What would you rather do: defuse a bomb or publicly talk about sexuality and the Church in a way that implies even the slightest tolerance for the latter?

An extremely contentious issue is that of allowing people who are homosexually active to take up positions of leadership, or even membership, in the Christian church. One reason this is a volatile issue is because human sexuality is an important part of life. The reason behind excluding people from the Church who are actively homosexual is not – it should not be – their sexual orientation; it is their rejection of what God has said. If a person embraces an attitude or a lifestyle that deliberately rejects what the Bible clearly states – that is the reason that they are excluded from the Church [1].

The issue is not our sexuality: it is our obedience to God. If a person rejects what God’s Word says, how can they be part of a community who seek to obey God? This would be the same if the person was heterosexually active outside of marriage, or if they were known to lie, gossip, be greedy and so on – essentially, if they refused to put themselves under God’s authority. After all, the Church is not a mere institution: the Church is the people who believe what God says about Himself in the Bible. Why should the Church be forced to accept into fellowship someone who refuses to place themselves under the authority of God’s Word? Would a person who refused to place themselves under Australian sovereignty be allowed to hold a position of any status in the Australian Public Service? They might be perfectly decent people in all respects but they would not be allowed to hold any office in that country’s administration because they chose not to align themselves to Australia’s way of life; they chose not to submit to the sovereignty of the Australian constitution and laws.

What other group would allow into their ranks a person who refused to be bound by that group’s laws or accepted practices or code of ethics? These rules are there for a reason, for the protection and wellbeing of everyone – both for the people in the business and for their clients. If people refuse to follow these rules, they or others could be hurt and bring disrepute to the business. Imagine a person who tried to join a firearms club but refused to take any of the standard safety precautions – never pointing the gun anywhere except at the ground or the target; always obeying the range officer’s instructions, and so on? They would not be allowed to join. If they were, it wouldn’t be long before someone was hurt.

Applying the analogy to the topic at hand…. A person with any sexual orientation is welcome into the Church on the same basis as everyone else: that they have been forgiven by God because of Jesus’ death. All Christians have their own failings and temptations: a quick temper, too much alcohol, laziness, pride, selfishness, lust, and scores of others. Many issues, but all are symptoms of one disease, our natural rebellion against God. In a war, it doesn’t matter how decent a person you are: what matters is what side you’re fighting on.

The key issue is not how our individual rebellion manifests itself, but what are we doing about it? Are we choosing to accept God’s diagnosis and His remedy? If so, then there is no reason for the Church to reject anyone. Or are we saying, “I’m not doing anything wrong”?

That is the one reason people should be excluded from Christian meetings: they are rejecting God’s authority; they refuse to admit that we are all rebels against God, and we are all in need of His mercy. We don’t need to become better, nicer, less hypocritical people; we need to surrender to the right of the King to rule us.

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Footnotes
[1] Despite the arguments of some to the contrary (which I think are based on invalid definitions), any and all homosexual activity is condemned by the Bible.

 

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