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Would Jesus Hang Out With Gay People Too? — 187 Comments

  1. Inge, I would like to thank you. Good bless you in your ministry.

    To the others with their genuine questions and to the supportive commenters, it has been a real blessing. It makes the struggle worth it.

    My goal in life is to live a life that my Jesus approves of. I make many mistakes along the way. I think it was Leo Tolstoy who said, “If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side! ”. So it is with the Christian walk on the journey to Heaven.

    When I hear some of the remarks from other Christians, I find it very discouraging. Sometimes I wonder whether I should just give up the struggle and just follow my inclinations. So I sway from side to side along the path. It is you people who give encouraging words and truly show the love of Christ that makes the walk along the road of life a beautiful thing. It gives me encouragement. It enables me to walk the next few steps towards my goal.

    Over the years I have learned to be cynical. But I find walking with God and hearing from people who care, allow me to see past my own cynicism.

    I might be gay, but by the grace of God I am on a journey to Heaven. I am looking forward to meeting you all there.

    Thank you.

    Amen!(7)
    • I love the way Jesus did his ministry. To all He says "go and sins no more". While Jesus loves the SINNER, he hates SIN. No matter the sin, God said He hates sin, sin must be given up. God has the power to change us(sinners) and make us become like Him(saints). We read sin shall not rise again in that new heaven and new earth. Read Romans 1:21-32, and Rev 22:14-15.

      Amen!(1)
    • David, I really like this paragraph in your reply. If only all of us would have as the primary goal of our lives that Jesus could approve of our lives, the Lord would soon come to take us home.

      I suspect that none of us walk a straight forward path on the way home. We all stagger drunkenly, so to speak:

      My goal in life is to live a life that my Jesus approves of. I make many mistakes along the way. I think it was Leo Tolstoy who said, “If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side! ”. So it is with the Christian walk on the journey to Heaven.

      I gain courage from this assurance:

      The character is revealed, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by th tendency of the habitual words and acts." (Steps to Christ, pp. 57-58)
      It tells me that it's the overall direction of our lives - whether or not we are moving closer to Christ and home - that counts. Often we may stagger, but let us stagger forwards. 🙂

      This, too, has helped me:

      There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1 (Steps to Christ, p. 64)

      Amen!(3)
  2. Please note: If you are going to respond to the first bit of what I say, make sure that you show evidence that you have read the last bit. This comment is a bit longer than what I usually write so you will need to scroll down a bit.

    I think that it is fair to say that our attitude to people who have gender orientation problems is very much determined by our view of the causality of the problem.

    • If you think that God has created each of us perfectly male or female and that it is a choice as to whether you behave as a male or female, then you will see and form of same gender attraction as sinful.
    • If you think that a person's sexuality is determined by causes over which a person has no control, then you will probably be more understanding of the issues that people have with their sexuality.

    Now a bit of personal history:

    I grew up on a farm where we kept sheep and cows. One of the jobs that I used to help out with as a kid was the castration of male lambs (Just accept that is part of farming practice - this is not a discussion on animal rights). Occasionally we would find a lamb that had both male and female eternal genitalia. Of course Dad and I discussed the situation - the farm was a great biology lesson book - and I learned from quite early on that things could go wrong with gender.

    I went to a boys' high school during my puberty years and observed and took part in typical adolescent interaction. There was the usual horseplay (those of you who remember your teenage years will know what I mean), and it quickly became clear to me that I was heterosexual but that some of the other boys in the school were not. Activities that disgusted me and that I wanted no part in held a particular attraction for a small number of others.

    I became a teacher and became very much aware of the human cost of gender orientation issues in the church and have gone to some length to be aware of the problem and compassionate towards those who struggle with their sexuality.

    Research:

    I have not followed the scholastic papers on this research - that is both costly and time consuming - but I have taken the time to read reputable news articles and listen to experts who have to deal with sex orientation issues. So I will pass on what I have heard.

