He makes really interesting points . I relate to the argument he is presented with and will look into them at greater depth . Thanks
@Bronie You’re welcome Yes, N. T. Wright is a brilliant guy and well worth listening to… I enjoy his sermons a lot. In this particular case is point that heterosexual marriage is actually a pattern from the beginning of Scripture to the end is very powerful - we are not talking about a few verses, but the entire pattern of God’s relation to His people and the Garden of Eden to Revelation.
I agree that the Bible is clear in condemning homosexual behavior, but I don’t believe we in the church offer much hope for those trapped in this sin. Liberal groups resolve the dilemma by accepting it. Conservatives correctly point out the sin but I don’t hear much about a solution.
Or maybe I just am not aware of any
That’s exactly my concern. Other worldviews will have them killed. The question then remains, how are Christians supposed to live with them even as we know God forbids it
Though I am hardly a Greek Scholar, I understand that there are two distinct meanings for the word “Judge”. The first has the sense of “condemn”, the image being that of a judge passing sentence on a convicted criminal. The second is better translated “discern”, the image being that of making a distinction between one thing and another by the fruit that it bears.
With regard to those trapped in the homosexual lie, we are not their judges in the first sense of the word. This we can, and must, leave to God. He alone is able (Revelation 4) to open the scroll, and before Him alone must the entire world appear. However, no matter whom we encounter, we are bidden to DISCERN that person by the fruit of their lives. If someone claims to be a believer, but we do not discern love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering, kindness, etc and we do discern quite the opposite, we do not condemn them, but equally important, we do not tell them that they can embrace a lie and and the same time, be accepted into fellowship. That is essentially what Paul was telling the Corinthians about the man who was in an illicit relationship with a woman who was not his wife. So, no matter if the sin is homosexual behavior or anything else contrary to Scripture, we must be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves”. The battle is not ours to fight, but the Wisdom to help those who have lost their way belongs to us in Jesus Christ.
Totally agree.my motto is if in doubt about how to respond snow grace
Well my original question was simply . Do we allow homosexuals to be married in the church.? You are broadening the topic but my belief is that we should follow Christ s example and when we meet and interact with these people we show love and acceptance as Christ did to sinners. We should if we get the chance share the grace of god and show how Christ brings us back into relationship with our Heavenly Father. That should be the focus.
If the topic of homosexuality comes up I would focus on all of us having fallen from relationship with him and needing redemption. When we come into relationship with him then we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and reveal his grace to us . I wouldn’t point the finger . I would encourage them to seek God and let him reveal his purpose for their lives.
I’m sure if they are really intent on finding answers God would not only reveal this to them but prayerfully enable them to change.
May the lord enable us to follow his example and befriend these people whom he loves.
God bless you
Yes, I tend to do that, go off on “bunny trails”. But in answer to your first question, which is do we allow homosexuals to “marry” in the church, I believe there is no basis for man to allow ANYTHING at all. It is His Church, and only He can chose what goes on. He said, "From the beginning it was not so "(referring to divorce), but that a man should leave his mom and dad and cleave to his wife. What the apostate “church” does is of no concern to me, for here is where the aforementioned discernment comes in. No matter what they call themselves, if they are not getting direction from the Head of the Church, they are none of His.
Bronie, thank you for posting this question. I wanted to respond earlier but got tired up with Holiday (not a bad thing to be tied up in) and the busyness of life, family, work etc. Anyway……getting back to your question. This really needs a careful measured approach….which is a good challenge for me.
What’s the purpose of marriage? As we know culture has redefined marriage. Below are two definitions of marriage from the Oxford Dictionary. One recent version and one historical version.
Old version of Oxford Dictionary (my hard copy) – marriage is the formal union of a man and a woman, by which they become husband and wife
New version of oxford dictionary (online version) – marriage is the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman)
We can see the definition of marriage has changed over recent years. However, what it is purpose according to the Bible. I guess whatever God created was done so with ‘purpose’ in mind. For example, God created man to rule and have dominion over the earth, God created the Sun and the moon to provide light for the day and night and for them to be signs and seasons and to distinguish days and years. (Gen 1 v14). So we can see, God creation was for a purpose.
So what about the institute of marriage? What was God’s purpose for it?
The purpose of marriage is to tell the story of God. Here are 4 ways in which a Christian marriage tells the story of its Creator:
- Oneness. “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is ONE!” Deut 6v4 (NKJV). God is Trinity. Three different persons, but ONE. They are united. Unity here does not mean uniformity. So when a man and woman come together is marriage despite being different they are united, but not identical in form. Two men or Two women cannot become One. The word one used in Deuterronomy “ehad” is the same word used in Gen 2 v 24 to describe union of man and woman
- Procreation – when a man and woman came together in marriage they are expected to produce ‘Godly Offspring’ (Malachi 2v 15) so this seed could be God’s witnesses to the world in drawing them into a relationship with Him. A homosexual couple cannot fulfil God’s commandment in producing (between them) Godly seed.
- The relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5v 31-32). This shows the union between two different but complementary entities. The church is not the same as Christ and Christ is not the same as the Church. Quote: “it is because He (Christ) is different to His people that He is able to draw them to himself, pledge himself to him, and have them united to him” – Taken from book – Is God Anti Gay by Sam Allberry
A man and a man or woman and woman can only reflect Christ and Christ or Church and Church.
- Marriage between a man and woman points us to a relationship that can fulfil us. God is the one that can fulfil us because He is different to us.
Can I add that just because a gay couple is marriage doesn’t mean their relationship cannot reflect commitment and fulfilment, in the same way a heterosexual marriage doesn’t necessary reflect harmony or peaceful relationship. If it did we wouldn’t such a high rate of divorce among heterosexual marriages. But despite it’s challenges this marriage does reflect or is suppose to reflect the story of God and therefore point people to Him.
What option is there for a gay or lesbian who require intimacy. It’s a journey of separating sexual desire from intimacy and living a celibate life that finds true intimacy and fulfilment in God.
Note: I’ve references to Sam Allberry’s book Is God Anti-Gay. Sam is a Pastor who is Same Sex Attracted (SSA). I would highly recommend reading his book, Sam gives a very clear understanding on sexuality and identity in general which I found helpful even to myself as a heterosexual woman.
Hope my response was helpful. And yes I agree that we must show love and respect to the homosexuals who are married.
Great question and thank you for being open and honest, I won’t be quoting Bible verses as no doubt you probably have already looked them up. When I’m asked this question usually by a Christian LGBT… activist my response is:-
I believe that God intended all forms of sexual relations to be within the confines of marriage.
I believe that God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman.
I believe it’s not a sin to be same sex attracted but it’s the actions.
I do believe God is merciful and forgiving, but not to sure when we intentionally sin as when we repent we are turning our backs on our sinful nature.
I also point out in James those who have spiritual authority over people will be judged more, so when vicars, priests etc. perform these ceremonies I do believe they will need to answer for their actions.
Now if a same sex couple came to our church I would accept them for who they are, but would expect that they to respect my beliefs and try not to force their ideology down my throat.
Tim Keller says " Homosexuality like greed doesn’t send you to hell, it’s been self-righteous thinking you can be your own lord and saviour that sends you to hell, what sends you to Heaven is gaining the connection with Christ realising your a sinner and you need intervention from God."