I am into the fourth week of my message series, “God, I Have A Question.” This past Sunday I responded to questions submitted related to same-sex marriage. This is obviously a very controversial subject in our society today, but the Bible is actually quite clear about what is right and wrong. As Christians, we do have a challenge to first know what God says about it, but secondly how to respond to it. I think our response can push people away from God or compel people to God. I love the story of Dennis Jernigan where he tells of a close friend who walked with him through his experience of homosexuality helping him find freedom in Christ. You can read his story on his website. As in the past messages in this series, I received numerous questions via text while I preached this message. While I responded to some of them at the end of the message, I was unable to get to many of them. I am beginning to post my responses to these questions. Below, you will find a few additional questions answered.
Should homosexuals be allowed to serve in leadership positions in church, particularly with students?
I believe that anyone practicing immorality without contrition or repentance does not need to be serving in any leadership position. Scripture addresses the need for church discipline under such circumstances (1 Corinthians 5, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15, & Matthew 18:15-17).
Is it considered sin if we are are a Christian and support same sex marriage, even though we are not a homosexual?
There are more ways to sin than to actually commit an act. The scripture does command us in Ephesians 5:11 says we are to expose the deeds of darkness, and this is actually a command. With this passage in mind, I would have to conclude that it is a sin to support deeds of darkness (and the Bible does call homosexuality sin) and not expose it for what it is. I do believe, however, it is critical that we love the homosexual.
A recent article claims that the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL needs a “gay” Jackie Robinson to break the barriers. How do you defend against a statement like this without being considered a bigot or full of hatred?
This is a great question and does underscore a serious problem in our society. Any time a Christian speaks out about his or her conviction, he or she is considered a bigot or a gay basher. It is interesting that Black Entertainment Television (BET) conducted a poll and determined that 55% of African Americans do not believe gay rights are the same as civil rights. One writer said “To argue that the Constitution guarantees equal treatment to all citizens, both men and women, does not say anything about what constitutes marriage, or a family, or a business enterprise, or a university, or a friendship. An appeal for equal treatment would certainly not lead a court to require that a small business enterprise be called a marriage just because two business partners prefer to think of their business that way. Nor would equal treatment of citizens before the law require a court to conclude that those of us who pray before the start of auto races should be allowed to redefine our auto clubs as churches.” I think a simple reply to someone thinking gay rights should be a civil right would be to point out that the majority of African Americans would disagree with that statement and that there is nothing in the constitution saying we have a right to re-define marriage.
Can you explain the difference between the Civil Rights movement and the Same Sex movement? Racial discrimination is obviously not biblical but was often displayed by “Christians” in the past. People often use a parallel with these movements and say that our nation will look differently on same sex marriage in the future. I feel these are very different movements. Can u explain right or wrong view?
See my comments in the previous question. I would also like to add that I believe the church in the 50’s and 60’s by in large was very wrong. Christians were hesitant to speak out against racial discrimination and many Christians were prejudice. I believe this is wrong, and Christians should be ashamed. With that said, same-sex marriage is not in the same category as it even defies the definition of marriage. Just because someone wants to call it a marriage does not mean it’s a marriage. I can call a dog an elephant, but it doesn’t make it one. It is absurd to think that I am going to go before the Supreme Court and try to convince them to call a dog an elephant, and if anyone speaks against my dog being accepted as an elephant, they are discriminating against me and are basically elephant bashers.
Are you born gay?
There is no scientific evidence to support the belief that people are born gay. The fact is that studies have been done on homosexuals who are identical twins. If homosexuality is a natural thing and there is a gay gene, then both sets of twins would be gay because they share DNA. There are a number of examples of one twin who is gay and the other is straight. This alone dispels the “gay gene” belief.
Can homosexuals go to Heaven?
1 Corinthians 6 :9 – homosexuals nor sodomites will inherit the kingdom of God.
If anyone repents of their sin and trusts Jesus as their Savior, they are saved and will go to Heaven. The question we have to ask is can a Christian sin and still go to Heaven? The answer is yes. Can a Christian knowingly sin and still go to Heaven? I would say yes. Can a person practice sin for a season and still be a Christian? It is difficult to understand how someone who calls themselves a Christian and has submitted to the Lordship of Christ can still get caught up in sin, but I know it happens. Paul called the Corinthians “carnal” in 1 Corinthians 3:1 and a member of the Corinthian church (therefore must have been a Christian) was caught up in a lifestyle of sin (1 Cor 5). If someone is a Christian, they will go to Heaven. We have a tendency to make homosexuality a worse sin than other sins, but James 2:10 says if you are guilty of one sin, you are guilty of all. We might could then ask the question can deceivers go to Heaven? or can thieves go to Heaven? (what about the last time you made personal copies on the company’s dime?) With all that said, I will also say that if someone continues to practice sin with no remorse and no repentance, I think we have every reason to wonder if they have an authentic faith. The scripture says we are new creatures in Christ. I believe that is why 1 Corinthians 6:9 and other similar passages would say homosexuals, etc. will not go to Heaven. If it means that someone who has struggled with homosexuality cannot be a Christian, then verse ten would also indicate that someone who has been even a little dishonest on income taxes (thief), taken a paper clip from the office (thief), secretly taken more banana pudding when no one was looking (greedy) or spoken badly about someone (slanderer) cannot go to Heaven. It’s interesting that while I’ve seen people standing on street corners holding signs telling a homosexual they are going to Hell, I’ve never seen a sign telling slanderers they too were going to Hell. Now, if someone practices sin all their life and never is sorry for it or repents of it, we have reason to think they may not be saved to start with.