    Our perception of our sexuality is built on a number of factors:

    Genetics: Obviously there are genes that carry information about our sexual organs and how they are placed and function and so on. Genes also influence the brain, which controls most of our sexuality. Some of the genetic information is obvious and well understood but some of it is diffuse and it will be some time before we reach a full understanding of the coding.
    Hormonal development: As a person develops both in the womb and during childhood and adolescence, changes in body development occur as the result of hormone releases. These released should happen at particular times in the development of the person, but sometimes they may go off either at the wrong time, or out of sequence. This messes with the development process. We know about the obvious ones like giantism and so on, but the ones that affect or sexual development are still not well understood. We do know that trauma and other environmental factors may change the trigger times for hormonal development.
    Environmental and cultural influences: This is often very vague. There are a couple of documented situations - some children in some cultures do not show external genitalia until puberty. It is almost as if the gonad migration that should occur before birth has been delayed. Some of the expectations of puberty behaviour are based on culture.

    The significant thing that I think that has happened in research is that we are now aware that the idea that our sexuality is determined by a single defining factor is wrong. That is one reason that that early research was flawed. There was nothing wrong with the research at the time, it is just that subsequent research has shown the limitations of early research. That is the nature of discovery research.

    We have ample evidence that the human body can be born defective, or develop defectively in areas other than gender. We accept that can happen, and is not a choice of the person concerned. We should not make an exception for gender attraction issues.

    Human Compassion
    The main issue that is at stake in this discussion is who we should feel compassionate for and how we should express that compassion.

    I do not feel comfortable standing on my high moral ground just because I am a heterosexual monogamous male and condemning those whose perception of their sexuality is different from mine. Jesus did not stand in heaven and say, "If you are good enough and behave yourselves, you will eventually get to be where I am standing." He got down among the sinners (He hung out with them - if you want to use that terminology) and he suffered with them. And just maybe that is what he expects us to do.

    A senior Adventist administrator once said to me, regarding discussions such as this, that only those people who have close friends or family members who are gay should be allowed to comment. I know what he meant. At that particular time we had both had colleagues who were dismissed from Adventist employ for "inappropriate lifestyle choices."

    Like some of the others who have taken part in this discussion I have been round long enough to have seen friends, colleagues, and family members struggle with same-sex attraction. In many cases these folk were Seventh-day Adventists. I have seen the whole spectrum of responses - celibacy, trans-gender changes, heterosexual marriage, and, unfortunately, suicide. These folk are not the nameless homosexuals that you read about or see on TV. They are people I know by name and with whom I interact.

    Condemnation is not going to work; I have only got compassion left.

    Amen!(9)
    • I appreciate and relate to Maurice's sharing from 1st hand experience. My mother loves all over my sister and niece, despises the sin but like God tells her, Love God and love our fellow man. So she just loves all over them as she know Jesus would. So should everyone else, and be like Jesus, allowing Him to live His life through them, and they will be NOT judgmental about something that in the end, is between God and that beloved person. Gay or straight, we all come on bended knee before God to give account of ourselves. Remove that plank out of your eye before trying to remove the speck of dust from your neighbour's eye!

      Amen!(2)
  3. As complicated as this subject is for spectators it's is a lot more complex for individuals it involves. myself included. sure it's contentious too, but as a group there is always some kind of it.

    As a gay man with a strict Adventist upbringing, it's torturous to learn that "saved by grace" doesn't apply to me.

    While the circles i was brought up in didn't proclaim that, it has been by and large what you hear in most denominational churches.

    Yes there are the verses we are reminded of go and sin no more, being saved from our sin, then the "gay verses" gen 19, lev 18, romans 1, 1 Cor 6, etc.

    the verses are pulled out and presented in a way that if it was say wearing clothes of more than one fibre, or cutting hair, or men shaving their face, it would be used to exclude them from being christians.

    Then another similar subject, divorce and remarriage. Growing up, the grownups would always denounce remarriage; fast forward to when i am a responsible age, with one or two exceptions they are divorced and mostly remarried.

