Exodus Asia Pacific

Churches are often asked questions that can be complex regarding same-sex attraction. These questions can be about personal struggles, family situations or are challenges to conventional theology. This page has some of the common questions asked and some thoughts that could be helpful.

What does your church believe about same sex marriage or partnerships?

A question that has been asked by more than one church has been, how to respond to a gay or lesbian couple who come to church, begin to attend regularly and then ask what is the theology of the church on same-sex partnerships/marriage?

Most churches would still agree that God created two genders, male and female, and that sex outside of male/female marriage is outside of his design.

However, to simply state that can seem like a big slap to homosexual people. So before answering the question, it can be helpful to discover whether both in the couple want to know Jesus? Or are they just enjoying the sense of God’s presence or perhaps the love of the people in the church? The main thing is to encourage their relationship with Jesus.
First perhaps, it could be a good idea to answer with the strategy of Jesus, to answer with questions. Ask, perhaps what their experiences have been with other churches.They may have been in other churches where this has come up and they have been ostracised. Or, they may be aware that some churches today have adopted pro-gay theology.
Often one of the partners is desiring to find God, or wanting to return to faith after going away. The other may have some attraction or inclination toward God, but not as deeply. So, pursuing Christ may create conflict in the relationship in the long run anyway.
You could suggest that they find first their identity in Christ, rather than worry about their current identity as a couple and let God show them his will for their lives.
In the end, like with any sin, you will need to gently point out that the church holds the same biblical view that God shows that brings all of us into alignment with his design, and that is for any human to be sexually pure. It does not mean that they must suddenly become heterosexual and marry the opposite gender to be considered a good Christian.
Heterosexuality is fraught with much sin too. In Exodus we say, that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but is holiness. So for some, it can mean celibacy.
When gay people hear this, it is like a life sentence. For one, they are usually convinced that they are genetically born gay. So, to say that God is only going to accept them in a male/female relationship will mean to them that they are doomed to be alone for the rest of their lives. When God may have many different ways of making their lives fulfilled.
Some may find satisfaction in God as celibate Christians and some do marry. But God can have a plan for people that honours their choice to follow him, denying themselves and taking up his cross daily. All Christians are called to this in some way or other.
A key for any leader who is asked this question, is to delay answering right away, and waiting on God for some keys for these two people personally, and asking God for discernment and wisdom for the best outcome. After all, the church too will be watching to see how this situation pans out and it can also have potential for a great deal of hurt and dissent within the church itself.
In the end, the couple will no doubt realise that their relationship is in conflict with God’s word. It is difficult to ignore that for ever. Then it comes down to how much an individual is willing to give up to gain Christ.

How do I love my gay friends and family?

Answer - Haydn Sennitt

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get when I get when speaking publicly about homosexuality is, How can I support my friends who are ‘gay’ or living with (unwanted) same-sex attraction?

It’s a tricky question to answer, because for each friend and person you know who is same-sex attracted there are different factors at play and there’s no hard-and-fast rule to directly meet each and every situation precisely. However, there are a number of things that you can do, generally speaking, so that no matter who it is you’re dealing with, you can be prepared:

Haydn is the pastoral care worker for Liberty Christian Ministries in Sydney. He answers this question with seven very helpful ways to care for, and be prepared for, relationship with gay friends and relatives. You can read his full article here

Haydn is also available to speak to churches and can be contacted atlcmi@iinet.net.au

Isn't the best response for Christians to 'love the sinner, hate the sin?

When gay people hear this, and they hear it often, they react with anger. When you believe that your orientation is genetic, this statement makes no sense. It would be like saying, 'love the left-handed person, but hate how they write with their left hand'. For gay people, hearing this statement is a nonsense because being homosexual is their identity it is who they are. As Joe Dallas says, "In using this phrase, Christians may mean love, but all people hear is hate."

If someone identifies as a 'gay Christian', they also do not see their behaviour as 'sin'. And for many Christians today, this statement is still seen as judgemental. They ask 'Who can judge another person and say that they are sinful'?

We are better off not using this phrase. Certainly, we are still called to speak truth and to abhor what God abhors, but this includes many things that we often ignore, such as God's hatred for divorce. When we use this term in speaking to gay people, they think of all the hypocrisy they see in Christians, from those who accept heterosexual failings, to child abuse in the church.

