Inviting Gays to Church?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by ForHisGlory, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. ForHisGlory

    ForHisGlory Puritan Board Freshman

    How are we, as followers of Christ, to respond to an unsaved, unbelieving gay couple who attend our church?

    I thought about explaining the situation, but I am more curious to hear your responses on how you would react to this situation with no knowledge of what is going on.

    Is the preaching of the gospel on Sunday mornings for believers only? Or is it open to the unbelieving public?

    Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts and wisdom.

    God bless.
     
  2. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    They either add to their condemnation or the Word of God will convert them.
     
  3. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    I would treat them like anyone else that is coming to our church that we don't know... I mean what if there is a young couple that is living together but not married... in the eyes of God it's the same couple... KWIM? So I would say welcome them.... love them... and let the preaching of God's Word do it's thing...
     
  4. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    Preach the gospel.

    Treat everyone with respect.

    Condem sin.

    Love your enemies.

    Ask yourself "Are these people my Samaritans?"
     
  5. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    A combination of the three posts before mine ;)
     
  6. Jon Lake

    Jon Lake Puritan Board Sophomore

    Let them hear the Gospel, spoken in unflinching truth but tempered with love.
     
  7. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    I agree with this as far as it goes... that is, they, just like the
    potential cohabiting heterosexual couple, should eventually feel
    very uncomfortable in their sin. Assuming the church preaches
    an appropriate seeking after holiness in the lives of the members,
    that sin is to be put off, and Christ to be put on, I can't imagine that
    they would be able very long to remain there comfortably. God willing,
    they would come to their senses and repent of their wickedness, or,
    if God so chooses, be hardened in their hearts and leave. The worst
    thing that could be done is for them to become settled in the notion
    that their lifestyle was welcome and approved.
     
  8. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    I think the pastor should not be afraid to speak out against homosexuality if the passage warrants. (Which I think could happen. I personally would be afraid to confront strangers about their specific, public sins.)

    I cannot imagine a gay couple just sitting in the pews like nothing's up. I'm sure adulterers do come to church, but not with the object of their adultery as a public expression. And promiscuous pre-married couples may also come to church, and sit with each other, but at most legit churches, they would be at least forced to pretend that they aren't sinning together.

    Paul confronted the whole church for allowing sexual immorality to remain.
    1 Corinthians 5:1
     
  9. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    Perhaps not referring to them as "Sodomites" might be a good first step to building that mutual trust and respect?
     
  10. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    :agree:

    Sin is a sin. Each of us has done it and will continue to do it until we leave this flesh. You may despise certain sins more than others (homosexuality in this case), but that does not mean that you were any better before your conversion.

    When Jesus spoke to the woman caught in audultery He did not refer to her as whore or some other derogatory remark. Why should we?

    The answer to the original question seems easy to me. Preach the Word. Never make an excuse for sin, but do not single them out either. When you single the couple out, you have taken the focus off of the sins of others which allows them to become comfortable in them. We should all hear from the Word and be convicted of our shortcomings and desire God's Holiness to infuse our lives.
     
  11. Jon Lake

    Jon Lake Puritan Board Sophomore

    Amen, I have a gay cousin, my wife and I love him dearly and would love him to be open to truth, this would include words like that, which would put off (to say the least)
     
  12. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    Praise God that they are in the congregation where, one trusts, the gospel and the law are preached unequivocally.

    All sin, homosexuality included, should be confronted plainly in the pulpit, but if it is through the "due use of ordinary means," and particularly through the "preaching of the holy Gospel," that the Spirit brings sinners to faith, then it is a good thing for sinners to be under the preaching of the Word.

    We're Calvinists here, aren't we? We should trust the Spirit to do his sovereign, powerful, singular work in the hearts and minds of all the sinners present. We should be just as upset with the respectable middle class husband who abuses his wife as we are the homosexual and we should be just as gracious to both.

    To the impenitent we preach the law. To the penitent and sorrowful we preach the gospel but not everyone in the congregation is ordained to the ministry! The congregation should be warm and accepting of persons as fellow sinners. We should confess our own sins and thereby set an example for other sinners. We should gently call each other to repentance in the light of the law that has been preached and to faith in the light of the gospel that has been preached. We should pray for ourselves and for fellow sinners to repent and trust the promises.

    In all this it is essential, however, that the law and gospel are preached clearly, distinctly, and biblically.
     
  13. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    Certainly not.

    However, after conversion, sin became real and recognizable. Those who are living a homosexual lifestyle are by and large convinced that their sin is NO sin. Therein lies a great deal of the difference. Same with cohabiting heterosexuals. Oftentimes they are convinced that their practice is fine before God. It's not about being "better" but rather about recognizing that sin is sin, and working throughout one's life to put it away. This is what we are called to do, and those who refuse in regard to one sin pattern or another, whether it be homosexuality, lying, stealing, or sinfully judging, are in a bad way and need to be gently confronted about that sin pattern by those who have care of their souls.
     
