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mattymoo
Apr 1st 2008, 11:27 AM
Dear all

I have been a Christian all my life.

Recently, I have been tested by an issue and I need some advice and encouragement.

Some friends of mine, who I have known to be homosexual and in a relationship with each other, have decided to "get engaged" and have a civil partnership ceremony. They have told me, clearly quite unaware of my potential difficulties, and I am expecting them to invite me to the event in due course.

I don't want to offend them, as I have tried to keep my friendship with them going, but I do not feel able in conscience to congratulate them or to attend the ceremony.

I do not want to appear bigoted or hypocritical, but I feel there is no way out: I cannot ignore them now or their new situation without revealing what I think.

It seems to me that this issue is very much a problem "of our time". Yes, I know that civil partnership ceremonies are different to marriage, but they offend me (a married man) for using so much of the parlance of a wedding that many people think it is possible for two people of the same sex to get married in the traditional sense.

I hope everyone will appreciate my dilemma. I have joined this message board specifically to get some help on this. I look forward to everyone's views.

daughter
Apr 1st 2008, 11:37 AM
I really do appreciate your dilemma. Pray about it, and do what God tells you. You know what He is telling you to do.

I want to share something with you. Before I was a Christian I considered myself to be bisexual. I was in a "homosexual" relationship with another woman when I was nineteen or so. At the time I was an alleged "christian" (I was the Catholic rep for my college at Oxford.) And NOBODY ever said anything to me about this. One woman once told me that homosexuality was a sin, and my then boyfriend (who was quite aroused by my sexual confusion) got angry with her and shut her up.

But, you know... I remember exactly how she said it, and how confident and kind and gentle she was.

But the church I went to said nothing. I could easily have died in my sin, because nobody loved me enough to tell me the truth.

When I became Christian, I was amazed to find that my "confusion" disappeared. I am no longer attracted to other women. In fact, from having been very lustful in my thoughts (though not deeds) I honestly don't find myself lusting at all after anyone anymore. This is a huge change.

If only more people had stood for the truth when I was younger, then I would have been a better wife, a better mother, and far less tormented than I was. It's awful to see somebody and have to turn away because your lust makes your face flush and your heart beat faster. I was indeed that bad.

But all that is gone since I'm a Christian. Folks used to tell me it wasn't a sin... but I can't remember the faces and names of the ones who told me that. They all blended into a blur.

I remember Catherine Field, sitting in a friend's kitchen, with a mug of coffee in front of her, staring at me intently and saying, "oh Mary, but it is a sin."

At the time I hated her for saying it.

Now, I thank God that He spoke through her, and she wouldn't let my anger stop her from saying what was needed.

Whatever you do and say, say it in love. And pray about it, when you see these people, pray that they can see you love them.

It could help to lead them to salvation. Seriously, it's that important that your witness is unspoiled.

God bless.

mattymoo
Apr 1st 2008, 11:56 AM
I thank you for this eloquent post. I have thought, too, that it is important to witness to the truth and to be true to myself. That "to love" is not the same as "to condone".

But I am also hurt by the implications. I feel that my marriage is undermined by the bill in the UK that allows this.

daughter
Apr 1st 2008, 12:03 PM
What God has done no man can undo. God made you and your wife one flesh, one body and soul, and no matter what silly little games humans play, your marriage can not be degraded. Your marriage is not two people who happen to lie together. It is Three people, you, your wife, and God.

No matter what parody homosexual couples, or other groups come up with, marriage is between you, your wife and God. And no homosexual "marriage" can approach that.

I speak as someone who has been married, and I know that God was in it, as He was not in my previous two relationships.

Don't worry about the obscenity in the world around you. God said, the marriage bed would be undefiled.

You and your wife are undefiled by this filth, and God is in your marriage. He knows His people, and nothing can touch you, if you keep in Him.

I do know how you feel... but when the world threatens to overwhelm you, look at your wife, look at your God, and think, "thank you so much, Father, that you gave me this, true, and honest, and pure... and please save those who are lost in trumpery and trash."

Whatever you do, trust Him, and praise Him. And believe that He can save souls even in the foul world we live in.

I'm livin proof, and so are many others, that He is mighty to save.

Friend of I AM
Apr 1st 2008, 12:26 PM
Dear all

I have been a Christian all my life.

Recently, I have been tested by an issue and I need some advice and encouragement.

Some friends of mine, who I have known to be homosexual and in a relationship with each other, have decided to "get engaged" and have a civil partnership ceremony. They have told me, clearly quite unaware of my potential difficulties, and I am expecting them to invite me to the event in due course.

I don't want to offend them, as I have tried to keep my friendship with them going, but I do not feel able in conscience to congratulate them or to attend the ceremony.

I do not want to appear bigoted or hypocritical, but I feel there is no way out: I cannot ignore them now or their new situation without revealing what I think.

It seems to me that this issue is very much a problem "of our time". Yes, I know that civil partnership ceremonies are different to marriage, but they offend me (a married man) for using so much of the parlance of a wedding that many people think it is possible for two people of the same sex to get married in the traditional sense.

I hope everyone will appreciate my dilemma. I have joined this message board specifically to get some help on this. I look forward to everyone's views.

Don't worry about offending them. Jesus stated himself that those who weren't offended by what he said were blessed. Follow your conscience which is God testifying to you. Just be up front and honest about what you've stated to us here to them. I pray that God will lead you in the right direction in where to go with your friendship after you've spoken to them.

In Christ,

Stephen

Roelof
Apr 1st 2008, 12:33 PM
And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I give judgment. Go, and sin no more. (Joh 8:11)

The Parson
Apr 1st 2008, 02:19 PM
And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I give judgment. Go, and sin no more. (Joh 8:11)Perhaps you could clarify the reason for this particular verse Roelof...