It is far better to show love, and to accept the person we meet whatever their form of sin takes. Forget the labels and simply love them as they are. Sometimes, the sin of homosexual behaviour is the lesser of the person's offence against God, when we get to know individuals, even if they seem 'squeaky clean' there is pride or underlying anger and rebellion.

A good discussion on this subject is found here:  http://six11.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/why-love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin-fails/

What do you advise if someone has been invited to a gay wedding?  What if it is for their off-spring?

What happens when a parent in your church explains that their son or daughter has declared that they are about to enter a same sex marriage. Perhaps they are in New Zealand, or will travel to New Zealand, or are expecting to be able to do this very soon in ACT.

The parent is in confusion. They have continued to confirm their love to their off-spring. Perhaps they have been courageous and have also shown love toward the partner. They feel sick inside at the thought of attending this 'wedding' but know that to refuse the invitation will only alienate them from their child even more.

The children in our experience, always respond with something like this:

"When you bring your religion into our relationship it makes me want to move further away from you. I don't believe in God, so I don't really care what you and your God thinks. I am gay,I love my partner and I choose to be with him/her, even if your religion doesn't accept this. Your truth is not my truth and you need to understand, that your hurtful and offensive comments have direct consequences.

Ideally, I want you as my parents to attend our wedding but realise that this is unlikely. The way I see it, is that you can either attend the wedding, and keep your hurtful comments to yourself. But if you feel you will come but need to make your objections known, you are not welcome."

When the parent comes to you. What kind of advice is helpful?

First, we need to recognise that attending a wedding is traditionally an affirmation of the event. However, for a parent, it can simply mean it is an affirmation of the child. This decision cannot be made easily and there is no biblical precedent for these kinds of life experiences that we are seeing today.

The main thing is to support the parent. They are facing a situation that can need the 'wisdom of Solomon' and every situation is different. A parent will often attend a wedding for a heterosexual couple, where they are not happy with a decision such as a child marrying an unbeliever. It does not make it that much different because this wedding is same sex. They are both situations that are out of sync with God's best for the off-spring spiritually.

It is important to let the parent know that they do have the right to stand on their beliefs. This may mean that they choose to be ostracised and not attend the wedding. As a leader, it is important to follow up these times as they are incredibly painful to parents and they deserve the support of the church whatever they decide.

What should we do if a couple comes to our church and they are gay, but genuinely seeking God and they have children? 

If a gay or lesbian family come to the church with children, does this mean we must break up the family? Or do we make exceptions and accept that they should continue as they are? When missionaries went to countries where polygamy was the order of the culture, often mistakes were made by regulating that the husband must choose just one wife and send the others way. The lives of the other women were damaged as they either had to return to family or had to turn to prostitution or beg to survive.

In our times, no matter how messy families may be, each person is of value. It is just as important to consider the children and their well-being, which may mean receiving the family as they are, working toward ending unbiblical sexual connection, but finding the wisdom of God to maintain security for the children and support for all involved. 

Often if one partner does not have the same passion for Christ, they will leave. This is the same kind of upheaval any couples may have and again, the church needs to find a way of compassion and long suffering to help people come to obedience, with the kind of grace we would all hope for. There are no 'cut and dried' answers for situations like this, but this does not mean that there are no answers. Churches are starting to find a way to hold to truth with compassion, leading people to sexual purity but modelling Christian community in complex situations through being family to one another. 


If a youth leader confides that they are struggling with same-sex attraction, should they step down from ministry?

Firstly, if a youth leader has had the courage to confide in you, this is a very great honour. It takes overcoming huge hurdles of fear and shame for someone to go to a leader and divulge this struggle.

The wonderful thing is that you now have the chance to address what is really going on in this person's faith and personal development. Not to mention giving them hope and the relief that someone confidential now knows what they are struggling with who will love them and help them work through this issue.

Should they step down from ministry? Only if they feel they want to. It is the same if you had a young person come and say that they were feeling tempted to sleep with their boyfriend or girlfriend. The temptation is not a sin. Or if a young leader divulged that they were struggling with the draw toward pornography on the Internet. First you would want to find in any of these cases exactly where the person was in addictive behaviours, or any kind of behaviours. If it is simply a struggle of temptation, diffusing the enemies condemnation by embracing the young leader and assuring them of your support is the first step.

