Not a Real Christian, etc.

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Rev. Joshua, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Since in any given week someone here takes it upon themselves to claim that I'm not a "real" Christian/minister/baptist or that I need to be saved or that I need to resign my office (that one's for you Massdak [​IMG] ) I thoughts I'd repost this here as a separate thread.

    For those of you who disagree with me on homosexuality:

    Our disagreement is not about the nature of Jesus or the doctrine of salvation. That's why all the "get saved" and "get the Holy Spirit" and "you're not a real minister" rhetoric is more than a little absurd.

    Our disagreement is about whether or not a particular behavior - within the context of a committed and exclusive relationship - is sinful. If I'm wrong, the "great" sin that my GLBT congregants will have committed under my leadership will have been to physically express their love for their partners. The world is in no way a worse place as a result.

    My congregants will have still been taught that they - like all of us - are sinners in need of salvation by grace through the death of Jesus. They will still have been taught the importance of prayerfully studying the scriptures. They will still have been taught of our obligations as Christians to lead a separate and transformed life.

    Christians have always disagreed about which behaviors are sinful - that doesn't make them any more or less saved. The classic example is the number of good Christians who supported the institution of slavery. They were wrong, and their support of such an evil system was unquestionably sinful. Yet they were still saved.

    One of us is wrong here. That doesn't make either of us unsaved of un-Christian.

    Joshua
     
  2. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    I hear you. On another forum I post on, they think I'm not a Christian because all I do is quote the Bible and I don't just give in to the latest psuedo-Christian pop-theology.

    Here, I'm not a Christian because they don't feel I quote the Bible enough and I try to see both sides.

    I don't mind this so much but I really wish they'd get together and make up their minds.

    You and I disagree on the issue of homosexuality but that's not an essential and I'm happy to recognize you as a brother. Like the song says, "If you belong to Him, you belong with me".

    The bottom line is that these folks who can't do anything but condemn didn't call you, Jesus did. He's the One you have to please, not them.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I think the difficulty from our side, Joshua, is that the Scriptures talk about those who call good evil and evil good. It warns about condoning those things which are unfitting and unnatural. You have chosen to read Scripture and theology through the eyes of your own understanding and worldview. Christ has called us to be radically different, to be salt and light in a world of darkness. There is no doubt that that you are well-meaning. It seems also however that there can be little doubt that your thinking has been clouded. To say that the world is not a worse place because of sinful choices is to ignore the very basic nature of sin and its consequences. The world is always a worse place because of sinful choices. If you are wrong, then you have condemned the people under you to a life that is incompatible with Christian faith. You have lied to them, telling them that they can have a relationship with God while participating in those things that God clearly condemns. In fact, God warns that those who practice these things will not have eternal life. You have mislead these people who have placed their trust in you to speak to them for God. That is a dangerous place to be in. That is why there is such a reaction to your statements among those who hold the word of God precious and believe in its life changing power.
     
  4. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Larry, for the sake of my response assume that I am dead wrong on homosexuality (I know that won't be much of a leap for you). Now, regarding your points (in order):

    - Those who called slavery good (and used the Bible to support it) were equally wrong - if not more so. People were directly wounded and oppressed by their insistence on reading "Scripture and theology through the eyes of [their] own understanding and worldview." Does that mean they weren't saved/Christians?

    - Those who insist that Jesus would support capitalism, democracy, and war are also reading "Scripture and theology through the eyes of [their] own understanding and worldview." Are they saved/Christians, despite disagreeing with much of the witness of the early church and Jesus' own teachings?

    - There is considerable doubt that my thinking has been "clouded."

    - If I am wrong, then yes, sin is being reinforced. Nevertheless, we're all almost certainly wrong in some areas or others regarding sin. That does not seem to separate us from God. The issue is not as much specific behaviors as it is the condition of our hearts.

    - I have not condemned them to a life that is incompatible with the Christian faith. I have simply allowed them to do some things that are incompatible with the Christian faith. That doesn't make them unsaved.

    - Everyone can have a relationship with God while participating in things that God clearly condemns. Otherwise, none of us would have relationships with God.

    - Regarding not having eternal life, that's Paul speaking not God; and it's applicability to committed relationships is questionable. Again, though, assuming that you're right; the issue for eternal life is not specific actions; it is accepting the mercy of God through Jesus.

    - I hold the Word of God and the Scriptures as precious and life changing. I have experienced their transforming effect in my own life.

    One other note. I do believe that we are to be tranformed and separate from the world. I do not believe, however, that denying our sexual orientation is part of that transformation.