Ta-An
Apr 1st 2008, 02:27 PM
Roelof, you have to remember.... there is a difference between the situation you quoted the verse too and same-gender relationships.. Not that the one is more acceptable as the other :o they are both wrong!!
However, the verse ends with..... go and sin no more, not just.... not just to not be judged for sin...or not to judge another for their sin.... the emphasis is go and sin no more

karenoka27
Apr 1st 2008, 02:38 PM
Daughter said it beautifully. In this day and age we are so afraid to "offend" and unfortunately the world sides with the offender.
Yet if we don't speak the word in truth..we are doing nothing more than sending souls to hell.
I had a friend at a place I worked. He thought he might be gay and wanted to find out. My boss who was also a Christian and I did all we could showing him Scripture where it was wrong and that he needed more than anything to give his life to Jesus Christ. I wish I could tell you that the story had a happy ending. It didn't. He went off to live in the lifestyle he had been thinking about. I no longer stayed in that friendship. He heard the truth and did not want to be set free by it. So sad.

Praying for you to have the Words that Christ Himself would speak to them.

danield
Apr 1st 2008, 04:24 PM
Daughter, that was really an impressive testimony that you shared with us. Bless you for your honesty and courage that you always seem to reflect in your messages. This thread reminded me of a passage I read in 1 Corinthians 5 the other day. It was interesting how Paul handled himself in a somewhat similar situation that we face even today.


1 I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother.[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28415a)] 2 You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.
3 Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit.[b (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28417b)] And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church.[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28418c)] I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed[d (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28419d)] and he himself[e (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28419e)] will be saved on the day the Lord[f (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28419f)] returns.
6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.[g (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28421g)] 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread[h (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28422h)] of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread[i (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28422i)] of sincerity and truth.
9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer[j (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28425j)] yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”[k (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%205%20;&version=51;#fen-NLT-28427k)]


So as Paul tells us, we are not to condemn those outside the church but those inside the church who practice unfounded principals. I will also note that he follows up in passages to encourage us not to put ourselves in situations that may trip up our fellow Christians up who look at your behavior as an acceptable lifestyle. 1 Corinthians 8 is the passage I am referring to.


But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer[b (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=8&version=51#fen-NLT-28498b)] for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12 And when you sin against other believers[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=8&version=51#fen-NLT-28499c)] by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13 So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.

These issues we do face are indeed unique problems of our time.

danield
Apr 1st 2008, 05:38 PM
I would add that I in my Christian maturity would not attend the civil ceremony because it does represent a immoral union. I personally do not think anyone could be mature enough to attend. Even though they may be "pagans" or "unbelievers", the ritual service violates a cornerstone ceremony of our Christian belief. I am not “mature” enough to close a blind eye to those practices. However, I would associate with them in public just as Paul instructed us to and as Daughter experienced. I feel that the difference is that these people want you to come to a ceremony that recognizes them as an official union, and we as Christians do not observe that union. This is the critical point. If a pagan invited you to attend a worship service to honor Zeus would we go? No, of course not, But we would also associate with them in public as Paul instructed.

Naphal
Apr 3rd 2008, 02:01 AM
Discontinue all contact with these people unless they reject their current ways and repent.



Dear all

I have been a Christian all my life.

Recently, I have been tested by an issue and I need some advice and encouragement.

Some friends of mine, who I have known to be homosexual and in a relationship with each other, have decided to "get engaged" and have a civil partnership ceremony. They have told me, clearly quite unaware of my potential difficulties, and I am expecting them to invite me to the event in due course.

I don't want to offend them, as I have tried to keep my friendship with them going, but I do not feel able in conscience to congratulate them or to attend the ceremony.

I do not want to appear bigoted or hypocritical, but I feel there is no way out: I cannot ignore them now or their new situation without revealing what I think.

It seems to me that this issue is very much a problem "of our time". Yes, I know that civil partnership ceremonies are different to marriage, but they offend me (a married man) for using so much of the parlance of a wedding that many people think it is possible for two people of the same sex to get married in the traditional sense.

I hope everyone will appreciate my dilemma. I have joined this message board specifically to get some help on this. I look forward to everyone's views.

Owen
Apr 3rd 2008, 07:10 AM
Dear all

I have been a Christian all my life.

Recently, I have been tested by an issue and I need some advice and encouragement.

Some friends of mine, who I have known to be homosexual and in a relationship with each other, have decided to "get engaged" and have a civil partnership ceremony. They have told me, clearly quite unaware of my potential difficulties, and I am expecting them to invite me to the event in due course.

I don't want to offend them, as I have tried to keep my friendship with them going, but I do not feel able in conscience to congratulate them or to attend the ceremony.

I do not want to appear bigoted or hypocritical, but I feel there is no way out: I cannot ignore them now or their new situation without revealing what I think.

It seems to me that this issue is very much a problem "of our time". Yes, I know that civil partnership ceremonies are different to marriage, but they offend me (a married man) for using so much of the parlance of a wedding that many people think it is possible for two people of the same sex to get married in the traditional sense.

I hope everyone will appreciate my dilemma. I have joined this message board specifically to get some help on this. I look forward to everyone's views.

The only real solution is to not go and tell them up front why BEFORE the ceremony. Say it politely but meanwhile stating your convictions and your reasons because of your faith. However, do not get into an argument with them about the validity of your convictions, which will likely come up. You will not change their minds by arguing it. Not engaging is more likely to win them over than by trying to argue with them. If they begin to argue/debate or act hostile towards you, just simply walk away.

In the end, you probably will not be able to avoid offending them. If as a Christian you are called to be light to the world and you show it and act upon Christian convictions, it is likely you will offend. And I am not going to sugar coat this: you may potentially lose your friendship with all this. It shouldn't be from your side however.