At times we read or hear about young gay theological students who apply to be accepted as ministers in the church. The gay community loves to challenge the church to not only accept them, but they seem to want the church to grant them forgiveness and eternal life, as if the Church has the right to do that. That prerogative belongs to God.
What is the message of the Bible? Many people think it is only that your sins are forgiven through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. That is part of the message. The complete message is the Kingdom of God. God's Kingdom includes a new addition to the Divine Family. Originally the Trinity (existing eternally), were only God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. God planned to make two additions: a Bride for His only beloved Son, Jesus and an eternal dwelling place for the completed Family. We equate the Trinity to a family because, if we analyse it carefully, we see that the Holy Spirit, in a way, fulfils the role of a mother. He frets around making sure that the children of God understand His message. He goes along side to help and comfort and provides food (the Word of God feeds the spirits of the children of God), et cetera.
God created the dwelling or home for His future family, by creating the earth as a special planet in the universe. In the end the heavens and the earth will be renewed as God's eternal headquarters. All the people who loved Jesus through the ages, are the potential Bride. Just as a body has billions of cells with different functions, so the Bride will be the multitudes of saved people who have prepared themselves to be part of God's Kingdom. Just as a happy human marriage is about love, loyalty and exclusive fidelity in a close relationship, the marriage of Jesus will be characterised by those qualities. It specifically excludes divorce (that is why God tests us repeatedly in this life to make sure that we will not defect, or clamour for a divorce, since that marriage is eternal). That is why we find in the Bible that God regards the sexually immoral, adulterers, homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy and many others as unfit to be the Bride of Christ, unless they have been washed, sanctified and justified in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
We have to be very precise here, and look carefully at the homo issue from all sides.
- The first thing is that God has not given us the right to judge. God tells us we are not to judge those outside the church (1 Corinthians 5:12,13). That includes all the homosexuals outside the church. What about those inside the church? God is not in favour of us judging at all. 'Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you' (Matthew 7:1). See also Luke 6:37. Thus, according to Jesus, tread softly, think before you talk and be careful to judge. That is God's department, not ours. Ours is to see that we have a loving relationship with Jesus.
- The second thing is that only God (and Jesus) can forgive sins. See Jesus and the paralytic in Luke 5:17-26. When Jesus said to the paralytic that his sins are forgiven, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law murmured that He was blaspheming, because only God can forgive sins. Then Jesus demonstrated His Divinity by saying, "Which is easier: to say, ' Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?" The Church, individual congregations or believers do not have the ability to forgive sins in a way that opens heaven to others. It is not for us to judge, or to extend forgiveness.
- The third thing is whether the pattern of homosexuality fits with the picture of the eternal marriage of Jesus Christ? It doesn't, because the type of marriage unity that comes from God creates life. The unity of two men or two women is unfruitful and cannot create life. Despite that, homosexuals and others have many Scripture references to justify their behaviour. Whatever we do, arguing will not help. In the end it is the Holy Spirit and Scripture that will convince a person of sin, righteousness and judgement (John 16:8).
Personally I believe there are two types of homosexuals:
One group is really in anguish because they believe they are doomed to be homosexuals, but they struggle and try to get rid of it. They deserve prayer and sympathy and help, since they desperately want to please God.
The other group is the militant group. They want to impose their opinion on everybody, and are willing to pick a fight everywhere and with everyone. They are not that concerned about God. Watch out for them, and treat them fairly as one would treat other people. Many of them hate God, but that doesn't mean they deserve bad behaviour or to be insulted.
What about a homosexual aspiring to be a minister in the Church? That is a bit like a firm who wants to employ engineers because it is an engineering consultancy. Along comes a person who has been trained in languages so he is not fit for the work, but he insists he must be employed. I believe the Church has the right to have certain standards. If the homosexual insists on being for example a minister, what about the sexually immoral or pedophiles who claim they were born that way? Does that claim mean that they can become ministers who proclaim the Kingdom of God also, even though it is written in Revelation 21:8 and 22:15 that they are excluded? Does that mean that atheists can also become ministers? If the Church can accommodate all those whom God excludes in the Bible, then it has deviated from the standards laid down by God.
Conclusion: We are not infallible. Judgment belongs to God. Respect and prayer is needed. Prayer is the only weapon we have for instance against the gay parades that are so popular. We would have had much less tension about the whole issue if it wasn't for the homosexuals that are also on an evangelistic campaign to promote their life style. They are especially targeting the youth, and we need to be aware of it. Yet let your love, inspired by the Holy Spirit, be seen by them, even as they attack or verbally abuse you.