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Inclusive or Permissive?

Let us not confuse inclusiveness with permissiveness.  After having a chat with our accessibility champion at Church I was left concerned that we are so desperate to ensure we are welcoming to all in our churches that we are forgetting our requirement as laid down in scripture to speak the truth. Ephesians 4:25 – Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.

Now I am not saying as soon as someone walks through the door of our churches we confront them with their sin, of course not.  But what I am saying is that if we market ourselves as LGBT “friendly” or “inclusive” churches we have to be clear as to what we mean by that.

My interpretation is that anyone who walks through the doors will be made welcome, not judged, included in all teaching and encouraged along their journey of discovery.  Through that process there will come times where sin will be discussed, where God’s design for men and women will be discussed and when we will talk about God’s grace, love and forgiveness.  These are the times that we as an inclusive church will then speak in love and truth. Yes, all are welcome here, but we are not going to “lie” to make people feel good about themselves when actually, telling the truth and supporting them in their discovery of God’s purpose for their lives is going to make them feel so much better about themselves in the long run.  Our role as the church family is to show God’s love and his call to obedience, allowing the Holy Spirit time to act in people’s lives.

Our accessibility champion’s interpretation was that we have to be welcoming as with mine, but that my emphasis on gospel truth made us un-welcoming.  I don’t believe that many members of the LGBT community want to be patronised in that way.  Yes, the movement may be outspoken, running from the truth of God’s word yet individuals seeking solace in church want to know more, they want to explore and they can only do that if we are prepared to speak in truth.

The emphasis, as always, is with how we speak truth and that has to be in a loving, non-judgmental way founded on prayer and supported by Christians who have solid roots in the faith and in God’s word.

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Unsure which voices to listen to??

This video really spoke to me.  The truth, may at first be shocking to some, but I believe it is the truth that Francis Chan is speaking.  In my journey, I have encountered church goers who have questioned my choices, misquoting the Bible or saying that it is not relevant anymore.  This clip is not about homosexuality but it is about knowing what Jesus said, recognising his word as the truth.

Wherever you are in your journey of discovery about God’s purpose for your life, if you are unsure who to listen to, be encouraged by this clip, read what Jesus said and it will open your heart and mind to his will and his purpose for your life now, and for eternity.

Center for Faith video – Dear Church I’m Gay

Thanks to the Center for Faith for putting this video together

dear church

 

Rewriting God’s rules is not an option

It’s good to share positive articles about Christianity and homosexuality and I found this one to be particularly helpful.

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/about/focus-findings/sexuality/10-things-everyone-should-know-about-a-christian-view-of-homosexuality

I particularly liked points 7 to 9:

7. Same-sex attraction in itself is not a sin – many people lose sight of this.  As with many things we encounter in life we will experience a temptation to sin.  However there are many of us who are able, with God’s grace, to overcome this particular temptation and remain obedient to God’s requirement for us all to live in celibacy unless we are married.

8.  Sexual intimacy is not a right – living in this generation it feels like we are living where people are heightened to their every right, what they should have, what they are entitled to and so on.  I love that this article places us clearly in the same bracket as the divorced, engaged or single Christians who also are called to exercise restraint as they too remain celibate.

9.  We cannot rewrite God’s rules – how often do we hear the argument that the Bible is outdated, that things have changed, that views on sexuality have changed and Christian should adapt. No, no , no…  We cannot rewrite God’s rules, his word is the same yesterday, today and forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silenced….

How ironic.  The film “Voices of the silenced” has been silenced before it’s debut showing.  Now, I clearly haven’t seen the film but read that this is a film with 15 testimonies of walking out of the homosexual lifestyle to faith.  The response of the LGBT community – fear.  Not that they would call it fear, they would (again) say that Christians are trying to “cure” those with same sex attraction and must be silenced.  But realistically Satan does not want the many who struggle with same sex attraction to know that there is another way.  He does not want those who want to explore their feelings access to God.  He doesn’t like freedom of speech and healthy debate.

Talk to Christians, like myself, who have walked this walk.  I know that same sex attraction is not an illness or a disease, it cannot be “cured”.  I also know that I have choice in my life.  I chose to explore faith, I chose to believe that God loved me, I chose to be obedient to his word, not because I was scared, not because I had to, but because I wanted to.  I choose to continue that walk, hard as it may be at times, but I choose it because what I have with God is greater than anything I could have with man. 

Please join me in praying that our voices will not be silenced, that we can speak up and speak out on this divisive topic and that we, as God’s people, can be a light in the darkness that continues to envelop that community.

No Tinkering!

Couldn’t agree more with this quote from Tozer.

Thoughts on Gay Pride

Thanks to Kris Vallotton for a great post on his Blog from Ken Williams on Gay Pride – certainly worth a read

http://krisvallotton.com/a-once-gay-persons-thoughts-on-gay-pride/

Talking to your kids about sex

Talking to your kids about sex is so important, if you’re not talking about it then who are they listening to? I have added a link below to a great article by Kris Vallotton.  Whilst this article doesn’t specifically cover how you talk to kids about homosexuality, it’s a great guide and starting point.  Be prepared for these conversations to be quite challenging and have your biblical perspective and answers ready.

http://krisvallotton.com/5-tips-for-teaching-your-kids-about-sex/

Where are those who are not deceived?

