10 Important Questions About Homosexuality, Sin and the Church

The Christian response to gay marriage has been a varied one, but what does the Bible say?
The Christian response to gay marriage has been a varied one, but what does the Bible say? (Reuters)

Should the church confront homosexuality? I am tempted to stay silent on the issue of homosexuality. Many successful pastors are choosing not to address homosexuality because they fear being labeled a "bigot," they worry about a loss of influence, and they feel that their primary calling is not in the area of opposing homosexuality. However, every time I am tempted to remain silent, I can't help but remember these quotes:   

"If I be valiant all along the battle line except at the point where Satan is pressing his attack, I am not valiant for Christ." - Martin Luther

"A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw the truth of God attacked and yet would remain silent." - John Calvin  

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." – George Orwell  

When we don't speak out we endanger people of going to hell. It is not loving to be quiet on this issue.

What should be the church's response to the Supreme Court's ruling about homosexual marriage?

* Making homosexual marriage legal does not make it right.

* Popular opinion supporting homosexual marriage does not make it right.

* Hollywood's support for homosexual marriage does not make it right.  

* The Supreme Court's ruling allowing homosexual marriage does not make it right.

The Christian should continue to oppose homosexual marriage and behavior regardless of how the Supreme Court rules. We should use our voices and the ballot box to protest the perversion of homosexual marriage until we are able to sway public opinion once again to our side. Just as the church has continued to oppose abortion ever since Roe v. Wade, the church should also oppose homosexual marriage. There is a courtroom that is higher than the Supreme Court where Christ sits on the judgment seat. We will all face this eternal courtroom and be accountable for our actions and inaction.

Is opposition to homosexuality "hateful?" If the Bible is true and hell is real, it is loving to try to rescue people from a harmful lifestyle. Just as it is loving for me to slap my 3-year-old's hand in order to keep it way from a hot stove, it is also loving for me to warn the homosexual of the consequences of sin.

The attempt to label Christians who believe what the Bible says about homosexuality as "bigots" or "homophobes" is itself a hateful act. Often it seems the only people who are acceptable to hate are Christians. 

How should pastors deal with gay people in the church? The proper role of pastors in today's society is not to enforce religious rules; it is to help lead people to Jesus. People should hear the church saying, "We love you. We care about you. We recommend the following course of action. But our recommendation comes from our desire to see God's best in you, not from a desire to force you to live a certain way."

For example, if an unmarried couple is living together, what should be a church's response? Should the church condemn them for living in sin? Or should the church recommend that the couple get married because marriage is God's best plan for the husband, the wife, and the children?

What should be the church's response to someone living a homosexual lifestyle? Should the homosexual be kicked out of the church until he gets his life right? Should the church hit the homosexual over the head with a Bible? Or should the church lovingly recommend that being gay is not God's best way?

Imagine, a couple is about to get divorced. Should the church shout, "God hates divorce—if you get divorced, you are sinning"? Or should the church explain, "It seems good to us that you work out your differences and stay together"? When the church shouts the Law at people, it turns them away from the grace of God. But when the church extends grace to people, it attracts them to God.

Is having homosexual desires a sin? Having homosexual desires is not a sin, it is a temptation. It is when homosexual acts become overt that they become a sin. If you are having homosexual thoughts and desires, the Bible commands that you must resist the temptation: "Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

What is God's attitude towards a homosexual? God hates the sin of homosexuality, but He loves the sinner. "For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). The punishment for sin is eternal death, but Jesus died so we would not have to die. Anyone who repents from their sin and turns to God will be saved from the results of their sins.

Can a practicing homosexual be a Christian? Everyone sins even after they become a Christian. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves ..." (1 John 1:8). Yet God said, "But as He who has called you is holy, so be holy in all your conduct" (1 Peter 1:15). We are saved by faith (Romans 10:9), but faith without works is dead (James 2:17). As Christians we must strive to do what is right. Paul told us that "'All things are lawful for me,' but not all things are helpful" (1 Cor. 10:23). The Bible clearly tells us that homosexuality is wrong, how can one cheapen the death of Jesus by continuing to sin. Everything we do will be judged someday in heaven. The Christian must strive for holiness and give up the old sinful lifestyle. A person who continues to practice homosexuality will be judged. Ultimately, "Whoever remains in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has not seen Him and does not know Him" (1 John 3:6).  

Is homosexuality worse than other sins? Many point to the sins of others as being horrible, but they excuse their own sins. They say, "My own sins deserve grace, but the sin of that man (pointing a finger) are beyond the pale;" or "It is forgivable for me to lie sometimes, but for a homosexual to engage in unnatural acts with his body is really sinful." Matthew Barnett tweeted, "People who make a list of what sins are worse than others rarely have theirs in the top 10."

Look at what Paul said, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-10). According to this verse, adultery and coveting my neighbor's new car are just as wrong as homosexuality.

There is only one sin that can send people to hell. What is this horrible sin that automatically sends people to hell? Is it murder? No, God can forgive the murderer. Is it homosexuality? No, God is willing to forgive the homosexual. In reality, the only sin that has the power to send someone to hell is the sin of not believing in Jesus.

My friend is a homosexual, what can I do to help him? People often become gay because they have been hurt and have suffered deeply. Often the homosexual has struggled against his or her feelings for many years. The best way to help them is to reach out in godly love to them. Share the truth of God's Word with your friend without preaching condemning sermons. Offer hope and guide your friend to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can set a person free from pain, doubt, and unbelief. Pray for your friend and reach out in love.  

I am a homosexual. How can I be delivered? Trust God. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Know that Jesus paid the price for your sins. Make a mental decision to change. Repent and stop sinning. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to say "no" to temptation. Seek help by finding a good Christian to counsel you and to pray with you. Begin cleansing your mind by reading the Bible regularly. Find a Bible believing church to attend. Know that Jesus will set you free!  "If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).

Daniel King (www.kingministries.com) is a missionary evangelist who has preached the gospel in over sixty nations. He has led over one million people to Jesus in the past ten years. Daniel and his wife Jessica live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His newest book is "Grace Wins: the Ultimate Battle between Religion and Relationship."

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