Home » Blog » Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian

Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian

In June 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states, setting off a flurry of reaction by Christians and virtually everyone else on social media and beyond.

Ed Stetzer wrote a helpful background post to the shift in opinion that led to the decision and included links to a number of other leading articles in his post.

The social media reaction ranged from surprising to predictable to disappointing to occasionally refreshing.

I write from the perspective of a pastor of an evangelical church in a country where same sex-marriage has been the law of the land for a decade.

That does not mean I hold any uniquely deep wisdom, but it does mean we’ve had a decade to process and pray over the issue.

I hope what I offer can help. It’s my perspective. My fingers tremble at the keyboard because my goal is to help in the midst of a dialogue that seems far more divisive than it is uniting or constructive.

There will be many who disagree with me, I’m sure, but I hope it pulls debate away from the “sky is falling/this is the best thing ever” dichotomy that seems to characterize much of the dialogue so far.

The purpose of this post is not to take a position or define matters theologically (for there is so much debate around that). Rather, the purpose of this post is to think through how to respond as a church when the law of the land changes as fundamentally as it’s changing on same-sex marriage and many other issues.

Here are 5 perspectives I hope are helpful as church leaders of various positions on the subject think and pray through a way forward.

gay marriage church christianity

1. The church has always been counter-cultural

Most of us reading this post have been born into a unique season in history in which our culture is moving from a Christian culture to a post-Christian culture before our eyes.

Whatever you think about history, theology or exactly when this shift happened, it’s clear for all of us that the world into which we were born no longer exists.

Viewpoints that were widely embraced by culture just decades ago are no longer embraced. For some this seems like progress. For others, it seems like we’re losing something. Regardless, things have changed fundamentally.

But is that really such a big deal? For most of the last 2000 years, the authentic church has been counter-cultural. The church was certainly counter-cultural in the first century.

Even at the height of ‘Christendom’ (whenever that was), the most conservative historians would agree that Christianity as embraced by the state was different than the authentic Christianity we read about in scripture or that was practiced by many devout followers of Jesus.

Being counter-cultural usually helps the church more than hurts it.

If you think about it, regardless of your theological position, all your views as a Christian are counter-cultural and always will be. If your views are cultural, you’re probably not reading the scriptures closely enough.

We’re at our best when we offer an alternative, not just a reflection of a diluted or hijacked spirituality.

2. It’s actually strange to ask non-Christians to hold Christian values

As the Barna Group has pointed out, a growing number of people in America are best described as post-Christian. The majority of Canadians would certainly qualify as having a post-Christian worldview.

The question Christians in a post-Christian culture have to ask themselves is this:

Why would we expect non-Christians to behave like Christians?

If you believe sex is a gift given by God to be experienced between a man and a woman within marriage, why would you expect people who don’t follow Christ to embrace that?

 Why would we expect people who don’t profess to be Christians to:

Wait until marriage to have sex?

Clean up their language?

Stop smoking weed?

Be faithful to one person for life?

Pass laws like the entire nation was Christian?

Seriously? Why?

Most people today are not pretending to be Christians. So why would they adopt Christian values or morals?

Please don’t get me wrong.

I’m a pastor. I completely believe that the Jesus is not only the Way, but that God’s way is the best way.

When you follow biblical teachings about how to live life, your life simply goes better. It just does. I 100 percent agree.

I do everything I personally can to align my life with the teachings of scripture, and I’m passionate about helping every follower of Christ do the same.

But what’s the logic behind judging people who don’t follow Jesus for behaving like people who don’t follow Jesus?

Why would you hold the world to the same standard you hold the church?

First, non-Christians usually act more consistently with their value system than you do.

It’s difficult for a non-Christian to be a hypocrite because they tend to live out what they believe.

Chances are they are better at living out their values than you or I are. Jesus never blamed pagans for acting like pagans.

But he did speak out against religious people for acting hypocritically. Think about that.

3. You’ve been dealing with sex outside of traditional marriage for a LONG time

If you believe gay sex is sinful, it’s really no morally different than straight sex outside of marriage.

Be honest, pretty much every unmarried person in your church is having sex (yes, even the Christians).

I know you want to believe that’s not true (trust me, I want to believe that’s not true), but why don’t you ask around? You’ll discover that only a few really surrender their sexuality.

Not to mention the married folks that struggle with porn, lust and a long list of other dysfunctions.

If you believe gay marriage is not God’s design, you’re really dealing with the same issue you’ve been dealing with all along—sex outside of its God-given context.

