I just finished preaching a series entitled Untouchables: You've Thought About It, We're Talking About It. The series went well overall. I preached on prejudice, sex, and homosexuality. The last, as you can expect, was a little flammable.
Some qualifiers here.
1. I believe that the Bible is the divine word of God.
2. I am not a fundamentalist. You won't find me carrying signs about who should go to hell because of their sin...or you won't find me (insert fundamentalist activity here.)
3. I believe that, as Christians, we need to be able to discuss topics that affect our lives and our world. Homosexuality is one of those topics.
Here is the sermon in a nutshell:
1. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:18-32, and others)
2. Homosexual Orientation is not a sin...homosexual lifestyle is (the same-sex physical relationship) Even a heterosexual is tempted to have inappropriate sexual relations.
Then I focused on God's view of sin...and how the church should respond...
1. There is no heirarchy to sin...all sin leaves us short of God's standard.
2. Our response as Christians is to:
a. Not to be judging (how can we point out a speck in someone else's eye when there is a plank in our own?)
b. To Love...actions speak louder than words. We need to show love to homosexuals and all those different than us.
c. Create a Church that is a Sanctuary for Sinners. Jesus said that the it is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. As a church, we need to create community where the sinner (all sinners) can come and be known, experience fellowship, and experience God's grace and forgiveness through community.
Well, as one would imagine, people heard all sorts of stuff that wasn't in my sermon. The most frustrating thing of all is those who say homosexuality is not a sin. I read, and read, and read, and can't come up with any other conclusion. What is next? Saying the stealing isn't a sin? Or cheating on your wife?
It will be interesting over the course of the next couple of weeks to see the ramifications of the sermon. There were several homosexuals in attendance, and they were a little upset. But I hope some good discusion can come from this. We need not shy away from it.
Until next time,