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Over the past few years the whole issue of Homosexuality has been an ever growing issue, it is one that seems to have hit many churches, ministers, and organizations by surprise. There have even been bakeries that have been sued because they have refused to make cakes for same sex marriages, and there have been churches that have even started to ordain homosexual leaders, but now it seems as though many churches have another battle on their hands, what to do with the Boy Scouts which have for ages been the symbol of American pride, who have now accepted homosexuality with open arms.
So, what should churches do? What action should be taken by any “church” toward the lifestyle of homosexuality? When facing this predicament churches must stand upon the Word of God! Homosexuality is a Sin, Paul makes this clear in Romans 1 and also in 1 Corinthians 6. Because it is a sin, churches must be careful to abstain from any and every appearance of accepting this evil (1 Thess. 5:22)! In saying this, one needs to understand that Paul clearly means that one must not give approval to evil nor allow evil to wear off onto you. Paul is by no means saying to become a Christian hermit and seclude yourself from the world, to do this you would have to go to the moon. However, such an action to seclude oneself from the world would only hinder any attempt to evangelize! But, in making this stand churches must be extremely careful not to do two things:
First, they must not go radical like the Westboro Baptist church and just do nothing but bash those who live in this sinful lifestyle. Why? Because if our message is always “you’re going to burn in the deepest parts of hell!” How do we expect to ever change their hearts and minds to the truth, which will naturally cause them to leave such a lifestyle? The second thing we must not do is we also MUST not become so open to those who live this lifestyle that we give open approval to sin. This too is just as dangerous as the first, for they will conclude that they are “ok” and that they do not have to leave their life of sin. Such a person who has this wide of open arms will find themselves fighting against a Holy God.
Instead the community of churches must have the attitude of Christ in these situations. In John 1:14 it states that Jesus was a man who was full of two things, GRACE and TRUTH. Are we full of grace and truth when it comes to the homosexuality? Many major in truth, but not in grace, and others major in grace but not in truth, both of which God disapproves of. Instead Churches must balance these two qualities as Christ did.
An example of this perfect balance is seen with Jesus and the woman caught in adultery in John 8. Remember when the religious leaders brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus and wanted her stoned (they were testing Jesus), do you remember what Jesus said and did after this? He of course said those without sin were to cast the first stone, and they began to leave one by one. But the Lord’s attention was also fixed on the Woman as well. “Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’]]” (John 8:10-11)
Notice that Jesus did recognize her sin, and in fact told her “and for now on sin no more.” He told her the truth, but at the same time He did it in love, grace and compassion. This is how Christians and Churches ought to respond to the current moral crisis within the Boy Scouts, and also within our nation.
Should Churches want to host the boy scouts in an effort to use it as an evangelistic outreach to win them to Christ, I give a hearty amen (even though the way this organization is built I think this will be extremely hard). But if churches feel that such an act would be seen as a stamp of approval from the church on the lifestyle and thus refuse to allow them to use the building, this too I give a hearty amen to! In everything that churches across this land do they must make sure that they make every decision and express every decision in Grace and Truth! In light of the first action it is likely any evangelistic efforts will be shunned by the boy scouts and they in turn will leave. It is also likely that Christians will be persecuted for making the second decision, but should persecution come, one must know that the World persecuted Jesus first, and they will likewise persecute those who stand for truth. In all that we do we must hold firm to Truth, and share it with the utmost of Grace!
Editor’s note: Joshua C. Hicks, A Slave of Christ (Rom.1:1) is an evangelist of the Lebanon Christian Church.