My Position On The “Gay Issue”

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44 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    “I am utterly unconvinced that continual condemnation will result in their sanctification.

    I want to maintain relationships and demonstrate the love and patience of God to them.

    I don’t give a damn about checking off the doctrinal boxes for the sake of taking my place in the culture wars.”

    A-men.

  2. Em says:

    This issue is, IMV, another symptom of the lack of sound teaching by Biblical scholars gifted to teach us – we are malnourished . I suspect we are not strong enough to stand in love and so we either waffle or run. We pew sitters do not necessarily have to understand the sinner to show love, but we sure do need a deeper understanding of Christ … Just my not so humble opinion. … again

  3. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Michael. FWIW, you didn’t need to convince me because I could see it in your responses and writings all along. Agree with you that constant condemnation isn’t helpful at all.

    BTW, praying that you don’t have another gall bladder attack before your surgery.

  4. Paige says:

    Many believers never have to “face’ this issue.

    My former daughter in law, my grandkids mother, left my son and married her girlfriend.
    Her choices shoved the issue in my face and I deal with it weekly.

    Jesus told us to Love God. and Love people.
    I choose to be respectful to my former daughter in law and her ‘wife’…. and I don’t talk about their choices to my grandchildren or even mention ‘what the Bible says’ about such things. As Michael wrote, we’ve all seen absolutely horrible issues in hetero marriages, even confessing believers’ marriages (mine former marriage included)…

    It costs nothing to be polite, kind and respectful. Being a pharisee blows people away.
    What does the Lord require? To do justly, love mercy and walk humbly before our God.
    He doesn’t tell us to MAKE other people ‘do justly’.

    I’m not a teacher or preacher. No one asks my opinion… My response, if asked, would be Love God, love people, and pray. God loves lost people and His Spirit is able to speak.

    This flap over brother Peterson, makes me think of that sermon illustration about holding a cup when driving over a bump in the road. What’s inside comes out when bumped.
    In the immortal words of the Black Eyed Peas, “where is the love?”

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    “It costs nothing to be polite” – well stated Paige.

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So does this mean that we should not confront anyone with their sin? Does this mean that if we do point out sin in our family or culture that it means that we do not love our neighbor?

    Is homosexuality and same sex marriage off limits – are they sui generis?

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael, Paige and Dan

    Life is long and we don’t know all the changes that may come about in other people’s lives. I cannot see that bludgeoning people does anything worthwhile. Living out a consistent, loving, Christian life speaks louder than any words.

  8. ( |o )====::: says:

    So, let’s follow this through a bit, shall we?

    A gay couple, and a lesbian couple, and a straight couple, and a single guy, and a single woman, and a visitor of indeterminate gender, and a rabbi, and a priest, and a biker, and a musician, and a businessman, and a politician, and a millennial walk into a bar, and are all served, smiled at, joked with and honest conversations happen and someone mentions their dying grandmother, their friend across the table mentions having just been layed off, another admits they were lonely and someone bought them a drink, so they all reach into their pockets and come up with grovery money, they hug the person who has the dying grandmother, and the out of work person gets a job lead from the lesbians, when, just then a Christian missionary enters the scene, invites them all to join a bunch of people in a church gathering next door.

    The whole group, including the bartender who decides to close early, all go to the church gathering.

    They enter, find seating, the service starts…

    Who does the confronting, of whom, how is it done, what does that look like, sound like, what words are said and what’s the plan to proceed?

    Make it good, because Jesus is part of the crowd from the bar.

  9. Michael says:

    Thanks, Dan…it’s been quiet today so far…

  10. Em says:

    MLD is asking a key question, I think… On one level, the ball is in the court of the homosexual, is it not?
    I completely agree with Paige’s observation on being polite and kind…. hmmm
    But we are always to “stand” firm in our Faith… if asked we should “have a ready answer,” polite, kind and firm… The homosexual should know where we stand due to the Faith we have, should they not?
    Maybe like an MD? If we pass a fat person on the street or sit next to one in church, we’re not going to make an unsolicited observation on the danger they’re in… but if they consult us on a health problem, the subject of weight will come up …?…

  11. Michael says:

    “So does this mean that we should not confront anyone with their sin? Does this mean that if we do point out sin in our family or culture that it means that we do not love our neighbor?”

    “Is homosexuality and same sex marriage off limits – are they sui generic?”

    Whose article did you read?
    Mine said nothing close to any of the above.

