Of course gays are welcome. Everybody is welcome. Everybody is loved for who they are. Nobody in church is perfect. We all sin and we all have a “thorn”, an ongoing sin where sinful activity and beliefs are defined by the Bible. Consequently we all have our struggle, a fight to deny a part of who we are, the Bible says we are born with sin after all, be it anger, jealousy, murderous tendencies or homosexuality. For anyone truly seeking to refine themselves to the standards Jesus and the Bible in general put forth, we all have to give up a piece of our natural, inborn selves, it’s part of the spiritual journey.
If you are truly interested in openly and honestly discussing issues on these matters I highly recommend a book called Blue Like Jazz. It’s not a devotional, it’s not a book with lots of verses and though shalls and shalt nots, it’s a loosely written autobiography by a guy who believes in God as defined by the Bible but struggles with his understanding of it all. It has nothing to do with denominational nomenclature, it isn’t apologetic, it’s like reading an easy conversation. Highly recommend it.
And for the record, the message of Christianity is that all are flawed and inferior and made whole through a covenant with Christ, one in which sins are forgiven due to Christs death on the cross and ascension to Heaven on our behalf. Not just gays. [/quote]
Thanks for the book recommendation. I’m agnostic, but recently read “Have a little faith” by Mitch Albom and enjoyed it. I think there’s wisdom to be gained from all religions and philosophies.
So if someone were openly gay in your congregation, but they chose to be celibate, would you consider them to be flawed or in sin? It sounds like they would be genuinely welcomed. Would they have the potential to be a pastor?[/quote]
Some one who has entered a relationship with Jesus, as defined by the Bible, would not be flawed, they are said to be made whole.
They may still struggle with “sins of the flesh” but this is where the mystical element of Christianity comes in to play. In God’s eyes you are whole.
A person who actively fights his sin would be eligable to serve as a Pastor, yes. So, choosing celibacy over homosexuality would qualify, even if he slipped up now and then. There is a difference between slipping and being intentionally disobediant.
I really don’t go to church much. I grew up going, I go at Christmas and Easter but I like to think my congregation would be accepting. People are people though and as imperfect as all people are, some may be hypocritical. The church doctrine would be accepting however as is true Christianity. Some people just have a judgemental thorn you could say.
I believe it was Peter who recommended Christians educate themselves on all religions of the world, not to replace their Christian faith but to know and understand. According to the Bible, this behavior is spiritually healthy, so long as other religions do not become idols.[/quote]
I’m encouraged to hear that there’s a place for gays in your congregation, and not just as dogs to be tossed a scrap, but as equals with a seat at the table.
What would you think about them holding hands with someone of the same gender during church service, for example? Would that be considered sinful or is it ok since it’s not a sexual act?[/quote]It’s more about the Bible than a congregation. If holding hands resulted in lust, then yes it would be sinful. If not, then no. You may get awkward looks due to a broken social more, but you would not have sinned. And even if you did get awkward looks or judgemental comments thrown your way, the true importance is a lack of sin. Your imperfect church mates would be the sinners for judging.
I’m pleasantly surprised to hear that.