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Hatred found lacking in church over gay issue

I attempted a step-by-step reasoning on what I believe should be the Christian’s stand on people who identify themselves as ‘gay’. At whichever step you don’t agree with, you may choose not to continue further. If you’re a professing Christian however, I’d encourage you to read till the end. At the end, I discover, that most of the time, the main reason is that we lack hatred, hatred of sin.

Image from thebricktestament.com

1. Scripture is clear that homosexual acts are sins. Along with other things like sex outside marriage (1 Corinthians 6):

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a]10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

2. Note the “were” above, which ties in with the next point, that there is repentance needed, and turning away from one’s old ways. It’s a long drawn process, and we as Christians may have to battle some of our sins for our entire lives. But that’s definitely not a position of “I will continue in them because of reason a, b and c.” Christ’s death on the cross is sufficient to cover all sins, past, present and future, but it is not a license to sin willfully.

3. The gay gene has not been discovered. This is for all of us who like the ‘born this way’ argument. You’re right in the sense that we are all born with tendency to sin, in our own different ways. Being greedy. Being lustful (towards women). Lazy. That’s why we can’t just wash that slate clean. We can only try to explain it away, or justify it.

4. Christians do not hate / persecute / want to kill gays. No thanks to popular culture and some whacked fringe groups (mainly in the US, and more institutionalised movements in parts of Africa.) Hate the sin, love the sinner applies. Hate speech and actions against gays don’t have any background in the faith, it’s just people finding an excuse for hate speech. Unless you’re a professing Christian… which comes to my next point…

5. If you’re a Christian, point 1 should be enough. You should not even be endorsing gay relationships, or be open to them, even if you’re not a sexually active in the homosexual sense. Noone but God can know the thoughts of every congregant, but if you say openly that you’re a practising gay, or open to gay relationships, then you need to be excluded from being a member of the church, just like anyone openly in an adulterous relationship, divorce and re-married, etc.

This is church discipline, and why do we find it hard to enforce for gays? Because we hardly enforce it for other open sins as well. There is no fear, no hatred of sin, the sin which required the punishment and death of a man no less than God Incarnate himself.

The church needs to and should help those who are in sin and struggling to come out of it (like divorcees who remarry knowing it is not allowed- now that’s tough, and those who formerly had gay relationships, etc), but they need to be honest that it is a sin and want to repent of it!

6. Principle: Church is firstly about fellowship in Christ, then about helping others. It is important to remember that. The (debatable) social mission of the body of Christ on earth cannot be subsumed by its being the body of Christ in the world. When we share the gospel with unbelievers (be it regular folks, prostitutes, gays etc) it ought always to come with a clear indicator of the cost of following the gospel, as far as license to sin is concerned (any sin).

Closing: So far, I’m aware that this issue still has not reached the church in Singapore in a big way yet (we’re still more concerned about the prosperity gospel, given the importance of money in our culture). But we will get there soon enough, where the US is today. And given our culture of not speaking up, and our strong inherent desire to not ‘rock the boat’ in all aspects of society and life, it will be a shame if this issue blew across our churches without much of a fight.

Open challenges will begin when Section 377A of the penal code finally gets repealed by our secular government, which no church should trust to uphold the moral standards expected of Christians. Instead, we should heed the call and encouragement given in Revelations 3:

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

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