The Gay Checklist

There are many churches who are currently wrestling with what to do about the growing number of “the gays” in their community. Some of them believe that being gay is a choice. Others say it’s not. Some of them believe that being gay is a sin. Other say it’s not. But in my tradition almost all of them agree that gay sex, even within a long-term monogamous relationship, is sinful.*

Okay. Let’s suppose it is. Then based on a Jesus who asks us to work on the plank in our own eye before trying to remove the gay speck in that gay dude’s eye—and assuming you’re not gay—here is a basic checklist for when you get to single out a gay person in your church and tell them they have to repent, thereby making them feel like they don’t belong or are a second-class citizen in your church:

As a church, we have asked every unmarried couple in our congregation if they are having sex. If so, we must ask them to stop. If they refuse, we have to question their Christian faith and perhaps pull out some church discipline on them and eventually kick them out (or the passive-aggressive cold-shoulder-until-you-leave equivalent).

As a church, we have looked over every person’s checkbook to see if they are greedy and/or lovers of money. If so, we must ask them to agree to a plan to be more generous. If they refuse, we have to question their Christian faith and perhaps pull out some church discipline on them and eventually kick them out (or the passive-aggressive cold-shoulder-until-you-leave equivalent).

As a church, we have looked at every male’s computer to see if they have watched porn in the past month. If they have, we must ask them to agree to accountability and a password protected internet. And give their mothers & wives the password. If they refuse, we have to question their Christian faith and perhaps pull out some church discipline on them and eventually kick them out (or the passive-aggressive cold-shoulder-until-you-leave equivalent).

As a church, we have looked at every member of the congregation’s schedule to determine what idols are in their lives, the things that are more important than God. If they have even one, we must stone them (sorry, Old Testament) remind them that they “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10) and if they don’t repent, we have to question their Christian faith and perhaps pull out some church discipline on them and eventually kick them out (or the passive-aggressive cold-shoulder-until-you-leave equivalent).

As a church, we have filled out a survey to determine if our pastors are good teachers. If any fail the test, we must ask them to step down (1 Tim. 3:2) or at least agree to a rigorous process of learning from Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll, or Rick Warren (depending on your preference).

As a church, we have looked into our own hearts to see if we are being judgmental and hypocritical, discriminating against sins that are “obvious” and/or do not affect us (the speck) while not taking seriously the sins that do (the plank).

. . . Of course we haven’t even touched anger, bitterness, arrogance, pride, deceit, emotional & physical abuse/violence, selfishness, gluttony, etc. — and whatever you believe is normative from the Old Testament.

*Or as we heteros call this type of relationship, “marriage.”

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30 responses to “The Gay Checklist

  1. I feel as though I just watched the ending of a rap battle in which the one person completely schools the other. I am currently the one looking around going “OHHHHHH”. I would literally do this, but I am in chemistry class

  2. The issue is calling homosexuality a sin. That’s what causes anger towards the church. Once the church stops treating it as a sin (which I don’t think would happen or maybe it will depending upon your theology) you will see a lot less hostility from the GLBT community.

    • Of course that would relieve the tension. But I would like to speak into the Evangelical community whose collective mind about it will likely not change for a long time (it messes with their views of the Bible too much) and say that even if they don’t change their minds there is still a lot of work to be done in the labor of love toward the GLBTQ community.

    • Perhaps, but I think if the church treated homosexuality in the same way as it treats money issues, then hostility would decrease. I must add that my connection to the GLBT community is unintentionally thin, so I cannot claim to really know their thinking

  3. I am a little confused. Are you saying Christians need to get out of their moral relativism, the lukewarmness of faith by doing some serious self-examination on their own personal sins, or that Christians need to do a better job at accepting people with the more obvious behaviors that go against Christian teachings?

    • Perhaps they are not mutually exclusive? Though my point was to show that it is hypocritical and unfair for Christians to pick certain things to focus on, thus alienating those to whom they apply, rather than doing serious self-examination to recognize it is not “us vs them” but that we are all “us.”

