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  • Asking homosexuals to leave the church?

    Greetings my brothers and sisters in Christ!

    I have a topic that I would like to hear your feedback on.

    Today I had a meeting with the pastor of my church. We were going over a sermon God gave me to preach while in Afghanistan. After that we just started talking about miscelaneous things which eventually led to the topc Im posting about.

    There is (was) a lesbian couple (I believe that they were "married") that attend(ed) my church here in North Dakota. They both played in the praise band, one was even the praise band leader. Apparently it was well known that they were a couple. They never let on to this..... no PDA or anything like that. While I was in Afghanistan, they apperently they started acting "too gay" and the pastor asked them to leave the church. I dont know what they did to become considered "too" gay, that wasnt talked about.

    Later in the day I got back home and talked about what had happened to my wife. She was vividly upset over this (she had never met the women as she has only been attending this church for about a month or so). She made the comment that the pastor had no right to ask them to leave as they are God's children and sinners just the same as we are. For a while I tried to argue from the standpoint that possibly their actions adversly affected the congregation. But eventually found myself agreeing with her.

    What Im trying to ask is this: Did the Pastor act in the right? I know that Paul says that we should not associate with the sexually immoral and that homosexuality is considered immoral. But is my wife correct when she said that the church of all places should be the most accepting place in the world? Should gay people be asked to leave the church?

    Something in my soul is telling me that what the Pastor did is wrong. But Im just not sure.
    "I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
    -- (Psalm 18:1-2)

    "Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk ant not be weary" -- (Isaiah 40:31)

  • #2
    I don't know the exact situation. . .
    But what I do know is that if you're going to be in a position of leadership in the church, you had especially be fleeing from sin. If they were a married lesbian couple. . . .

    Comment


    • #3
      But wouldnt that be the same as saying you cant be a Pastor if you have been divorced?
      "I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
      -- (Psalm 18:1-2)

      "Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk ant not be weary" -- (Isaiah 40:31)

      Comment


      • #4
        IMHO your wife is right and you are right to agree with her... The Pastor needs a workshop or ten.

        When did the Christian Church start asking sinners to leave? It is IMHO what is wrong with this self-righteous, judgemental brand of Christianity that is prevalent in some fundamental groups today. I am not saying "its ok" --- I am saying mercy and love and grace are character qualities that transcend judgement. I will leave the judging to Lord God Almighty.

        Would Jesus have kicked them out? IMHO, NOWAY!

        Comment


        • #5
          She made the comment that the pastor had no right to ask them to leave as they are God's children and sinners just the same as we are
          .

          I agree.
          It is not the healthy who need a doctor...but the sick.

          Love the person hate the sin.
          I'm Sara
          "Jesus wept." John 11:35
          Praying for my sister Mieke.
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            St. Michael and Militarywife

            Thanks for your comments. The more I meditate on this and think about it the more I start to truely agree with what my wife is saying.

            Like you said......Love the person hate the sin.

            Now the next question I have is what to do about it?

            What Im saying is that I dont want to leave the church because of this...... like Rick Warren says..... there is far too much "church jumping" happening. There is too much up and leaving because of trivial issues going on. I would like to do something about this. But not in a harmful or demeaning way.

            What would you do in this situation?
            "I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
            -- (Psalm 18:1-2)

            "Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk ant not be weary" -- (Isaiah 40:31)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JesusPhreak27 View Post
              But wouldnt that be the same as saying you cant be a Pastor if you have been divorced?
              Well, where I come from. . . .

              Leadership in the church should not be engaging in obviously immoral behavior, especially while in that position of leadership.
              That's all I was commenting on.

              The church is made up of sinners, that's obvious enough. To kick someone out of church because they were gay, I don't agree with.
              If they were in leadership in terms of worship, well then, that's something entirely different.

              Edit* To clarify, I mean sinners who have an attitude towards getting out of sin. Not sinners who believe their sin is justified.
              Last edited by Athanasius; Feb 7th 2008, 03:06 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I dont know bro. I really dont. I know what I would do, but I do not want to upset anyone on the boards.

                I'll put it to you like this. I would go to this Pastor with complete humility and be an advocate for the lost and the sinner.

                In my mind, that is what Christ taught us to do. I would also somehow let these ladies know that your family loves them via written note, phone call, lunch, etc etc etc....not the sin but them and their worth as Children of God. Let them know that you are their advocate standing in the breach.

                We need... no it is essential we do this for our fellow Christians.... essential.

                All of this is JMO.

                ~Godbless.. I know you'll do the right thing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JesusPhreak27 View Post
                  St. Michael and Militarywife

                  Thanks for your comments. The more I meditate on this and think about it the more I start to truely agree with what my wife is saying.

                  Like you said......Love the person hate the sin.

                  Now the next question I have is what to do about it?

                  What Im saying is that I dont want to leave the church because of this...... like Rick Warren says..... there is far too much "church jumping" happening. There is too much up and leaving because of trivial issues going on. I would like to do something about this. But not in a harmful or demeaning way.

