As the cultural tide shifts on the issue of homosexuality, the church seems to be out of step.
I think, therefore, we need to define just exactly what a church is before continuing in what could best be classified as a response to a chiding post from a lesbian blogger. So, just what is “a church”?
The dictionary definition of church, as a noun, is:
1:a building for public and especially Christian worship
2:the clergy or officialdom of a religious body
But, is this the biblical definition? I don’t think so.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines it thusly,
… it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning.
So, the proper, biblical understanding of the word would be that it is a particular group of people, namely those that profess faith in Christ. The identification of the group with a physical location is a later association.
Okay, with that out of the way, I need to address this post by Candice Czubernat from September 24, 2014. It’s a little dated, but still necessary, especially with the mess of same-sex issues that seems to be bombarding the culture (things I’ve spoken about here, here, and here).
Her about page describes her as, “a married gay Christian woman who is the mother of twins“, and she is also, “an out gay Christian“. At the top of the post is, I guess, a photo of her with her partner and children.
Now, I’ve simply got to pause and point out some things that immediately jump out at me strictly from a technical standpoint that are obvious logical problems, and this feeds into the substance of my response.
I’ve met a lot of Christians over the years. I’ve met Christians who’ve struggled with drug addictions, but I’ve never heard them describe themselves as drug addict Christians or alcohol abusing Christians. I’ve met Christians who struggle with addiction to pornography, but I’ve never heard them describe themselves as lustful Christians. I’ve known Christians who struggle with anger, but don’t call themselves angry Christians. When these people adopt the term “Christian” or have it applied to them, it means that something in their life has changed. They are no longer living for themselves but for their Savior who died to pay the penalty for their sin and now offers them strength and opportunity to live the rest of their lives as new creatures, because, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).” But I digress.
I hold the church personally responsible for any LGBTQ person who walks away from God and Christianity.
I have to ask what grounds she has to do that, because by rejecting God’s design for their life, en toto, they are the ones rejecting God. Jesus, in Matthew 19 says,
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female…”
Jesus is reiterating the statement from Genesis 1:27, where the inspired author states what God did in creation, creating his image bearer, who represents the Creator in their ability to procreate thus fulfilling the command, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…(Genesis 1:28 ESV).” So, on the contrary, anyone who walks away from the church because it refuses to accommodate their sin and rebellion has no one to blame but themselves. But let’s look at her argument just a little more,
Every week, I get emails from individuals all across the country who are full of desire to be a part of a church.
Okay, but this requires that we define exactly what she means by “church”. Let’s see if we can draw anything from the context,
They want to go on the church-wide mission trip, join the choir, serve in the youth group and attend a small group. These are people who long to serve God, connect with other Christians and be a part of a wider community.
Ah, okay, church-ey stuff. But, I see one small problem: “[they] long to serve God”. Okay, how does one do that? From what I can tell, we demonstrate our love for God, not through “doing stuff”, but perhaps she means to presume on God, which is something we ought not to do because to, “presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead [us] to repentance? But because of [our] hard and impenitent heart [we] are storing up wrath for [ourselves] on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well- doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self- seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury (Romans 2:4-8 ESV).”
But she continues,
Here’s the heartbreaking part: they write me because the church won’t let them do those things and they don’t know what to do.Their church has found out they are LGBTQ and because of this are no longer welcome to join in these church activities they long to be a part of.
Why? There’s an intrinsic disorder when someone self-identifies as LGBTQ, and that’s what is at issue. This isn’t about the attraction or the lack of attraction it is the behavior that directly flows from the willingness to be defined by that attraction, after all,
…when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. (James 1:15 NET)
No one encourages people who are attracted by fire to follow it, but we fully encourage people to pursue sexual and romantic relations with people of the same sex, when we have dependable scientific evidence that engaging in such behavior is not only inherently medically dangerous, but psychologically dangerous as well.
People are being turned away from the body of Christ.
What does “the body of Christ” mean to believers? Well, before answering that question we have to ask what our bodies are made for.
