I was recently reading the blog of JD Greear, pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, NC. Greear was asked the question, “Are Homosexuals Welcome to Your Church?” His response was…
poignant, clever, and true. He wrote,
[Yes,] there are homosexuals who frequent our church. They are welcome. Their sins are no different than mine. But to join our church you have to agree to live under Christ’s authority. If you are willing to submit to Him, and to cry out to Him for help from your sin, you will join a group of us experiencing healing from our sin.
Now, some ask, “Why single out this sin?” The answer is: we don’t. Or at least we try not to. If someone is in clear rebellion against God, refusing to surrender to Scripture, it does not matter what is their rebellion of choice—be it wife abuse, gossip, homosexuality, cheating on their taxes—they could not be a part of our church. The church is a group of repentant sinners, changed by Christ, struggling against the flesh to live the resurrection. But Christ can’t resurrect what you won’t call dead.
Why not make a statement about gluttony or pride? Because there is no controversy about those in the church. If there began to be a large movement to sanction gluttony as an alternate lifestyle, I hope we’d make a statement about it, too. Martin Luther said that the courage of a soldier is not shown by his ability to stand where there is no battle, but by his willingness to stand at precisely the place the battle is being fought. This is the place of battle in our culture. Do we fault Dietrich Bonhoeffer for ‘singling out’ the sin of anti-Semitism in 1940 Germany?
There’s also alot of talk in our culture about whether or not people are born homosexual and the subsequent implications of this. Greear puts an unusual, but insightful spin on this question. He closes with,
Were you born homosexual? I was born a selfish, God-hating, polygamous, jealous, angry bigot. Both of us need to be born again. (John 3:3. 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
Greear’s full article can be read here: “Are Homosexuals Welcome At Our Church?”