    Joshua
     
  5. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Joshua, you neglected to point out Genesis 6 day literalists who assert that those who don't take Genesis literally are not "real" Christians.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    But remember, that Jesus and the apostles did not really speak to the social issues of their day. They did however speak against homosexuality and the uniformly condemned. The committedness of the relationship is not at issue in teh text. It is the act that is at issue.

    As for eternal life, your distinction between the words of God and the words of Paul is not a theological distinction; it is certainly not a biblical one. Paul was writing under the inspiration of God so that the words he wrote are the words of God.

    A life of homosexuality is a life contrary to the Scriptures. It is not merely participating in some practices that are contrary. Those who held slaves, participated in democracy, capitalism, or war were not warned about their eternal life. Homosexuals were.

    Sexual orientation, like every other desire, is to be brought into subjection to the obedience of Christ. Calling it an orientation does not excuse it. The pastor as the mouthpiece of God must make clear to this world that God's has called us to leave our sinfulness and come to him for salvation, with the result that we live in righteousness. What God has condemned, man dare not call justify or condone.
     
  7. Michael Estes

    Michael Estes
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    Scripture rings true in you, Joshua, that in seeing you will not see and in hearing you will not hear. Haven't you read that homosexual offenders will never enter the kingdom of Heaven? Then why do you tell people that it's acceptable Christian behavior? You are a liar and you are a fraud. Even worse: you lead people down the wrong path with your false teachings. We aren't ignorant of Satan's tactics, and by your fruit you are made known to us. You are storing up nothing for yourself but the wrath of God on Judgement Day. Turn away from your apostacy now while there is still time. You Don't you know that we who minister will be judged more harshly by God? To him who is given more, more will be expected. Haven't you also read that the saints will judge the world? Pray that you don't get me for a judge on that Day! I promise you that, if you continue down this path, you will receive the just penalty for your perversion of the Word.
     
  8. TomVols

    TomVols
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    Joshua,
    It has been demonstrated by church historians that far less people were in favor of slavery from the Scriptures than are now condoning or allowing homosexual behavior from the Scriptures.

    The argument of people who justified slavery was a misinterpretation of texts and cutting itself off from plain scriptural teaching. The primary argument given for homosexual justification from the Bible is the argument of silence (particularly in the NT context) and a distortion of a fountainhead of doctrine. While both are in the church of hermeneutics, they're sitting on different pews.

    To your original question: if I questioned your salvation, I'd be witnessing to you, not treating you the way some do. (Not directed at Larry..to my knowledge I've never seen him attack you).
     
  9. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    In what way? Separation from what? Transformation from what to what?
     
  10. massdak

    massdak
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    after reading larrys post he sums it all up biblically. you should give this some prayer and thought. something is very wrong with this situation of what you may feel is just an innocent lifestyle choices that you see no harm in. I'm sure you care for the people of your church, that is good but look into this more with scripture and ask God to show you the truth of the matter, ask Him for you to accept the truth even if you dont like it.
    oh and one more thing&gt;&gt; i call on all liberal teachers and preachers to resign and leave thier office.
     
  11. Watchman

    Watchman
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    Joshua:
    You started this topic. You had to have known what you were going to hear. I am hoping it is because you are open enough to consider, "Maybe they are right." Surely you must know that an absolute Holy and pure God would never condone this lifestyle. Jesus, often after healing someone would say, "Go and sin no more" NEVER was it, "What you have done is OKAY." Does anyone here say we have no sin? I for one would not say that, I would be a liar. I do not think this should be a confessional, but I have, let's say, "Looked twice," at a woman. I can only speak for myself, but I hear that still, small voice, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." What is the proper response here. "Well, I'm going to do this anyway, that's my nature," or is it "Yes, God's word is right, I am wrong, forgive me in Jesus' name."
    As for slavery. God in his word NEVER supported slavery. It had to do with those who owed a debt and was working it off.
     
