HARD questions

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, May 21, 2013.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Question for Pastors:

    If an openly gluttonous couple seeks to join your church, how do you respond?

    If an openly smoking couple seeks to join your church, how do you respond?

    If an openly materialistic couple seeks to join your church, how do you respond?

    If an openly homosexual couple seeks to join your church, how do you respond?

    How do your answers change if you remove the word "openly?" How do your answers change if you are gluttonous or materialistic or struggle with some other sin yourself?

    Discuss.
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Oh my, what a great set of questions. And to tell you the truth, I'm going to have to think about my answers.

    Since I'm not a pastor, let me broaden the scope of the questions. Let's say your pastor comes before the church and asks them to deny membership to those folks mentioned in the OP.

    Or, let's say you know the facts of each situation, and the pastor simply kicks it to the congregation to decide. How would you vote?
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    Not all sins are equal is an important place to start with our harmaritology.
     
  4. DrJamesAch

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    The first 3 are a little easier to address because they are more of habits that reflect what a person does, not necessarily who they are, and is not likely to affect those around them. Most smokers don't smoke in church, most gluttons don't eat a whole box of donuts at the prayer meeting, and a materialistic person's materialism is not apparent absent them bragging out their Gucci shoes, for the most part everyone looks the same on Sonday.

    Homosexuality however, presents a greater danger because it's not merely symptomatic of a habit, but a belief that the lifestyle is permissible and acceptable in that they believe that's who they are:

    "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." 1 Cor 6:18

    Since homosexuals are not permitted to marry, they would be in a perpetual state of fornication.

    The union of 2 same-sex couples is present before all who have one-man/one-woman relationships. The sexual dysfunction is also a threat to children as once a person steps outside of God's laws for sexual relationships, anything is permissible (6 of the US' most notorious serial killers and pedophiles were homosexuals).

    Paul addressed issues of sexual sin that required the offender to be put out of the church in 1 Corinthians 5:1-2. It is the only sin other than blatant doctrinal heresy that removal of the member from the congregation was practiced.

    Paul does say of one who is called a brother:

    "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." 1 Cor 5:11

    "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." 2 Thess 3:14

    All 4 of those questions fall into these categories. If a person was seeking membership, after determining if they are saved or not (How a Calvinist determines this for church membership is beyond me :) just had to throw that in there), since the sin is openly committed, the person needs to be confronted with what the Bible says about the subject, and given the opportunity to repent because it is our duty to restore those who are taken in fault (Gal 6:1, 2 Tim 2:25). If they refuse to hear you, then matter is brought before the church, and after that if they refuse to repent, then should be removed from the church (Matt 18:17).

    If after removal from the church, they repent, then they should be welcomed back. 2 Cor 2:6-8.
     
  5. Luke2427

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    I agree with this.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    And homosexuals are usually sexually active in church? I'm not understanding your distinctions?

    And all smokers, gluttons or materialistic people believers don't think there sins are acceptable? Again, I'm not seeing the distinction?


    I think this is the strongest of your points.

    How many times do you see churches enforce this with those who covet?

    I'm not trying to disagree or argue...just pushing back a bit. It just seems to me we treat homosexual sin with a lot less grace and patience than other sins.
     
  7. Skandelon

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    I do too, but I'm not sure how that answers the questions. :/
     
  8. gb93433

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    Would any of them keep them from hell is the question I would ask. Scripture directly addresses only one of them that will.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Not following?

    One of these sins will keep them from hell?
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Everyone has issues. If one were to judge on issues then not one of us could be a member. I only see one issue in the list of questions that is addressed in scripture as keeping one from heaven. Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Why would anyone want to have member who will not inherit the kingdom of heaven? Why the others are not desirable they would not keep one out of heaven.
     
  11. Skandelon

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    That passage your are referencing says that no unrighteous person will enter heaven and it even included adulterers in the list. Given that a man who even looks lustfully at a woman has committed adultery, I doubt any of us would qualify. Pauls point is not that homosexuals can't go to heaven, but that any unrighteous person can't. All need forgiveness and grace.
     
  12. DrJamesAch

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  13. DrJamesAch

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    Paul is also referring to those who were not saved who refused to repent. Notice just a few short verses later Paul says "and such WERE some of you". 1 Cor 6:11.

    It is not that these sins keep from heaven, but that some men (like the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19) understand that coming to Christ will demand a change in lifestyle and they would rather choose their sin over coming to Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform and conform them.

    When Christ confronted the Rich Young Ruler about giving up his money, it wasn't that Christ was going to demand that he actually sell everything and give his money to the poor, but Christ knew that he was a covetous and idolatrous person, and the young man proved it by walking away.

    However, not sure how this fits with the OP since the question is about church membership, not salvation, unless those who brought this up are contending that certain of the class are not saved and therefore by default would not be considered for membership.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    But in the sanctification process weren't sins you were once unaware of in your life brought to your attention? I know there were sinful attitudes and behaviors that I wouldn't have ever recognized in my life when I first came to faith, but later Christ revealed them to me and has helped me to move closer toward his image. I'm just wondering why we demand more of the homosexual?

    Maybe if we were as patient with them and their sin as God was with us and our sin they might actually have the opportunity to be sanctified and changed. And maybe the world wouldn't know us as being the anti-gay people, and they would know us for being the pro-grace people. Just sayin...
     
  15. canadyjd

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    Well, that would make salvation dependent upon us instead of God, wouldn't it?
    I'm not trying to get the world to like me, since Jesus has already promised me the world will hate me because it hated Him first. Just sayin...:smilewinkgrin:

    I'm not sure your premise is true. Most of the Christians I know aren't "anti-gay people". They are "anti-sin" and "pro-grace" and "pro-God's Word".

    The "world" will always oppose those of us who hold to the truth of God's Word on the issue of homosexuality. Speaking the truth in love will never change that.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  16. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    We don't make salvation, God does. So, we don't make it 'dependent' on anything, if it is dependent on something then that would be God's doing, not ours. So, either way your point seems fallacious.

    You know "good" ones. And I have no problem with being anti-sin just as long as they are as much "anti-their own sin" as they are "anti- the gay's sin."

    Valid point, but many are giving them unbiblical fuel for their attack. The fact that they would hate us anyway shouldn't be used to justify an unbiblical double standard or self-righteous judgement.
     
  17. quantumfaith

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    Kudos.....:thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  18. quantumfaith

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    DrJames,

    Are you certain that all homosexuals believe that they were born that way? Is it not possible that some know and are convicted of their sin and yet struggle intensely to defeat it, and yet fail too often? (No "snarkiness" intended)
     
    #18 quantumfaith, May 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2013
  19. USN2Pulpit

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    ???

    Such big words to understand for this less-educated brother!
     
  20. Aaron

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    Just pointing out that there is no such thing as a homosexual couple.
     

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