                  What would you do in this situation?
                  Personally I think you should meet with your pastor and talk with him privately of your concerns.
                  My heart aches right now because in my honest opinion I feel like the pastor pretty much handed those women over to satan. I will be praying for your situation if that is ok.
                  I'm Sara
                  "Jesus wept." John 11:35
                  Praying for my sister Mieke.
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ministering

                    No, it perhaps would not have been right for the pastor to ask them to leave the church right away. There is a process where the sin is made known to take them aside and counsel them according to scripture and make it known to them that the behavior is unacceptable and needs to end.

                    If they choose not to end, than you are to bring a witness with you and counsel again. If they choose not to listen the second time, then it should be brought before the entire congregation and it should be made known that the remainder of the congregation should have nothing more to do with them.

                    To allow them to remain in the church without properly counseling them in such fashion is to say you accept their behavior as being godly, which is entirely unscriptural and shouldn't be tolerated.

                    I read someone's post in here earlier today (I believe in another forum) stating that the believer understands that they sin, however; the difference is they are making every godly effort to refrain from doing so. You let these two continue with their present conduct you're generally saying that their behavior is entirely acceptable within the church.

                    ,,,but where does that leave our love for God under these circumstances?


                    LEVITICUS Chapter 18.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1 Corinthians 5 says that a man living in sin with his stepmother should be removed from the fellowship. It also says that the Corinthians should judge those inside the church who are sinning.

                      The Bible says homosexuality is wrong. This couple is openly living in sin and not repenting. Kicking this couple out of the church entirely is one thing, but I think it would be entirely reasonable to not allow them to be in leadership positions such as praise and worship team.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1Cor.5

                        [1] It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
                        [2] And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
                        [3] For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
                        [4] In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
                        [5] To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
                        [6] Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leavened the whole lump?
                        [7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:


                        The word makes it clear all over the place that somebody in open sin cannot be tolerated in the church. Nothing to do with them as much as the rest of the body..God is right, what about the children watching this behavior,elderly that are offended.......Folks, the Bible makes it clear..And I really think He knows what he is talking about...Our tolerance of sin is infiltrating churches...It's sad.
                        And members of the church and leaders, not good. Their guidelines call for a higher standard. It's wrong, God said it is.......and that's all folks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, there aren't sufficient facts in the OP to know whether the action was appropriate under the circumstances. But there is a distinction between "judging" unbelievers for their sin, and disciplining within the church itself. When I became a member of the church I submitted to the discipline of the church. That means that when I call myself a believer - but continue to live openly and defiantly in sin - I am subject to the rebuke of my brothers and sisters in Christ, who have an obligation to hold me to account.

                          I think the passage from 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 is appropriate in this vein.

                          [9] "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people - [10]not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. [11]But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. [12] What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? [13]God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you."

                          Paul is saying here that the church should not judge unbelievers for their sin - that is God's job. But when the church is tolerant of sin in its members it stops looking like a church and starts looking like the world. We are called to turn away from our sin and walk in the Spirit, in submission to the will of God.

                          The church is open to sinners of all kinds - all are welcome. But the church should not tolerate a "believer" who does not turn away from their sin. Christ would not tolerate it either.
                          "There are two things I know. I am a great sinner. And Christ is a great savior." ~ John Newton

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So do we feed them to the wolves so to speak? Do we just kick them out? When Jesus asked who needs a doctor, was He speaking of those who are free of the "major" sins?

                            Does this mean that if a man commits adultry that he should be asked to leave as well? What if a woman has an abortion?

                            The problem I have with your way of thinking is this: Jesus Christ came to earth to save the lost. Are we not a representation today? Are we not supposed to accept any and all that truly want to serve the Lord?

                            We are ALL sinners. I will guarentee you that I am not the only one who has skeletons in my closet. Since Im not a "perfect" Christian should I be asked to leave as well? What about a Pastor who has an ongoing battle with porn? Should they be asked to step down?

                            While in Afghanistan my Pastor there made a statement that I think fits VERY well in this situation.

                            He said the following: If only perfect people can do God's work, then God would get nothing accomplished here.

                            Dont you see? Were all flawed. But the awesome thing about God is that even though we all fall short of His glory He can still use us for the good of His Kingdom.

                            The problem with Christianity today, and to be honest, the reason the stigma that goes with the name Christian is so rightly deserved, is that we are the most judgmental group of people you will ever meet. Walk into any church in America and you will be face to face with a building full of hypocrites. We all do it....... "Oh look at those two....theyre gay......." While at the same time the person who is judging may be having an affair or battling a porn or drug addiction.

                            Who are we to judge? Galatians says we are to LOVE one another. James says that we are to leave judging up to God.
                            "I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
                            -- (Psalm 18:1-2)

                            "Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk ant not be weary" -- (Isaiah 40:31)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So how ought to 1 Corinthians 5 be applied? If one is sinning, and doing so willfully, the least that ought to have happened is to put them out of their leadership role. If they continued to flaunt their relationship - indeed they ought to be put out of the church.

                              How can we go against scripture? What is right with God doesn't have to sit well with us.
                              Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
                              Not second or third, but first.
                              Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
                              when He is the source of all hope,
                              when His love is received and freely given,
                              holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
                              will all other things be added unto to you.

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