      What do you think about what you’ve said?

      • I guess my next question would be, how do you know other Christians who are showing tendencies to greed, adultery, and the like are not being self-critical? I am not saying that they are, but this has often been my experience with people who call others judgmental (and this has nothing to do with calling someone out on acting out on homosexual behaviors):
        I was called judgmental when my husband left me and my boys. I was called that by him, and I was called that by his girlfriend. I told them that it was not fair what he was doing to us. I cried for him. I begged him not to do what he was doing. He called me critical. He pointed out every flaw I own, but he was not willing to admit that he was doing anything wrong. He is gone. He judged me as judgmental. Gone.
        So this is what it boils down to for me: we are baptized into the Holy Spirit. He has given us a spirit of discernment so that we can know the difference between what is good and what is evil. If I pretend that others are not doing evil, I cannot pray for them. If people pretend that I am perfect, they will not pray for me. I NEED PRAYERS! Being judgmental is not about being able to see and acknowledge sin for what it is. This sort of judgment is called discernment. Being judgmental is condemning someone, believing that they cannot be transformed into the authentic dignity that is due to a child of God, despairingly giving them up to the world. This can either be done by pretending a blindness that is really not there or by seeing something, pretending you have no guilt in anything, and making it impossible for them and yourself to change.
        That said, I love homosexuals tremendously, not because they are homosexual but because they are people. I do not think it is right to act out on certain tendencies, just as I do not think it is right for someone who is angry to hit people, just as I do not think it is right for someone who feels attractions towards women who are not his wife to have sex with them, just as I do not think that it is right to kill your own children when you feel overwhelmed… There are homosexuals who know this tendency is inside of them, but they have chosen to not live that lifestyle because they know the radical call to holiness. There is a program called COURAGE that I have heard about that addresses this issue…When confronting these issues it is ALWAYS good to know that you are a beggar, a sinner before God, too!

      • Here is my question to you guys? Has anyone thought about how Christ would respond to them? I agree that it is a sin, but christ himself responded to each individual personally and different. So I think as a church we should focus on loving them, like Christ would, but also not accepting the sin. I don’t think we should be lukewarm by any means because it is a sin, but how we present ourselves should resemble Christ.

    • they need to do a hybrid of both. they need to stop using that word obvious. because obvious means “the one i have been nurtured to be most against”. But that should be a non-issue if they would stop being hypocritical with their strict adherence to a few ambiguous verses, while ignoring a plethorea of verses that should make them realize they should be much more concerned about if they are even true christians than a homosexual

  4. So, removing the issue of homosexuality, are you saying that Christians in general, including pastors or teachers, should not speak about or point out issues of sin unless they are ‘perfect’ (so to speak)?

    • No, not at all. My point is the hypocrisy for making such a big deal about “their” sins and not “ours.” My point might actually be the opposite. We should speak about patterns and behaviors that do not represent the Kingdom, not just choose a few things to single out and “deal with.”

      What do you think? Leaving gay sex out of it, how do we speak in a way that proclaims a Kingdom ethic, though we ourselves fall short of that ethic?

  5. You have made a very good point, the fact is the bible cannot be used as a pick and chose reference in condemning some, and accepting others as acceptably flawed. The fact is, the bible is an old text and it is written in the context of a society with very different social expectations and practices (eg. as you pointed out, stoning) then how we operate now.
    If you really pay attention, the essence of the bible (in my uneducated opinion!) is about setting standards for ourselves, not others, and learning to live in an accepting, non judgmental way, loving way. If we focused on the real dramas in the world, the real crimes (i.e. famine, poverty, war) rather than isolating people whose only crime is expressing their love then the world would be a much better place!

