It is true we must love people of different sexual orientations.
However, the church also cannot compromise on the fact that homosexuality is a sin. Thus, the church cannot outrightly condone homosexuals (and transvestites) just as the church cannot condone adulterers, rapists, murderers, etc.
Therefore, we ought to allow homosexuals and transvestites their human/civil rights, but the church must take a tough stance against homosexuality (not homosexuals) and transvestism (not transvestites) - therefore, no ordination of homosexual/transvestite clergy, and homosexual/transvestite brothers and sisters should repent and understand that their sexual orientation is part of original sin.
This would be the 4th? time I'm talking about this issue, but the idea is that Christian morality and civil ethics are different, thus church and state cannot be one and the same - within the church, higher moral standards must apply.
Thanks for your comments.
But i differ from your opinions.
Being homosexual Is NOT Sin.
Rejecting JESUS & HIS Finished Work at the Cross is SIN.
Living a lifestyle without love - being selfish, self-centred, thinking of one's gain and interest will lead to works and deeds that are sins.
pls check this website http://www.gaychurch.org
which has answers
about homosexuality. if after going through that and you want to
discuss about this with me, we can meet personally or discuss it
through email or msn. i would rather share this with you with
an open bible before you.
but what i want to bring up in this entry is not such discussion.
even if you choose to believe that homosexuality is sin, let me
say this, it will not lead to hell. only the sin of rejecting CHRIST
JESUS as our Saviour and LORD and HIS finished work on the cross
will send us there. The LORD will reward us on our works and deeds
based on the weight of love.
How are we supposed to live in love for one another? By attacking
on those we view weak or in sin with condemnation, hostily, indifference, treat them like the world and enemy does, look down on them, force changes?? NO!! we should pray for them, point them to JESUS, love them as we would love ourselves - and that means accepting and respecting them as we would ourselves. Love should be filled with patience, kindness, gentleness, meekness, peace... bearing fruit of the Spirit.
First, to clarify the nature of sin.
James 1:14-15 "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."
Sin is, in other words, inordinate desire. This encompasses lust, greed, even the desire to watch TV or use the Internet. In other words, a desire for an object, person, ideal, or thing that overtakes one's desire for God.
I never said anything about going to hell because of original sin. But when we believe we ought not persist in our sins. True, we still sin, and we must confess and have our sins washed away by Christ continually, but if we engage in pleasures of the flesh without any guilt, turning back or repentance whatsoever our sins will ultimately condemn us, because these pleasures of the flesh have separated us from God, and separation from God means death (likewise, salvation brings life because it is union with God).
You say that love "should be filled with patience, kindness, gentleness, meekness, peace... bearing fruit of the spirit". But in a world which espouses compromise, negotiation, free love, freedom, appeasement and the like, we have forgotten about goodness and self-control. God is a loving God, but the reason why Christ even had to go on the cross is because God is at the same time a righteous God, He cannot tolerate evil.
We do not look down on people who sin and force changes. Crucial to our faith is the fact that everyone is sinful, so looking down on sinners is looking down on the self. Forcing changes would likewise be hypocrisy. In a church, we seek to help each other see each other's sin, which we may or may not realise, that we may repent of this sin, and make ourselves more Christlike and testify better for Christ Jesus.
I am not saying that homosexuals must become heterosexuals overnight. In fact, it may be impossible for homosexuals to overcome this natural disposition, and their sexual desire will always be directed towards members of the same sex. However, just because homosexuality is something one is born with does not mean it is not a sin. We are born with all our sins.
Therefore, if homosexuality is a sin, it does not mean that a homosexual must change his or her sexual orientation to enter the kingdom of God. Two things must be done, though. The first is to avoid lust - just as heterosexuals must avoid lusting after a member of the opposite sex. The second, however, is to ensure that one ought to ask for God's forgiveness regarding the sin of homosexuality, and avoid engaging in homosexual acts. Understandably sexual desire towards members of the same sex cannot be avoided, but one cannot act upon this desire because it is a sinful one that God cannot tolerate.
But is homosexuality a sin?
In response to the passage regarding homosexuality in Romans, gaychurch.org says this:
"The problem of course is, what is “natural”? The word “natural” comes from two Greek words phusikos (Strong's #5446) and phusis (Strong's #5449). These words literally mean that which is a persons "natural disposition" and something that comes "instinctively" to them."
Natural disposition does not equate to what comes "instinctively" to oneself. The word "natural", in fact, comes from the word "nature" - and natural disposition is therefore what is instinctive not to oneself, but to human nature - that is, the natural balance of things as God has dictated.
