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March 27, 2013, 10:48 AM

A few thoughts on the "Gay Marriage" issue

 

     Those who know me well know that I don't often speak about "political" issues.  My rationale for this is that as a pastor and follower of Jesus, I do not wish to obscure the Gospel or to give the perception that the Lord of Glory and His teachings are a part of any contemporary political platform.  God has spoken clearly for Himself in the Bible, not on Fox News or MSNBC.  However, the "gay marriage" issue and especially the way it is being defended goes far beyond politics.  It has tremendous implications regarding my right as a believer to define right and wrong according to my understanding of Scripture.  If homosexuals are extended protection as a minority group under the law, will I be prosecuted for preaching and teaching that it is a sin?  This kind of legal prosecution (and persecution) is already taking place in other countries around the world (see Canada for example). 

     I disagree with many people on issues of ethics and morality, yet none of them (to my knowledge) have accused me of being a "hate-monger."  I have kindly, but firmly told many couples who are or were living together before marriage that this is wrong according to my understanding of Scripture. Surprisingly perhaps, none of them deemed me a "bigot."  The manner in which "gay marriage" is being framed as a matter of "civil rights" leads me to believe that this kind of persecution of Jesus-followers is coming for all who insist that homosexuality is a sin, even if we do so in kind and gentle way.  In all honesty, I am somewhat puzzled by this response. I have never advocated violence or "bullying" towards anyone.  I have personally welcomed people caught in this and many other forms of sin into the worship services and other ministries of each church I have served and will continue doing so.  In fact, were it not for people with serious, even chronic, sin problems, our church would be empty every Sunday - and someone else would need to preach! 

     At the same time, I do not believe that anybody is helped by refusing to call sin and wickedness what it is.  For the record, and so that I may be clear, homosexual behavior is only one of a host of sexual sins the Bible defines very clearly, including premarital sex, adultery, incest, rape and various other forms of lust.  Regardless of the consequences or whatever subsequent drop in approval I may face, I will continue to teach and preach that these and every other behavior which is contrary to the revealed will of God as found in the Scripture are sinful.  My fervent hope and prayer this week as we remember the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is that we might all find forgiveness and peace through the grace that comes from confession and repentance rather than the guilt and continued conflict that stems from denial and defensiveness.


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