    On a theological level, it seems like the church of the apostles where various figures required the converts to be jewish, be required to keep the laws of moses, and be circumcised in order to get a look in at being christians.

    on circumcision, Paul tells us that it doesn't matter that whats more important is what it represents circumcision of the heart, and another place he (Gal 3 28) in Christ Neither Jew nor Greek, slaves nor free, males or female. i think as a denomination we have a long way to go on treating perspective members similarly, i recently was in a sabbath school where we were talking about the church on jewellery dress and worship music.
    the minister stated that if the church enforced a dress code there would be hardly any baptisms, telling.

    in Christian love
    Elias

    Amen!(1)
    • Elias, I'm so sorry that you've gotten the impression "that 'saved by grace' doesn't apply to me." I hope that's really only what you see some portraying and that you don't see that as reality. We all have struggles. Thank God that His grace is strong enough to give us victory in every area of life. And His grace is for you, too.

      Amen!(3)
      • Yes John,

        It's not a church wide exception. if this analogy makes sense here goes. growing up in conservative crowds, the conferences were seen to be out of control liberals. Other times and people have decried them for being out of touch, out dated conservatives.

        In a group, say you emphasise saved by grace alone, person 2 denounces you for ignoring sanctification or calling out person 3 on sin, Person 2 emphasises striving to be like Jesus. now personally it's inappropriate for a person seeking to be like Jesus to censuring, minimising person 3.

        As christians from left and right, sanctification isn't an over night experience. the problem of "calling out sin" is him(or her) without sin throw the first stone. (John 8 7)
        and part 2 is (Romans 2;1) there is no excuse for judgement, you get self condemnation since you do the same things.

        God is our solution in all this, so focusing on yours or my failings is a distraction. I need to make Him the central part of my life and personal religion. I think how long it takes to understand various things, months years etc. on a personal note, i've read various books on the Bible, homosexuality and church. the "verses" (GENESIS 19 (cf. 18:20)
        LEVITICUS 18:22 (20:13)DEUTERONOMY 23:17-18,ROMANS 1:26-27
        I CORINTHIANS 6:9 & TIMOTHY 1:10 feature in all of them, the law of moses, the dietary laws, the purity laws etc. as non Adventist perspectives, one common verdict was the levitical laws are irrelevant to christians. this was a non answer since we denounce unclean food and keep the sabbath. As a denomination, we don't enforce the remaining part of law of moses, or laws of the Jews.
        grooming laws were Israel specific, in the last comment circumcision as a requirement, we don't regulate either.

        Trust God

        Amen!(0)
  4. I think it is ironic that this discussion of sexuality has arisen within the study theme of "Discipleship". Since Inge posed the initial question of "Would Jesus Hang Out With Gay People Too?", we may need to ask ourselves, "what is my (individual) responsibility to people in need of discipleship?". Since it is Jesus who invites us to "follow Me and I will make you fishers of men" (Mt 4:19), then we need to be educated by His High Priestly example. In Mt 8:1-4, a leper approaches Jesus and requests healing. Is Jesus "grossed out" by this man's approach? Not only is He not "grossed out", He (gasp) touches him! He touches him while declaring His desire for the man's cleansing. In agreement with the Mosaic law he directs him to go and show himself to the priest. In Acts 10, God clearly does a work in Cornelius (Acts 10:2,15,28) and sends him (figuratively) to the "priest", Peter. It was the now previously prejudiced Peter, under inspiration who later wrote 1 Pt 2:9. The priests in the wilderness Tabernacle not only killed animals and sprinkled blood on behalf of the guilty, Leviticus 13-15 instructed priests in their other duty as community doctor/health official. These priests, who interestingly were priests by birth, were required to have repeated contact with lepers (and some potential ones). Not only did these lepers come to the priests (Lev 13:2) but the priests also had to go to the "hang out" of the isolated (Lev 14:3). If we believe that 1 Pt 2:9 applies to us as God's professed people, then our first responsibility is to ensure we're of correct "birth" to practice. Then we'd better be educated in preparation for practice. Then in accordance with our education, are we to practice. May the High Priest find us only competent practitioners.

