A detailed and thought provoking post from Chaos & Old Night blog which explores the types of churches which are helping to promote homosexual conduct as acceptable.
Three Churches that Encourage Homosexuality
There are several ways that churches can encourage someone toward homosexuality. There is of course the obvious way, such as when a church says: “We do not condemn homosexuality. God made some people to be homosexual just as he has made some to be heterosexual.” There are churches that say this as directly as I just did. They welcome homosexuals believing that homosexuality can honor God just as much as heterosexuality. Let’s call these type of churches Openly Approving Churches. It is easy to see how these churches encourage homosexuality.
Then there are the churches that rail against these kinds of shameless promotions of homosexuality under Christ’s name. Thinking that they actively discourage homosexuality, they pride themselves on the way in which they condemn it, call down judgment on those who practice it, and rid themselves of anyone who struggles with it. These churches often have only have two words for those they discover to be homosexuals in their churches: “Get out!” (Ok, maybe three or four: “Get out, queer!/flaming homo!, etc.”). Let’s call these type of churches Openly Condemning Churches.
Then there are churches that generally don’t have much to say about the issue, but when they do address the subject, they simply state that it is a sin to practice homosexuality. They don’t want homosexuals in their church and wish they would just quietly go away. Let’s call these type of churches Silently Condemning Churches. I suspect that the majority of churches fit into this category.
The writer’s point is that all three types of churches in their own unbalanced way actually encourage homosexual conduct. His solution is towards those who “struggle”.
There are those who have given up fighting against the sin of homosexuality. We must love them, be gracious to them, call them to repentance, and pray for them. But we cannot biblically consider them to be part of the church, just as we cannot consider to be part of the church anyone who has given up fighting against sin of any kind.
But those that I’m primarily considering here are those I’ve continually referred to by the phrase “struggling with homosexuality”. It is those who fit this description that the church must bear with, show patience toward, bring under the ministry of word and sacrament, and remind of Christ’s forgiveness. They must be treated as part of the company of the rest of us who are living as simultaneous saints and sinners.
Christ does not give up on those who turn to him. He stubbornly fought against sin for them. To push away from the church those who call for help as they fight against any sin is to treat sin as greater than grace, to withhold the resources of forgiveness and strength, and to proclaim a savior who is too weak to hold the battle for them.
Sometime ago, I read about two types of churches that do not represent God or his word on the issue of homosexuality. One, the angry church and two, the accepting church. Both are misrepresentations. Love and [righteous] judgment must be balanced without a one size fits all application.
Its really important to know and understand that not all people are in the same category when it comes to homosexuality. Some are indeed struggling. I would define struggling as (1) one who admits homosexual conduct is against the will of God (2) because of various tangible and/or intangible factors, find themselves engaging in such behavior (3) ask God for forgiveness. A “struggle” simply means that one hasn’t given up to what is attempting to master them.
That’s different than someone who contends that God made them homosexual therefore their conduct is normal and acceptable to God.
A struggler can indeed be embraced as a brother or sister in Christ and accepted as part of the Body to which grace, mercy, compassion and discipleship should be applied with love.
The post is an excellent read that will help you understand the spiritual nuances involved with the issue of homosexuality and the contemporary church. Read now.