From the Bible, we are given clear counsel on the church’s role in dealing with homosexuality.
1) The church must believe and teach the good news (the gospel) that, according to Matthew 1:21, Jesus can and will save His people personally from their sins, (homosexuality included), not in their sins. Otherwise, the church has developed “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:5)
2) The church must accept the Bible definition of sin, or it will become ineffective in battling the enemy it has failed to define, or identify. “Sin is the transgression (or, disobedience) of the law.” (1 John 3:4) And homosexuality is a violation of the 7th commandment of God’s moral law of 10 commandments.
3) Having accepted this definition, the church must not be silent, but must take a stand, calling sin by its right name. The church must call sin “sin.” “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isaiah 58:1) If we allow the reclassification of the “sin” of homosexuality to that of “an acceptable alternative lifestyle,” then we become impotent in dealing with the issue. Jesus came to save his people from their sins, not from some “acceptable alternative lifestyle.” If the church refuses to call homosexuality “sin,” it will soon find itself accepting homosexuality into membership, into leadership, and eventually into the clergy.
4) The church must believe that there is power in the Word. When Jesus told Mary to “Go, and sin no more,” Mary found grace, divine strength, in His admonition. Mary became an overcomer. As one writer puts it, “All God’s biddings are enablings.” In the love of Jesus Christ, the church can successfully reach out to the sin-sick homosexual and introduce him to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Q: Why is it important for the Church to be educated about homosexuality?
A: The church is embroiled in a war with Satan and sin. It can be victorious in the battle only as it successfully defines and understands the enemy. For the homosexual to trust the church in guidance and counseling, he must find there not condemnation, but rather unconditional love, compassion and understanding. The church must reflect the sympathy of our Savior, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15,16)
Q: What are the limitations the Church faces currently in ministering to struggling people?
A: The church today is limited in its effectiveness in that it tends to either condemn the homosexual, thus turning him away, or else it embraces the practicing homosexual, not believing that he can be restored, reconditioned, re-created into the image of God. Unconditional love does not result in indulgence of sin. Unconditional love accepts the sinner without condoning the sin.
The following two texts of Scripture tell the church that sinners can be given power to become the sons of God. And through that power, they can be overcomers. Homosexuality can be overcome.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John1:12)
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation21:7)
Q: You are also a man who has come out of homosexuality… how did the Church function in your own experience? Did you see a therapist? If so, how did the church and the therapist work together?
A: Unfortunately, the ill-equipped church worked to undermine my efforts to go straight. It was teaching that we will be sinning until Jesus comes again, which meant I was doomed to remain homosexual. The church did not teach me that victory was possible; it allowed openly practicing homosexuals to have church membership and leadership; and it stated regarding me personally, “That kind can never change!” Had I not studied out the issue for myself from the Word of God, I would have given up in hopeless despair. I knew of no therapists, and therefore threw myself at the feet of Jesus where I found solace, compassion, understanding, hope, and salvation from my sin of homosexuality.
Q: What is the importance of a church, therapist and support group working together in a person’s life to assist in overcoming homosexuality?
A: The more positive reinforcement the struggling homosexual can get, the more positive the outlook for his overcoming homosexuality. It is of utmost importance that these three entities be on the same page in their understanding of the homosexual issue, or they will counteract each other’s influence, causing even more confusion and anxiety to the sin-sick soul.
Q: How can the church, therapist, and support group work together? How should they inform one another?
A: According to Revelation 12:11, we overcome Satan and sin by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony. The secret to overcoming sin is in helping others to overcome sin. The church can provide clear Biblical doctrine on this issue, teaching the unconditional love of Jesus and His power to save, not compromising the Word to the detriment of the sin-sick soul. The Christian therapist can use professional counseling skills coupled with accurate scientific and Biblical information from his Christian perspective to lead the homosexual step by step to victory. The support group should be found in the congregation itself. It does not have to be restricted to “recovering homosexuals.” “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) And, the word of our own testimony, our own experience with overcoming sin of whatever nature, will be constant positive reinforcement for the struggling homosexual. After all, he, too, is simply battling against sin—his sin.