Again, remember that the Bible is a text not meant for the individual, for the church. The time of the Roman Empire was not one where individual freedoms or desires were cherished. I am glad that the members of gaychurch.org honour the fact that the Bible is the sole authority and must be treated literally, but there must also be a correct interpretation of God's Word.
The abovementioned interpretation is also incongruous with the context of the passage. Romans 1:27 says that the men "were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error". Moreover, Romans 1:24 implies that homosexual intercourse is an "impurity" and "the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves".
The phrase "men committing shameless acts with men" implies the sexual act between homosexuals - I welcome an alternative explanation if it makes sense. When men commit shameless acts with other men, it is written that they will "receive the due penalty for their error". The error refers to the abovementioned shameless act between men. I do not see how this is not a condemnation of homosexuality - it is denounced as an error, and is something for which people will be punished for.If homosexuality is a sin, what happens to homosexual believers who till death do not accept that homosexuality is a sin?
I would not say that all of them would go to hell, or all of them would go to heaven. We are not to judge. But if homosexuality is a sin, as I have just sought to show is proven by Scripture, our homosexual brothers and sisters ought to know the truth and adopt the appropriate attitude.
But what I know is that we must honour what the Bible says, and not distort its meaning to suit our desires. The Romans passage is as in Paul's time as it is today because homosexuality
was not uncommon. Paul condemning homosexuality may not have been surprising to Jews, but this move may not be well-received by the Gentiles, and would have required a certain amount of moral courage.
Likewise, to say that homosexuality is a sin today requires moral courage, but we must also make this statement with sensitivity.
Yes, we may say that the high moral standards a homosexual would have to uphold is worse than what a nun or monk has to do, but I would also like to point out that women are denied priesthood, given less authority on earth, and yet have to be much more gentle and dress appropriately so as not to tempt men, etc, and have higher moral standards to uphold as the fairer sex. As shown in the parable of the talents, we all have different standards to live up to.
Sorry for the very long comment, but I must make the issue clear once and for all. And, the actions I feel a homosexual should take only applies to Christians.
And, again, we do not condemn homosexuals. Must the church (not the state) condemn homosexuality? Yes, just as it condemns adultery, jealosy and the like. Must the church (and the state) accept homosexuals? Yes. We DO NOT view them "with condemnation, hostily, indifference... look down on them, force changes", I completely agree with you on this. It is with such an attitude that I signed repeal377A
(the letter they sent was submitted already).
Thanks for your comments, once again.
i appreciate your sharing, tolerance and kindness.
However, i hope to put it quite simply what i believe and differ from you.
by the way, for your earlier entry, i want
to comment that in NO WAY, homosexuals should be categorise along
adulterers, rapists and murderers. everyone is capable of being one.
Homosexuals are part of the sexual orientation of mankind.
And therefore like heterosexuals, are unique, special beings made
and loved by GOD. Do we have the right to ask anyone to change what
is natural? all are sinners until Christ come into our lives.
And then we become New Creation when we believe & trust our lives to CHRIST our SAVIOR.
The WORD of GOD is meant to reveal HIS glory. What is HIS glory?
That all HE loved, whom CHRIST died to save, will recognise HIS love.
How is this possible? Is when we love GOD with all our heart, soul, might and strength. And love our neighbours as ourselves. There is no commandments greater than this and is more than burnt offerings and sacrifices. (Mark 12:30-33) Thus, everything in our lives, how we conduct ourselves as Christians are based on this. This is the heart of GOD for our lives. And HE helps us live these laws by HIS Spirit. HIS Spirit lives in us and through us. We just abide in our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
A life of obedience begins with live in CHRIST and continually abiding in HIM.
So, in James 1:24, sinful desires are stemmed up from a life of not abiding in CHRIST as stated in Mark 12:30-33. So whether heterosexuals or homosexuals, if we do not abide in CHRIST and walk according to HIS SPIRIT, we fail in this. Homosexuality is NOT a sinful desire. Sinful desires that lead to sin are products / behaviour produced from a life not following after CHRIST. Similarly in Romans 1, not all acts between men are shameful. It is shameful when the heart of what is done is not in line with Mark 12:30-33. To understand Romans, you have to understand the historical and cultural background during that era. The committing of shameful acts between men does not imply every homosexual behaviour.