You don’t need to treat it any differently.

By the way, if you don’t deal with straight sex outside of marriage, don’t start being inconsistent and speak out against gay sex.

And you may want to start dealing with gluttony and gossip and greed while you’re at it. (I wrote more here about how to get the hypocrisy out of our sex talk in church.)

At least be consistent…humbly address all forms of sex outside of marriage.

The dialogue is possible. (Andy Stanley offers a great rationale for sex staying inside marriage here.)

We have that dialogue all the time at our church.

And people are grateful for it.

We also talk about our greed, our gluttony, our jealousy and our hypocrisy as Christians. It’s amazing. Jesus brings healing to all these areas of life, including our sex lives.

4. The early church never looked to the government for guidance

Having a government that doesn’t embrace the church’s values line for line actually puts Christians in some great company—the company of the earliest followers of Jesus.

Jesus spent about zero time asking the government to change during his ministry. In fact, people asked him to become the government, and he replied that his Kingdom is not of this world.

The Apostle Paul appeared before government officials regularly. Not once did he ask them to change the laws of the land.

He did, however, invite government officials to have Jesus personally change them. 

Paul constantly suffered at the hands of the authorities, ultimately dying under their power, but like Jesus, didn’t look to them for change.

Rather than asking the government to release him from prison, he wrote letters from prison talking about the love of Jesus Christ.

Instead of looking to the government for help, Paul and Jesus looked to God.

None of us in the West are suffering nearly as radically as Jesus and Paul suffered at the hands of a government. In fact, in Canada and the US, our government protects our freedom to assemble and even disagree with others. Plus, it gives us tax breaks for donations.

We honestly don’t have it that hard.

Maybe the future North American church will be more like the early church, rising early, before dawn, to pray, to encourage, to break bread.

Maybe we will pool our possessions and see the image of God in women. And love our wives radically and deeply with a protective love that will shock the culture. Maybe we will treat others with self-giving love, and even offer our lives in place of theirs.

Maybe we’ll be willing to lose our jobs, our homes, our families and even our lives because we follow Jesus.

That might just touch off a revolution like it did two millennia ago.

Perhaps the government might even take notice, amazed by the love that radical Jesus followers display.

5. Our judgment of LGBT people is destroying any potential relationship

Even the first 72 hour of social media reaction has driven a deeper wedge between Christian leaders and the LGBT community Jesus loves (yes, Jesus died for the world because he loves it).

Judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy.

People don’t line up to be judged.

If you want to keep being ineffective at reaching unchurched people, keep judging them.

Judging outsiders is un-Christian. Paul told us to stop judging people outside the church.

Jesus said God will judge us by the same standard with which we judge others.

Paul also reminds us to drop the uppity-attitude; that none of us were saved by the good we did but by grace.

Take a deep breath. You were saved by grace. Your sins are simply different than many others. And honestly, in many respects, they are the same.

People don’t line up to be judged. But they might line up to be loved.

So love people. Especially the people with whom you disagree.

Those are a few of the things I’ve learned and I’m struggling with.

The dialogue is not easy when culture is changing and people who sincerely love Jesus sincerely disagree.

I think there’s more hope than there is despair for the future. The radical ethic of grace and truth found in Jesus is more desperately needed in our world today than ever before.

Is the path crystal clear? No.

But rather than being a set back, perhaps this can move the church yet another step closer to realizing its true mission.

I was tempted to close comments off on this post, but I will leave them open just to see if we can continue the discussion constructively and humbly.

Rants and abusive viewpoints (on either side) will be deleted.

Show grace.

Respect those with whom you disagree.

If you want to leave a comment that helps, please do so.

But please spend at least as much time praying for the situation and for people you know who have been hurt by this dialogue as you do commenting on this post, on others like it or on your social media channels.

Maybe spend more time praying, actually.

That’s what we all really need. And that’s what will move the mission of the church forward.

————

Caleb’s Story

To help you navigate the issue a little further, I’m adding the interview I did on my Leadership Podcast with Caleb Kaltenbach into this post.

Caleb was born to parents who divorced to both pursue gay relationships. Caleb grew up to become a Christian and a pastor, and has spent his adult life fighting for the relationship with his parents. It’s a fascinating, moving story of grace in the midst of disagreement.

Your can listen here in the browser window below, or click here to listen to Episode 33 on your phone or other device.

