In the Christian community we often find “super sins” that the majority of believers find to be so offensive that they are unwilling to reach out to anyone who has committed them. Homosexuals are often placed in this category of “super sin.” Many believe that the person with such an open sin against God cannot know God while struggling with or acting on that sin. Are these sins really so offensive that one cannot find God or even be a Christian and commit them or have committed them in their past? Is the same-sex attraction lifestyle one that it is not worth reaching unless a person has fully turned from that life to enter the church? Table for One Ministries asserts that church members are quick to welcome drug addicts, alcoholics, adulterers, even murderers before openly welcoming homosexuals. We at Table for One could not disagree more with this attitude of focusing on one sin differently than others.
Denominations have compromised Biblical integrity, for the sake of love, in order to welcome the LGBT community in its doors. The church should not bend its moral mandates in order to be open to all styles of life and preach the Gospel of love with no refinement of becoming like Christ. Christ came so that every person may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Christ died for whoever would believe in him would have eternal life and not die (John 3:16). So, when Christ commissions the church to go and make disciples and baptize them, the church must reach out to the LGBT community for the sake of making disciples and baptizing them (Matthew 28:19-20).
But how does the church interpret those in the LGBT community who claim to have a relationship with Christ and still continue to practice homosexuality? Several Scripture passages inform followers of Christ that they are not to judge another person’s faith commitment, yet their faith commitment can be measured by their actions and keeping the Lord’s commands (1 John 5:3). We protest that a commitment to Christ is only judged by God. Every person walking through the doors of a church should be treated the same, as a sinner separated from God and that separation can only be healed through acceptance of Christ. For a church to truly embrace the LGBT community, it must embrace the idea of bringing any type of sinner into its church. Only then can a church reach out to that community and others in aspirations of the Holy Spirit changing their sinful behavior.
Lastly, it is our belief that the only way a homosexual will change their sin is with the Holy Spirit working in their lives. For that to happen, the church needs to provide a place for homosexuals to learn about the truth of God’s Word and allow the Spirit to speak into their lives for change.
Some in the LGBT community who attend church will be those who professed Christ at a young age and still do. It is then the Church’s place to do what Christ has instructed–make disciples of each and every person within the church. It is the hope of any minister that those in their ministry will turn from sin and draw closer to Christ. Dealing with homosexuality is no different; the same prayer should be offered–that the person will turn from their sin and follow closer to Christ. The difference in this approach is to not isolate one specific sin which would only isolate the person. Giving the same grace to every sinner, no matter the sin, allows an environment for the Holy Spirit to work in all people’s lives to draw nearer to Christ.
So what do you think? How can the church be a place where those struggling with same-sex attraction can feel welcome to walk through the doors and hear the Word of God?