    Amen!(2)
  5. He will meet them, too, but tell them kindly, explainers God's way of sexuality, not worldly.
    He will tell you to follow His word, not your own way. Jesus know the book of exodus and Deuteronomy about homosexual. Jesus know the result of homosexual by God. You have a right of choice, but he did not force it, but pray for you to follow God's way of sexuality.

    Amen!(0)
    • Jason, as I study the Bible, I see that Christ mingled with men (hung out with them), ministered to their needs (healed them, fed them, answered their questions), and only then did he bid them follow Him.

      I don't see Jesus spending much time telling sinners what not to do - other than in his rebukes of the religious leaders. But He did not condemn the outcasts of society. They already felt condemned. They needed to experience His love, and He mingled with them so He could minister to their needs. When they sensed His holiness and purity, they felt their sinfulness by contrast. He gave them courage by expressing the confidence that they could "go and sin no more" (as He did with Mary) and He expressed the confidence that they could be His true followers (as He did with Matthew).

      If we associate with people only to tell them that they are wrong, we are not following the example of Christ. We are missing the steps of mingling with them to do them good. We are missing the step of demonstrating that we are their friends.

      Preaching to people without making friends with them first is never going to work. Only the methods of Jesus will bring any sinner to repentance. If we think people need to allow Jesus to live His life of purity in us and to love others through us.

      Amen!(5)
  6. I have read the article, and the comments and I have watched the video. You know after reading the comments I am left wondering if we have forgotten that God is also a God of justice. Mercy and justice work together, but sometimes we tend to think that mercy is the here all and end all.

    One thing that has been reinforced from the discussion and presentations is all sin is sin. There is magnitude of sins and degrees of punishment, but we were not given the duty of gauging someone else’s sins. The Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination, and it also says that lying lips are an abomination. Both obviously are terrible sins, as are all other sins.

    One comment says that we have propensities, another inherited tendencies. This is true one person may be struggling with lying, another with stealing, another with evil surmising, hypocrisy, pornography, but what we must always remember is this, God never blesses us in sin and He will never save us in sin. We have an overcoming work to do and it must be done for us to be saved. Remember, when Jesus presents the redeemed to His Father He says these are they who have overcome. Sadly we cuddle some sins even within our own breasts, as we condemn others, this is wrong but it does not change the fact that homosexuality is also wrong.

    We often say much more than we realize with the words we leave unspoken or the idea that is transmitted by what is said. To say that one cannot change is to say that God has limited power. To say one was born homosexual is to say that God is cruel for making people like that then expect them to live differently. To say that time have change and so people are now naturally homosexual is to say that God has no control over how things develop.

    Yes Jesus was tempted as we are and He did not sin! This is important. He came to be our example and if His example does not apply today then we hope in vain.

    If I have a problem with lying, say I lie when I feel threatened and want to protect myself, does this change that it is a sin. Would I have had to spend all my life overcoming it? Yes likely I would. Must I overcome it? Yes I must because if I do not, truth is I will not have a place in God’s kingdom. The simple truth is we must love God more than all things. From the beginning the battle was really about obedience. Do we obey God or do we try to make others and God accept us in sin? The same applies to all sins, so yes we love the sinner but we hate the sin and that means always letting it be known that God is love and mercy and justice too. We must love more than else or we will never choose to obey Him.

    Amen!(8)
    • Thank you for your comment, Keisha.

      You wrote, among other things ...

      To say that one cannot change is to say that God has limited power. To say one was born homosexual is to say that God is cruel for making people like that then expect them to live differently.

      Firstly, I don't know what you mean by "change." God is in the business of changing us into His image, so, if we submit to Him as our Lord, we will be continually changing - whether we are homosexually or heterosexually oriented.

