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God's Free Gift

Christianity >> When is supporting not supporting?

An interesting situation in Texas is noted by Baptist Press News concerning the leasing of space by a church to a "Christian" gay organization.  The issue brings to light the tension between being "in the world" as opposed to being "of the world."&nb


The Baptist News Article may be found here and should be read so that you understand the overall situation.  The church involved is being removed from membership by the Texas Convention because it has endorsed homosexuality.

It appears that space is being leased to a group lead by a Presbyterian ministry that brings together homosexual individuals to allow them to reflect upon Christianity and their need for Jesus.  In addition, the church allows use of the the church's weblog, although not the balance of its website.  It appears from the article the homosexual group has its own separate website, so it is unclear by the need for the shared blog.

The Texas Convention, after an investigation and hearing, determined that the local church was endorsing homosexuality by its actions, even though the Pastor has stated that he believes homosexuality is a sin.  It is unclear from the article whether this statement concerning the sinful nature of the group's make-up came during the investigation or just recently in response to the membership removal.

The issue is clear.  It sounds as thought the homosexual group is designed in a fashion to support the individual's homosexual choice while attempting to present the Christian message.  Since the group itself supports homosexuality, does the leasing of space provide an endorsement for the positions of the group?

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:14 and following that believers are to be separated from unbelievers and to come out from among them.  He quotes from the Old Testament in support of this position.  The key to understanding his meaning comes at 7:1:

2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Paul's purpose is to keep the believer holy and cleansed of sin. This is based upon Christ's instructions to us in John 17 where He pleads with the Father to protect us "in the world" since believers are now members of the Kingdom of Heaven and are no long "of the world." What Jesus means is that believers should no longer be subject to the schemes of the world. For our present purposes, homosexuality would one such scheme.

Paul also tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and 22 that we should:  21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. (KJV) This is a factor that is often over-looked when people hold discussions about what is sin, being of the world or in the world, and when is one supporting or endorsing sinful behavior. We must be careful that our actions do not appear to others in a manner contrary to what we desire.

Believers are to reach out in love to sinners.  On the other hand, to lease space and web space, without any disclaimers, certainly provides the appearance of support. From the article, there does not appear to be any statement of belief on the part of the church until after the membership removal process.  Indeed, the news story says that the pastor argued his position on the technical ground that the homosexual group was not a church so there was no violation of the membership covenant.

This "smells" bad.  It give the appearance of support, thus, in biblical terms, it provides the appearance of evil. 

I do not judge the situation in Texas, for I know nothing beyond the one news article sited above.  However, how often do we do things very similar to this?  Do we take the time to consider our actions from the perspective of others to see if they carry the appearance of evil?  Remember, evil here is the support of any sinful act, group, position, or belief.  It is so easy to say or do something that does not convey our true meaning.  Once done, however, we are stuck with it. 

Be slow to speak and act.  Consider your positions and actions carefully, for, indeed, our goal in life is to become holy. If we do a lot of good deeds along the way, if we save souls, so much the better.  Our individual goal is to cleanse ourselves as Paul told the Corinthians.

Are you clean?

Jim A

Posted On: 2006-01-20 22:56:53 || Comments (0 ) || Add a Comment
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