You can subscribe to my podcast for free here on iTunes, Stitcher or Tune In Radio.

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  • Clay Mason

    Jesus said this: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” While I appreciated your article and gained useful insights from it, I wish you had gone with your first inclination about allowing comments. Reading through them I am reminded that we are not just divided, we are fractured. Solomon said in Psalm 127: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” As a minister to a local flock I struggle daily to feed these brothers and sisters with truth love grace and mercy. A balanced diet of Godly food. Yet when I read through these comments I see many who have chosen to pick and choose from the menu and through their choices have either starved themselves or poisoned themselves into spiritual death. Some like truth and nothing else. Some like grace and nothing else. And there is no balance. But there is judgement among brethren. And division. And strife. The very things Jesus taught against. And the world watches. And what do they see from us? And why wouldn’t they choose anything other than The Way? Shame on us! “I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by me” – Jesus. I think we all need to repent.

  • D Blyth

    Love the sinners, hate the sin!

  • D Blyth

    What is lawful is not necessarily moral and vice versa!
    The religious authorities deal with morals as divinely revealed while the secular authorities deal with human laws.
    The author however neglects Natural Law which would support the moral approach. It is not at odds with Judeo-Christian norms as the nature of creation has the same author as Scripture.
    Christianity has a history of independence from the secular authorities. There were many “believers” (Christian and other) who deviated.
    One of the drivers of the protestant rebellion was driven by secular authorities who did not enjoy being held morally accountable by someone independent of them (eg Henry VIII).

  • Paul Cummings

    Carey – I’m so glad you’ve posted this again. This has been such a major struggle for me – MAJOR. Having worked in the HIV/AIDS world for over 10 years, I was always – and I mean always, concerned about the salvation of the ones I sat with while they passed away, never feeling loved or accepted by the church, and ultimately, God. Many came from a Christian background but once they “came out”, they were shunned – not just by the church, but often by family and friends. As a counsellor – talking “Christian” to my clients was discouraged. So there I sat, thinking about them, their lives, and that I wanted so much to tell them – God loves you! Ask for forgiveness and it will be yours. But I was silenced. I’ve dealt with this issue since 1990 when I first started working in the field. I think, I have a good grasp of what I would do if the future ever gives me that chance again, but for now, I appreciate this blog and sharing the struggle you also have. thank you!

  • Dr. Cory Annis

    Thank you for this perspective. You and I will probably never find ourselves together at the same dinner party or fundraiser. We bat for different teams. In fact, we play different sports entirely. One person to another, however, I find your articulate reflection refreshing. Knowing we could break bread without agreeing adds warmth to a world sorely in need of it.

    • Thank you so much Cory. This means so much to me. I hope we do find ourselves at dinner one day. It would be a joy to break bread with you.

      • Dr. Cory Annis

        I hope we’re treated to that delight one day.
        Wishing you gracious civility and thoughtful conversation in the mean time.

  • Chris Hanley

    We don’t have SSM in Australia. We are fighting it. Are pastors required to marry gay people? How do you get around the discrimination catch cry now SSM is legal in your country? Are Christian schools required to participate in the lie?? In other words, how are Christian churches, businesses and schools treated in regards to their freedom of belief?

  • The Law of God stands as does its judgments. Most of evangelical is going to cave in since most evangelicals have a shallow “what’s in it for me” faith. This nation is currently under the wrath of God and those “Christians” that decide they rather please sinners than please the Lord will find that wrath will consume them also.
    The Lord Jesus warned, ” And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Mat 24:12-13)
    The Lord is on His threshing floor separating the wheat and the chaff.

  • HoosierConservative

    As soon as “don’t judge me” became “never disagree with me,” the game was over. That’s what happens when the unchurched get to write the dictionary of church vocabulary.

    I presently know a woman painfully moving away from her alcoholic son because every time she questions his drinking he screams at her to stop judging him.

    My family recently watched from afar as a gay Christian cousin of ours left his wife suddenly, dumped a house mortgage all on her, called her an ugly cow all over town when she complained, launched verbal profanity bombs at any friend or family who criticized him, moved in with a gay lover who introduced him to hard liquor, posted inappropriate behavior all over social media, framed every negative comment behind the persecution of gays, and then methodically demanded each of his family members to be for him or against him. He currently serves on the worship team of a church where his father is conveniently the head pastor. No one ever got an apology, the profanity and disgusting photos online continue, but he is apparently qualified to lead worship.

    All because other church members once got divorced or something, so they’re not allowed to judge him.