  12. Matthew 16:24

    Matthew 16:24
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    God’s Word clearly and unmistakably states in 1 Cor chapter 6-NEITHER…ADULTERERS,…NOR HOMOSEXUAL OFFENDERS…SHALL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. It is God’s Word that shall judge people in the last day. It is these very words that shall judge many in the last day. People can twist God’s Word and say it does not mean what it says, but that changes nothing. Unrepentant adulterers and homosexuals will perish.
    1 Cor 6:9,10-KNOW YE NOT THAT THE UNRIGHTEOUS (or wicked) SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD? BE NOT DECEIVED: NEITHER FORNICATORS (or the sexually immoral), NOR IDOLATERS, NOR ADULTERERS, NOR EFFEMINATE (or male prostitutes), NOR (HOMOSEXUAL OFFENDERS-NIV), NOR THIEVES, NOR COVETOUS (or greedy), NOR DRUNKARDS, NOR REVILERS or slanderers), NOR EXTORTIONERS (or swindlers), SHALL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

    This would also apply to people who encourage immoral sexual behavior. So according to God’s Holy Word practicing homosexuals are not saved
     
  13. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    We've got people all over our congregation who have been given tacit approval in divorcing their spouse. We've got scores of people in the congregation who are angry, which Christ said was the same as murder. We've got people all over the congregation dealing with lust. We've got numbers and numbers of people who perform questionable business tactics to make more money, even though the BIble prohibits this.

    Why do we single out homosexuality?

    My guess is that if homosexuals are often on the outside of church - it is safer to scream about that than the sins that are filling up our church and making us ineffective in the world.

    (BTW, a revivalist about a month ago went into a two minute tirade against homosexuals using jokes and derision. A friend of mine is trying to invite her gay friend to come. I'm so glad that the lesbian didn't decide to come. She never would have come back. ANyone else see something wrong with this kind of derision?)
     
  14. LadyEagle

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    Romans Chapter One: "unnatural use."

    Also called an abomination in OT.

    Divorce, while allowed because of "hardness of hearts" to quote Jesus, is not listed as an abomination in the Bible.
     
  15. ScottEmerson

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    Romans Chapter One: "unnatural use."

    Also called an abomination in OT.

    Divorce, while allowed because of "hardness of hearts" to quote Jesus, is not listed as an abomination in the Bible.
    </font>[/QUOTE]All sin is unnatural in the eyes of God. Jesus and Paul both condemned anger and adultuery.

    Note that I am not saying that homosexuality isn't a sin. What I am saying is that there are many, many sins that pastors do not touch upon as much as homosexuality, even when those sins are reight there in front of his face.
     
  16. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Friends,

    I didn't start the thread to debate homosexuality again. I used to be a fundamentalist - it was prayer and study that led me away from a position condeming homosexuality. It was my strong sense of obligation to God and my call that led me to publically support GLBT Christians. It's very unlikely that you're going to change my mind there.

    My point with this thread, however, is that even if I'm wrong I'm still saved and I'm still a baptist minister.

    Larry - regarding your points:

    1 - Jesus did clearly address the social issues of the day (not to the extent that Dominic Crossan might argue - but he still did). He did not address homosexuality, and even Paul only mentioned it in passing.

    2 - Even Paul did not confuse his own words with the words of God. They do represent the authoritative tradition of the Christian Church, but they are not the words of God.

    3 - Jesus himself told the rich man that his wealth would keep (Mark 10:21-23) him from inheriting eternal life.

    4 - I agree that we should work to bring all of our desires into obedience to Jesus. However, the way to bring homosexual desire into obedience is the same as with heterosexual desire: by limiting it to a monogamous, committed relationship.

    Joshua
     
  17. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    There is a difference in "sin" and "abomination."
     
  18. ScottEmerson

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    Titus 1:16 says that anyone who professes to know God but deny Him in his works is abominable. Therefore, can we not see that any sin committed by a Christian is an abomination? (Of course we can!)

    Jesus, in Luke 16, also says that that which is esteemed among men is an abomination to God. Proverbs calls unfair business practices an abomination before GOd (Proverbs 20:10, 23) - Why not rail against those? (Oh, wait - it is because people may not give the chruch as much... Is it?)

    We must come to the understanding that the anger, lust, divorce, and all other sins that are found in our church are abominations to God as well.

    BTW, let us also note that eating unclean things was called an abomination by God.
     
  19. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    Other abominations in the Bible:

    Hatred
    Deceit
    Lying
    Foolish Thought
    Incense
    Pride
    Sowing discord among fellow believers
     
  20. aefting

    aefting
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    I'm afraid you're wrong here. Biblically, heterosexual desire is limited to a monogamous, committed MARRIAGE between a man and a woman. Your definition leaves open the possiblitity that God honors a monogamous, committed relationship between a man and young boy or a man and his young cousin or whatever. What an abomination!

    You are giving your people a false hope -- that they can sin in direct disobedience to God without consequence. You can protest all you want but that is a dereliction of duty for a Christian pastor.

    Andy
     

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