Homosexuality and The Church: Acceptance vs Rejection

Within my research for my article on homosexuality in Christianity, I spoke to a pastor in Northern Ireland from a church I have visited many times and I have always felt welcome in his presence. I reached out to him to see if he would answer a few questions for me and I think it speaks volumes that although he was “happy to do so,” there was one pressing issue with him saying “I would like to be kept anonymous as I wouldn’t want to upset anyone.”

I started by asking him the age-old question, ‘Do you feel as being gay is a sin?’

Yes, there are many biblical verses which support the view that the act of being gay is a sin. See, Leviticus 20:13 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. But it is also important to look at the bible in the context of love. That is the angle in which I will always peach the gospel as love because to me the whole message of Christianity is love

Have you ever peached on homosexuality and put it out there that if anyone was struggling with it they could come to the church?

I have not done this. I’m not sure a sermon is the place to address this. It could upset a lot of people in the church. Also, the biblical verses are not conclusive of what side we should take on this, an argument could be made for and against LGBT tolerance and I think each has to make their own decision. 

If asked by a member of the church to speak on the subject would you?

I would discuss in a more informal setting, such as a one on one conversation or small group, like a Bible study session but I have to say it plays on my mind and its something I struggle with as I want to be able to just say they come to me, but I worry people may get offended. There are no LGBTQ people in my congregation that I know of, that doesn’t mean that there is none or that member of my church does not have friends or family members that are. I mean I am only one man I am not god I don’t know all the answers.”

What do you think would happen if one of the members of the congregation were to publicly come out to the church?

I think this would really split the congregation. I believe the split would be age-dependent, we have an amazing group of younger Christians in the churched which is are blessed to have and I think they would be more supportive than the elder. But there may be a few that go against that pattern. I also believe that the supporting group would be the minority.

Do you feel a gay man can be a Christian?

From my experiences as a Christian for many years now to me any human who accepts Jesus as their saviour and has a relationship with him is a Christian. Anyone can have that, regardless of sexuality. We were made to sin and everyone sins, once you expect the holy spirit in heart and know that Jesus died on the cross for you and live your life with the Lord guiding you then I think anyone would really struggle with not calling that person a Christian.

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