Your Question # 13
[#13] I recently had a situation at church where a grandmother had a homosexual grandson ... He was clearly curious about Christ and wanted to be baptized! The church I attend would not baptize him! I`ve struggled with feeling anger and hurt that they denied this young man Gods grace ! Maybe that would have been the start to freedom from that bondage!! I feel the man will never go to church again ! Was this choice right !???
Thank you for your question. This is definitely a sensitive subject today. It would help me to answer more clearly if I knew whether or not the young man professed Christ as Savior. IF he did, I would hope that the pastor has counseled him about his lifestyle.
I`ll use myself as an example. Our church welcomes all who come seeking the Lord no matter what lifestyle they currently are living. However it is my goal and prayer that I will have the opportunity to speak to them about the saving grace of our Lord. Jesus welcomes all to come to Him, but in order to be saved from sin, we must come in repentance and faith. He said in Luke 13:3 `I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish`. I would not baptize the young man either if he has not nor wished to repent of his lifestyle.
We are living in a day when men and women want to go to heaven, but on their own terms. I know pastors who are being pressured to `get with the times`, and receive all who want to come to church `just as they are`, and to remain `just as they are`. Jesus calls all to come to Him, but come with the understanding that we `all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;` we all need to be changed.' Romans 3:23. We all must be saved from our sins, not continue to live in them unrepentant.
I hear of churches today making concessions with people`s lifestyles in order to show `Christian love`. Neither the Lord nor Scripture says for us to do any of this. The church is to hold up the standard of righteousness and purity, not to compromise truth and come `down` to the level of this world and accept works of unrighteousness. Jesus died on the cross to save man from this. The Bible says: `The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.` Romans 6:23.
The church, Pastors, and God`s people are indeed to love those living in any sinful lifestyle, when they come to church, but also desiring they come to the Lord and be saved. The Lord calls us to confession (1 John 1:9) and to turn from sin and walk in the new life that Jesus promised us.
Please read Ephesians 4:17-24 below...I highlighted a few places for emphasis.
17 `This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.`
You see, the church is called to be a witness of the transforming life that Jesus brings. If a person is coming to church to be baptized, join, and become a part of church life and ministry but still continues to live contrary to God`s word, then the church is basically no different than the world or any other worldly organization. We are called to be salt and light to those who walk in darkness.
Trust me when I say your church is not being unkind nor unloving in refusing to baptize someone who wants to remain in this lifestyle. It actually shows they love the Lord and desire to honor Him and His word. IF the church compromises truth, then the people will lose the anointing of God upon that ministry by quenching the Spirit. Also, ask yourself this question, `where do you draw the line` in what`s Godly. If a church compromises with worldly lifestyles in one area, how can they ever correct any other wrong without being called hypocritical or showing favoritism? It falls down a slippery slope with no hope of stopping the downward momentum.
A few other Scriptures to read: again, emphasis mine:
1 Cor 5:9-13 `I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person."
1 Tim 5:20 `Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
2 Tim 4:2-3 `Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.`
Titus 3:10-11 `Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.`
Jude 18-19 `how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
Rev 21:6-8 ` And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Rev 21:27 `But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Sorry for such a long answer, probably more info than you were asking, but because of the confusion and compromise we find in the world today and in some churches, I felt it important to give as much info as needed.
If indeed you are in a church that holds to biblical standards and is uncompromising in it`s position to walk in purity before God, I encourage you to thank God every day for your Pastor and the stance he has taken to lead your church in righteousness for the glory of God. The Lord will bless him, the church and you for it.
Your concern for the young man coming back to church is understandable, but don`t discount the grace of God in his life. To have accepted him in the church w/o repentance would have done greater damage because he may never have been saved. However to show him (and others) that his life is bound in sin MAY in fact lead him to ask questions about where he would spend eternity. I pray the pastor will keep his door open and the invitation to come and speak with him about this at anytime. Who knows what the Lord will do.