  6. My understanding of Jesus’ “log vs. speck” comment was that the log-eyed person is one coming to the specked person in a lofty, self-righteous manner. The opposite would be to approach the specked person in a meek, loving manner. It seems that Jesus could be saying “Before you judge your brother/sister, make sure your heart is not in a judgmental, score-boarding, self-righteous, look-how-good-I-am place. Approach your brother in love.” And that the “judge” is more “judge to be inferior”, not “judge that something is a sin.” But I could be way off.

    Now, I’m not sure what to think of homosexuality. Clearly there are verses that seem to be cut-and-dried that it’s a sin. I don’t think it’s something that you’re born with to the point where you don’t have a choice in the matter. I think it’s like everything else about who we are. We’re all born with specific inclinations towards negative (and positive) traits. Some are born with DNA that causes them to fall into rage more quickly than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re born with rage. They make the choices to reinforce the behavior, or protect/avoid stimuli that lead to that outcome, or methods to release the tension, etc.

    This is why I talk to my 5-year old son about his anger outbursts, and why we talk about Cain together. I want him to realize that he’s making the choice to react that way, and every time he makes that choice it’s reinforcing/further cementing that reaction. I guess you could call it developing habits. And I’m hoping that he can develop a good habit of choosing non-anger reactions before it hits the point of no return. I think most (if not every) aspect of our personalities/behavior are developed this way – by stacking similar reactions to the point where a “go-to” behavior is formed.

    I think homosexuality is another “go-to” behavior. Many homosexuals are often “different” and/or “outcasts” even from early childhood. So I can see how a child who feels “different”, doesn’t fit in, is told how unique/odd they are can enter a cycle of choosing to be different in many ways. A habit of choosing to be different is formed and is applied to many aspects of their lives. The arts become the driving occupation rather than business or science because it’s “different” and “odd” and “unique”. Relationships are the same way, and homosexuality becomes the “different” choice because there’s an intimacy found between outcasts, and since most often in adolescence we pal around with the same gender, the intimacy between outcasts is usually between the same sex.

    I’m not saying that I’ve solved the puzzle of why every gay person is gay, but the above thoughts are my interpretation of what I see. And of course, the preceding paragraph is just an example; I’m not saying that every gay person was “different” as a child, but this is what I’m most familiar with and is the story for most, if not all, my gay friends.

    I hope my words came out the way they are in my head. I apologize if anything is offensive or appears naive. I’m not trying to be absolute, either (I wouldn’t say I’m completely sold on my thoughts above, but it’s where I am currently) but rather my intention is to offer my thoughts on what I see and possibly to stir more conversation.

    I think if homosexuality is a sin, we have the need to address those within the church that struggle with it, the same that we address those with rage, reckless spending, promiscuity, etc. But as far as church discipline goes, my church will dismiss a member who comes out as gay if they’ve been warned twice and still won’t change. But the question arises, what about the family in debt that still goes out to eat three times a week? Or has expanded cable? Do we warn them twice and then kick them to the curb?

    Obviously, there’s a “hierarchy of sins” that American Christianity seems to operate on. It’s probably time to obliterate it. Does that mean homosexuals should be able to be official members of a local church gathering? I don’t know, but I personally have a hard time with it. As someone once said, “The Bible tells me that as a homosexual I’m good enough to have Jesus eat dinner with me at my house, but not good enough for his church?” (don’t remember the speaker or the actual quote, but this is good enough to get the point across). And that’s kind of where I lie on the issue. Thoughts?

    One thing’s for sure though, since homosexuality is on the rise, the issue needs to be addressed, but lovingly. I just wish I was smart enough to know what’s right. :>

  7. My understanding of Jesus’ ”log vs. speck” comment was that the log-eyed person is one coming to the specked person in a lofty, self-righteous manner. The opposite would be to approach the specked person in a meek, loving manner. It seems that Jesus could be saying ”Before you judge your brother/sister, make sure your heart is not in a judgmental, score-boarding, self-righteous, look-how-good-I-am place. Approach your brother in love.” And that the ”judge” is more ”judge to be inferior”, not ”judge that something is a sin.” But I could be way off.

