Reaching homosexuals for Christ. Yeah. whatever.

gayOkay, so we played with the title to make a point.

The “yeah right” came after I read a column in Ministry Today by Exodus leader Jeff Buchanan. Their title asked if church was a safe place for all? By “all”, Im assuming they meant homosexuals since, that’s what Buchanan wrote about, not “all”.

That kind of perturbed me as I read the commentary. Maybe it was because the title asked a question that the article didn’t address or maybe it was because the article didn’t address critical aspects of the question. Or maybe I am just sick of making church “safe” for homosexuals (all) when we are in the midst of a significant battle with apostasy at the hands of false teachers and leaders. Not to mention biblical illiteracy is at an all time high.

So help me sort this out.

Buchanan writes:

If we’re honest, the issue of homosexuality intimidates most church leaders. It makes us feel helpless. When someone pulls us aside and confides in us that he or she struggles with same-sex attractions, we diligently put on our “leader face” while we shrivel on the inside, feeling absolutely incompetent to address the situation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If you believe God’s Word to be true, then you automatically have the needed tools for effective ministry, since all Scripture is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16, NIV). Therefore, we are equipped as the church to minister to anyone who walks through our doors—homosexual or not.

Unfortunately, intimidation and partiality often attempts to rob us of the opportunity to minister and experience the full gospel. A healthy church already has what the same-sex struggler needs; we just have to realize what those things are:

And then he lists them and talks about them. Compassionate truth, discipleship, community. And for the record Im for all that.  But there are quite a few levels of educational dissonance going on here.

First, if a pastor conducts outreach to homosexuals (and lets assume these are lost people) how can the pastor provide them with compassionate truth, discipleship and community when there is still such confusion about homosexuality in the church? I remember when I was a member of one church I was very, very hesitant to invite homosexuals to the church because I wasn’t sure what they might hear on any given Sunday. Its like, why bring someone into a place where they could be potentially insulted and called names? That would really destroy my work of getting them to church.

It seems the priority is to really get “the house” in order before we bring in souls that could be damaged even further by someone’s spiritual ignorance.

The other problem is the gay christian movement. Although it appears they are currently on the fringe, people like Tonex and other mid level apostates continue advancing the errant idea that one can reconcile homosexuality and Christian living.  And though some balk at it, if enough people keep repeating this lie (thanks for the help Lexi) soon it will become commonplace. That’s how false doctrine seats itself in our midst. We dont cast out and reject those who are spreading it. Instead we say just “love them and pray for them”. Right sentiment, wrong practice.

John MacArthur said Paul himself started the process of eliminating false teachers. In 1 Timothy 1:20 he mentions Hymenaeus and Alexander, perhaps two of the leading false teachers in Ephesus, whom he “delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”

The Apostle Paul told Titus to shut down false teachers (like Tonex) who are spreading evil words.

“For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. Titus 1:10.11

Which brings me back to the first point. How can you invite homosexuals into the church to be changed when there is a visible faction of people in the church which teach that there’s no need for them to change? Frankly, Im sick of the “just love them” mantra. That doesn’t solve anything and it really looks like a easy way to detach oneself from the seriousness of what’s happening right before our eyes.

A wise preacher once said to me, “God could save and deliver every homosexual in America tomorrow, but if he does, will the church be ready to receive them?” The answer is no. And that only complicates our mandate to reach every person.

Everyone wants to include homosexuals because they have been positioned as the face of the contemporary outcast. Its almost fashionable to have a streak of tolerance towards homosexuals partly because some are afraid of the vicious invective if you don’t. And some partly because secretly believe that in time unrepentant homosexuals will be fully accepted into the church just like blacks and women.

That’s why the Buchanan article left me with a tinge of whatever. Not saying anything about all of the complications embedded into this “outreach to homosexuals” isnt helping the church to be truly prepared.

Is the church a safe place for homosexuals? If we’re honest, we cant answer that question yet.


11 thoughts on “Reaching homosexuals for Christ. Yeah. whatever.

  1. I agree with you Mr. Foster. The question is not an answerable one just yet. The church doctrine has been under attack by false teachers and apostate individuals that have a voice. The Word of God can and will continue to prosper all evil doers. Glory be to God.

  2. (Pastor Foster, my question has nothing to do with this topic.)
    Where is the article referring to a popular Pentecostal preacher who believes the church needs to revisit our bible-based view on homosexuality? For some reason, I am not seeing it on the site, did you remove it?

