Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Good challenge about a current issue

"Two conversations come to mind when I consider how churches should respond to the prospect that same-sex marriage may become legal nationwide this year.

A young man once told me that he never would have become a follower of Jesus Christ, and certainly would never have reached sobriety, if the church had required him to overcome his alcoholism before it welcomed him into the embrace of Christian community. In being loved by the church, he learned of the love of God and responded to the gospel. Then (and only then) was he empowered to overcome the desires that controlled him.
Sometime later, a young woman came to visit. She entered nervously, and eventually told me she had "come out" as a lesbian. Our conversation continued in a friendly vein, and I asked how her spiritual life was faring. She began to weep. It was the first time, she said, that one of her Christian friends had treated her as though she, a practicing lesbian, could continue to have a relationship with God.
Her church had told her she was cut off from the church and cut off from God until she repented and "converted" to heterosexuality. It reminded me of the recovering alcoholic. In that case, the church confessed the gospel, the Spirit convicted of sin, and the redemption of Christ transformed him. Yet in this case, the church was cutting a young woman off from engaging with God precisely when she needed to engage with him the most.
We know that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, yet we are too often unwilling to open up our lives to those who are caught in patterns of habitual sin.
When we are pressed for our opinions about same-sex marriage, we should affirm both the theological position that marriage is designed for the union of male and female, and the moral position that sexual relations outside of marital union transgress the generous will of God.
When we exclude and ostracize, we only make it more difficult for these men and women to hear the call of the God who made them in his image and for his glory. Let the church confess, let the Spirit convict, and let Christ redeem."
excerpt from an article written by Timothy Dalrymple in Christianity Today  on March 27, 2013