  14. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    One of the many joys of the doctrines of grace are that no matter how hardened we know people are to the Gospel, and how hopeless the task seems to us it is revealed to us that the most receptive "seeker" is no closer to accepting the Gospel than the most rebellious of libertines.

    Thank goodness that Grace is irresistible.

    It must be said that if sinners (us included) are neither offended nor humbled by the Gospel it is not being preached in all its fullness. In some ways any reaction is good, I would be most worried if people, including gays, showed no reaction in which case the Church has failed.

    10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. Mt 9:10-13
     
  15. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Befriend them, get to know them, appreciate what is good about them, and be honest about your own sinfulness and need for Jesus. We are no better than they are. And you don't need to attack the sexual behavior upfront. I would work more at exposing the cause of their sexual behavior, their idolatry. They are worshipping something else, which allows them to live that way. Identify and confront the idol with the truth of the gospel and the behavior will change in due time. :2cents:
     
  16. Jon Lake

    Jon Lake Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think also, this is a case where Pastoral care is vital! What is said in the pulpit is VERY important, some can become so entangled in certain sins that they need to be led out of this with the help of the church if they are willing to submit and take the steps that are needful.
     
  17. Richard King

    Richard King Puritan Board Senior

    Man there are some great answers here.

    Surely you should invite them as you should any sinner
    but love should be the reason and you want them to know that without a doubt.
     
  18. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    I totally agree. The whole "being better" thing was mainly referenced to the point of calling them Sodomites. I do not walk around and refer to people by their sins vs. their name.

    I feel that calling them Sodomites....

    1. Comes off like the Pharisee who thanks God he is not like the publican.

    2. It totally goes against what others are saying about rebuke in love.

    3. It surely is not being gently confronted like you advocate.


    Just my :2cents:
     
  19. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    In the "Confessions" by Augustine it is striking that despite a life before conversion involving heresy and sexual excess the sin that he is most appalled by is scrumping pears as a boy. Likewise in Bunyans "Grace abounding to the chief of sinners" it is difficult to objectively see his sins (such as playing "Cat" on Sundays) as particulary severe by comprison to his peers.

    It must be horendous to be burdened by sinful sexual desires at the heart of your flesh and to be convicted that such desires are sinful. Thank goodness that God gave marriage to hetrosexuals, it must be awful for those who are unable to channel their desires in such a way.
     
  20. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Piper and the elders at Bethlehem put a lot of good thought and prayer into how, as a church and ministry, to deal with the sin of homosexuality and those who practice it.

    It is not long and it is a good read.

    Read it here.
    -----Added 11/26/2008 at 11:48:59 EST-----
    Marriage is not a gift to heterosexuals alone. Marriage is a gift to mankind and a picture of covenant relationship.


     
  21. ForHisGlory

    ForHisGlory Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm really enjoying all your responses thus far. Thank you all for your thoughts.

    I guess another follow up question to all this is........is there ever a point in time when they would become unwelcomed? How is the church to handle this?
     
  22. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I would not worry about them feeling unwelcome really.

    Preach the Word and let the chips fall where they may.

    I think someone earlier correctly mentioned that if you are preaching the word either they will become convicted of their sins and repent or they will harden their hearts, get frustrated, and leave.
     
  23. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    Perhaps it's good to keep in mind that the biggest sin is not the sodomy itself but rebellion against God, setting oneself up as his or her own god. Of this we are all guilty. Sodomy is just one manifestation of that--more blatant than most--but still just a symptom, not the disease. We are all in the same boat, all sinners. One might say "My rebellion against God manifests as as greed and ambition; my friend's manifests as being hateful to minorities. How does your rebellion against God manifest itself?"
     
  24. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate



    :agree:
     
  25. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

    I like this - and this approach also applies nicely when dealing with immoral heterosexuals.
     
  26. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    Well, for one, if they desired to join the church while still living in their sin.
     
  27. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    I've had a few good discussions with homosexuals. In one I was even able to bring up sin and atonement - by saying that none of us are good enough to go to heaven. The guy wan't dffectually called at the moment but he did acknowlege that "all of us" need to seek forgiveness" without writing me off as a "gay-basher". He actually got pretty self-righteous when I pointed out that I wasn't any better than the infamous drunk who lived in our building. It was fascinating!
     
  28. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    I don't know -- I don't understand the need or usefulness to use one kind of language about someone when they're not around (behind their backs) and another when they are. Not calling them sodomites to their face doesn't mean too much to them if they know that's how we refer to them when they're not around. I think it kind of defeats the point.

    Thank you very much, however, for your thoughtful response.
     
  29. Tim

    Tim Puritan Board Graduate

    I have deleted my posts that contained the term "sodomite". Apparently, this is not seen as an acceptable term to use anymore, I have no desire to insist on something that is deemed so unacceptable by others. I don't wish to die on this hill. It's just not productive for me or anyone else who is participating in this thread.
     
  30. ericfromcowtown

    ericfromcowtown Puritan Board Sophomore

    Certainly sodomite is a biblical term. Correct? I don't think that there should be any disagreement, therefore, about whether the word can be used, but rather whether it's always the correct or wise term to use in a given situation.
     
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