“Gay Members in the Church Directory” –Am I Missing Something Here?

If you have not seen this article in the Dallas Morning News, you can read the whole thing here. Here’s what’s going on:

Broadway Baptist Church has debated whether the directory should include gay couples, or gay people individually but not as couples, or whether to omit all individual and family photos.

Members were to vote Sunday after morning worship. But in a clear indication that they are divided over how accepting to be of homosexuality, they met for an hour and then postponed any decision until deacons make a recommendation on Feb. 24.

It appears from the article that Broadway Baptist Church is a Southern Baptist Church, although they claim to be “moderate.” (Does anyone is the SBC know about this?) It also apprears that professing homosexuals (and by that I mean unrepentant) have been allowed to be members at the church. However, this is not the issue…the fuss revolves around the question of “whether photographs of gay couples should be in the directory being assembled for the church’s anniversary.”

Brett Younger, senior pastor, said during Sunday morning’s worship service that some Broadway members believe homosexuality is a sin, based on certain Bible verses. Others think differently and note that Bible verses have been used to justify polygamy, slavery and the oppression of women, he said.

So, the question is not: should openly homosexual people be allowed to be members of the church…the question is: should we print their picture in the directory.

There are so many things to say here: Who are we worried about offending? Are we concerned that people will think the church is narrow-minded? Perhaps we should be more concerned with upholding a regenerate church membership than facing bad press. Perhaps we should be more concerned about the One who will come to judge both the living and the dead, by the sword of his mouth (His word!).

Our response to people who struggle with homosexuality should be the same response that we give to people who struggle with alcoholism or pornography. They are not in their own seperate category. We should love them and seek to minister to them, mainly by presenting them with the glorious gospel of Christ Jesus. Christ came for the sick (sinners), which is not a reference to homosexuals per se, but to every single human being (Romans 3:23). However, we would not allow an unrepentant drunk or adult film star to become a member of the church, and thereby be included in the witness of the gospel to the nations…would we?

May we be those who seek God’s approval as we are rebuked, reproved and trained in righteousnes by all the Scriptures!

(HT: Jason Williams)

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4 thoughts on ““Gay Members in the Church Directory” –Am I Missing Something Here?

  1. Hope says:

    From: “Rice_16093”
    To:
    Subject: my interpretation of the coC
    Date: Sunday, September 30, 2007 11:07 AM

    No one is asking you to condone or embrace the homosexual partnership for yourself, personally. As a heterosexual, I knew immediately that I could no longer worship publicly with a congregation after our minister found out one of the members of the church of Christ where he served was gay and had a monogamous relationship, (much longer than most heterosexual marriages, incidentally) and decided it was his “Christian” duty to counsel this member, and ultimately the gay member took his own life. I knew right then some things should be left up to our Creator to judge. With attitudes like yours, do you not recognize that you are a cheerleader for the anti gay activists who far too often take it upon themselves to torment emotionally and often physically, the gays for no other reason than being who they are. Why not preach cleaning up the heterosexual conduct i.e. red light districts, discretionary relationship, no-fault divorce, etc., or do you teach that the truth only becomes the truth when other people find out about it. At least if gays decide to no longer share a relationship with one another, they do not leave little children to suffer the collateral damage. How in the world would you feel if sometime in the future we learn that the gays do have a biological reason for their being gay. If nature can cause a glitch in so many of the characteristics that make up a human being, why can’t the hormones, testosterones, etc., be subject to a little quirky variation? And, how do you explain little babies born who are trans-gender? How awful you will feel if someday that is proven without a doubt. The church of Christ doctrine is too elite for me to subscribe to. It is almost like the members think they are the only true believers and believe the only truth. That is really painful for those who have family members, wonderful friends and loved ones, who for some reason think they have “found the way” and it is their mission to show you! In earthly terms this would be described as the ultimate “snobbish” way of thinking. I do not think a loving Creator would leave us with only a book much like “Finding Waldo”, and woe unto ye who do not understand and interpret it the same as the believers in your church. The Creator created the entire universe, everything, and everyone. I am ashamed that you have reduced Him to Someone who would in turn condemn everyone to Hell unless we see eye to eye on your method of praising Him. Please!

  2. Hope,

    Thank you for your comment. I agree that no one is asking me to partake in a homosexual relationship. My intention in this blog was to highlight the way this particular baptist church is handling their membership practices. So, the issue revolves around what we would call “regenerate church membership.” This simply means that those who join the church are actually converted or “born-again.” One characteristic of people who are born-again is that they do not engage in a life of continuted unrepentant sin. This is the key…I absolutely believe that a homosexual can be born again! However, that person would then begin the process of santification (becoming more and more like Jesus Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit). This happens with all who are converted…and let me emphasize that it is a process.

