It is not easy being a pastor in the modern age but take heart nothing is new under the sun. That means that Jesus and his disciples also faced the same problems you are going through today.
While some people like to redesign the ancient world’s homosexual, LGBTQ, issues into something it wasn’t, the same problems the church faces today were all dealt with by the ancient church and ancient pastors.
Many churches today are bending over backwards to appease a cultural shift and somehow have the desire to accommodate sinful people even though it goes against God’s word.
In this article, we will look at Church of England begins review of marriage, sexuality; calls for honest discussion, to help pastors get the right information and direction they should take in handling the many controversial issues they face.
The Church of England announced that it is going to begin a formal “discernment and decision-making” process “about a way forward for the church” in regards to its teachings on sex, sexuality and marriage.
The way forward, in this case, is to stand with God. There is no nice way to put it as the church represents God and proclaim his message to the world. The pastor cannot preach anything that God has not said nor can they change what he declared to be sin, evil or wrong.
This may sound closed-minded but God has set the limits and being open-minded on this issue would be committing a sin if the pastor disobeys or leads his people to disobey God.
The announcement came with the launch of the “Living in Love and Faith” resources, which more than 40 people, led by the Bishop of Coventry Christopher Cocksworth, worked on for three years to help people participate in honest discussions, listen to life stories and understand each other’s views.
While those life stories may reveal sinful actions on the part of parents, church leaders, and even unbelievers against the LGBTQ community, those life stories do not alter God’s requirements nor bend his standards on right and wrong, good and evil, morality and immorality.
Being a victim does not relieve the person of their sinful status nor makes them in the right. They are merely victims of more sinful actions. You will not find one bible verse that contradicts that statement.
Then, while we need to listen honestly to those life experiences and be honest in dealing with their pain, we cannot be dishonest in counseling them. Nor can we be dishonest about what God said about LGBTQ issues and sin.
Honest discussions must present God’s view honestly as well. LGBTQ preferences, same-sex marriage, changing one’s gender, and being misinformed about gender is not acceptable to God. No matter the circumstances.
In the foreword of the book, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell acknowledged and apologized for the “huge damage and hurt” the church body has caused to LGBT people “where talk of truth, holiness and discipleship has been wielded harshly.”
#1. you cannot apologize for someone else or for their actions.
#2. you cannot apologize for God or his standards- God’s word does not change because a small group of people refuses to obey his rules. it is God’s creation, God’s church and it is God’s rules
#3. the terms ‘huge damage and hurt’ are very generic, subjective, and fail to address the issue correctly. That ‘hurt and damage’ is also due to the LGBTQ community’s refusal to get rid of their sinful ways. It is not all the church’s fault.
When we say that we do acknowledge that some people in the church do treat LGBTQ people in a sinful way, BUT that sinful way is not telling the LGBTQ community that they are living in sin, are wrong, and need to repent.
If the pastor and church make their biblical stand correctly then they have nothing to apologize for or feel guilty about. God has given the church instructions on how to deal with those in the congregation when they refuse to give up their sinful ways.
The supreme and unique beauty of the person of Jesus of Nazareth is found not only in that he is the Truth, but also that his truth abounds in grace and love,” they wrote as they called for repentance
Since we have not read this work, who are they calling to repent? It is not the pastor who needs to repent if he preaches what God said God’s way. The people who first need to repent are the members of the LGBTQ community who continue to live in sin
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; (1 John 1)
One does not love God by refusing to accept his words on what is or isn’t sin. The second group of people who need to repent are those members of the church or those unbelievers who have committed actual sinful acts against the LGBTQ community.
Calling people to repent from LGBTQ tendencies is not an act of sin. Also, human governmental laws and regulations do not decide what is or isn’t a sin. Only God has that right and authority.
Rejecting LGBTQ and other unbelievers from Christian leadership positions no matter where they are found is not sin. Nor is it wrong.
Cocksworth stated that whether the bishops would recommend a synod vote on allowing same-sex marriages within the church body for the first time is “only one question among many” that they would consider.
He also said some within the church body feel that its “doctrine of marriage is ripe for development.”
There is only one form of marriage and every other form is a perversion of what God declared good. Finding homosexual tendencies in one or two animals is not justification for same-sex activities nor is it proof that same-sex activities are okay.
Again, the pastor must stand with God and keep marriage as God intended. Just because some people do not want to participate in that form of marriage is not reason enough to change it or allow perversions.
To be the light unto the world the pastor and the church must proclaim God’s ways regardless of the response by the unbelieving world. It is not the pastor who stands with God who is rejecting God’s way, it is the unbeliever & LGBTQ community who is doing that sin.
The Rt. Rev. Julian Henderson, bishop of Blackburn and president of the Church of England Evangelical Council, responded to the new resources and said they will look closely at them to see if they align with Scripture.
There is still hope for the Church of England as some of their pastors, etc., do not accept the new way of thinking. The following two paragraphs after that quote provide that hope:
For us, this is about following Christ by submitting to what Scripture says, just as He did. So we will need to discern which of the materials in LLF do that by evaluating all of the various resources in the light of Scripture. While discussions about these issues are always welcome, the key question is not one of church procedure but whether we think that the teaching of Scripture is right. So we will engage, but this is actually about obedience to Scripture,” he said in a statement.
He also offered support to those in the church body who are concerned that the Church of England will embrace same-sex marriage and “depart from historic orthodoxy.
Of course, scripture and God are never wrong. No matter how many government officials, judges, or educators claim otherwise. If you are a pastor who accepts Christ as their savior then your duty is clear- you follow God, not man.
You do not change God’s rules to appease the unbelieving world and those who refuse to humble themselves and give up their perversions.
The Church of England responded to the letter by saying a major new set of teaching and learning resources on identity, relationships, marriage and sexuality, “Living in Love and Faith,” would be published after “serious consideration” to their concerns.
One has to love God first before they can love the world and live in love. To love God you first, must give up your sin. Second, you learn the right way to apply scriptures to your life.
Third, living in love does not encourage people to sin or keep them in their sins. The LGBTQ community must repent of their sins, like everyone else, if they want to see heaven.
The key to opposing this and other controversial issues is that love provides the truth. Here are some scripture verses to help support you in this endeavor:
These are the things which you shall do: speakthetruth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace at your gates. (Zechariah 8:16)
And the spies questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to anyone, but You teach the way of God on the basis of truth. (Luke 20:21, bold ours)
But Paul *said, “I am not insane, most excellent Festus; on the contrary, I am speaking out withtruthful and rational words. (Acts 26:25)
but speaking thetruth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, (Eph. 4:15)
For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. (2 Cor. 13:8)
Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speaktruth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another. (Eph. 4:25)
**all scripture taken from the NASB
LGBTQ and other unbelievers cannot do anything when the truth is spoken correctly. When dealing with controversial issues follow Christ’s and his disciples’ example and stay with God and his word.
The hardest part will be when you have to chose God and his ways over your loved ones. Abraham’s example is all you need to help you make the right decision.