Summary: The Church must redemptively address the homosexual community.
Homosexuality and the Church
Hot Potatoes the Church Wonft Touch #1
After I made the statement about the church not touching the issue, I realized some had. The Episcopalians voted a practicing homosexual as bishop, and others have dealt with it on a denominational level. However, I was thinking more of the individual churches as a whole. I have been in church all of my life, and I donft know if I have ever heard a sermon on it, or hardly referred to. Although as troubling as the ducking of the issue is, it is just as irresponsible the way some have handled it. It is usually in extremes. One adopting it as an alternative lifestyle such as the 300 Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (Charisma Magazine 1/15/2002) . . . , or blatant hatred of homosexuals. Ifll never forget a television news show that had a minister in Texas and his sign carrying followers saying, gGOD HATES FAGSh.
I am not coming to this topic from a purely academic standpoint. God has changed my heart over the years. I was once among those who felt God hated them, and we could mock and make fun of them with disparaging words. Then I began to work face to face with 13-18 year-old boys at a correctional facility in Columbus who were involved in a homosexual lifestyle by choice or by force, and my prejudice and fear began to dissipate. A man from homosexuals Anonymous came to my bible school class to tell of his deliverance after seven years. In the ministry over the past 20 years I have pastored parents whose children had chosen that lifestyle, and had occasional contact with those practicing a homosexual and lesbian lifestyle. This has helped me to stay biblical, and not err in either extreme in this emotionally charged moral and social issue.
The issue really hovers over several questions. Is a person born Gay? If not how do they become this way? Can a homosexual or lesbian change their sexual orientation? Is Aids Godfs judgement on gays? What does the bible really say about it? How then should the church respond?
I Society Speaks to the Questions
Changing views within the church no doubt reflects the changing views in society at large. Which I believe is Media Driven by Hollywoodfs Pro Homosexual agenda. Recent shows like Ellen in which the star Ellen DeGeneres came out of the closet for real and now has her own talk show, Rosie OfDonnell, and Will and Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Boy meets Boy, Itfs All Relative, Queer As Folk, and The L word.
One common myth that is believed because of the media noise of the gay community is that 10% of the population is gay.
Is 10% of the population really gay?
The 10% figure began as a misinterpretation of studies done in the 1940s by sexologist/entomologist (student of insects) Alfred Kinsey and his associates. Scholars like Dr. Judith Reisman and Edward Eichel have challenged Kinseyffs research methodology as flawed (he used an unspecified percentage of college student volunteers and convicts with sex offenses) and his statistics as therefore faulty. A series of recent studies from 1989 through 1993 all show similar figures for the real proportion of exclusively homosexual individuals in America: about 1% to 2%. (Exodus-International web site)
When American were asked in a February 1999 Gallup Poll if they felt homosexuality should be considered an acceptable lifestyle or not, exactly 50 % said yes- up from 34 % who said yeas to the same question in 1982. This coincides with a 1997 poll by George Barna, which reported that 46% of people who had an opinion on the subject stated that, gChristian churches should accept gay people as church leaders.h (Charisma Magazine July 2001)
They address the questions by saying we are born that way, and people should embrace it and not try to change. The bible prohibitions are only cultural and are not for today. The church should accept them as any other person for any position, and aids has nothing to do with God or the gay community.
II The Scripture Speaks (Question 5 gWhat does the Bible say about it?)
"Don’t have sex with a man as one does with a woman. That is abhorrent. Msg
That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. NLT
9Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, 10thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers--none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. (NLT)