ask anything: homosexuality and Christianity incompatible?

Posted on January 29, 2009

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A few months ago, Highview’s College Ministry ran a six-week online survey encouraging students to submit questions they wanted answered about Jesus, Christianity, culture, faith, etc. After we collected the responses, we assimilated and re-posted the questions for students to vote on.  We took the top 9 responses and turned them into a series, “Ask Anything.”  This week I had the opportunity to discuss the question, “How should we respond to people who say that they are a homosexual and a Christian?” I am posting my notes below.  As a side note, when I taught this same material to our high school students on Wednesday night last Spring I got more hate mail from parents/students than ever in my time as a youth pastor.  The times they are a-changing…how will the church respond??

Is homosexuality a sin?
–    Yes absolutely
–    Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10; 2 Pet. 2:4-10; Jude 7
–    Homosexuality is a form of sexual perversion and immorality, and is condemned alongside ANY kind of sexual act outside the covenant of monogamous heterosexual marriage (fornication – 1 Thess. 4; 2 Tim. 2:22ff)
–    People who deny this usually do so on emotional, personal, and sociological grounds (two people who love each other, make good parents, etc.)

Why does God condemn homosexuality?
–    Romans 1:18-32 tells us that what makes homosexuality wrong is that it twists God’s original design for sexuality and human relationships (one man, one woman, one flesh for life).
–    There is a certain glory Jesus gets from a man and woman coming together in a monogamous heterosexual marriage – created men and women with different roles and responsibilities (equal worth)….men to be husbands/fathers/leaders, women to be wives, mothers, helpers
–    Jesus gets glory when these relationships are honored (Eph. 5)

How should we respond to people who call themselves homosexuals and Christians?
–    Can a person claim to be a Christian and a homosexual?  Yes and No.
o    How does a person get saved in the first place – repentance and faith (trusting promises of God to save you)
o    Becoming a Christian doesn’t eliminate previous struggles – if anything they are heightened because you are trying to put to death through the power of the Spirit
o    Many people struggle with homosexual desires, urges, and temptations.  Not like people wake up one day and say “I think I’m going to become a homosexual.”  Wounded by man, eroticized by boys and rejected by girls…abuse, molestation, etc. set early patterns for sexual arousal
o    Key is does this person give evidence of repentance and a desire to change through power of Jesus – same as guy addicted to porn or girl fooling around with her boyfriend

–    Reactions that are not helpful:
o    Uncompassionate judgmentalism – fags burn in hell, get what deserve
o    Homophobia – Philadelphia, gay jokes
o    Accommodation – Tony Jones “I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (as least as much as any of us can!),” writes author and church leader Tony Jones, “and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.”
o    Ignorance/Simplicity – they choose to do it, just choose to stop…God will deliver you from the disease of homosexuality

–    Biblical response
o    “Speak the truth in love”
o    Balance of truth-telling and compassion
o    Jesus w/woman at the well, hemorrhaging woman, woman caught in adultery – called to repent, but demonstrated compassion
o    Are we compassionate towards the homosexual community?
o    Are we loving on them in a way that makes us different and like Jesus?
o    Are we close enough to show and share Jesus’ love for them?

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