I was recently in conversation with a UMC Pastor that held the Bill Clinton approach to the homosexual issue in the United Methodist Church; “” Don’t ask, don’t tell.” As the lead pastor of a growing church his answer was simply not to address the issue publicly, and in fact to skirt around it if need be. The difficult part is that taking a stance on one side or the other could fracture the core of the church causing many to leave. It can also fracture our family structure, especially when the issue involves a loved one in our own house. It is an issue that sharply divides our hearts and culture. So, to go back a few years and approach the issue; “what would Jesus do?”
Let’s break it down into bite size chunks: first, yes, God wants all of His creation to be with Him in an eternal loving relationship for all of eternity. This includes all people, young, old, black, white, straight, homosexual, bi-sexual, questioning, whatever. God never created one person that He didn’t want to include in His heavenly family forever. Let the record show that God loves all people, through all time, in all states of existence. But there is a condition called sin, or rebellion, or pride, and this condition separates us from a holy and perfect God. God loves us but due to our sinful nature we are eternally separated from Him. So now what?
As a perfect God, he does not leave us alone in our fallen state, He offers us redemption. The first step of taking God up on His offer of redemption is to admit that we need it! If I don’t see or admit that I have sinned then how can I do my part which is simply to accept His sacrifice and repent? To repent means to have a change of heart, to want to have not sinned, to desire to not sin if we had the opportunity to live those moments over again. It would be absolutely wrong of God to create humankind in His image yet imperfect and not offer humankind the opportunity to be forgiven. In reality, our decision to accept His sacrifice and repent is part of the creation process. God is still “creating” you!
But where do we get our sense of what’s right and wrong? What determines what is acceptable or not? In other words, where is truth? Where is the dividing line of acceptable behavior and sinful behavior? Is it left up to each person, society or culture? Has God given us the principles of righteousness and holiness somewhere or are we left in the dark to figure it out for ourselves?
For centuries Christianity has accepted that the Bible is God’s holy and perfect Word for humankind. We have accepted the authorship of the Bible as being God inspired through various writers and have taken God’s Word at face value when it has told us of its perfect harmony with the holiness of God. So why all of a sudden has our stance in the church changed? Is it not telling us what we want to hear? So, as an example, if the Bible is no longer correct when it comes to sexuality what else needs our attention?
NOTE TO SELF: decision time