Friday, June 18, 2021


Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriages within the Church.

May 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Our story starts on a Sunday morning service at Anywhere Baptist Church. The Pastor has just concluded his sermon and is now extending the invitation for salvation to the congregation. During the invitation, two young men come forward to accept Jesus Christ into their lives and as candidates for baptism.

The Pastor and church later discover these two young men openly confess they are gay and looking to be married. The two men live in a state where same sex marriages are legal, therefore, according to state law, their marriage would be legal.

Many churches like, Anywhere Baptist, are now faced with this dilemma of how to biblically minister to these two young men, while remaining true to its core beliefs concerning homosexuality and the sanctity of marriage. This article presents some insight for churches such as Anywhere Baptist, on how to handle this difficult issue that is currently facing the church.

LGBT-FAITH-2021

This article is not advocating that the church changes its position on homosexuality or same sex marriages but change how it ministers to those grappling with homosexuality.

Salvation Available for All

With the changing landscape of the family unit, churches must be prepared to serve the traditional and non-traditional models of the family.  According to a February 2021 Gallup report, an estimated 6% of Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).  As the family structure changes, the church must also evolve to meet the needs of this specific community.

When the teachers of the law, who were Pharisees, saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Mark 2:16-17).”  The LGBTQ community needs salvation just as much as anyone else in the church.

The church is to offer love, understanding, compassion, and the opportunity for salvation to all persons regardless of race, gender, or condition in life. Just as the church has evolved on unwed mothers, now is the time for the church to offer that same love and compassion to those bound by homosexuality.  The church must always remain mindful that no one is perfect; we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 8:23). It is by God’s grace and love that he still offers forgiveness and salvation for all.

There are no easy solutions to this issue and there will always be conflicts and challenges in dealing with homosexuality in the church. The approach of offering spiritual guidance and counseling rooted in biblical principles is the prefer method, not shaming, demonizing, or out casting.

Biblical counseling

When a same-sex couple chooses to become a part of the local congregation, they will have an opportunity to meet with the leadership of the local church. It is during this time that the church’s stance on same-sex relationships must be made clear. It is the church’s mission to love people, to make Christian disciples, to assist people to receive the life-changing power of Jesus and find healing in every area of their lives. The church stands firmly on the belief that the biblical concept of marriage, always between one man and one woman as a committed relationship.

When offering spiritual guidance, sometimes we must exercise “tough love” and speak the truth to our members. They may get angry, get offended, but if we genuinely love one another, we will share the truth. Those in same-sex relationships need the power of God to be delivered from the desires of a sinful nature and to receive the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit to be transformed from this spiritual stronghold.

It is the church’s duty to convey what the word of God says about homosexuality.  While offering salvation, spiritual guidance, and preserving the dignity of all persons, the church cannot bless, condone, or normalize any behavior or lifestyles that is contradictory to the word of God.

Legal ramifications for the church

Legal difficulties can arise around employment and whenever churches offer classes, retreats, or other events designed for married couples. Churches should include in their bylaws a Biblical definition of marriage. For clarification, the biblical definition of marriage is defined in Genesis Chapter 2:23-24. This points to the heterosexual monogamy as the divine pattern for marriage that God established at creation.

By clearly defining marriage in the church’s by-laws, it protects the church if forced to discipline or terminate an employee for engaging in unbiblical sexual relationships, or if the church declines to allow an unmarried couple to participate in events designed for married couples.

Conclusion

Anywhere Baptist Church, clearly has a dilemma that is literally, “out of the closet.” Same sex marriages are not aligned with the word of God, neither is homosexuality; however, as Christians we should be loving and compassionate to all persons. The church must continue to offer spiritual guidance and present that “tough love.” The counsel to these two young men must remain biblically and spiritually based, yet informative to alert them that their lifestyle and desire to marry is not in accordance with God’s will. The church is to baptize and make disciples of all men. To fulfill that mission, it must be open, accepting, yet steadfast in its core values and believes. The church should always remain a refuge for those needing encouragement and support through Jesus Christ.

Written by Rev. Dr. Larry E. ThompsonRev. Dr. James A. Cobb, Rev Henry L. “Charlie” Sanders Jr, and Deacon Glenn Davis


Comments

One Response to “Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriages within the Church.”
  1. Pelvo White, Jr. says:

    The Baptist Church is wrong to reject,or identify as unacceptable the wedding of members of the LGBTQ Community, and equally as erroneous when basing this rejection upon their egoistic, biased,taken out of context interpretations of biblical scripture. There is nothing that has been made by God ( i.e. LGBTQ included ) community, that is against the will of God requiring approval by preachers of the gospel. Only God can make a man or a woman, or any psychological, or physical combinations thereof.God’s work does not require co-signing by any man or woman. “What God has joined together by love or any other defined, or undefined human emotions let no man put asunder. “Divine creations are beyond the manipulation of men no matter how clever the theological argument.This is why the LGBTQ Community has been with us from God’s founding of humanity.Satan never has, nor never shall make a man or a woman.This issue remains a point of moral, and ethical contention only because men have chosen to make it so.The LGBTQ Community, made by God for God’s own purposes, will continue to survive no matter what society or the church decrees.

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