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The Supreme Court recently issued a decision to impose a same-sex marriage mandate on all fifty states. The Court held that the Equal Protection Clause requires a state to a marriage between two people Married But Looking Real Sex CA Foster city 94404 the same sex and to recognize a same-sex marriage entered into lawfully in another state. The decision redefines marriage for the entire country to include same-sex couples. How will this decision impact the church?
The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. For this reason, CPC pastors will not officiate same-sex marriages. We also must recognize the pain and struggle that has occurred over this issue of same-sex attraction. Indeed, when we discuss this issue, we must not forget that we are dealing with real people, and not just laws or arguments.
For example, consider Steve, who sat in church Sunday after Sunday, nursing his secret shame. His confusion and guilt was overwhelming at times, and he desperately wanted to tell someone. After Steve finally found the courage to confide in his pastor, he was shocked to find out that the pastor had told others of his problem. People he had known for years suddenly acted aloof. Fear gripped him when the pastor told him the elders wanted some time with him. His sense of alienation deepened when the elders informed him that he could no longer teach the fifth grade Sunday School class.
Another example is Lisa, who finally found the acceptance and fellowship she longed for among Christians. She and a small group of other gay women were welcomed into the warm embrace of this grace-filled church and accepted for what they were.
She was invited into membership—no questions asked. She and her friends were encouraged to celebrate their same-sex identity, only in a responsible way. Her pastor even offered to officiate at the marriage ceremony of she and her partner.
Unfortunately, these two very different experiences characterize what men and women with same-sex desires usually find in the church today. Are these the only two options open to us? Is there a third response? Is it possible to embrace both unchanging truth and unlimited grace? What does the unchanging truth of Scripture say about homosexuality? How should the church respond in grace? There are a of truths about us that we take for granted.
But we want to distinguish between the acts and the man or woman who does them. Men and women are first and foremost human beings made in the image of God. Although we may disagree with homosexual practices, we cannot dehumanize those who practice them. Our sexuality is basic to our humanness. When God made humankind, he made us male and female. This implies that we all have a particular sexual inclination. None of us are without sin, and we are all continually battling our own sinful nature.
None of us have conquered it all. Every part of our humanity has been tainted by sin. We all stand under the judgment of God in this area, in desperate need of his grace. What we have to say will be most relevant to those who want to understand and obey what God says about this subject in the Scripture. All of them refer to it negatively. The first is the story of Sodom found in Genesis. In the end, God overthrew those cities and all the people in them by an act of judgment The question is, What was their sin?
Remember that two angels came to visit the city of Sodom, and Lot welcomed them into his home. So the sin of Sodom, they say, was not homosexuality but rather being inhospitable. This was an evil thing to do. The New Testament confirms that the sin of Sodom was the sin of homosexuality. This is why the Christian view has always been that they were guilty of homosexual practices. The second texts are found in the book of Leviticus. These practices included things like child sacrifice, idolatry, injustice, and sexual perversions.
Those who call themselves homosexual Christians claim that these passages are dealing with only the religious prostitution that took place among the Canaanite fertility cults. They say that since those religious practices have long since ceased, they have no relevance to same-sex partnerships today. We will address that argument later, but first notice two other New Testament texts.
In both 1 Cor. The first list uses two different words to describe two different things. Same-sex advocates today say this referred exclusively to the ancient practice of selling younger boys to older men. So there are four main texts that repudiate homosexual behavior. One might think that in a book as big as the Bible, there would be more. Some might even say this is proof-texting, which is taking verses out of their original context to prove a point.
It might be helpful to move beyond these negative texts and look at the positive teaching of Genesis about human sexuality and marriage. The first chapter is general and affirms the equality of the sexes, since both are made in the image of God. Genesis 2 is more specific, affirming the complementary differences between the sexes, which is the basis for heterosexual marriage.
In the second chapter of Genesis, three fundamental truths emerge. First, the human need for companionship. Second, Genesis 2 reveals the divine provision to meet this human need. God parades before Adam the animals and Adam proceeds to name them. Adam was placed into a deep sleep and out of his rib God fashioned a woman. This was divine surgery under divine anesthetic! Adam was overwhelmed. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.
To put it bluntly, Adam was turned on! This le to the third thing Genesis 2 reveals, and that is the resulting institution of marriage. Jesus endorsed this definition of marriage in the New Testament. When he was questioned about marriage, he quoted Gen. Jesus affirmed that heterosexual gender is a divine creation, heterosexual marriage is a divine institution, and heterosexual fidelity is the divine intention. Scripture endorses no other kind of marriage or sex.
It should be noted that we should not single out homosexual relationships for special condemnation.
This includes adultery, cohabitation, casual encounters, pornography and teenage experimentation. To be fair, we must address those reasons.
The idea is that the biblical authors lived in a very different culture than ours and were addressing questions relevant to their culture and not to ours. If the only teaching we had were the negative prohibitions, it might be difficult to answer this argument. But the positive teaching in Genesis about the creation of man and woman and the divine institution of marriage is deed to be universally applicable.
The creation s in Genesis 1 and 2 take place before culture even developed. The reason for the prohibitions is that the practice of homosexuality is against the created order. Like a fish was made to swim, so I was made for same-sex relationships.
How could God make me a certain way and then deny me the right to express it? That would be unnatural! Also, we should be careful with oversimplified explanations for why a person feels these things. It may be a combination of things, including childhood family dynamics, or confusing sexual experiences, including abuse, that bring both pleasure and shame. Unfortunately, our own stereotypes are part of the problem.
And sometimes when we do fulfill them, that just makes the inclination stronger. Because someone may have a propensity towards losing their temper, does that make it okay to do so?
Even Jesus experienced sexual desire, but he never fulfilled it. He called all of us to take up our cross and follow him. Finally, we should let our creator God define what is natural and unnatural. The idea here is that love is the greatest commandment, and this is the criterion that should be used to judge a relationship. If a same-sex relationship is characterized by love, commitment, tenderness and self-sacrifice, how can that be wrong?Married But Looking Real Sex CA Foster city 94404
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