  12. Michael says:

    In my twenty some years of ministry I’ve had to deal with a handful of gay related issues.

    I’ve dealt with literally countless other besetting sins in churches.

    In some form or fashion, we’re all a mess.

    This is a political game now…if you don’t make strident statements against gay stuff all the time your orthodoxy is in question.

    I could care less…I’m not playing the game.
    I only answer to one Boss.

  13. ( |o )====::: says:

    Here’s a suggestion
    Love them all, let Jesus sort them out as HE chooses, when HE chooses.

  14. Rick says:

    Thank you, Michael, for this–I concur with your statement in its entirety–something I rarely do.

  15. Michael says:

    Thanks, Rick.
    I rarely agree with me in entirety either… 🙂

  16. Duane Arnold says:

    #12 Michael

    I’m a little over double your time… and I have had to deal with it, often. That does not change my view, stated above and elsewhere, in any way whatsoever.

  17. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I’d probably be a little more vociferous if I’d been through what you have…maybe a lot more…

  18. Kevin H says:

    Speaking of the “gay issue” and culture wars, I’ve got some thoughts for tomorrow. 😉

  19. Paige says:

    Amen, #13.

    I have started listening to Dr Christopher Yuan (look him up)…. He a gay man with HIV, in prison for selling drugs (all in his powerful testimony), who found a little Gideon New Testament in a prison trash can. Crushed after learning his diagnosis from the prison infirmary, he sat down and read the book of Mark. Jesus became very real to him, and he prayed to receive Him as Savior. As he continued to study the scriptures, he stated that it became very clear, that the Bible does not approve of that lifestyle. He has chosen celibacy and says, the opposite of homosexuality is holiness”. This is work only God can do..

    Truly, only the Holy Spirit can ‘convict of sin, righteousness and judgment”… leading to repentance.

    I am old enough to know from experience that ‘confronting sin’ (whatever it may be) does not produce Faith. It generally results in the loss of relationship and further opportunity to speak of Jesus. I choose to love and to remind my human sinful companions of Jesus’ love.
    If asked, I would say ‘Ask God, let HIm speak to you and answer your question”…The Presence accomplishes in mili-seconds what our abundant words fail at miserably.

  20. Jean says:

    I love what the Psalmist concluded after 175 verses extolling the Law:

    “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.”

    Right now, this is my life verse.

  21. Em says:

    G has given me a ponder…
    If Jesus was with the bar crowd and “will sort them out,” what was the point of leaving the bar anyway? It sounds like they were taking care of their immediate needs right where they were. .. ? … ?

  22. Dan from Georgia says:

    I second that Amen to post #13.

  23. ( |o )====::: says:

    Em,
    Just read the story again, and go from there.
    Who does the confronting, of whom, how is it done, what does that look like, sound like, what words are said and what’s the plan to proceed?

  24. Rick says:

    Michael, I am not sure the end of my statement came out as intended–I did not change it, though, thinking you might find it humorous…

  25. Em says:

    G , yes but that isn’t my ponder… if all their needs were being met there in the bar and Jesus was with them right where they were, what did they.gain by getting up and walking over to the gathering say the church?

  26. ( |o )====::: says:

    What did they gain? That’s not hinted at or alluded to in the story. They followed the missionary over to the church.

    It is being said here that the opportunity and obligation to confront is presented to the Christians, some of whom were in the bar before the group moved venues. So now that the group is on the turf of the church, let he, she who is without sin cast the first confrontation. Who does the confronting, of whom, how is it done, what does that look like, sound like, what words are said and what’s the plan to proceed?

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It could be that homosexuals need to hear the law – I know I do.

  28. Jean says:

    If I may interject a bit of biblical Christianity into the conversation:

    Guitar man is on the right path. Christians are to live quiet lives, and if possible to live peaceably with our neighbors. It is not our vocation as neighbors to “confront” them with the Law, but as their neighbors we are to not judge or condemn, but to forgive and give to them, even our enemies.

    Do homosexuals need to hear the law? All human beings do, and that is the vocation of the preacher, who is called to preach law and gospel, to Christians and non-Christians.

    The overarching teaching of Christ on this matter is: Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I brought this up last week when we spoke on a similar topic during the Petersen dust-up.

    I am speaking strictly what is the church’s role when the homosexual (and I mentioned at least a half dozen times the unrepentant adulterer) show up in church.

