Last year, I gratefully had numerous ministry opportunities to share and teach about what can only be labeled as one of the most demanding subjects of our time – homosexuality – the hot button issue in our churches and culture.
However, even today, few subjects remain as fraught with confusion as the subject of homosexuality. A matter I find quite intriguing since the truth and authority of Scripture that all faithful followers of Christ Jesus are to embrace and truths His followers are to proclaim, have few gray edges.
Where there is confusion, there is a desperate crying need for clarity. Personally, I remain challenged and purposed to continue equipping Christians in order to discuss same-sex behavior from a Biblical perspective.
The absolute critical importance of embracing God’s Truth regarding homosexual practice is the catalyst for His Truth to be clear in our hearts which enables God’s people to move forward and have conversations that will change our culture and reveal the love of Christ to all the world.
It is abundantly clear, based upon my travels through churches of various denominations here in America and overseas – that far too many congregation members are still not being informed, equipped and educated on the complexities of same-sex attraction and related issues, and as a result are paying a very high price, if not feeling like failures, or as one man shared with me not so long ago…
“We’re getting slammed due to a lack of knowledge and practical tools that would help us be more effective in reasoning with and reaching those that promote the ‘gay is good’ notion. We are needlessly getting hammered.”
How is it with the battle of homosexuality in the Church, which has been raging for several decades, there is such hesitation and reluctance to specifically address the crisis? Many continue to gather Sunday after Sunday for worship as though nothing has happened. Consequently, today, not only are believers falling into homosexual sin and legitimizing it but many within the uninformed Church are applauding them as they do.
Herein lies my on-going concern with regard to homosexual practice.
With everything that has transpired and everything that continues to unfold, most Christians are still learning more about homosexuality from movies, the Internet, and television than they learn in their own congregations. Often, hanging in the balance, are many who struggle with same-sex attraction and remain torn by the on-going rhetoric and debate while yearning to hear the redemptive truth of the Bible.
Today, there exists a hodgepodge of beliefs, attitudes, and positions regarding homosexuality in the Church.
“Welcoming and Affirming” churches believe homosexuals cannot change and encourage gays and lesbians to “live according to your same-sex leaning and desire.”
“Intimidated and Fearful” churches have been scared speechless and take the stance the topic is just too confusing, political and divisive.
“Belittling” churches blatantly condemn homosexual practice, in any form and to any degree, and communicate such a stance coupled with great condemnation and judgment.
“Complacent” churches find the whole matter unimportant and irrelevant to the scheme of things in culture and church.
“No Problem” churches are completely unaware of homosexual strugglers in their own congregation which enable many to suffer in silence believing there is no help to be had for the brokenness of same-sex attraction.
“Scripturally-Sound” churches offer ministry and discipleship to the homosexual struggler clothed in a balance of both truth and grace, loving them as any other member while not dismissing, apologizing, and clearly stating the practice of homosexuality is a violation of God’s intent and purpose.
The promises of God are true and unfailingly fruit-bearing “if” we extend them.
I believe as we stand on the threshold of a New Year, we, the Church, must be much more dedicated to offering the right blend of information, practical steps, and Biblical guidelines regarding homosexuality. This is reasonable service.
Personally, I am convinced in these days of ‘tolerance’ and ‘moral relativism’ it is essential and imperative we, the Church, return ourselves to the holy boundary lines and principles of the Scriptures that are to govern our lives regarding all matters of morality and ethical living.
God, in His mercy, patience and long-suffering is once again giving His people opportunity to prepare to offer a Christ-like response to homosexuality.
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15)
We, the Church, must become much more relevant to a rapidly changing world.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network
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