      But you may be referring to changing a sexual orientation. And that is a different matter, because there is some pretty solid evidence that a homosexual orientation is very much part of a person's nature - the same sinful human nature we all possess.

      You might as well say "To say one was born a sinner is to say that God is cruel for making people like that then expect them to live differently." The fact, however, is Adam and Eve were created perfect, but everyone since then has been born with the effects of sin. I don't know about you, Keisha, but I wasn't born perfect. Some imperfections are visible, others are invisible. Some are in my mind, some in my body.

      You may be the only exception on this planet, but as far as I know, none of us are born perfect. And a homosexual orientation is just one of the regrettable results of sin.

      But God made provision for the terrible emergency of sin. He came to be one of us and die in our place. As a result He can give us the victory over both our acquired and inherited impulses to sin. But that doesn't take give take our sinful nature away. Likewise, I know many gays who are faithful to their wives or who are living single lives of purity by the grace of God. But God doesn't take their homosexual orientation away.

      It's not easy to be a gay Adventist when most of the church, and the pastors as well, are ignorant on the subject of homosexuality and make no distinction between a homosexual orientation and engaging in same-sex sex.

      The facts are: Some heterosexuals engage in gay sex, but that doesn't make them homosexual.
      Some homosexuals are heterosexually married and have children, but that doesn't take away their same-sex attraction.

      The original question was whether or not Jesus would associate with gay people, and I trust that you recognize that Jesus associates with all sinners in order to draw them to Himself. Note that,

      Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”

      There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. (Ministry of Healing, p. 143)

      I suspect that you may be uncomfortable with my suggestion that homosexual sex is sin like any other sin, and you conclude that I don't take homosexual sex seriously enough. But that's not the case. I think we don't take our sins seriously enough. Instead we like to look at other people's sins and think we are just a little better, thus committing the sin of spiritual pride. And that's the very sin that makes us nearly impervious to the grace of God - the only thing that will save anybody.

      Amen!(7)
  7. Yes. Jesus WOULD hang out with gay people. He would hear when they call, He would meet with them, He would eat with them and certainly --He would never pass them by.
    Jesus loves us all so very much..... He loves us, accepts us, forgives all of our sin no matter what that might be. He does however, come into our 'hearts home' and rearranges the furniture-- actually He throws an awful lot of it away.
    If I were a kleptomaniac, nymphomaniac, homicidal maniac, greedy, full of pride...etc.... Jesus would love me indeed, but He would tell me to step away from my sin.
    I notice that this issue of acceptance in the churched community seems to have ramped up in response to the ramping up of the gay agenda in the media. We need to remain steadfast in showing the love of Christ to all people but, be equally resolute in standing up for the principles of the Bible.
    Isn't it interesting that Christians are becoming the counter-culture in the world. Quickly we have become the ones described as unaccepting,
    unloving, intolerant. Christianity is becoming the new ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE. Let us remember whose ground we are on and what is at stake for each one of us . Pray, submit, pray some more.

    Amen!(5)
    • I think Jesus would have eaten and been in the company of gay people. Everybody lives with a choice. If discover that they are gay, they have to make a choice. Keep up the lifestyle or change. It might take some time but God able to give power to overcome.

      I had a close childhood friend that I think was gay, the sister is still living, both were church people too. I did not handle this discovery well.

      A former SDA that turned out to be gay and the friend was a Marine and another race too.

      We all need prayer.

      Amen!(2)
  8. Many of the comments under this blog post have touched on appropriate relationships between people, and in that spirit, I recommend this vesper presentation by Pastor Michael Kelly at Oakwood University on Relationships, Opposite Sex, Same Sex, Homosexuality and ... Among other things, he deals with the relationship between David and Jonathan.

    This is aimed at young adults, and if you do not appreciate "real" language regarding relationships, please don't bother to view this video.

    While Michael explains the causes of homosexuality a bit differently than I do, he does recognize that biological and environmental factors work together to form a homosexual orientation. I appreciate his final point - that we need safe environments for life change to take place. Unfortunately most churches currently do not offer such an environment for persons dealing with sexuality issues.

