It all began with a conversation in the green room at church.
At this point in time, I had been deeply involved with the church I had been attending since 1997. Over the years, I had chosen to give my life to Jesus, was baptized by immersion, interned with an amazing woman of God and continued to grow in my faith. Many friendships were formed and it was an incredible time as I was driven by purpose and believed God had defined that purpose for me.
I also came with the belief that if someone professed to be a believer and served at the same church I did, we all held the same Biblical views. It was never a question. My pastor had preached on topics that I appreciated and I just loved how our focus was outward.
It’s important to know these things because on this beautiful Spring day in 2008, in the green room, my world would be rocked a bit.
California had just legalized same-sex marriage and boy was it a hot topic. So far, conversations I had had with fellow God-fearing friends was mutual. We were both saddened, somewhat in shock and also not entirely surprised by the decision that was made in that state. While there are many sins, this one was popular on the quickly growing social media site that rhymes with bakefook.
There was a very interesting emotional and mental convergence happening my mind – disbelief that society was normalizing homosexuality and also understanding that it shouldn’t be all too surprising as prophecy tells us that the world was going to get worse before Jesus came back.
So, when someone brought it up in the green room – which, by the way, is what we called the room the worship team used in between services – I was ready for a like minded and somber conversation. When the leader brought it up, I was bout to share my thoughts when someone else would say some words that would leave me tense. They were words in support of this topic and hoped that our state would soon follow. This was then followed by the leader, and several other team members, agreeing and stating how much they support their homosexual brothers and sisters with their choice.
Disappointment. Shock. Confusion. Three words that easily described my state of mind in that moment. Questions began to bubble up like – “How can they believe this is a good thing?” “Doesn’t the Bible say homosexuality is a sin?” “Maybe I read it wrong! Who can I go ask?” The following weeks and months would show me that these were not the only people in my church that felt this way. And it wasn’t just regular attenders – these were people who were leading, serving and had influence in others spiritual walks. I would spend hours in my Bible reading what it says about homosexuality. I would also be searching online to see what other Biblical scholars and churches said about it. What I found was more confusion because the churches that welcomed homosexuality had, what appeared to be, a decent argument according to scripture. However, this never settled well with me.
As the years went by, I found myself just sweeping this under the rug. After all, did it really matter? I believe it as a sin but, wasn’t sharing the gospel more important than arguing over what is sin and what isn’t? Oh how naive I was in my faith!
What happened in the green room would set me up for learning that just because someone professes to be a Christian, serves in a church or even pastors a church, that doesn’t mean they hold the Bible in the same light as I do. I didn’t know what to label this kind of thought towards scripture at the time but, I have learned since that this is a form of progressive christianity – one that embraces social norms and acceptance versus what the Holy Word of God says.
Let’s be clear – the word of God does give direction on homosexuality being a sin.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.1 Corinthians 6:9-10
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women are were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.Romans 1:26-27
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination…Lamentations 18:22
I won’t get too deep into the theology of this topic as it would warrant an entire blogging series. The arguments to this understanding that homosexuality is included in the list of sin, is that some people are born homosexual and have no control over it. Others have justified the relationships being okay as long as they are in a committed relationship. The problem with these ideologies is that we are, in fact, all born sinners. We all have desires that are contrary to the Bible. However, that doesn’t mean we enable the behavior. Human nature is to sin and that is why Jesus died on the cross for us – to save us from God’s wrath because of our sinful nature.
As I fast forward to 2021 and ponder the experiences I have had in previous churches – there is an urgent thought –
We cannot compromise what scripture says with what the world says.
It is so clear how the enemy has infiltrated our churches and Christian communities because of the deceit and lies that have spread throughout; causing confusion, misinterpretation and acceptance of sin. This is dangerous church!
The year 2020 has certainly been a time of revealing and refinement in the church. There will come a day when we stand before God and give an account for our life on earth. What will yours be? What will the church’s be?