    You know who’s tired of getting judged? Faithful, righteous church members who follow the rules, respect their pastor, lead Bible study groups, and try to raise their kids right…. only to be cursed out and told to shut up.

    This is not a prodigal son story. This is the father trudging out to the night club while the prodigal is still burning through money, apologizing for not having more money to burn, and ordering the responsible son to hold the prodigal’s drink for him.

    Why is church attendance declining? To a very large degree, because the “older son” watched barbarians crash the gate.

  • jessie carter

    Hello friends keeping this to myself is a clear sign of
    ingratitude and selfishness to myself and to Dr Sekagy a man that gave my life
    a new meaning, I promise him I will share this testimony after my husband
    return home My life is back!!! After 4 years of

    broken
    marriage, my husband left me with two

    kids,
    I felt like ending it all, I almost committed

    suicide
    because he left us with nothing; I was

    emotionally
    down all this while. Thanks to papa Dr Sekagy, I saw a blog on the internet, I
    came across several testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people

    testified
    that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb, cure
    cancer, and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop
    divorce and also spell to get a good paid job and so on. He is amazing, i also
    come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Jessica, she
    testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at
    the end of her testimony she dropped his email. After reading all these, I

    decided
    to give it a try. I contacted him via email

    and
    explained my problem to him and he requested few details about my husband and
    me I forwarded it immediately and he said he will get back to me after he
    commune with the spirit after 30minus he get back to me funny enough he
    requested little money and I felt this was not working because the money was
    nothing compare to what other spell doctors charged when I contacted them, he
    told me real doctors don’t charge much only fake ones so I forwarded him the
    money, December 23 my husband called me exactly the time he allotted he
    apologize immediately a man that never call nor return my calls for two years,
    he drove 3hour journey to meet me and the kids 24 December and we celebrated Christmas
    together as one family and we cross over to 2016 in love just as Dr Sekagy
    promise me I don’t know what he did but whatever he has done is unimaginable
    because I don’t believe in white magic but yet it save my marriage. His contact
    mail is drsekagyspellhome@yahoo.com
    Friends this is no scam, no tricks but is real, here is my viber number
    +17329634223 I can’t take calls message only have a blissful day.

  • Antoinette Lee

    I would also like to add that most of you saying you have the right to judge, lack the Holy Spirit that gives you the discrenment to rightfully access any situation biblically or even understand true biblical revelational context on any level.

    It is not us who judges, but the gift of the spirit in us that knows all, that reveals that with which we can be trusted to know. Without being baptised in and through Holy Spirit, none of the ability to properly judge, divide, and understand scripture is in you. So I don’t take offense to you misjudging a situation you lack the true abilty and gifting to properly judge, in the first place.

    What I am simply doing is sharing the truth as it has been revealed to me. Knowing that it comes from the Father, and it will do what it was sent out to do. Truth once given, is sure to revisit you. He that have an ear, let him hear.

    • D Blyth

      There is a difference between judging a person and judging behaviour. THe latter may be condemned.

  • pablocruize

    Good article and thoughtful.
    I think the main thing God keeps slapping people up side the head on is we human types constantly forget, (little things like what is the purpose of sex?)
    We forget (or are willfully ignorant) of who we are, why we’re here and where we’re going.
    Its the Christian privilege to remind people of this, although like drunks on the sinking Titanic in the midst of looting spree they often (and violently) don’t want to know.
    But there is a life boat for each of us marked with the initials JC and pointing that out takes courage and HS wisdom.

    • Joe Malburg III

      Attitudes like yours are why religion is dying. Your views are so myopic and ignorant of religions history. Christianity (like all existing religions) has been in a constant state of evolution to fit the modern times since it’s origination. Saying that today’s cultural is in moral decay is absurd considering we are far more moral than any previous century in human history by the modern standard which you seek to apply.

      • pablocruize

        To whom can I speak and give warning?
        Who will listen to me?
        Their ears are closed
        so they cannot hear.
        The word of the Lord is offensive to them;
        they find no pleasure in it.
        But I am full of the wrath of the Lord,
        and I cannot hold it in.

        Good luck with trying to pull off lame excuses at the Great White Throne.