    Apparently we expect people to change before they come to church! If we have the mind of Jesus, we will make our churches safe to come with their troubles.

    Amen!(5)
  9. Here's a great commentary written by Willie and Elaine Oliver on dealing with an issue of a gay wedding. It is called, "The Wedding Invitation" from the "Relationship Rx" column in the July/August 2013 issue of Message Magazine. It is a response to the question of how to treat an invitation to a wedding of two gay partners.

    Amen!(2)
  10. On working with homosexuals. As a retired pastor I think back to when I worked with gay men. They begged me to baptize them into the church and would cry like a baby when I turned them down. It was heart wrenching to say the lease.

    I believed then and now that we must show loving care to all who wish to come to Christ. We must treat them as Christ would. In His ministry Jesus would say. "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more." I believe that that concept still applies today. However it is not our place to decide just what the outcome should be in individual cases.

    I turned those folks down because they - for whatever reason - decided to not apply that statement of Jesus.

    Amen!(2)
    • Glenn, I believe we are all agreed that we need to surrender our lives to Jesus. But I'm wondering what you understand by applying "the statement of Jesus." Could you please explain?

      Have you not sinned since you were baptized?

      Amen!(1)
    • Dear Glenn,

      Where does the work of the Holy Spirit fit in with your decision, not to tender to His flock and allow Him to work out His life in him or her, rather than for you and I to decide how an individual should comply with "that" statement? In Hebrews 5 it talks about our spiritual immaturity, so I take from this, our walk with Jesus is about growing in him, from a "milk to solids" experience, coping with change that the Holy Spirit will effect in our lives, if we let him, gradually. But, it is the individual choice, a gift from God, to make that change. So, to turn anyone away from Jesus in the manner you describe, I would ask the question, where does the Holy Spirit fit into making such a decision? If as a disciple, with our witness modelled on Jesus example, would He have done the same?

      God Bless, ulalei

      Amen!(0)
  11. "but simon didn't know what GOD and JESUS are really like-kind and merciful. Simon thought that Homosexuals should be pointed out and avoided' Messiah pg. 309 (paraphrased)

    It is distressing to me to see many comments that think gays are different from them. Somehow Jesus would be avoiding them or gays themselves would run the other way if JESUS is seen coming down the dusty roads of Palestine.

    Have theses people even met the real JESUS? Ellen White has some very direct comments on how Christians should act towards sinners( HOMOSEXUALS).

    I want to say to all the gay people here (Christian or not) to not to listen to such foolishness. It is the devil's plan for you to place no hope in CHRIST. And the devil will even use CHRIST's CHILDREN, if he can, to turn you all away. JESUS is full of non-condemnation and love for you. HE would have died for you even if you were the only Homosexual on earth. God is not ruled by our culture or prejudices or fears or ignorance. Please take that into consideration when reading the comments.

    Amen!(3)
  12. I've read the many comments, and the question that I am asking, is this really about mingling with Gay people? or is this an acceptance of Gay people coming to church, and church fully accepting that this gay couple who is legally married should be accepted in the fellowship and be able to practice and live their lives like any other married couple? Because if the question was straightforward as mingling with gays, Jesus would have no problem dealing with that, cause he loves all mankind regardless of their status, but make no joke, he does not tolerate gay or heterosexual sins. SO should gays come to church as a couple or if they are dating, and be accepted fully in the fellowship?

    Amen!(0)
    • Hi Elizabeth,

      My concern is that we demonstrate the love of God to gay people the way Jesus did.

      Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”

      There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. (Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, p. 143)

      Among other things, this would mean that we minister to their needs and demonstrate that we love them before trying to tell them what they ought to do.

      I am not advocating changing our church membership policy.

      You wrote,

      but make no joke, he does not tolerate gay or heterosexual sins

      It seems to me that Christ does not cast us off when we are still full of sins. Instead, He draws us close to Himself and cleans us up when we submit our will to His. (We need to remember that the sin of pride is every bit as hateful to him as sexual sins. Ellen White likened the sin of gossip to cannibalism, and that sin does not seem to be absent in the church.)

