Should Homosexuals be Accepted into Christian Fellowship and Holy Communion?

A Question posed by a reader: “I think the most challenging lowest denominator for me is when a Bible believing Christian says “when I read the Bible sincerely I find a God who accepts same sex marriage but of course it must be monogamous and there should be no infidelity in that marriage (such infidelity would be a sin). I also accept accountability for all other sins including pre-marital sex”. My challenge is even though I disagree with this brother or sister on his/her view of same sex marriage, should I accept him/her into the fellowship of the church and the Lord’s table? Tough one for me.”

Answer: The short answer is that persons who feel same sex attraction, but choose sexual celibacy and abstinence from homosexual practices out of obedience to the teaching of Scripture should be accepted into the fellowship of the church, including the Holy Communion. Indeed, the church should learn to love and give support to encourage such believers to grow in the Lord (The question of the reparative therapy is a matter to be discussed separately).

First, rather than reinvent the wheel, I shall quote Stanley Grenz  from an earlier posts:

Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part .1
Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part .2

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Support for Homosexuality Logically Leads to Support for Polygamy

It is fun to read satire, but I usually avoid sharing links to satirical websites as many internet readers are too lazy to follow through with a few additional ‘clicks’ on the menu to double check the background info needed to ferret out genuine from mischievous satirical websites.
 
Remember, the Devil once tempted the Lord with the opening remark, “It is written.” Nowadays, he has a temptation-software-upgrade – “It is written in the Internet.”
 
But the ironic observation of Babylon Bee (a satirical website) is right on target about the biblical view of marriage and family of the Nashville Statement:

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Nashville Statement on Biblical Sexuality: Different Takes by Robert Gagnon and Michael Bird

Related Post: Nashville Statement (2017): A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality

[If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point. The Apocryphal Martin Luther]

The Nashville Statement on Biblical sexuality does not answer all the questions that have arisen from the homosexual controversy. It is certainly not a complete, much less a perfect Statement. The purpose of any public statement is defined and delimited by its time and context. Like the historic creeds, it does not aim at full exposition of doctrine as to define the core beliefs and the boundaries of reflection.

Some evangelicals would like to suggest ways to sharpen what is basically an excellent statement. Others express concerns that it is not sufficiently pastoral. Still others, are worried that young people may misunderstand and therefore are put off by the Statement since the media has been effective in convincing many young people that being ‘gay’ does not necessarily suggest a promiscuous lifestyle. These are legitimate concerns. However, public statements have to navigate the fine balance between being concise and being comprehensive. We also need to keep in mind the central goals of the statement and its intended audience. Continue reading “Nashville Statement on Biblical Sexuality: Different Takes by Robert Gagnon and Michael Bird”

NASHVILLE STATEMENT (2017): A COALITION FOR BIBLICAL SEXUALITY

Statement on Biblical Sexuality by CBMW.Org (The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) and The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

As many young people are adopting homosexual freedom as the defining cause of their generation, it is good that Evangelical leaders begin the NASHVILLE STATEMENT (2017) with the following affirmations:

We believe that God’s design for his creation and his way of salvation serve to bring him the greatest glory and bring us the greatest good. God’s good plan provides us with the greatest freedom. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it in overflowing measure. He is for us and not against us. Therefore, in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture, we offer the following affirmations and denials.

Article 1

WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.
WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God

 

Article 2

WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.
WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.

To read, download or sign to affirm the original statement NASHVILLE STATEMENT (2017)  by CBMW.Org (A coalition for Biblical Sexuality) and The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

You may note that many of the original signatories of the Statement are outstanding Evangelical leaders.

Continue reading “NASHVILLE STATEMENT (2017): A COALITION FOR BIBLICAL SEXUALITY”

Claim that Homosexuals are “Born that Way” not Supported by Scientific Evidence

A new study in the United States says that homosexuals are not ‘Born that Way’ as sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are “born that way”—is not supported by scientific evidence.
The 144-page study is written by Dr. Lawrence Mayer from the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Dr. Paul R. McHugh who is a renowned psychiatrist and former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Link to the Executive Summary of the Study

Homosexual Study New Atlantis Executive Summary

Excerpts:
Part One: Sexual Orientation

  • The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are “born that way”—is not supported by scientific evidence.
  • While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviors and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation. While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified by researchers, such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether these differences are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors.