      • D Blyth

        Were it not for Western Christianity you would not have your modern science and law which was developed by scholastics of the Church!
        Universities evolved from cathedral schools.
        There have been many who have attempted to eradicate the Judeo-Christian ethos – they have disappeared and the ethos grown! 😉

  • Anne Kenniston

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Hawkeye

    The church is counter-cultural. Thank-you brother Carey for that reminder. Many have forgotten that we are sojourners, just passing through and some of us have stopped to enjoy the scenery for too long. Like Wilberforce who fought for years to change British public policy and abolish institutionalized slavery, we can be salt and light to this culture. However there may be a limit to how much fruit can be enjoyed when trying to change culture. We are here primarily to introduce people to Jesus. The Great Commission calls us to go and make disciples, not to go and make heterosexuals.

    For those who ascribe to a biblical view of marriage (one man and one woman), can we pray for grace that allows us to be welcoming to those with whom we disagree yet without compromise to the truth we believe? If we stop and pray, He will show us the way

    I have long believed that shouting at each across an ideological chasm of polarized opinion is not the way to win hearts to embrace saving faith.

  • Siu

    Dear Carey
    Thank you for this interview!
    What a breath of fresh air!
    Wow….. Practical ways to embody truth and love…..
    I have often be a truth Christian and lost many vital relationships in my quest to protect Truth.
    But how we can carry both…..allowing messy conversations.
    I am a Chinese Aussie who is still learning to speak English in Oz traaa.lia. But loved the testimony and realise that Jesus wants His church to be family that will eclipse anything that LGBT identity and belonging can offer.
    Wow…. If only we could get a revelation of this.

  • djbigelow

    When the righteous rule there is shouting, but when the wicked rule, the people mourn. If the wicked cannot be ruled by the righteous, then why does the book of wisdom even offer it as plausible?

    • Siu Churches

      Must pray for government and provide Daniels who are able to speak to those in policy positions

  • David Anthony

    I find it interesting that we can condemn homosexuality but we can stand next to someone obese from gluttony in church and sing hymms and hug them… It’s a strange religion, nothing like the bible I’ve read!!!

    • Sara

      I pray David that you might see the inherent judgement in your statement that seems so upsetting to you in others’ statements about homosexuality. This post is about trying to remove the hurt people feel because of judgement by one person to another. You are right we are all hypocritical as we live our lives full of sin and failure. It is the nature of a fallen world and human family. I simply work everyday to become aware of my tendency to cast stones at hurting people and try to put down the stones before they leave my hands in the form of my words written spoken and thought.

  • I deeply appreciate the solid foundation of this post, Carey. Each point is spot on. Even though it seems like many things are changing, as you point out, the culture in which we live has been the same for centuries. Great post — thank you.

  • Marc Ulrich

    Great insights! Thank you for your wisdom and insights Carey!

  • Francois Lambrecht

    Francois Lambrecht
    Great discussion. But the conversation can carry on forever.

    My view is that in the end it all boils down to:

    1. Everyone must decide for himself whether the Bible is true or not.

    2. Having decided that it is true in every respect (As I have done) it behoves one to live the life of love in Christ with
    obedience –

    (Deu 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God
    require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, )

    and humility, but with the terrible injunction –

    (Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow
    not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away
    in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. )

    and non-judgemental responsibility of pointing non-believers
    to the truth : that God is Eternal, that He is in control, that He loves
    sinners but hates sin, (The Bible teaches in no uncertain terms what sin is and its consequence – death) to point out that He has a perfect plan of redemption and eternal life for all who accept Him through Jesus Christ.

  • Maria Todd

    Thank you for this article. I struggle a great deal with the church’s position on gay marriage even though I know what the Bible says. I have an immediate family member who is gay and has been with his partner for nine years and I absolutely love them both and glad they are both in my life. I don’t think the only options for gay people is to be abstinent for the rest of their lives and no opportunity to experience love. That just does not seem fair to me. Years ago God told me to just continue loving my brother and that is what I continue to do to this day. Not my job to judge sin only God knows the heart not me.

    • Think about it

      Your comments show your true view of homosexual acts. You either don’t truly see them as sin, or don’t realize the awful nature of sin. Sin is to be abstained from. Anybody that desires deeply to sin doesn’t get a pass just because they deeply desire it – the God-honoring thing to do is to abstain from sin…for life. Search your heart – I don’t think you honestly believe homosexuality is a sin.

      • Maria Todd

        If I am going to be honest, I don’t really think it is a sin. To think that automatically my very close immediate family member will go to hell because he is gay is too much to swallow. I sin everyday and repent and try to turn from it. I don’t think I have to search my heart. I know it is sin but I just chose to love to automatically say to my brother well I hate you and we can have no relationship because you are gay.