      To your specific inquiry re gays coming to church "as a couple," I say, praise the Lord that they do come! And do your best to demonstrate the love of God to them and minister to their needs. When you have established a basis of friendship, and they ask for baptism, then is the time to go through the baptismal vows one by one and ask if they will surrender their own desires in favor of God's requirements. The same rules apply to all who asks for baptism.

      On the other hand, no one is to be excluded from attending our worship services on the basis of the amount of sin in their lives (as if we could judge accurately). Our churches are supposed to be hospitals for sinners, and they can only be that if we recognize our responsibility to minister the love of Jesus to all who come.

      Amen!(4)
  13. I understand the use of the statement of Christ when He said to go and sin no more. That applies to you and me today. Of course we cannot judge others - that is not our job here on earth. However if an individual openly decided not to follow the teachings of Christ and His word, it would be wise to allow them to make their decision for themselves.

    Amen!(1)
    • Hi Glenn,

      Thank you for your reply. I believe you meant this as a reply to my reply to your previous comment. Now I just want to make sure I understand what you required of those gay men who asked for baptism.

      In the case of gay people, if they refuse to surrender themselves fully to Christ, including their sexuality, that would, indeed, mean that they are not ready for baptism, and it would not be right to baptize them.

      However, you wrote,

      They begged me to baptize them into the church and would cry like a baby when I turned them down.

      That did not sound like rebellion to me, and I was wondering what you required of them. I will share a bit of my experience with gay people below.

      I have known gay couples who lived together for many years, while being faithful to God's sexual standards. One couple lived together for over 35 years before one partner died. They had actually owned a couple of gay bars in San Francisco. One of them was a former Adventist who had been rather badly treated and misguided by the church and then plunged into life in the gay community. When he could resist the call of God no longer, he came back to the church and brought his Roman Catholic partner with him. The church accepted the sincerity of their profession, without requiring them to split up their assets and live on separate properties. They served the church faithfully for years before the original Adventist man died. I can see how they might have been placed in a real dilemma if the pastor who baptized them had required them to split up and split up their assets as a requirement for baptism. (That would be the pastor's personal interpretation of biblical standards, rather than a biblical requirement.) As it was, I knew the couple for years, and I know that they kept each other faithful. The love and respect they had for each other actually prevented them from engaging in sex.

      The congregation did not regularly ask them whether they were living celibately. (They were.) We do not regularly ask our heterosexual members whether they are living in sexual purity, including abstention from pornography. (And pornography would surely fall into the category of lusting.) We leave it as a matter between them and God. There is no reason to have a different standard for those with a homosexual orientation.

      I know of another two gay men who do not advertise themselves as a "gay couple" but simply call each other friends. Due to the financial hardship of one of them, they are currently sharing housing. It is the best solution for them both. Yet some would consider them "living in sin" simply because they are both homosexually oriented. I don't believe God sees them that way. He sees not only at the choices in their lives, but also the intention of their hearts. And I believe that they may be closer to His heart than some of us more conventional Adventists.

      Amen!(6)
  14. To me one of the best examples of how Jesus treated sinners is the way He treated Judas. Perhaps one of the most outstanding things is that He never openly rebuked Judas even though He could have (Jn 12:6). There is more to the story though. While He never pointed fingers He did rebuke Judas personally when he complained about Mary’s anointing of Jesus but He did so in a way that the other disciples didn’t perceive it.

    For the purposes of this thread I think we need to understand that while He was painfully kind to Judas He did so for many reasons especially when it came to the other disciples’ respect of Judas. Jesus adhered to His own advice, “The servants said to him,`Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' But he said,`No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest’” (Mat 13:28-30 NKJV).