If a person is practising sin, we have a mandate from the Bible that tells us we need a process of restoration. (Gal 6:1) In many cases it is a long process. In this case, time out is essential for the sake of the leader and the church. Too often people are considered to be 'fixed' and are put back into ministry too early. Because of their giftings and the need to fulfil positions for work in the church, the weakness in character is by-passed when what is needed is a long period to adjust.

Certainly in the area of same-sex attraction, it did not just start in a moment of time. The feelings may have started in a moment of time, but the development begins in the earliest stages of life. Fortunately for all types of brokenness, Jesus has the power and ability to cause our weaknesses to become strengths.

How can we help someone who has tried to overcome their same sex attraction but have failed? And in this they have been hurt by Christians or churches

The answer is to 'stand in the gap' (Ez 22:30). Apologise for past hurt from the body of Christ and offer hope and a love that will be as described in 1 Cor. The first attribute is patience.

It is good to listen and validate the pain that this person has already gone through. Then ensure that the experience this person has in your congregation is a different one. This means that it is important to train your leaders especially, to understand the issues around homosexuality. If they gain understanding of how this develops and some of the common experiences of homosexual people, they also gain compassion.

Anyone who has wounds from earlier church experiences will be wary. It takes getting alongside and being prepared to act as true family to rebuild trust. The gay community and pro-gay affirming churches will receive these people with open arms and unconditionally. We too need to open our arms as we would for a family member who is not living in any form of relationship outside of God's prescribed standards.

Over time, pray through the events of this person's past Christian experience and through their failures, to help them gain the strength that comes from forgiveness and from 'confessing their weakness' (Jas 5:16).

A person who has had a bad accident may take months or years to heal. We have to realise that these wounds can be emotionally and spiritually painful. Sometimes people react with anger or distress if a painful area is touched, even physically, this is true. Try not to be reactive about reaction! In time, the healing process can be complete if your church is skilful Then you will have some wonderful testimonies to glorify God and share with others.

If we have two women who come to our church who are 'glued' to each other in a codependant friendship, is this something we should address?

Sometimes women form unhealthy friendships.  They can be one-sided, with one woman feeling almost 'stalked' by another.  It can happen when a counsellor spends time with a very needy person, or a connect group leader befriends another woman.  It can happen between married women or young women who are living in the same place.  It can look almost like lesbianism.

It is close to lesbianism as for lesbian woman, it is often more about the emotional connection than phsyical sexuality.  At the heart, it can be idolatrous.  It is sometimes subtle as many young girls will become clones as teens and most will grow out of this, but for some it is the only way that they know how to relate.

To try to pry two women apart who have formed an emotionally dependant relationship can be difficult and sometimes unhelpful.  They are finding their hope, joy and safety in each other, so to be told to part and form more healthy relationships will cause them to feel anger, self-righteousness or fear.  This is a situation that needs patient and wise intervention. 

Teaching women what love is, is surely part of Titus 2:3-5.  Many women have had bad experiences, perhaps abuse, dysfunctional family role models and little information on relationships with other women.  They grow up with role models in movies and secular advice in magazines and from peers.  

What a great opportunity for women's ministry to be able to teach the real value of healthy friendships between women.  Slowly introducing others into the tight pair can be helpful and winning enough trust to be able to draw out what is really going on.  Older women in the church can play a rich and valuable role in this.  

Counselling can be important, but the church and help to re-parent the broken child within a woman who may be in this kind of friendship because she has missed on healthy development in her life.

 As leaders, we want to be welcoming, but how do we manage the many reactions our congregants may have to people? Sometimes, our church attenders can be reactive or may expect us as a church to censure people, especially if they are overtly gay or transsexual.

This is where it can be very helpful to have someone from the outside, come to help demystify homosexuality and to help people understand more about this subject. When people understand that in the vast majority of cases, people have not 'chosen' to be gay, and that this is something that requires our compassion rather than judgement, it can change the response to one of warmth.