    Now, I’m not sure what to think of homosexuality. Clearly there are verses that seem to be cut-and-dried that it’s a sin. I don’t think it’s something that you’re born with to the point where you don’t have a choice in the matter. I think it’s like everything else about who we are. We’re all born with specific inclinations towards negative (and positive) traits. Some are born with DNA that causes them to fall into rage more quickly than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re born with rage. They make the choices to reinforce the behavior, or protect/avoid stimuli that lead to that outcome, or methods to release the tension, etc.

    This is why I talk to my 5-year old son about his anger outbursts, and why we talk about Cain together. I want him to realize that he’s making the choice to react that way, and every time he makes that choice it’s reinforcing/further cementing that reaction. I guess you could call it developing habits. And I’m hoping that he can develop a good habit of choosing non-anger reactions before it hits the point of no return. I think most (if not every) aspect of our personalities/behavior are developed this way – by stacking similar reactions to the point where a ”go-to” behavior is formed.

    I think homosexuality is another ”go-to” behavior. Many homosexuals are often ”different” and/or ”outcasts” even from early childhood. So I can see how a child who feels ”different”, doesn’t fit in, is told how unique/odd they are can enter a cycle of choosing to be different in many ways. A habit of choosing to be different is formed and is applied to many aspects of their lives. The arts become the driving occupation rather than business or science because it’s ”different” and ”odd” and ”unique”. Relationships are the same way, and homosexuality becomes the ”different” choice because there’s an intimacy found between outcasts, and since most often in adolescence we pal around with the same gender, the intimacy between outcasts is usually between the same sex.

    I’m not saying that I’ve solved the puzzle of why every gay person is gay, but the above thoughts are my interpretation of what I see. And of course, the preceding paragraph is just an example; I’m not saying that every gay person was ”different” as a child, but this is what I’m most familiar with and is the story for most, if not all, my gay friends.

    I hope my words came out the way they are in my head. I apologize if anything is offensive or appears naive. I’m not trying to be absolute, either (I wouldn’t say I’m completely sold on my thoughts above, but it’s where I am currently) but rather my intention is to offer my thoughts on what I see and possibly to stir more conversation.

    I think if homosexuality is a sin, we have the need to address those within the church that struggle with it, the same that we address those with rage, reckless spending, promiscuity, etc. But as far as church discipline goes, my church will dismiss a member who comes out as gay if they’ve been warned twice and still won’t change. But the question arises, what about the family in debt that still goes out to eat three times a week? Or has expanded cable? Do we warn them twice and then kick them to the curb?

    Obviously, there’s a ”hierarchy of sins” that American Christianity seems to operate on. It’s probably time to obliterate it. Does that mean homosexuals should be able to be official members of a local church gathering? I don’t know, but I personally have a hard time with it. As someone once said, ”The Bible tells me that as a homosexual I’m good enough to have Jesus eat dinner with me at my house, but not good enough for his church?” (don’t remember the speaker or the actual quote, but this is good enough to get the point across). And that’s kind of where I lie on the issue. Thoughts?

    One thing’s for sure though, since homosexuality is on the rise, the issue needs to be addressed, but lovingly. I just wish I was smart enough to know what’s right. :>

  8. I like your commentary and your humor. Now if you were a commentator in the ancient Roman empire, homosexuality would get a “so what” reaction in their anything goes sexual culture. You’d have to write instead about their passionate (and only) sexual taboo… incest, which your committing might depend on whether you were a Roman citizen or not (different rules). Okay, before any of you passionate posters accuse me of supporting incest, my point is only that “sinful behavior” is, at least on the margins, often culturally defined. “Incest”, beyond one’s core family was defined in various ways by different cultures in history and even by Christian doctrine, well, at least if you were royalty. Let’s see… the Bible gives doctrine from the teachings and life of Jesus. He told us to love our neighbors like ourselves and to even love our enemies… but wait! We cynics today know there is more to read between the lines… so we redefine Christian doctrine to suit our fears just like ancient cultures created different definitions of incest.

