Here at our church we are very close to people living in homosexuality’. They are close friends from members of our church that are involved in art and musical scene. Obviously we want them attending our services so we always invite them to come. I confess that are two moments that makes me a little insecure as a pastor. One is at the moment when they show interest in participate on an active way and to work serving the church. Should we give access? What are the limits ?
What’s the moment to express to them about how far we can walk with them as institutional church?
The second moment are when this brothers and sister are involved at our journey and ask for been baptized still living a homossexual relationship. Will you baptize them?
@AlexCosmo That is a great question. I can sense your Pastor’s heart for these folks in your community and your desire to love them well in Jesus’ name. I think the place to start is with a great point Michael Ramsden makes in an article below entitled ‘Where is the love?’. He points out that love passes correct moral judgment and yet still loves.
As a Church, we must speak truth in love. We cannot condone sin. Baptism is a declaration that you have decided to live a new life in Christ - so we cannot baptize someone who is not yet ready to leave their old life behind. That would be dishonest and miscommunicate to our entire Church what baptism really means. That does not mean they need to be perfect, but they should be willing to submit to the authority of Jesus in every area of their life before being baptized.
Romans 6:1-4 - What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
I think that serving in the Church should be reserved for those who have decided to live under the authority of Jesus. That way the boundary is very clear and fair. If you want to serve, submit to Christ. It avoids any confusion.
The words “I love you” mean something when the person who utters them knows exactly what you’re like and still cares for you. Love does not exist in the absence of judgment; true love exists when someone has passed the correct moral judgment on who you are and is under no illusions as to what you’re like, but still loves you.
The gospel is about the God who sees the situation we are in and passes judgment on it. He sees the pain. He passes judgment on our sin and shame, and yet, He so loves us and has compassion on us that He came into this world to be broken for us, so that we can know wholeness in Him. In Him, we find true freedom, love, and grace, and the ability to love others as He has so loved us.
I think the testimony of Rosaria Butterfield is helpful because the Pastor who reached out to her did a good job of speaking truth in love. He made space for her in the life of his family and loved her well, but did not compromise the truth at the same time.
I have a first counseling session with a couple girls one of them transgendered to Daniel. They just visited the Aprisco Church last Sunday and they enjoy the service. So for you and another members of this community how should I deal with them? Should I confront them on this first meeting ?
@AlexCosmo I am not personally involved in pastoral counseling, so I could not give you professional advice. My personal advice would be to listen first and just hear their story - understand where they are coming from and what they have been through. Listen well. And then if they want to know your perspective based on the Bible share as graciously as possible what Scripture teaches and emphasize that faith is a journey. If they have additional questions / doubts that is okay - that is all part of the journey of walking with / toward Jesus and you are there for them in that process. But I would personally avoid an atmosphere of confrontation. I would focus on listening well and answering any questions they may have graciously.
Do you have a seminary professor you took counseling from or a fellow pastor you could reach out to?