i'll end this with a testimony. and i'll share more as the Spirit leads. once upon a time, i was, myself, a homophobic. i used to make fun and condemn homosexuals being a very legalistic Christian. It's because of this that i think i've hurt some of them. Until one fine day, one of my friend came out to me. He came out to me, totally, honestly, and i began to try to understand him. i went to find out more. and one sure thing i did, was to pray for him. while i became more accepting and tolerant, i was still hoping to see his change. i even question GOD. what's wrong?? wat am i supposed to do? The LORD just wanted me not to question but to love and accept him just as HE is and as how i would love others. When i obeyed the LORD in this, you won't believe how many homosexual friends the LORD has brought to my path. And i begin to see and understand how wonderfully and fearfully made by GOD, how loved and blessed these friends are. In fact, i learn so much from them, and am so blessed by their life of love for CHRIST and for others..
when i asked HIM again, LORD, what do you want me to do. HIS reply is still the same. NEVER has the LORD wanted me to do anything to change them. In regards to this, sometimes the LORD does lead me to share and correct a fellow believer. never has the LORD wanted me to disassociate with them like HE wanted me to with a certain group of associates in my life. In fact, i no longer see them different from me but as One body of CHRIST.
Thanks for the reply and for reading my rather long comment. However, I stand by the view that homosexuality is a sin, because it is based on Scripture.
It is God's command that we love Him with all our heart, soul, might and strength. However, to love Him, we must do what is pleasing to Him and avoid what is detestable to Him. Besides believing, there are many things that we must and must not do to live a life pleasing to God. In no way does this passage prove whether or not homosexuality is a sin.
Sinful desires stem from a life of not abiding in Christ. I would like to note that even when we abide in Christ, we will still have to struggle and be tempted by sinful desires - whether or not we succumb to them is another thing.
You keep mentioning that we should abide in Christ. I see also that you are a very spiritual person and try your best to abide in Christ and follow in the way of the Spirit. However, though the greatest commandment is to love, we have to remember that love "does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth" (1 Corinthians 13:6).
You also say that "sinful desires that lead to sin are products / behaviour produced from a life not following after CHRIST". That is certainly true, but even after we accept and choose to follow Christ, we still sin now and then. For example, I still struggle with a short temper now and then, and like gaming a tad more than I should. A life that follows after Christ will not sin, but none of us can follow Christ with all our hearts - we can only look to His redemption, and do our best to follow Him. Again, this in no way means that homosexuality is not a sin.
However, the Romans 1:26-27 explicitly tells us that the giving up of natural relations with people of the other sex and passion for those of the same sex is dishonourable, and acts as a result of such passion are errors. This is undoubtedly a condemnation of homosexuality.
Moreover, Leviticus 18:22 mentions that a man lying with a man rather than a woman is an abomination.
I am not saying we must stone, lynch or excommunicate our homosexual brothers and sisters. We must treat them as we treat everyone else. But neither can we allow homosexual relationships to flourish and regard it as the overflowing love of God, because these relationships are detestable to Him.
We always say that we should follow as the Spirit leads and avoid sinful desires, but while true it is not always easy. Sinful desires can feel good and even seem right in the eyes of many. And how do we verify that we are being led by the Spirit? Only through His Word. And the Scriptures testify to the fact that God does not delight in homosexuality.
However, let me once again emphasise that we must hate the sin and not the sinner. Just as how everyone has quirks and flaws that should be eradicated, we cannot condone homosexuality but must accept homosexuals.
That said, our homosexual brothers and sisters will find it hard to change their sexual orientation - they can't. It is best that they remain celibate, to prevent their desires from displeasing God - it is difficult, but since when has following Christ been easy?
Yes, God's ultimate commandment is love, but love is not merely about acceptance, about common good, about feeding the poor, about compromising to suit the tastes of everyone. Love "does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth". And the truth is dictated in the Scriptures.
To end off, let me just make a mention about my life. I have interacted with homosexuals, and they are in no way different from us other than in sexual orientation. I find one of them, who is my classmate, one who works hard and is easy to interact with, and am on good terms with him. In no way am I a homophobic, and in no way do I wish to change his sexual orientation. However, that is because he is a non-Christian, one who is not awakened to his sins.
I have not encountered a homosexual Christian, but I will not let that harm relations with him, or cause me to condemn him. Like all other sins, we cannot pass judgement on the sinner but must encourage the sinner with patience and kindness to follow Christ.
I hope I can make it clearly with a comparison. Homosexuality, like many of our hidden sins, is much like the high places in Judah (refer to Kings). The kings of Judah failed to eradicate them, and this became a stumbling block to many of them, causing several future kings to worship idols. However, kings like Asa and Jehoshaphat were still regarded as doing what was right in the eyes of the LORD. Homosexuality, likewise, may not bring forth damnation, but it could cause our brothers and sisters to stumble and commit greater sins, or they may in ignorance carry on sinning and not have their sins cleansed by our Redeemer.