Some feel fear of homosexual people. This is a natural fear of the unknown. So, it does help if this subject is better understood. Certainly teaching congregants to love people as they are and show the kind of love that is described in 1 Cor 13, that is patient and long suffering, is most helpful. As we learn to listen to people and their stories, we discover that we are all not that much different.

any people in churches attend, with hidden things that they would fear to reveal and yet transparency is a wonderful path to healing. Often the reaction to people who are externally noted as gay or transsexual, can include two other mind-sets. Firstly, a self-righteous mind-set that sees an obvious sin, that can overshadow our own short-comings that may not look that obvious.  I Tim 5:24 talks of how some people have obvious sins while others have things that 'trail behind them.'  As pastors and leaders, it is often stunning to discover what likes beneath sometimes the most outwardly saintly congregant.  We need to take Jesus seriously and teach people not practice judgments based on other people's 'logs'.

Secondly, it can be a fear that the person coming into the church will somehow infect or influence other vulnerable people such as the younger attendees. Again, this is best handled by teaching the younger ones the same lessons of understanding and loving welcome, but also making sure that they are well discipled in their own understanding of the Bible.

My youth in our youth group seem to be more accepting of homosexuality, often citing school friends who are gay and that they cannot see anything wrong with. How do I address this? 

The assumption is that Christians think gay people are 'bad' people. A young person's gay friend is possibly the nicest person they know. And they may be in a relationship that appears to be warm and loving. This can persuade Christian youth that everything they have heard in school and from their culture is more correct than what the church may want them to believe.

First, it is good to affirm that their friends are no doubt wonderful people. People who just like anyone else, need to know Jesus. Gay people don't go to hell because they are gay. They go to hell, as heterosexuals do, because they are not alive in Christ and like all people, they first need to be introduced to him. 

Then, the Lordship of Jesus calls all of us to die to things that we perceive to be 'good', yet God says are not. Our feelings are not absolute truth. Only God expresses absolute truth. So, if God says acting on same-sex attraction is not good for us, and that does not approve of this, then it is not good, any more than being sexually active in a multi-partner relationship would be good, even if it felt right. 

The base of this doubt comes from believing that God is withholding something good from people who may have predominant or exclusive same-sex feelings. So, this then calls into question God's character. His whole being is love. His whole being is good. So, if he says something is not good for us, it is out of this love and out of this goodness. It is us who can have darkened or blinded perceptions.

Then as young people, there is a belief that relationships in teens will be forever. But this is rarely the case, whether a girl and boy enter into a sexual relationship in their teens, or two people of the same-sex. Same-sex relationships are notoriously unstable for the majority. So, it is too early in youthful years to conclude that these kinds of relationships are healthy. These may be some avenues to being discussion with youth

Some say that the church is obsessed with same-sex issues and that Christians barely say anything about divorce, adultery or pre-marital sex. Why is the church so against this one kind of sin?

In some ways, this question raises a legitimate complaint. However, no one is trying to force acceptance of adultery, divorce or pre-marital sex and no one is wanting to make it illegal to make a stand against such sins. Some heterosexual people may feel their sin is not so abhorrent so they will point at homosexual sin as this can make them feel they are somehow less guilty of offending God. All our sin separates us from God. Just because we may not indulge in someone else's sin, does not make us perfect.

However, we need to make sure that we are not constantly lowering God's standard. In doing this, we can finish up with a powerless church that can offer freedom to no one. Truth after all is what sets us free. And that is God's truth, not the truth that we want to make convenient. 

Question:  One of our youth believes they have been born in the wrong body and should be the opposite sex.

Transgender issues are complicated. A youth leader or pastor confronted with this situation can feel overwhelmed and unsure of the way to respond. Popular culture is pushing this so strongly that this issue is presenting in churches on a sadly regular basis now. Science however, does not agree with this cultural shift. 

The most powerful thing that you can do, is to slow the process if steps have already been started. Help the young person, or their parent to become informed about the issue. One of the ways to do this is to help get good information to people. Information about the effects of hormone treatment and surgeries and risks attached. People are rarely told of these things. Also, information about trans regrets and if you can find Youtube stories to give them of people who thought this was the answer but then found they were still miserable and the torment they go through to try to de-transition, can be eye-opening.

Later, it is good to talk about how these feelings have occurred, perhaps finding a good counsellor or psychologist. Most trans people have felt different from childhood and that they don't 'fit' with their natural gender. Most believe that if they could just become the opposite sex, their lives would be so much happier. This is often not the result. It is better to work slowly through the many issues that cause a person to feel this way. 