        • Nead H Doon

          I know of 43 animal species where homosexuality is common. (PENGUINS ANYONE?) So as a point of interest….does God create mistakes? I simply don’t think so. Therefore I do not believe homosexuality is a sin. You are who God makes you.

          • Maria Todd

            Thanks for your gracious reply. May God Bless You.

          • Don Wallace

            I think it is clear that the Bible says homosexuality is sin, and we are not to substitute our judgement of what is or isn’t. The Bible is very clear on that as well. I think your original comment, while well intended, is incorrect, because you seem to be EQUATING those people having homosexual relations with love. There are friends that have shared apartment, homes, etc. and had great love for each other, but not sexual. That should apply to opposite & same sex friends if you will. I also believe the Bible would make it clear that we are to love them as individuals, desirous of them having fellowship with Christ and leaving that sinful behavior, just as we all should with the sin in our lives. That’s my problem, the world’s problem: we want to justify our own sin, instead of walking in holiness. I pray for revival in my own heart and in the hearts of people across the world, that we would turn from our sin and let God heal our land, our communities, our families, and our relationships. May God Bless and lead and guide you as well, may he guide all of us.

          • Maria Todd

            Dear Don,

            I can appreciate your perspective but just because someone is gay does not mean that they cannot be a Christ follower for all have sinned and continue to sin on a daily basis. What I am saying is that God clearly told me to continue to love my family member who is gay and that God does not want me to be the one to confront his sin. Take the post out of your own eye before pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye. He may have someone else in mind to confront him with the truth but it is not what God told me is my job. It is not a sin to be gay, it is sin to have sexual relations with the same sex. Please try to keep those two straight.

          • Jentri

            You have to remember the entire universe fell into sin after
            Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Before sin animals didn’t even eat each other because there was no death. The first animal to die was killed to cloth Adam and Eve. We should never compare ourselves to animals because we are the crown of creation created in God’s image.

          • Nead H Doon

            You are absolutely deluded!

      • Kingdom Now

        Think about it, I hope you are consistent with your beliefs. My biggest issue with this is that the Bible states the same thing for those who have been divorced (for whatever reason), yet believers somehow think because they are “straight” it doesn’t apply to them.. When’s the last time you’ve heard a sermon on that? I can tell you I’m a musician who plays at multiple denominations (and have consistantly done this for 35 years) and I NEVER hear a sermon on divorce and remarriage, yet I monthly hear something about homosexuality and I really get sick of it. In the Bible Belt (south), it’s almost hatred in the churches (as if hate is going to “win them over”. Sorry I don’t buy that! I’ve NEVER heard a sermon in my life forbidding remarriage (while the spouse is still alive). Why? Because 501c3’s are in it for the money and entertainment….let’s be honest. In the US, nowadays if you aren’t a megachurch with good “entertainment”….I mean music “praise and worship” you won’t survive. Believers are freakin shallow over here now and are CLUELESS about the Bible. If you challenge them on ANYTHING, they will regurgitate what they’ve heard behind the pulpit but fall flat on their faces if you ask for Scripture to back it up or get into doctrine. Most of them haven’t cracked open a Bible in a decade or more (unless they are under the influence of a preacher’s sermon on Sunday which are usually twisted to whatever the pastor believes) and they don’t know what a true Berean is and that we are CALLED to “search the Scriptures daily”. If it comes out of the preachers mouth it must be right….right? WRONG! I’ve actually challenged preachers one on one to have an open dialogue about stuff like this and they just tell me “if you don’t like it leave”. Most can’t even handle church members questioning anything that comes out of their mouths. I’ve recently left the praise and worship area and focused more on Bible teaching because of this. If you are going to take this stance, then you have to take it for the straight believers too (of which I am and have been happily married for 26 years which makes me a dinasour in the church nowadays). The Bible is clear throughout the new testament that one must remain single if they separate from their spouse.

      • Siu Churches

        Rather than not honouring the Word….maybe they want us to embody it.

      • Nead H Doon

        So over 43 species of animals in the natural world are committing sin?

        • Steve McCormick

          Yes, unless they sacrifice a human.

        • RWilliams

          Animals are incapable of sin…. I’m not at all following your logic. Human beings are created in the image of God with logic, reason, conscience, a soul….. If we want to take the nature route let’s follow the logic for a minute.

