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Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's with All the Talk about Homosexuality?

Over the last several days I've departed from my normal topic of preaching and using images to talk about this issues regarding homosexuality and the church. You can catch up here (1, 2, 3, 4). It's been a stirring dialog both here and on Facebook. But the truth is that it's not quite the topic for this blog. I took a bit of a field trip. Here's why.

What we talk about is as important . . . no, it's more important than how we speak. For most of the posts on this blog I assume that you know what you're going to preach. That's you're job, and you're the expert at it, so I've been focusing on how to present that message better. How to make the "what" easier to communicate to your people. However in this case I felt compelled to stop talking about "how" for a bit and to focus on "what" for a time. I'm not trying to convince you to believe in any specific way (except to never use bullet points).

What I want to do is to start conversations that we need to have. If you are preaching to a church, there are people with homosexual feelings in your congregation. That's a statistical fact. But our churches tend to project so much hatred and intolerance that they will hide forever rather than have an honest conversation. The same is true for people with depression, addiction and all sorts of sins. They are in your church. You look at them every time you get up to preach. What are you going to say to them? Are you going to speak the love of Jesus or are you going to spew out ignorance that they perceive as hate?

I feel like I've been clear in the previous posts, but let me spell it out for you here. After my study of the relevant passages of scripture, I see that homosexuality is a sexual sin. However it's no worse a sin than greed or slander, and every sin needs light to be removed. Sins will never come to light in an environment of fear, but if you have an environment of non-condemning love then people can feel free to confess their sins and find healing in the body of Christ. Also, I don't think that groups that attempt to "pray the gay away" are effective. Homosexuality doesn't appear to be a choice, but goes much deeper into genetics and core personality. It's wrong of us to ask people to change who they are at a core level. However we can empower them to use who they are for the glory of God within God's kingdom.


savannah. said...

Dude, I totally agree.
Mental illness in the church is soo off limits.

When I was working at the mental facility we showed this video to people:
And I think church should have to watch it.

James Wood said...

There's a lot of fear driving what churches say and don't say. I don't know if we're afraid that it's a communicable disease or what, but something needs to change. Thanks for being one of the people helping to start the change.