A week ago, I was treated to a trip to the North Carolina Baptist State Convention in Greensboro, NC. Some people would probably cringe at the thought of spending 2 days in what essentially boils down to one long business meeting, but I happen to really enjoy it. I've heard of "Robert's Rules of Order", but it's really cool to see them in action! Especially when you have deep threading as a vote on a motion to call the question on debate on a motion to amend an amendment! I actually voted against a motion to call the question on a debate, and the 3 folks with me thought I'd lost my mind. In hindsight, there was no reason not to end the debate/discussion, since my mind was already made up (which, I guess, is ultimately why you would probably not want to end discussion -- because you want to hear more in order to cast an informed vote), but I did enjoy hearing what each side was presenting.
The reason I wanted to post today is because I subscribed to "The Biblical Recorder" feed this morning, which is "The North Carolina Baptists' News Journal". There were some editorials on one of the more controversial topics of the convention -- that of what to do with "homosexual friendly" churches. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THIS IS A BIG QUESTION!!!!
First of all, let it be known that 1) I have homosexual friends and 2) I have a homosexual family member. So, the issue is somewhat personal for me. I talked to people in my church about my homosexual family member.
I KNOW, WITHOUT A DOUBT, THAT IF THAT FAMILY MEMBER WANTED TO COME TO OUR CHURCH, THOSE WHO KNOW WHO SHE IS WOULD WELCOME THEM WITH OPEN ARMS.
When I came back from the convention, my mother mentioned the big, bold headline that said something like State Baptists pass anti-gay ban. She wanted to know why we want to keep homosexuals out when we should be loving them. The media wants to skew the issue. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH KEEPING THEM OUT OF THE CHURCH! We're all sinners! It's not about picking and hating a group of people. I KNOW that homosexuals are welcome in our church. Heck, they can come sit with me and I wouldn't have a problem with it at all. I know that those in our congregation who UNDERSTAND WHO CHRIST IS AND WHAT HE'S ABOUT would have no problem with homosexuals in the church.
So what is it about? It's about standing on the Word of God. And God's Word says that there must be repentance in a believer's life! It doesn't matter what the sin is, there has to be repentance from it.
The question I have for the people who disagree with the Convention's amendment is, if your pastor got up before your congregation and said, "I've been having an affair for the past year. I don't see a problem with cheating on my wife, I will continue doing it, and I plan to continue being the pastor of this church", what would you do? Would you continue letting him pastor your church knowing this? What if he got before you and said he habitually looked at pornography? Stole? Cheated on his taxes? Killed people? Lied? Gossiped? What if he habitually did any of these things, and had no problem with it?
He doesn't need to lead the church. Period. And I believe that most people in the church would agree with that.
What if it wasn't your pastor, but someone who professed to know Christ and wanted to become a member of your church? And they got before the church and admitted they were involved in a sin and had no intention of turning away from it?
They don't need to become a member of the church, because there is no conversion!!! The Bible doesn't mince words on the issue:
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is
light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth . (1 John 1:5-6, NLT)
We cannot have the fellowship with God that He desires if we do not recognize our sin, whatever it is, and repent of it!
Yet, there are people who don't see the same thing with homosexuality.
When it comes to homosexuals, you're seen as an evil, evil monster if you stand on God's Word on the issue. We should just love one another.
Yes we should. Jesus welcomed every type of sinner. He ate with them, He talked with them, He called them as disciples and apostles.
And He expected them to turn from their sin.
We need to love everyone. We need to love them enough to tell them the Truth.
I could go on and on, but I'm hungry and I have a Christmas tree to purchase.
In closing, people seem to be more eager to do the second great commandment than the first....