          If a male lion finds a female lion that he wants to take as his mate, he will proceed to kill that lion’s current mate and any and all children that they have produced. He then takes the female and begins a new pride.

          If you want to compare nature to humanity, things will get real crazy real quick

    • Siu Churches

      God calls us only to love and pray!
      It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict!
      God is the best and only righteous all knowing God.

      • Maria Todd

        Thanks for your gracious response.

  • RPE

    THANK YOU!!!! These are so akin to the thoughts that have been running through my mind, just today! Your inspired thoughts are refreshing and encouraging…

  • Donna Dunn

    My son is gay and does not feel comfortable in church any longer. He loved going and then when he felt the judgement against him, he stopped and now is bitter because he misses coming. He loved praise and worship and now he avoids it. He is a Christian not “Non-Christian” and should be only shown love and not peoples judgement. I am sad and struggling myself as the church is driving the LGBT christian community to become non-Christians.

    • Grannie Q

      I am so sorry Donna, in our church we love all who enter, no judgement; But we do hate the sin… In other words, we that lust are loved, the sin is hated; we that covet are loved, the sin is hated. We recognize that all are sinners but we Know Jesus died for us, each one of us; we know that we can not cleanse ourselves, we will live and die in sin but our Lord will redeem us… Personally I see the big problem not with Christians or LGBT’s but with the government passing laws that make are making us, the Christian Community the “bad” guys… We as Christians must put our Lord and His Word first and the laws of man second; this is where I see the biggest problem. May God Bless you and your son and grant you peace.

      • Donna Dunn

        Why do you say Christian community and LGBT community as if they are two separate groups. Are you saying a gay man or woman can not be part of a Christian community?

        • Grannie Q

          Not at all Donna, sorry you understood my post that way… In our Church we say “We are all sinners who come to the foot of the cross, Jesus came to redeem the sinners not the saints” We recognize that we are all sinners thus all are welcome… We do NOT condone the sin, I ask forgiveness for my many sins daily and “try”(& usually fail) to stop sinning. We celebrate the saving grace our Lord and Savior extends to all by His death and resurrection…

        • kinna

          the lgbt community and the christian community cannot work together as one. you cannot be both a self-professed homosexual and a christian. that would be the same thing as taking pride in my sin rather than coming into repentance. god is JUST, not FAIR. as christians, we cannot rely of the cultural movement of the world to judge what is fair or not, but read the living word of god. i may love my homosexual friends, but love is not kindness, tolerance, or compassion. we must intervene in their lives to show them truth because that is what jesus did. he said “be holy for i am holy”. jesus has called us into a life of cleanliness. and i believe that once we really die to ourselves and understand the father heart of god, we will be able lay ourselves down. i know this is no easy process to deny yourself, but it is through that that jesus may receive all the glory. everyone is welcome into the church, but as a growing christian, you are called to leave your life of sin behind.

          • Donna Dunn

            Well that was a whole lot of ugly all wrapped up into a imperfect person that should let God do the judging, and worry about yourself only. I do not wish to hear your unkind selfish responses. My son in a gay Christian and there are a TON more where he came from… THANK GOD!!!

          • Sara

            Donna I too have a daughter that is gay. She is married to her partner and she believes in God as well. But she does not regularly attend church and is wrestling with God about her love partner and God’s word. I love my daughter and I show love to her and her partner. We have Sunday dinners and lake outings. My daughter and I talk about God, her relationship with Jesus and her choices. I say little and pray a lot. And I don’t actually want her to find a church that accepts her lifestyle choice. Just as I don’t want to attend a church that would support me in a choice to gossip regularly about other people, or steal, or be greedy, or be in a sexually active heterosexual relationship outside of marriage. I want a church that guides me to behave in a way that honours Jesus and helps me to be a better Christ follower. I want a church that holds me to account for my walk with God not in a judgemental or unkind way but preaches God’s truth and keeps shining light on the dark corners of my soul, supporting me to walk with Jesus in a deeper, more caring and loving way with integrity.
            This is how I grow my relationship with Jesus. My daughter’s discomfort within the church is the same as mine when I listen to the sermon or attend my small group bible study and am convicted by the Holy Spirit of something I am doing that outside of what Jesus shows me in the bible. The difference is I am willing to feel the discomfort and recognize the Holy Spirit is telling me it is important I go back to scripture seek wise counsel and make different choices. My daughter is uncomfortable in church because she’s making choices that she knows fall outside of God’s loving and caring plan for her. She fights against the conviction of the Holy Spirit to justify her choices. It is an uncomfortable place for a believer to be no matter what the Holy Spirit is speaking on. I would not want God ‘s work in my daughter to be diminished by a church that made her comfortable to be in a relationship with God that is less than it should or could be.
            I actively pray for the light to shine in my daughter’s heart to help her find her way back into a deeper connection with Jesus however He chooses to do it, and I pray that she is uncomfortable as she needs to be for the Holy Spirit to work within her. And I pray that the Holy Spirit never stops making her, or me, uncomfortable when either of us is not living up to the guidance of God’s word and His plan for our lives. I trust God’s word, Jesus’ example and the Holy Spirit to help me and my daughter to find our way. None of that means I have to judge or condemn my daughter and her partner or the church. I work out my salvation with fear and trembling and look to the plank in my eye and remove it first. I trust God to help my daughter and others see their own planks whatever they may be. It is, for me, the hardest part of parenting: knowing my child hurts, wanting it to be made right and having to let go and trust God to do what I cannot. May the Holy Spirit comfort you as you ache and weep for the hurt your child feels.