One Christian website with good information is: http://www.help4families.com/

Question:  What happens if we are unable legally to help people who have same-sex attraction

Our focus in Renew is not to encourage people to try to change their feelings. This rarely is helpful for anyone. A pastor can still ask a person to make it a focus to follow Jesus and to make him Lord of a person's life. In this, obedience to scripture is paramount and a pastor is entitled to encourage people toward obedience to sexual purity.

There are few counsellors who are willing to counsel a person to walk away from LGBT feelings. Our ministries are small and beleaguered and are not present in many places within our region and so it is harder for pastors to simply refer people on for help. However this is not something that we need to wring our hands over and feel defeated about. Studies have shown that the best help that can be provided in churches is simply to find a suitable and willing person to befriend anyone with same-sex attraction and who is willing to walk alongside them in the discipleship process. That and feeding people the meat of the Word and giving them opportunities to encounter God for themselves, is the key to helping LGBT people to live in accordance with scripture. 

Any church can continue to do this. All is not lost. We are still called to offer the freedom that can only be found in Jesus Christ for all of us. 

“The lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved.” C.S. Lewis


Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality and didn't censor homosexuality, so why does the church condemn this behaviour?

That Jesus said nothing about homosexuality is most certainly true! But do we interpret this to mean that he was therefore condoning? Well, if we were to take his silence on a subject as his endorsement of a behaviour, then he also condoned bestiality , incest, or pedophilia or cannibalism for that matter, as he said nothing about these subject and many others.

Remembering that Jesus was a Jew, it is hard to imagine that he was unfamiliar with the Old Testament passages that clearly defined God's feelings about the practice of homosexuality. All Jews were well aware of the standards set down and he was speaking to well informed Jews.

With all humanity, there is a constant attempt to push God's boundaries. We have a false sense of freedom that is at its heart simply rebellion that wants to drive us into a state of anarchy where 'each person does what is right in their own eyes' (Judges 17:6)

In the time of Jesus some Rabbis wanted to find theological reason for divorce. So in the answers that Jesus gave in this area, we see that he was fully in agreement with God's design for a male and female to join together in marriage. (Matt 19:3-6 Mark 10:1-12).

So although Jesus did not say anything about many sexual behaviours, he fully endorsed sex within marriage between a man and a woman. And although having grace on a people who had fallen to behaviour outside of the beautiful pattern first seen in Gen 2:22-24, he was also clear on sin outside of the union of marriage being something we need to turn from.

Were Sodom and Gomorrah judged because of inhospitality?

The pro-gay theologians put forth that Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because they were inhospitable.

The argument is taken from Eze 16:49-50 ESV "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. (50) They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it."

The main sin, it is said, was that Sodom and Gomorrah were not showing the correct hospitality. Some say that Lot had not followed through on correct hospitality regulations that would have required him to let the city elders know who had come into their city. They say that the Hebrew word shows that the men of Sodom simply wanted to (yada), 'know' who the two angels were and Lot had violated these regulations.

Answering the first interpretation, it is true that Sodom and Gomorrah looked much like some of our western civilisations today, excessively well fed, prosperous and ease and ignoring those in need. Our culture today can also be guilty of the sin of pride. However it was the grievous acts being done in these cities that had come to God's attention.

In Jud 1:7-8 ESV we read, "just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality (ekporneuõ) and pursued unnatural desire (strange flesh -heteros sarx) , serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (8) Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones." Which defines acts of sexuality as foremost amongst the sins Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of.

God had set his mind to send the angels to destroy these cities before the angels ever entered in the guise of human men. So this one act of wanting to 'know' them was not the cause of the destruction. Incidentally, the two daughters of Lot had not 'known' (yada) a man and it is clear that in this sense the word refers to sexual relations.

Then it has been argued that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were lusting after sexual rape and this is not the same as loving relationships between people of the same sex. It is more like the power acts of men in prison.

The fact that Lot offered his virgin daughters adds the thought that these men were primarily heterosexual men who may have been tempted to take the women. So the argument is that these were not homosexual men, but rather heterosexual men who were wanting to do 'unnatural' acts with men.