Wanted to share this poem I wrote today, encouraging Christians to be bold about speaking out.  I was inspired to write this after yet again seeing a TV interview accusing the church of homophobia.  When will we have the courage and boldness to stand up and be counted as Christians who believe and are obedient to God’s word?  It’s not homophobia to speak out in love and truth.

Truth and justice, send forth your Spirit, where are the loyal, where are those who do right?  Where are those who are not deceived, those who have openly received your word, where’s the respect, where are the obedient, stand up, move out of the darkness, the Lord is your light, stand up for all that is good and right, do not be disgraced and put to shame, claim the love of God, claim his forgiveness and turn your witness back to his saving grace, fear him as you seek his face, there is no one like him, we are all that are left of his chosen people, come, bring your offering to our King, see that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, learn to humbly submit and obey your God, guard your thoughts, protect your mind, bind his word on your heart, fasten his words around your neck, don’t let the world affect your stand, let God’s hand guide you, let his love fill you, we will never change this world by staying silent, don’t relent, don’t be content with mediocre, for sure that’s how Satan will choke us, church stand up, arise, fix your eyes firmly on your God, the truth is what will set us free, not liberality, stand up, unite, hold fast to God’s teaching, courageously be bold in your public speaking, for God is not seeking to hurt or shame, God is not looking to pile on the blame, his desire that we speak truth in love, his desire that not one of us be lost, he is the Lord, he is gathering his people to bring them home, the lame and the outcasts, the lost, no matter the cost he gives us the courage to speak about justice, to speak of sin, the Lord is on your side, no harm will come near, filled with his Spirit speak without fear

Sexual Sin – an eye opening sermon

How I wish I had watched this video a long time ago!  If you are unsure about God’s view on sexual sin, this video brings a strong message of love and support but most of all of truth.  Please do take some time to watch it.

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel

It was very frustrating this morning to hear a journalist comment ” I know a lot of Christians who don’t believe homosexuality is a sin”.

Put this into context, the debate was about Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats who refuses to answer the question, does he think homosexuality is a sin.  Tim is a Christian politician and avoids the direct question by answering that we are all sinners.

My frustration though is that Tim cannot guarantee that the Christian community will back him because the Christian community is divided.  I would urge him to answer in truth, yes I do believe that homosexuality is a sin.  This doesn’t mean he would condemn homosexuals, make policies against homosexuality or be homophobic in any way.  Indeed, as a Christian if he lives by the Bible he would be all out to love as Jesus did, so he would almost certainly be as supportive, if not more supportive than a non-Christian politician.

Speaking the truth is not wrong, judging is wrong.  Tim should feel free to speak God’s truth but also deserves to know that Christians within this country will support him with love and prayers as he is bold enough to speak out.

We are called not to be ashamed of the Gospel:

2 Timothy 1:8 – So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Are you sure you are reflecting God’s word in a truthful and loving manner?  Are you standing up for Gospel truths or scared to not conform to secular norms?  Let’s support Tim and other prominent Christians as they are obedient to God.  Let’s pray that as they speak the truth in love God, will use their words to effect change, to open eyes and to open doors.

Jesus never spoke about it….

I was reflecting yesterday on the fact that so many Christians (and non-Christians) will say that they are unsure about whether homosexuality is a sin because “Jesus never spoke about it”.  Today I discovered the scripture that turns that argument on its head!

  • Mark 7:20-23 – He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them.  For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

I suppose the argument that will be thrown back at me is that Homosexuality in a loving relationship is not sexual immorality.  But think of it this way.  The Jews, who Jesus was talking to, knew the Old Testament, they knew the law and they knew what it said in Leviticus 18 and 22 about homosexuality.  In their eyes homosexuality was clearly sexual immorality, Jesus did not have to spell this out to them.

  • Leviticus 18:22 – You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
  • Leviticus 20:13 – “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act;

I believe that Jesus wants us all to see that the choices we make are what defiles us.  Sometimes those choices are influenced by external factors.  I for one used to tell people that I was born gay.  It is only now that Jesus has saved me and I have had time to work this through that I can see the things that happened in my life that pushed me towards women.  I was not created gay, I was created in God’s image.  I was scarred along the way and I made my choices, that does not mean they were right or pleasing to God.

Jesus is clear about God’s purpose for us in marriage (Matthew 19:5-6) a man is to be joined to a woman.

Whilst Jesus was never recorded as saying homosexuality is a sin, that does not mean it is not a sin.  The Bible, God’s word, clearly tells us otherwise and I believe Jesus too tells us quite clearly in Mark 7 that we are defiled by immoral sexual choices which includes men sleeping with other men and women sleeping with other women.

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