    Do they have free reign? Are they granted all rights and privileges (if there are any) within the church body? Are they ‘confronted’ when they become advocates of their lifestyles?

    The homosexual next door? I don’t care what he does.

  30. Em says:

    G, interesting train of thot… I must have missed the “opportunity and obligation to confront” assertion up there.
    now then, do I read correctly that you’re saying that our Lord, unseen but ever present will get the job done One on one? We, who claim to be followers of Jesus, are to stand aside, lovingly ministering to the needs of our fellow man and the result of this approach is, those overwhelmed by their sin or just by life will find Jesus?
    I see both truth and danger in this… but it’s better than being a Christian version of a terrorist… I suspect folks who know you, love you.

  31. Jean says:

    MLD,

    Well said. I would like to add one thing, just to clarify my previous comment:

    If we should become aware that our homosexual neighbor next door has a health, family or financial problem, Christ would have us extend our mercy to him/her no less than if our neighbor was Sister Teresa.

  32. Em says:

    #30 – When welcomed into the Church, is the sinner to be confronted when and if he (generic) begins to promote his chosen sinful patterns? yes, there’s one for those ‘dangers’

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – yes, but I don’t care that they are homosexual –

    I don’t care that 2 of my 3 children are divorced – but I do care if church members are — how weird is that?

  34. ( |o )====::: says:

    Em,
    The LGBTQ persons I know and am friends with, and my family are friends with are overwhelmingly professing christians, live beautifully committed lives with their spouses / partners, share the Gospel, pray to Jesus and are peaceable persons.

    We never discuss our s*xuality, we are simply committed to love each other, they stay out of my bedroom, I stay out of theirs.

    We avoid discussions of “biblical marriage” because that’s a whole spectrum of crazy, including examples of concubines, conquest with rape & pillage and marrying and giving in marriage in barbaric ways where women have no rights, all of which which we as a culture have progressed beyond.

    We are all cheerleaders of lifetime commitments & staying faithful, become heartbroken at divorce, and admire staying versus splitting.

  35. ( |o )====::: says:

    As a guy who just celebrated 37 years with my wife, she and I find that the things that produce “faithfulness”, “family” and “community” are overwhelmingly taught by Jesus, practiced within the creedal & confessing church, and transcend denominations (and Muslims and Jews are pretty darn good at those things too)

  36. Captain Kevin says:

    Well said, Michael!! Reminds me of a mutual friend, full of grace and truth.

  37. Em says:

    G for the record I have said more than once here that I consider the folk in question here just the same as the rest of us – except for one little thing (and there is reason to believe that many are victims of trauma unrecognized or forgotten) that said…
    the acceptance -even celebration – and proliferation of any and all deviant behaviors historically show a declining civilization
    do I disapprove(as of it mattered ? )of being friends with sinners? No, not as long as they keep their sins off of my lawn….
    Our Lord told the Pharisees that God gave them procedures for divorce because of the hardness of their hearts – offering women some protection -There a lot of nice sinners, but still God is not a reformer, He’s a Redeemer – as you’ve observed, there is a difference
    Congratulations to you, your wife and your family – and a stable marriage fires bless us all

  38. Em says:

    fires??? This darn, creepy little tablet.- I have absolutely no explanation as to where that came from and add an ‘d’s to bless

  39. Em says:

    Okay I quit ES, not ds

  40. Costco Cal says:

    Here is a question I will lob out….

    Who is affecting who?

    Are we, the Church, affecting the world?

    Or is the world affecting us?

    Okay, I’ll strap on my bullet proof vest.

    And suggest….

    This thread suggests the latter.

    The world may be affecting us.

    I am open to suggestions otherwise!

  41. em... again says:

    quick comment to #41 – it’s a war – thus it affects us, doesn’t it? … and that raises a question in my mind, just how do we “affect” the world? salt and light… hmmm maybe we’re preserving it? … dunno

  42. pstrmike says:

    good point em….. 🙂

  43. Babylon's Dread says:

    Saint Oscar is the storyteller of the present age. The storytellers ultimately form the way people think. The world is just now forming the church far more than the opposite.

    Note one thing about the storytellers. They do not decry violence they thrive on it. Hollywood attacks all the icons of the Christian faith and every cultural expression of it whether symbolic or moral. HOWEVER, Hollywood reflects culture when it comes to violence it does not have a constant drumbeat to quell violence. Why? The god of every age, MONEY.

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