The Church Has Failed - in teaching against sexual immorality of every form.
Recently, the Illinois Family Institute released an article about a Catholic Church which "fired" an openly gay man from being the choir director.
I agree, for the most part, with the premise of the article, however, there is one VERY important aspect to this story that has been left out.
While I applaud the leadership for taking steps to pull from leadership (a Choir director is a leader within the church) a person who is blatantly and publically embracing that which God calls an abomination, the fact is that THE CHURCH HAS FAILED in teaching its membership that God calls homosexuality an abomination.
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1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."
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The church as a whole no longer teaches against sexual immorality. Four(4) of the ten(10) sins listed in the reference above have to do with sexual immorality and the fact that it says that those who practice such deeds will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. Yet, I do NOT see the church teaching its people that not only those who practice homosexuality (homosexuals) WILL NOT INHERIT the kingdom of God; but those who are in adulterous relationships (adulterers) WILL NOT INHERIT the kingdom of God; but those who engage in sexual relationships outside of marriage (fornicators) WILL NOT INHERIT the kingdom of God.
If the church had been consistent teaching against sexual immorality (of every sort), firing the choir for his open practice of homosexuality would have been no surprise. In fact, the surprise would have been in retaining such a person.
According to scripture, there is ONLY ONE SANCTIFIED PLACE FOR SEXUAL RELATIONS and that is within that context of a marital relationship between one man and one woman. According to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, those who practice sexual relationships outside the marriage of one man and one woman, WILL NOT INHERIT the kingdom of God.
The church (Catholic, Protestant, and everything in between) has failed as a whole in teaching (if the student failed to learn, the teacher failed to teach) that sexual immorality of any sort is a sin and separates us from God and His kingdom. Consider that the divorce rate is as high within the church as it is without.
Certainly, we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. And certainly, all sinners should be welcome into the church where they will (should) hear the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ.
HOWEVER, while certainly none of us can claim to be sinless, those who pervert the Gospel by claiming that those things that the Bible calls a sin (keeping us from inheriting the kingdom of God) are things that are acceptable and that God will suddenly change His mind about it on the Day of Judgment; are guilty of perverting the scriptures to suit their needs AND SHOULD NOT BE IN A POSITION OF LEADERSHIP.
While certainly ALL of us have been born blind (born sinners), many have had their eyes opened. If I am blind, I certainly DO NOT want a blind person to lead me, but one who has had their eyes opened and can see. The blind leading the blind only ensures that both will end up in the ditch (Matthew 15:14). Only those whose eyes have been opened should be able to be in a position to lead the blind (again, a choir director is in a sanctioned position of leadership).
So, while I applaud this particular church for the removal of someone who openly perverts the Gospel, the church failed in helping its parishioners in recognizing the fact that you should NOT be allowing a person who openly and bolding is practicing sin to be in a position of leadership. And while the topic of homosexuality is the hot-button topic, they should not be allowing anyone who practices any sexual immorality or any of the other listed sins to be in a position of leadership, regardless of the particular label of the sin.
This is the failure of the church, I realize that the Christian teaching on the topics of sexual immorality is not popular in a culture of personal pleasure. But if the church wants to survive the cultural war, it must take its place in teaching the truth of the COMPLETE Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As a matter of fact, if we want this nation to survive with the freedoms and liberties that we once enjoyed, THE CHURCH MUST RISE UP TO ITS MANDATED ROLE OF PREACHING THE COMPLETE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
Regardless of whether it is the sin of homosexuality, the sin of adultery, the sin of fornication, or the sin of sodomy, THE CHURCH HAS FAILED to maintain its role in its teaching that those who practice such sexual perversions WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!
By the way, don't be angry at me for this teaching. I am only the messenger. I did not write the Bible, I did not establish "The 10 Commandments." I am only delivering the message. You want to be angry? Be angry at God, it is HE and HE ALONE who established the standards of morality and the Law. My only responsibility is to live according to those laws and to let others know what God expects and to deliver the message that none of us have to be in chains of Sin. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)
I will agree with homosexuals on this one point - they are right to be indignant with the church that has been silent on the other sexual immoral issues and want to single them out as those who will not inherit the earth. Many have singled out homosexuality as a danger to the family. In fact, they have done so labeling anti-homosexuality with “PROTECTING MARRIAGE.” Well, quite frankly, I’ve got to tell you that I believe that fornication, adultery, and sodomy (most of which results in divorce) have been far more damaging to marriage and the family, then homosexuality. In fact, it is my opinion (which I believe to be well founded) that it is in the acceptance (passive at least) of the other sexually perverse relationships that have given rise to homosexuality.
We Christians (and I use that term VERY loosely), have demonstrated that heterosexual marriages don’t work. The last numbers that I have heard is over 70% (and I suspect it is far higher) of all marriages (even within the church) end in divorce. This number is pretty on par with those divorces outside the church. How can you begin to be angry with people who are trying something else out when Christians have demonstrated that heterosexual marriages don’t work?
If we want to "PROTECT MARRIAGE" (and I do), then we need to take a stand against ALL SEXUAL PERVSION which has severely damaged the family here in America.
Don't get me wrong, I am NOT trying to minimalize the damaging effect on individuals and the family, by homosexuality. I am just trying to make the point that homosexuality is not the only danger to the family, and quite frankly takes second place to adultery which has given rise to divorce and left so many children fatherless and motherless. I believe that it has been the devaluing of the sanctity of marriage as God Himself ordained, that has given cause to the rise of homosexuality. The "FREE LOVE" that came out of the 60s, gave rise to this devaluation. Christians have no one to blame but themselves for this calamity, because they were not able to demonstrate to the word that being Christian was any different than being a part of the world and that they did not value the sanctity of marriage any more than the rest of the world. Actually, I should just limit that statement primarily to the U.S., as there are many other countries who can legitimately claim a much higher moral standard than the United States of America.
If the Church of Jesus Christ is ever going to be relevant in these United States of America again, IT WILL HAVE TO TAKE A STAND ON THE COMPLETE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRISTS, which includes speaking out against heterosexual perversions as well as homosexual perversion.
The Church has failed!!
If we want to stem the influence of homosexuality, the Church and more specifically Christians are going to have to begin to model the fact that Marriage, as God ordained, is sacred and works. Until there is proof that Christians can understand the sanctity of Marriage, how do we have the right to expect any others to understand this principle? As they say, the proof is in the pudding. In others words, don’t tell me about the sanctity of marriage, SHOW ME!! Otherwise, you make the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ of no effect. Our fight against homosexuality is futile, if we cannot demonstrate heterosexuality, as God ordained, actually works and is worth the effort. (Believe me, after 34 years of marriage to the only woman I have ever married, I can attest to BEING WORTH IT!!)