Undoubtedly, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were practising a number of things that were abhorrent to God. Greed and pride are notable but clearly Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of a spectrum of many sexual sins. Their society had broken down and it is possible that there were no expectations of 'loving relationships'. However, Lot had retained the hope of son-in-laws and there must have been in the human reasoning some who felt their acts or relationships were 'loving'.

Vincent McCann of Spotlight Ministries, writes in his apologetic of this theological discussion:

"Just because a person feels that what they are doing is right does not necessarily mean that God is in agreement with it (Prov. 14:12).

Those who are involved in incest could also argue that the relationships that they have are loving, and natural to them. However, this does not make what they do right. The facts are that the Scriptures make no distinction between violent homosexual acts, and homosexual relationships where a loving relationship is said to exist. Alongside numerous other sins, it is simply identified as being contrary to God's will."


A Second view of the argument regarding Sodom and Gomorrah

Were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed because of inhospitality?

Ezekiel  14:49 "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom:  She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." 

If we ignore all the other scriptures about Sodom and Gomorrah such as Jud 1:7 where it clearly states that these two towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion and it was for this reason they were destroyed, we may be convinced that the text proof of Ezekiel is all there is to say on this subject in the Bible. 

Today, many Christians are waking up to the need for the church to be more compassionate and less self-absorbed.  This can lead to loud cries about social justice, and lobbying on social media.  But as this scripture above notes, until we are willing to divide up our own large properties and share them with the needy, or eat more simply so that they can 'simply eat', we are being hypocrites. 

We must take heed because this kind of selfish living covers all aspects and sexuality was certainly a big part of the ire God felt. Those who espouse Ez 14:49 as absolving gay behaviour, do not go on to read the next verse, 50, They were haughty and committed abominations before me. 

God says plainly that he hates pride. And he is clear that his judgement was not because Lot did not inform the elders of the city of his visitor's arrival.  If that were the case, God would be a very cruel and captious God indeed.  Besides, he had set his mind to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, long before these two angels set foot in the city. 

Certainly it was for more than homosexual acts, but we can not ignore that this was included in his list of sins.

God Hates Prawns

It is argued that Christians pick and choose from the OT law. Why should homosexuality be condemned when Christians think nothing of wearing clothing of mixed cloth and eat shellfish and pork?

The Old Testament law contains recognisable ritual, social and moral law.

The ritual law is not fully followed even by orthodox Jews today, because there is no temple in existence.

Social law was given for the circumstances they lived in, firstly as people living a nomadic life, then as dwellers in a time where hygiene and health science was unknown. God laid down some very radical rules that were seen by the people of the Old Testament as general law. We now can see that many of these laws were for practical reasons to keep this nation healthier than the nations around them, and socially in order.

These social and ritual laws were over-ruled or considered inconsequential, in New Testament writing. For example Peter seeing the unclean animals as fit to eat, and Paul speaking of all food now being 'clean'.

The one area of law that continued, and was endorsed by Jesus, was moral law. The New Testament continues many passages to acknowledge that laws of sexual purity as understood in the Old Testament have not changed. The penalties in Christianity became submission to grace, rather than inflicting harsh punitive judgements.

But the pursuit of purity and refraining from any sexual relationships outside of marriage between a man and a woman was reinforced by Jesus (Matt 19:3-7) and taught throughout the New Testament by the writers of the letters.

Link to a very thoughtful, 30 minute theological discussion by Robert Gagnon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqK9LkqAgw0
'Clobber Scriptures'
Scriptures about homosexuality in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, are often referred to as the "clobber" passages. Traditional Christians see these scriptures as clearly condemning same sex behaviour while those who see themselves as progressives, see condemnation rather of rape,paedophilia and promiscuity or idolatrous orgies.

Pro-gay theology revisits each passage, redefining them to say that God is certainly against people behaving sexually outside of their natural orientation. So this is said to mean that if a heterosexual person acts out homosexually, they are acting outside of their natural being and should be condemned. However if someone is homosexual then their 'natural' inclination toward same-sex behaviour is normal and to be accepted. Therefore, they argue, these passages are not referring to homosexuals in loving committed relationships. They talk of theology evolving as we now live with different social constructs.

These arguments are not consistent with the passages involved, which clearly condemn all same-sex behaviour. For two thousand years, scholars have understood the meaning and it is only now that some claim, we have been misguided.

