A Scripture-Principled and Pastoral-Sensitive Church Response to Homosexual Activism

It would be good take note of the background of the ETHOS Forum on Human Sexuality, Marriage & the Church. The Church in Singapore and homosexual activists are locked in a contestation to determine whether homosexuality should be normalized in society. At the centre of this dispute is whether section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code, which criminalizes male homosexual sex should be repealed.*

Dr. Roland Chia writes in his latest article published in ETHOS, “Normalizing Homosexuality: How Should Christians Respond?”

The main strategy of these advocates is to convince the world that homosexuality is normal, that people who are same-sex attracted are born that way. Many have appealed to the modern concept of sexual orientation and insist that the genetic and neurological basis for homosexuality is well supported by science.

If homosexual orientation has a biological basis, then discrimination against people with same-sex attraction amounts to bigotry and the infringement of their fundamental rights and liberties – so goes the argument.

How should Christians respond to the obvious agenda of LGBT activists to normalize homosexuality in society? Because of the multi-faceted nature of the LGBT strategy, the Christian response must take different forms and be made at various levels of society.

Continue reading “A Scripture-Principled and Pastoral-Sensitive Church Response to Homosexual Activism”

ETHOS Conference: Human Sexuality, Marriage & the Church

Why is it the case that our local churches have avoided addressing the issue of homosexuality from the pulpit even though homosexuality has become (1) the defining social issue for many young people today, (2) an opportunity for virtue signaling for academicians, and (3) the celebrated cause championed by media celebrities and social activists in the West?

Perhaps, many church leaders hesitate to speak as they do not have adequate knowledge of the psychological and social scientific aspects of homosexuality. Their hesitation is exacerbated when the traditional Christian understanding of sexuality is challenged by sophisticated Western liberal theologians who offer novel readings of the Bible which purportedly support the case for homosexuality. Finally, church leaders are afraid of being accused of lacking pastoral sensitivity, or worse, being judgmental should they uphold the orthodox biblical teaching of heterosexual marriage.

Pastors seeking to be better informed theologically and better equipped  to minister to young people grappling with the issue of sexuality will benefit from  the videos lectures of the 2016 Conference on “Human Sexuality, Marriage & the Church” by ETHOS Institute for Public Christianity (which is sponsored by the Singapore National Council of Churches, Trinity Theological College and the Bible Society of Singapore). Continue reading “ETHOS Conference: Human Sexuality, Marriage & the Church”

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

Continue reading “Should Homosexuals be Accepted into Christian Fellowship and Holy Communion?”

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:

Continue reading “Support for Homosexuality Logically Leads to Support for Polygamy”

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.

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

Disney’s Delicate Homosexual Moment

According to the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia, Walt Disney’s movie, Beauty and the Beast “has been approved…with a minor cut.” But it was the “most unkindest cut of all” for Disney.  So it decided that it will simply pull its latest movie from Malaysian distribution rather than allow the movie’s so-called “gay moment” to be censored.

Beauty and the Beast Postponed or Banned?

Hmm, one wonders: Is Disney saying that the “gay moment” is so essential to the movie that it must not be touched? This would only confirm the suspicion that Disney has a homosexual agenda. It would add satisfaction to the Malaysian Film Censorship Board that it has indeed got the cut right. Continue reading “Disney’s Delicate Homosexual Moment”

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”

Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 2

Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 2. This article has two parts. For Part 1 – LINK

Homosexuality and the Church

Introduction

There are some theological and pastoral issues that are not approached with joy because of their tendency to polarise believers and even cause churches to split. Homosexuality is an example of such an issue. The debate on the question of homosexuality has been raging in many churches across the denominations for several decades. Sometimes these debates have been reduced to nothing more than heated sloganeering on both sides. Statements like ‘The Bible is clear …’ and ‘the Gospel is inclusive …’ are often repeated, while the substance of the debate is avoided or played down. Such approaches, which generate more heat than light, are often not only unhelpful but are also counter-productive and damaging. The assumptions that sometimes accompany such slogans are that Christian identity and the unity of the church has to do with this issue alone. There is a pressing need for discussion on homosexuality and the church to be located within the larger context of human sexuality and Christian discipleship. Continue reading “Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 2”