          • rosario

            Sarah, you are my hero. Well said. You are the kind of a chistian believer that is making a difference in this world. God will answer your prayers. You helped me to understand how to treat and talk to our friends of any person that is struggling about it. Blessings to you and your daughter.

          • Jentri

            Sara, that post is beautiful and I believe embodies exactly what the church as a whole is or at least should be striving to do. I pray God continues to give you a heart that yearns for more for your daughter and others. I also pray you find the courage to share your story with as many people as you can as I feel you have been given wisdom and discerning in the midst of a situation that will allow you a stage for speaking. You in no way come across as “hateful” but you also do not compromise Bible truths. God bless you.

          • Mattie

            I believe as you do. it truly hurts my heart because my church is one that does not teach anything. They accept without teaching. I see the lives of people not being enhanced in their walk with Christ. I am struggling myself. I feel like I want to leave after 40 years because I don’t know if they are even teaching Christ or the Bible anymore. I don’t know what the church stands for or believe. How can one get to know the Lord or increase in their faith if the preacher is not a practitioner?

          • Jean H Steele

            There is a church around the corner from me that has a marquee out in front that says they accept everyone because that’s what Jesus did.

          • Jean H Steele

            Intervene? I thought we are all supposed to be children of God. So are you saying that God has made a mistake when somebody is born homosexual? You are only kidding yourself if you think homosexuality is a choice. I have an elderly cousin who is gay, and I asked him not too long ago if it was a choice that he had made. He replied that why would he choose a life of abuse, name-calling and self-righteous “Christian” judgment? And just so you know, there ARE churches that accept everybody because that’s what Jesus did. Oh yes, and my cousin is an atheist. No wonder!

          • Sharon H.

            I disagree with your statement that “you cannot be both a self-professed homosexual and a christian”. It is not a sin to be a homosexual any more than it is a sin to be heterosexual. I am a self-professed heterosexual and a Christian. I am single and not sexually active, but Christ does not judge me as to whom I am attracted. Those with same-sex attraction most certainly can be Christ-followers!

  • Jrieds

    There is a thing called righteous judgment. This occurs when the end goal is not to tear a person down but to ultimately help him.

    • Dustin

      I’ve heard this from many people but it’s simply not our place. Where you see righteous judgment others just see judgment. If you truly feel you are called to judge by God then so be it, but it will do no earthly or heavenly good. It is ONLY to satisfy your ego, which appears to be on the line for many people when it comes to this subject. As if there is shame in admitting you were wrong to judge and turning back to God through love and acceptance. There is no shame, just strength and wisdom. The she comes from self serving judgment and doubling down on a hateful, bitter world view.

      • vanislescotty

        Dustin, while I agree with some of what you say, it’s interesting that you are judging someone for judging someone. Just a bit ironic.

  • Steven Weir

    I’m also not replying any more on a forum that allows censorship. The author is dishonest and is controlling what I say instead of responding to it. Cancelling this account, if you want to find me I’ll be in uncensored forums. Good-bye.

    • CB

      Please don’t reply to anyone anymore, Steven. Your vitriol is exactly what the author did not want, and trying to disguise it as a ‘free speech’ campaign is poor form indeed. In this context, the author’s ‘censorship’ of you is just an act of supervising manners (since people forget them when they start attacking those with an opposing view), NOT morals. Leave your diatribes elsewhere. Thank you.