Homosexuality Will Divide Christians (Part Deuce)

I’d like to look at homosexuality today from the standpoint of the local church after looking at it from a political standpoint yesterday (post HERE).

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post on how Christians have been known to treat gays and lesbians and it got a pretty wide response. I looked at it from two different standpoints but I think they need to be somewhat isolated and looked at separately.

Please read today’s post with my post (link above) a few weeks ago in mind.

You could probably say that homosexuality already has, is, and will continue to divide Christians. Kurt and I were talking last week about how denominations and churches split over slavery and civil rights. We also talked about how the issue of churches having homosexual pastors will become a 21st century issue for the church like civil rights was in the 20th century.

Why? This isn’t just a no-big-deal issue to most Christians. This is an issue with very stark contrasts based on the Bible, as odd as that is. Both sides say the other is using poor hermeneutics and Bible study. Both sides say the other is misunderstanding the context of the verses where homosexuality is referenced. A great example of that is this post that goes into each Biblical reference to homosexuality in the Bible and then explains it in a pro-homosexuality way. He (meaning the writer of that post) and I would disagree on how he views the context in every instance but the point is that well educated, God fearing men and women are on both sides of this issue. It will divide the body, sadly.

My church recently got out of the PCUSA (the big Presbyterian denomination), in fact we are in the midst of a 90 day transition period. Let me first say that our reason for leaving has little to do with the PCUSA’s recent approval of some pro-gay pastorate amendments. Our process of leaving began long before of the passing of these amendments within the past couple years. But the PCUSA is a great example of where a lot of denominations and churches are going on this issue.

To me it seems very clear (as I said yesterday) that God designed marriage as between one man and one woman only. The Bible also seems to outline homosexuality as a sin and it also states that sexual sin is a dangerous one. It is not an outward sin, it is an inward sin. Dangerous indeed. But like I said a few weeks ago, it really isn’t any different any other sexual sin.

My problem is this: if churches and denominations are going to allow homosexual pastors we might as well encourage pastors to have affairs and to promote marital pluralism. It would be no different. Just as much as the Bible speaks to homosexuality and adultery as sexual sin, it also speaks to the importance of church leadership having a higher calling.

A church can love and respect people living homosexual lives and do so without having pastors living that lifestyle.

For me, the road churches are going down regarding this is frightening. It promotes equality for sure, but it also promotes sin.

OK, my rant is done.

Your turn.

  • http://www.aworshipfulheart.typepad.com jan owen

    scary isn’t it?

  • http://ash-nits.blogspot.com ash

    I agree that pastors should not be gay or lesbian for the above reasons you mentioned. However, overall, I would like to see the church at large face and deal w/ the issue rather than hide & condemn it OR act like it’s something God is just peachy about. The two are extreme ways of approaching it. There must be a place where the church can reach out the gay community w/o tearing them down as people…people who, are too, created by the Father.

  • Deana

    The ‘church’, followers of Jesus, must learn to love as Jesus did….regardless of what the sin is…whether it be homosexuality, cheating, or whatever! Why are we so willing to overlook some sins, and focus on others we think are ‘bigger’! And I know I also must include myself in needing to learn to love and serve others as Jesus would

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    Deana- I totally agree. Hopefully my post doesn’t come across as trying to single out homosexuality as THE sin God is against. God hates sin period and I believe the Bible outlines homosexuality as sin. But again, it is no different than other sexual sins. I do believe we need to love gays just as much as we need to love straight people. And I am with you…I need to learn how to do that better!

  • http://newheights.wordpress.com/ Darin

    Thanks for the link. I respect your fellowship’s decision.

  • jculpep3

    While I disagree with you about homosexuality, I agree with you that it is dividing and will continue to divide the Church. Divisions are always a painful process, but there have been times when either the division was necessary or the denominations involved came back together.

    When Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door of the Wittenberg cathedral, he was acting on conscience, backed up with research and well thought- and prayed- out arguments. He was doing what was right for him, what God had called him to do. Of course, the Roman Catholic and Lutheran denominations are still divided, but no longer is the Church selling indulgences. Also, many of both denomination’s congregations are accepting one another through ecumenism and learning that we are all one body, one Church, despite our denominations.

    There are many people, myself included, whose conscience tells them that homosexuals are being mistreated by the Church’s exclusion of them, from individuals who feel uncomfortable at services to those who feel called to ministry and cannot follow that call because of their orientation. Conscience is a gift from God, but no substitute for scripture, tradition and reason. Thus, through conscience we research what we can, and pray about it, and will hopefully make what changes are necessary for “life abundant.”

    As for denominations getting back together after a split, the United Methodist church became united after over a hundred years of separate “ME” and “ME South” denominations, among others, who had divided over slavery and other issues prior to the American Civil War. Despite their long split, they were again united and continue to be. I hope that whatever the Church finally decides about homosexuality, one day it will come back together and release the old divisions.