Tough Questions that Deserve Good Answers Chesterfield Presbyterian Church Fall 2014
Schedule Sept 7 Same Bible, Different Views Sept 14 Is Baptism for Infants or Believers only? Sept 21 Women as Pastors, Elders, and Leaders Sept 28 Churches at Odds over Gay Marriage and Homosexual Pastors Oct 5 Is Jesus necessary for Heaven? What happens to children and those from remote tribes? Oct 12 TBD as the class unfolds
Churches at Odds over Gay Marriage and Homosexual Pastors - How are you feeling about addressing homosexuality this morning? What interests do you have in this topic? What questions do you have about this topic?
More Good Questions… • What does God think about homosexuality? • What causes homosexuality? • Can someone change sexual orientation? • What if my child or teen announces a gay identity? • My adult child announced a gay identity: What now? • What if my spouse identifies a gay identity?
What does God think about homosexuality? • What causes homosexuality? • Can someone change sexual orientation? • What if my child or teen announces a gay identity? • My adult child announced a gay identity: What now? • What if my spouse identifies a gay identity? • http://www.sexualidentityinstitute.org/resources/media
“Intelligent, well-meaning church-goers hold contrasting views …” • What are the primary views? Why do people hold such views? • How does the Bible inform our view? • What are some good ways to respond?
Two Views on the Bible and Homosexuality • Traditional: The Bible is right. The Bible disapproves of homosexual behavior. • Non-traditional: The Bible disapproves of homosexual behavior. The Bible must be wrong. The Bible is right, but it must not disapprove of homosexual behavior.
The Traditional View and the Bible The covenantal relationship between one man and one woman is part of God’s good plan. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28) 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” … 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:18; 22-24)
The Traditional View and the Bible In the Old Testament, God relates to His covenant people like a faithful husband to a wayward wife. • For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. For the LORD has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit (Isa 54:5-6 ESV) • Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband, so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel, declares the LORD.'" (Jer 3:20 ESV)
The Traditional View and the Bible The New Testament also uses the husband-wife relationship to illustrate Jesus’ relationship with the church. • (Referring to Himself) And Jesus said to them, "Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? (Luk 5:34 ESV) • "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Eph 5:31-32 ESV)
The Traditional View and the Bible • Homosexual Behavior is Consistently Cited as Outside of God’s Good Plan • Sex outside of the one man and one woman covenant is consistently shown to be outside of God’s will. This includes sex prior to marriage, adultery, and homosexual intercourse. • Israel’s law prohibits sexual intercourse between two males. • You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22 ESV) • The account of Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 19:1-11 portrays same-sex intercourse negatively. • just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire (Jud 1:7 ESV)
The Traditional View and the Bible • Jesus taught that marriage consists of a covenant union between one man and one woman, in fulfillment of God’s original creative design. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:6-8
The Traditional View and the Bible • The early church in Jerusalem taught that the Old Testament regulations about sex were still in force. • “Abstain…from sexual immorality” (Acts 15:20, 29). The Jewish understanding of sexual immortality as detailed in Leviticus 18 is in view here. • Paul depicted homosexual unions as outside the bounds of God’s desires for the church. • Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1Cor 6:9-10 ESV) • the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, (1Ti 1:9-10 ESV)
The Traditional View and the Bible Paul attributed homosexual unions to the Fall. • 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth…26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Rom 1:18, 26-27 ESV)
Non-Traditional Views of the Bible Supporting Homosexuality • The Bible is wrong. • Jesus abolished the Law. • Loving our neighbor supersedes. • Better to marry than burn with lust. • Biblical interpretation has been wrong. • The Bible doesn’t address the homosexuality we know today (committed, loving, faithful). • The traditional view of homosexuality produces bad fruit so it must be wrong.
Non-traditional 1: Love your neighbor Reactions to Presbyterian (U.S.A) Amendment 10A, which allows persons in a same-gender relationship to be considered for ordination: “Those who rejoice will see the change as an action, long in coming, that makes the PC(USA) an inclusive church that recognizes and receives the gifts for ministry of all those who feel called to ordained office. Those who weep will consider this change one that compromises biblical authority and acquiesces to present culture.” Letter to Presbyteries, 2011
Response to “Love your neighbor” • We are not free to love any way we want. • “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love; just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” [John 15:9-10] • Unconditional Love ≠ Unconditional Blessing • “Our message, if it is to be truly loving, and truly redemptive, must not be measured by human definitions of love, but by the Word of God.” - PRESBYTERY MEETING ON AMMENDMENT 10-A from Bonhomme Presbyterian Church
Non-traditional 2: “Bad Fruit” • The Traditional View produces Bad Fruit and must be wrong. • 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. (Mat 7:15-16 ESV) • Those Bible passages are not really about homosexuality as we know it today (committed, faithful loving…). They refer to oppressive or excessive sex. • Matthew Vines video
A Biblical Case for Homosexuality?? God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines, on Youtube
We disagree… • “Did God really say…?” • Not a case for homosexuality at all. • Goes against: • Natural reading of the text. • Flow of the Bible’s message from Genesis 1 forward. • Church’s faithful reading of the Bible for two millennia. • Bad fruit? What about those like Wes Hill? • Resource: Response to God and the Gay Christian by Albert Mohler (online at sbts.me/ebook)
How Should We Respond? • Be like a Berean – Study for yourself. • 10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. • 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Act 17:10-11 ESV)
We are all sinners in need of grace. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1Co 6:9-11 ESV) What do Christians have against Homosexuality? Tim Keller at Veritas from Youtube
Caring without Compromising Wesley Hill --- Three Struggles with Same Sex Attraction from Youtube Recommended Resource: Washed and Waiting, Wesley Hill, 2010. This book is an honest and agonizing testimony of a celibate gay Christian
Toward Faithful Pastoral Care Fri Oct 24 7-9 PM Sat Oct 25 8:30-3:30 Location: Rayburn Chapel @ Covenant Theological Seminary Register online: faithfulpastoralcare.eventbrite.com Cost: $20
Oct 5 Is Jesus necessary for Heaven? What happens to children and those from remote tribes? Oct 12 TBD as the class unfolds Questions? Comments? Articles? email@example.com