does other sins will be just as accountable and culpable for his or her sins as a homosexual offender who remains in his or her sin.
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby Glenn Guy » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:26 am

> but I know some Christians who strongly disagree

What would be their grounds to reject a sinner who is repentant?
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:40 pm

These other Christians wouldn't reject a sinner who is repentant, but they would exclude that person from the possibility of leadership. Leaders in the church must be of a particular character, moral quality and exemplary spiritual influence. Some churches decide that people who are divorced, for instance, no longer qualify for ever holding a position of leadership in a church.
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby Truth First » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:48 pm

What if the divorce is because of Adultery on the other persons end and is not your fault? Is there room for that person to be in leadership in the church?
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Re: Should churches accept or reject homosexuals?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:12 am

Different churches answer that question differently. We Christians obviously believe that anyone who truly repents can be truly forgiven, but some churches believe that certain sins can disqualify an individual from church leadership. They base their position on the qualifications for elders in 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1. They reason that failed marriages, even when the adultery wasn't committed by the person in question but by their spouse, still shows that that person somehow was not able to manage his own family well (1 Tim. 3.4-5), or that because his/her spouse fell into disobedience (Titus 1.6) they were obviously doing something that wasn't exemplary (with the logic that no marital breakup is the fault of one person only). Other churches believe that as long as repentance is real and the true sin of the situation was on the part of someone else, that person can still be a leader. We have to make room for such differences (Rom. 14), and each congregation needs to act on faith, and not judge those who see and practice differently.


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