    So, I’m trying to make a distinction between someone who is openly homosexual (who feels like it is not condemned by Scripture–and is unwilling to repent and seek biblical counsel and accountability) and someone who knows that they struggle with homosexual tendencies (even if they are born with them!) but is willing to seek to “put to death the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit.” The latter of the two gives us a picture of what it means to be a Christian…justified before God, yet continually falling short and coming to Him in repentance and faith.

    So, if you detected any sort of “holier than thou” attitude in my previous post, I greatly apologize to you or to anyone that might see me setting forth a double standard. I am not trying to set homosexuality up to be the unforgivable sin.

    However, I am convinced that the local church should be made up of believers only, and churches that allow people to become members who are continually unrepentant in their sin are in disobedience to the New Testament.

    For example, in 1 Corinthians, chapter 5, the Apostle Paul is dealing with a similar situation. Someone in the church has had an affair with their step-mother! Paul does not encourage tolerance or privacy in this situation, but he expels this person from the church. His reasoning is not to boast in the holiness of the other believers there, but to save this person’s soul (verse 5)! This person will hopefully realize that he is not behaving like a Christian…and he would repent and come back to the church. He may still stuggle with sin, but when he is repentant, the church is instructed to welcome him back with open arms!

    This is the good news of Jesus Christ. We are all sinners (Rom. 3:23). We have all fallen short of the glory of God. We need a Savior–and Jesus meets that need. He lived a life without sin and then was punished for our transgressions. So, when we trust in Jesus and repent of our sins, we can be saved…so we don’t depend on our own righteousness, but upon His.

    So, it is actually unloving not to tell people what the Bible says. It is loving to proclaim the truth with gentleness and watch the gospel transform lives. That would be my desire for Broadway Baptist Church and for every person who does not know Jesus Christ.

    Perhaps I will have time to respond to other issues that you have raised in your comment. But for now, thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment.

  3. Hope,

    I can vouch for Travis and he is not on a mission to attack homosexuals. Travis has a high view of the Gospel and he has a loyalty to a pure church which seeks to be in accord with God’s truth.

    He’s not saying homosexuals are not welcome, but he is saying that to be a member of a church, one should not be living in unrepentant sin. In Romans 1:23-28, Paul makes it clear that man has exchanged the truth of God for a lie and that homosexual relations are unnatural and a direct reversal from how God made us as male and female. A person that lives a life of homosexuality unrepentantly is not showing evidence of a new life or a new heart. That person is in grave danger and the “christian response” is to love them by telling them that danger they are in. When we stand before God we will not have a change to repent of that sin. It will be too late.

    You stated, “Why not preach cleaning up the heterosexual conduct i.e. red light districts, discretionary relationship, no-fault divorce, etc., or do you teach that the truth only becomes the truth when other people find out about it.”

    I can assure you that Travis and others at our church seek to address all aspects of sin. Like Travis said, if we had a member of our church living in sin with no desire to repent of that sin, we would love them by applying 1 Corinthians 5 to the situation. Travis addressed the homosexual issue because that is what was at stake for Broadway Baptist Church.

    Unfortunately many people today take their notion on truth from what seems relevant to the culture or what seems less offensive. All truth must start with God and we must take everything back to the Bible. It is concerning when churches back away from the Bible and seek to be more like society.

    Travis is not “reducing the Creator” rather he is seeking to remain obedient and loyal to the Creator. God is who He is and not who we want Him to be. For us to know Him for who He is we must seek to know Him through His revealed Word.

  4. Layne says:

    It was interesting to read about this issue occurring at Broadway Baptist Church. Another issue (related to Pastor Younger and BBC) had popped up on the issue of secular science (evolution) vs. God’s Word in the first chapters of Genesis. It seems as if some churches, or maybe many churches, are not putting complete trust in God’s Word from beginning to end. As I have read (the Bible) more and more the last few months, my eyes have been opened that all of the Bible can be trusted as complete accuracy, authority, and loving Word. Here are the links to Pastor Younger’s positions and the counter argument by one of the leaders (Mark Looy) at Answers in Genesis:

    Looy article: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0822misrepresented.asp

    Brett Younger article:
    http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=5252

    Have a great day!

    Layne

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