  9. All sins are the same. Got that. We are all guilty of sin. Got that. But that’s not my issue with this post. I feel like it is extremely unbiblical to assume a role of silence and non-confrontation for sin.

    Perhaps I misread it, but your checklist seems to have been written in a tone of sarcasm. Perhaps it was hyperbolic to make a point, but in any case, it is dangerous to make light of the expectations as explained in the Scripture.

    In Paul’s discussion of Christ’s sacrifice, which fulfilled the wrath of God as provoked by the sin of Adam and leads to our righteousness, he says, “What shall we say, then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Rom. 6:1-2. This verse is well-known and frequently disregarded in daily application. Issues of infidelity, greed, lack of social justice, selfishness, corruptness, pride, abuse, etc. are all legitimate issues, equally detestable in the eyes of God. However, we often as a church find excuses for them with the whole “all sins are equal” argument; it turns into “since all sins are equal, and we all sin, what’s the big deal?” I know this is not a mentality that is exclusive to our generation of Christianity, but it would be foolish to ignore the deepening influence of the culture on our beliefs and actions.

    I’m I high school teacher in Philadelphia, and I cannot begin to tell you how much my eyes have been opened to the devastating results of the “you determine what’s right for you” mantra. These students believe they can do whatever they want, that there are no consequences. Because of this, they are hurting others and themselves in seemingly irredeemable ways. The list of inflictions that result because of this lie are endless: violence, self-loating, promiscuity, addiction, lack of purpose, lack of identity, coldness of heart, hatred, selfishness, racism, illness, debt, victimization. And do you know what a lot of them are missing? Discipline. Love. Truth. At first they respond poorly to structure, consequences, and confrontation because it’s painful and it limits their freedom. However, I can testify that after time, many of them realize that they want boundaries — until they have them, they don’t realize that boundaries promote safety and progress and are rooted out of love (not sentiment, but deep care for one’s well-being).

    Do they push the envelope? Absolutely. It’s a part of human nature. They will call me racist and tell me I’m being unfair if I call them out on breaking a school rule. But it’s not because they didn’t know the expectation: it’s because they broke it and don’t want to deal with the consequences. The culture has bred them to believe that they can run away and escape if they push the responsibility onto someone else. However, is it not my job as an educator and my duty as a follower of Christ to look out for their best interests? To me, it is clear that I must implement the school’s expectations and hold my students to them. If they choose to rebel, so be it — I can’t take away their free will. But I, too, have a choice, and I cannot change my expectations for those particular rebellious students… what does that say to the rest of the students? It is refusing to hold them to the same expectations that would make me unfair and unjust.

    So it is in our Christian churches. We have been given a standard by God himself. The church doesn’t decide the standard, although, sadly, the church has misconstrued and misrepresented some of the expectations to fit its own agenda. But when we begin letting things slide, stop holding people to a biblical standard of godliness, we are being unjust in the sight of God. Our culture has made it a sin to make others feel bad, and we are way more likely to adhere by that code of conduct than that which has been established by God.

    Why? It’s easier, let’s be real. No one likes to be called a narrow-minded, judgmental hypocrite. But let’s think critically here; those who give us those charming labels are those who are living in death without Christ. The message we carry is offensive: “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18). They aren’t our Judge — Christ is. He was hated because he condemned the culture of his time. If we are following him as we ought, it makes sense that those around us will hate our counter-cultural approach to humanity.

    But living in his example should also win people to Him. Are we to point fingers to the unbeliever and say, “How dare you!”? Heck no. These people are still living in the dark — they don’t know about what Jesus commands. We are to also follow his example and kneel before sinners, loving them without judgement, and bringing them to a place of understanding the merciful God who has provided an alternative lifestyle that transcends eternal security.