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Going Public with Lesslie Newbigin: Public Theology and Social Engagement in an Islamic Context

Thesis: Regarding both the commonality and the crucial difference in the way Christianity and Islam approach public doctrine and the ordering of society – “The issue of public doctrine cannot be evaded…Muslims and Christians share a common belief that life is not to be understood or managed without reference to God…Christianity and Islam have differing beliefs about how God rules in human affairs. The heart of the difference is in the fact of the cross. The Prophet rode into Mecca to conquer; Jesus rode into Jerusalem to die. The crux lies there. And that means that Christians cannot use coercion in the struggle between two different ultimate faiths. But struggle there must be. The field is the whole of our public doctrine.

That is to say, while Christianity and Islam agree on the theistic foundation for public morals, they disagree on how public morals should be exemplified and regulated, especially in a plural society. In particular, contemporary Christianity gives priority to embodying moral ideals rather than imposing moral rules and regulations backed by punitive measures. The basis for this Christian approach rests on the understanding that the church’s exemplary moral life best represents how the gospel redeems culture. Continue reading “Going Public with Lesslie Newbigin: Public Theology and Social Engagement in an Islamic Context”

Creation Care and Renewal

Prologue: CNN survey shows rural Malaysians find haze level acceptable!
CNN conducted a nation-wide survey among rural Malaysians with the question, “What do you think of the haze?” The overwhelming answer from the Malay farmers was, “Asap tebal”.

To assist Malaysians who are confused by the discrepancy between hazy news and reality, Creation News Network invites its subscribers to read and comment on this Op-ed,  “Creation Care and Renewal” written by its chief correspondent, Ng Kam Weng

Precis: Creation is not to be rendered secondary in God’s salvation. Creation retains its integrity as the present sphere of human stewardship; it is the sacramental reminder of the hope for glory.
We see the whole of creation infused with God’s presence and, indeed, the creation itself is sometimes understood as the “temple of God” in the broadest sense of that expression.  We care for the creation precisely because God’s presence fills it and he has made it the dwelling place of those created in his image.  By caring for the “house” we honor the “builder of the house.”  Creation care becomes a part of what it means to love and honor God.

Related Post: Co-Creator or Priestly Steward: Theological Perspectives on Biotechnology and the Perfectibility of Man LINK

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Kairos Dialogue Network Conference on Shaping a Shared Future in Malaysia

Kairos Dialogue Network would like to invite Christians in Malaysia to a one day conference on Saturday, 11 July 2015 at Luther Centre.

The Facebook link is here:  https://www.facebook.com/kairosdialoguenetwork/posts/884292154960172  LINK

The purpose of this conference is to launch and share a Christian social vision for a shared future in Malaysia.  Kairos Dialogue Network invites all Christians from different denominations to support one another and commit themselves towards transformative actions at the individual, church, community, and national levels.

For more information on the programme and speakers please refer to the attachment with this email. Continue reading “Kairos Dialogue Network Conference on Shaping a Shared Future in Malaysia”

Homosexuality and Respect for Democratic Rights: YES, BUT – The Sociological Minimum

The Bible considers homosexual practice sinful since it violates God’s moral order (using Biblical language), or natural moral order (using language of public discourse). See earlier post, LINK.  Still, there is no need to single out homosexual activity for disapprobation as it is listed as one sin amongst many other sins. This theological truth is foundational for Christian moral teaching, but Christians need to supplement theological truth with sociological insights when they address the homosexual controversy in public discourse. In this spirit I offer the following propositions. Continue reading “Homosexuality and Respect for Democratic Rights: YES, BUT – The Sociological Minimum”