    What Jesus did do was to mildly discourage Judas at the beginning when he was in the process of joining the group as Ellen White said:

    While Jesus was preparing the disciples for their ordination, one who had not been summoned urged his presence among them. It was Judas Iscariot, a man who professed to be a follower of Christ. He now came forward, soliciting a place in this inner circle of disciples. With great earnestness and apparent sincerity he declared, “Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.” Jesus neither repulsed nor welcomed him, but uttered only the mournful words: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:19, 20
    Judas believed Jesus to be the Messiah; and by joining the apostles, he hoped to secure a high position in the new kingdom. This hope Jesus designed to cut off by the statement of His poverty.
    The disciples were anxious that Judas should become one of their number. He was of commanding appearance, a man of keen discernment and executive ability, and they commended him to Jesus as one who would greatly assist Him in His work. They were surprised that Jesus received him so coolly. (The Desire of Ages, p. 293.2-293.1)

    To me that is the same as welcoming sinners to church but requiring a bit more to join the church through baptism. It also says that we are not to bring unrepentant sinners into full fellowship until there is some sign of repentance and that is where I see the relationship of the gay community to the church.

    Amen!(3)
  15. Glenn, I would like to ask one very pointed question concerning the discussion you and Inge are having for the sake of clarification.

    You said that even though the gay people begged you to baptize them you came to the decision not to honor their request. My question is exactly what was it that brought you to that decision? In other words was it something they said or did or was it something having to do solely with a particular theological position on your part? Or was it a little of both?

    Amen!(4)
  16. Thanks, Grace, for pointing us to this interview with Rosaria Butterfield. She reminds me so much of a dear friend that it was a delight to watch the interview.

    It's a good counterpoint to the Seventh-Gay Adventist movie. 🙂

    Amen!(1)
  17. In your post its mentioned that, "God who wants nothing more than to see us happy, healthy and holy – both here and in the hereafter."
    True , "Happy is the people who's God is the lord" And as far as the healthy and holy, "...forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases..." Psalm 144:15 and 103:2,3 respectively.
    Isn't that what Jesus came to do? John 8:36, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." speaking of those that were once in sin, and were now free from it.
    1Corinthians 6:9-11, "Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor 'effeminate', nor 'abusers of themselves' with mankind (homosexuals, as they had no such term back then), Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
    "And such 'were' some of you:" They were once a certain way, but now they have been changed. Surrendered to God.
    ! Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be 'in' Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."There is hope for any one who is slave to sin. Romans 6:2, "... How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
    That's what Jesus did on the cross, He crucified the sin nature, so we don't have to live in it any longer. "How shall we?" Big question! Here's the answer! We should not live any longer, 'therein'. This is the way to get these "three blessings"of happy, healthy and holy. Because we have the new creation way of living now, thanks to the 'Cross'. Romans 4:25, "Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." Nailed to the tree and rose from the dead, securing our (just as if I never sinned) position. For without both ingredients, ! Corinthians 15:17, would be a grim reality, "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins."
    But we believe the gospel record that He rose from the dead, and forever lives. So we are now dead to sin and no longer servants of it. John 8:34, Jesus said, "Truly I say unto you, whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin."
    Why did Jesus come, to "hang out"? Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life,.." John 10:10.

    Amen!(0)
    • Thanks for your comment, Don. It is helpful to remember that language and concepts have changed. When we mention gay people/homosexuals today, we are referring to people who are intrinsically attracted to their own sex, rather than the opposite sex - even if they are virgins. In other words, the term does not necessarily imply sexual activity or even sexual fantasy. It is just a statement of sexual orientation, just like "heterosexual" is.

      In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives a very hopeful message - that it is possible for those who once engaged in immorality of various kinds to be "washed, sanctified, and justified." That message is for you and me with our sinful nature as well as those for whom a homosexual orientation is part of their sinful nature.

      Did you take the opportunity to view the vesper presentation by Pastor Michael Kelly at Oakwood University on Relationships, Opposite Sex, Same Sex, Homosexuality and ... on Youtube? If not, I recommend that you do. His presentation is quite balanced.

      Amen!(1)

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