    Once these people enter the church, however, the story changes. We have a different responsibility. The writers of the epistles are continually correcting the church, critiquing their behavior, encouraging godliness, and giving strict and often harsh commands for those found in rebellion.

    Somewhere in the centuries that have followed the ancient church, we have lost our ability to offer correction in the church. We have let our culture infiltrate and puppet us. Our culture dictates what we say and do. We are politically correct before we are biblically correct.

    “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he made to dwell in us’?” (James 4:4-5). This gives fair warning, I believe, to those of us who are more tempted to follow our generation’s example than God’s. That being said, a few verses later, James exhorts the Christian readers to submit themselves to God, resist the devil, cleanse their hands, mourn for sin, and not speak evil against a brother for “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” In this passage, the two uses of the word “judge” are the Greek “krites” which implies God’s established role as eternal judge. When we are all on the same page, we have no right to see ourselves as the one who determines the eternal state of another.

    However, this is not the same as judging each other within the church. I’m curious of your interpretation of I Cor. 5, in particular the following: “Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.'” In this case, the Greek is the verb, “krino” which, according to Strong’s Lexicon means: “to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:–avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.” Based off of this clear expectation, we have been given the role of “judging” Christians, literally, “within” and God will “krino” those “without, outside the doors.” The result is to get rid of the burden that evil brings the church. It appears to me that we toss these verses aside, although these are not the only verses that engage this very idea, because we are uncomfortable with them due to the influence of our culture.

    This practice, of course, is meant to be done in love. The goal is the righteousness, not self-righteousness, of the church. If done correctly, this form of church discipline should win the individual back to a lifestyle that both glorifies God, maintains the integrity of the church, and preserves his own welfare (Nathan’s confrontation of King David is an example of this — it’s place in the OT seems to show to me that confrontation and conviction has been a part of God’s plan for godly community from the beginning).

    Don’t get me wrong — this responsibility has oft been abused, much to the dismay of our heavenly Father. We are to lead in a way of love. But I also see that the lack of church discipline has led to a broken community of believers who are afraid to offend, and, in doing so, are allowing deception to taint people’s perception of Truth and Love into being self-indulgent and enabling without consequences.

    Is it wrong to condemn a non-beliver for practicing homosexuality, adultery, greed, lying, stealing? Yes. They are already condemned — our role is to bring them to the feet of Jesus who is the merciful Judge. Is it wrong for us to judge a believer who is practicing the same things? According to the Scripture, I would say it is wrong NOT to.

    However, the moment the judgement is coming from a pious, self-righteous individual, it turns from being proactive to being a sin. If I am condemning someone in the church in pride, then I should be corrected by the church for my pride!! If we are truly learning to love each other, we need to be willing to risk both being corrected and correcting with humility. I am not about to say this is an easy task — it takes a lot of grace to practice such things. But aren’t we supposed to be continually learning to rely on God and doing the difficult things for the sake of His glory?

    I apologize for the length and apologize for any unnecessary deviation. I welcome feedback.

    • I think my point in this post actually follows what you say here. My point is that the churches I have encountered make light of almost every sin but if they believe gay sex is a sin they take it very seriously. That seems incredibly hypocritical. My point is not to say let’s just ignore the brokenness, it’s to say let’s address it aggressively, but equally and without oppression and discrimination. Does that make sense?

      And until our churches are willing to address the broken systems and behaviors that generally go unchecked I am not comfortable starting with homosexuality. That seems like scapegoating, not addressing violence, but perpetuating it.

      What would you say to that?

  10. I actually really liked this post Jared, up until the point you mentioned “Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll, or Rick Warren”. It’s not as if every evangelical – or heck, even most evangelicals – who don’t believe in gay marriage are into the teachings of these men. Just because these guys have been controversial doesn’t mean that they should be brought up in any and every conversation on this topic. Other than that, nice job.