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:13b ESV)
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ESV)
To be in the “body of Christ” is more than just being in a club. The church is not just a civic organization, it is Christ’s physical presence in the world until he returns. There is no room in the body for anything outside of the created order. If there is a question about what the nature of sin is, Suzanna Wesley, the mother of the great evangelist John Wesley gave us a succinct definition,
Anything that increases the authority of the flesh over the spirit, no matter how good it may be in and of itself, that is sin.
Then she asks,
Shouldn’t that bother you?
Well, it depends. If people are being turned away from the body of Christ because Christ’s own message of repentance is being preached, then no, not really, because what doing those “church-ey” things means is that the gospel and the whole council of God is being preached. Going on mission trips is about spreading the gospel. Singing in the choir is about proclaiming God’s holiness and righteousness in praise. Serving God as part of a wider community is ultimately about agreeing with God in what he has defined as good and right and as evil and detestable.
She quotes Mark 9:42 from a translation I don’t recognize, but the ESV states it thusly,
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”
I don’t know about you, but I never. ever. ever. remember Jesus preaching in any way that would allude to a church making this kind of decision, of turning people away. To the contrary, even when the disciples asked Jesus about turning people away he always told them to – at the very least – leave people alone. To stop bullying them.
Yes, read that statement again. Does this phrase fully empathize the proper response or not: WHAT?! Jesus’ own preaching drove people away in droves. Don’t believe me, read John 6, which concludes with Jesus asking his disciples if they are going to abandon him like the crowds did after he confronted and corrected their assertions.
Then she says,
This week wasn’t the first time I personally experienced this kind of rejection, but it was the first time I did so as a new mom and it’s left me feeling sad, hopeless, angry and in tears. In the past, my wife and I weren’t super careful about what church we attended. What I mean is, we spent time attending churches that weren’t super clear about their stance on homosexuality.
I’m guessing that those churches were pretty sure that Scripture alone made it clear:
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)
Paul even takes the implied scope and makes it abundantly clear that both forms of homosexuality are equally abominable and the chief characteristic of a person who is engaged in complete rebellion against their Creator,
Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:24-27 ESV)
Now, I’m just going to have to ask a question, but first, read this statement that she makes,
Even though we would have liked a clear support, it wasn’t a deal breaker for us. But now that we have children, it totally is.
Here’s my question: where did the kids come from? The woman is a lesbian, and last time I checked, biologically, two women can’t make children because, and this may seem crude, neither one of them have the appropriate plumbing, which logically means that they had to reach outside of their sexual relationship, which is a violation of the natural, created, ordained order, and steal these children from their other biological parent (providing that one of the partners actually carried the children and they weren’t adopted). Yes, that sound that you hear is the sound of me rubbing and slapping my face at the strain in logic.
We don’t want to feel anxious about a “well meaning” person indoctrinating our children in a way that makes them question their moms salvation, or even their own.
Paging John the Apostle,
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10 ESV)
I could go on. But there is one point that needs to be addressed, one point that needs to be drawn out and nailed down, and its best demonstrated by this question:
How are Christians reasoning that the LGBTQ community is the cause of the fall of the family, and evil at the core when it’s us, the gays who are wanting to be a part of church but get turned away?!
First of all, I reject the assertion that the LGBTQ community is the cause, rather it is the sinful heart of man, the heart that is fixed on itself in the pursuit of self-satisfaction. They have bought into the lie that they can pursue the desires of the flesh and somehow enjoy a relationship with God. Sorry, God doesn’t work that way. God declares to his people, “Be holy as I am holy (Leviticus 11:44 ESV).” By making that admonition, he is telling all this that he calls to be his people to stand apart from the world, to be different, to accept and apply standards that are different from the world.
The entire attitude of her post is that she is blessing whatever church she and her lesbian partner and the children they have deprived of their paternal relationship with their presence ought to condescend and accept them unconditionally, give them full rights of membership, even though they desire to live in open rebellion against their Creator. Lady, this is the “one, holy, catholic, apostolic church of the Lord Jesus Christ”, let me repeat, “the L-o-r-d Jesus Christ“, king of kings, lord of lords, you don’t tell your Lord who he should allow into his house and how they should conduct themselves in all aspects of their lives, he tells you, and he has declared it perfectly in his revealed Word.