  3. The church should never be a safe place for lies. I think your assesment about the church needing to get in order first is very true. At my Methodist church, we have both views – love them and pray for them, and mine; it is sin, it has the same cure all sin has, and it should never be encouraged or tolerated. If a brother or sister is unrepentant, out they go so that Satan may have his way with them and perhaps they will come back to their senses. Fellowship is a gift, not a right among believers. Struggling with sin IMHO shows life; dead folks don’t struggle.

    I find comfort in God’s promise and men like your self Pastor Foster; God promised that He would build His church, and although we live among the tares, if True teachers of His word keep preaching and teaching that “foolish” message – then we have been obedient, God does the rest. You can’t ever be wrong when your being obedient.

  4. i really like what you said mark

    “we have both views – love them and pray for them, and mine; it is sin, it has the same cure all sin has, and it should never be encouraged or tolerated. If a brother or sister is unrepentant, out they go so that Satan may have his way with them and perhaps they will come back to their senses.”

    pretty much sums up how i feel about that!!

  5. The true Church of God should simply study the Word of God as it pertains to the issue of homosexuality and adopt the same position as the Word…it is sin and the blood of the Lamb of God atones for that sin also. Homosexuality is sin. Period. If your church body does not agree to that position…then you are not ready to address the issues of the homosexual.
    Once you agree to that position then you can inform your congregants that homosexuals will be welcomed here but we will preach the full gospel of the Word of God and not allow or condone
    homosexual conduct and fully inform those stating that they are homosexuals that forgiveness is available and the power of the Holy Spirit is available for power in their lives to live above sin. Will some fail? Sure….I John 1:9 tells us that we fall but we can get up. The same with the homosexual. Give him or her the full gospel including repentance, belief, water baptism, communion, Holy Spirit baptism, Word study, prayer and fellowship.
    The Blood of the Lamb does not stumble over homosexuality nor should we be fearful of it and nor should we put up with it.
    We have the mind of Christ…let’s use it.
    As far as the culture within the church, the pastor/elders must inform the congregations that homo jokes and other related nonsense will not be tolerated just as we do not make open jokes about fat women and men in the church.

  6. Wow, Job that was good sound wholesome teaching on that. Thanks for posting it.

    Every objection of the gay theology movement can be answered with simple fundamentals of our faith. Mainly because each is connected and cannot be divorced at the risk of self righteousness.

    Love cannot be separated from obedience. Love cannot be segregated from truth. Truth cannot be divorced from compassion and so forth.

    The christian gays make love some sort of singular litmus test of acceptance of their sin, when no such thing exists in scripture.

  7. We must teach truth to people in the church and out of it.
    We must hold all people to the standard GOD calls us to – faith, love, obedience. Too many times Christians will focus on one of those three to the exclusion of the rest. So few churches actually teach the full Word of God (preferring to focus on certain aspects of it and ignoring others), and fewer still disciple the congregation.

    All sin keeps us from God. All sin is forgiven by those who repent and turn to God through faith in Christ. All of us continue to sin after coming to God. All of us continually need to repent, confess, obey. All of us need to live our faith and grow in spiritual maturity. Homosexual sin is no different than heterosexual sin. How many churches ignore heterosexuals living in sin, but condemn the homosexual who is celebate? Talk about hypocrysy! We need to be obedient to God and loving and compassionate and truthful to all people. We can’t treat the rich man better than the poor, and neither can we treat the heterosexual sinner better than the homosexual sinner. They both need to be loved. They both need correcting. They both need to be shown what God has to say about what they are doing.

    We can’t fix our house and then address a particular sin. We need to do both at the same time. But we can’t be hypocrits either – we must be honest with ourselves and others about where we fail and how we address that failure. This is what disicpleship is all about – teaching people what God has said and how to live a life of faith. Modeling that is needed in the church, and we’re failing badly in that area.

    For what ever reason, God has had me address the issue of homosexual sex from various avenues. For those who are interested, I have a page with posts I have made on the subject.

  8. I liked what Mark said….. there use to be times I was ‘leary’ of taking friends to church for fear of what they may hear about a specific sin but that is a God thing. There is some reason that the person is open to coming to church that day and the preacher just happened to be talking about something that stepped on their toes. Why should we treat this sin as if it were different? Yes, there may be deeper issues that drive men/women to this life style but there are also issues that drive people to drink their lives away. Do we shy away from preaching on drunkeness? NO…

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