    • I am confused. My mention of those three had nothing to do with gay marriage. They were just the three that popped into my head when I was thinking about teachers that different strands of evangelicals looked up to for their communication skillz.

  11. As a gay man, in his sixties, I know that there is a lot of misinformation out there about “us Gays”. The truth is we are just like everyone else, only our sexual activity is different from yours. The myths about Gay life do not need to be spread. Find a gay person, if you don’t know one, and ask that person about his(or her) life. I’ll bet most of it is the same as yours. Being Christian is not defined by sex, but rather as a follower and believer in Jesus Christ. Did Christ ever say “Heterosexuals only”? I do not think so.

    The following quote from JFK is very appropriate here.

    Delivering a commencement address at Yale University, President Kennedy said, “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

    from: Lichtman, Jim (2011-03-16). Shameless: The Ethical Case Against Three Out-of-Control Critics and the Need for Civility Now, More than Ever (Kindle Locations 1178-1180). Scribbler’s Ink. Kindle Edition.

  12. Okay…. So how do you suggest a congregation full of sinners encourage each other towards righteousness? And, since you bring it up, how should the faithful approach the unrepentant in their fellowship?

    • That is such a good question. And my answer: I have no idea. I have thoughts about why things like AA works and how creating a space for true honesty and true acceptance are often the catalyst for change, rather than fear of excommunication or judgment, but I am not exactly how that squares with the Scriptures or how it looks concretely, in everyday congregations. What have you found that works or doesn’t work?

  13. Most posts seem to be saying that being gay is a sin but “we all sin”, so let’s pray for each other to deal with our fallen nature and get good with God. Here’s where I disagree…What if being homosexual is not a reflection of Man’s fallen nature? Accept, for a prayerful, contemplative moment, that being gay is not a sin. Please don’t go pointing me to Scripture. I know what’s there. I believe there is more about the Scripture that you will point to than what you think condemns homosexuality. Why would a God whose old Testament message was to “Love thine neighbor” which Jesus expanded to even include “Love thine enemies”, condemn to the fires of Hell those who choose a sincere, dedicated and loving gay union in life? How is being gay an evil action rather than a human condition? I guess that homophobic critics fear “the action” side of that lifestyle, maybe fear it even more than sins like “coveting thy neighbor’s wife”, divorce, and violent crimes against others. What if having a homosexual gender profile is not the sin, but only sinful behaviors such being promiscuous, dishonest, uncaring, adulterous or violent are sins? Those behaviors seem more like the fallen nature of Man, whether one is gay or straight. Okay, still not convinced? Consider this scenario… How is it Man’s fallen nature when a young boy knows in his heart he should be a girl, and this is a feeling that stays with him and grows over his young years. Say that he chooses in his early adult years to go through a gender change to live as a woman. He goes all the way with surgery and hormones to have the looks of a woman. He, now a she, then chooses to behave as a good woman should with the grace of a faithful Christian woman, being positive, moral and godly in a feminine form. Then she finds love, a man who accepts his past, and they get married. They adopt kid, and raise a normal family. She lives decades as a faithful wife, a good mother and hold onto your Bibles… a wonderful church lady, all the time with no one in the community knowing the “good wife” WAS BORN AS A BOY! Are you so sure that God condemns that person’s life choice as sin equal to those other sins on Jared’s Gay Checklist? I’m not. If you have just mellowed a little bit, then how is this story morally different from two men or two women living opening in a same sex marriage?

    • Keith, I’d first start with saying that you’re putting a lot of weight on “good, moral actions” versus “keeping His word” (John 14:23-24). If that boy/”good mother’ was truly a faithful Christian, wouldn’t she actively be seeking obedience to The Father and His Word?

  14. Is premarital sex a sin?

    Honestly, why do churches treat homosexuals any differently? It’s clearly a problem when a church has to “figure out” how to treat someone based on their sexual orientation. Sometimes it seems like the church today is really backwards.

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