Albert Mohler asks, "Is it "clobbering” people to point out that Scripture identifies their behaviour or attitudes as sinful?" And ascertains that it is certainly important that all of us own the truth of our sin whatever that might be.

Without a knowledge of our sinfulness, we do not know of our need for a Saviour In this sense, we all need to be "clobbered” by the Bible so that we will know of our need for Christ

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-church-and-the-clobber-scriptures-the-bible-on-homosexuality-50792/#F7q7EtphoyGSGb2A.99


Aren't we told in scripture not to judge?
Myth - Calling Homosexuality a Sin Is Judging, and Judging Is a Sin.
By Sue Bohlin, Probe Ministries: http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.4219057/k.94C2/Homosexual_Myths.htm  

Josh McDowell says that the most often-quoted Bible verse used to be John 3:16, but now that tolerance has become the ultimate virtue, the verse we hear quoted the most is "Judge not, lest ye be judged." (Matt. 7:1) The person who calls homosexual activity wrong is called a bigot and a homophobe, and even those who don't believe in the Bible can be heard to quote the "Judge not" verse.

When Jesus said "Do not judge, or you too will be judged," the context makes it plain that He was talking about setting ourselves up as judge of another person, while blind to our own sinfulness as we point out another's sin. There's no doubt about it, there is a grievous amount of self-righteousness in the way the church treats those struggling with the temptations of homosexual longings. But there is a difference between agreeing with the standard of Scripture when it declares homosexuality wrong, and personally condemning an individual because of his sin. Agreeing with God about something isn't necessarily judging.

Imagine I'm speeding down the highway, and I get pulled over by a police officer. He approaches my car and, after checking my license and registration, he says, "You broke the speed limit back there, ma'am." Can you imagine a citizen indignantly levelling a politically correct charge at the officer: "Hey, you're judging me! Judge not, lest ye be judged!'" The policeman is simply pointing out that I broke the law. He's not judging my character, he's comparing my behaviour to the standard of the law. It's not judging when we restate what God has said about His moral law, either. What is sin is to look down our noses at someone who falls into a different sin than we do. That's judging.

Jesus affirmed a gay relationship when he healed the Roman centurion's lover

A young leader challenged, "Jesus affirmed homosexual loving relationships when he healed the Roman Centurion's lover." This is proposed as another 'proof' that God is not against loving, monogamous gay relationships.

It is well documented that, in the time of Jesus, Romans had adopted the practice of older men, particularly wealthy men or men of authority such as the centurion would have been, to have a young male as a sexual partner. This was in effect pederasty. It was not the same kind of relationship that could be defined as a mutual, loving gay relationship. The older man would normally also have a wife and family.

In some Greek literature the word 'pais' pais was used to describe the junior partner in a homosexual relationship. But that is not what it means here nor the rest of the New Testament. The word 'pais' is also used to describe children, adolscents and servants.

The word 'pais' is used 24 times in the NT and in each case it refers to someone who is a servant or a dear child. For example, Jairus' daughter was described as a 'pais'. In Matt 12:18 Jesus is described as a 'pais' of His Father God, meaning he is a servant of his Father God. In the LXX (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) it appears numerous times and it always refers to a “servant.” There are no occurrences of the term anywhere in the Bible that can be interpreted as referring to the junior partner in a homosexual relationship. This word is used in the story regarding the Centurion, found in Matt 8:5-13 and Luke 7: 1-10, with Luke also including the term 'doulos', meaning 'slave'. Although the word 'pais' is sometimes used in other literature to refer to a lover, it is not used this way in the NT and the reference to the Roman Centurion's servant should not be interpreted to be a young gay partner.

John Bryan,Professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary,discusses this subject here:


Were David and Jonathan gay lovers? 1 Sam 20:41 tells us that they kissed goodbye and in 2 Sam 1:26, David says that the love of Jonathan was 'more wonderful than that of a woman'.

Mike Haley in his book, 101 Frequently asked Questions about Homosexuality, explains that the kiss was a common practice among Eastern men and still is. There is nothing erotic suggested in this. Then Haley goes on to talk of David and it would seem unlikely that this man was gay.

"we are, after all, talking about David - a man whose Achilles heel was his desire and insatiable lust for women. Remember, he's the same guy who had numerous concubines and wives and still couldn't be fulfilled, so he took another man's wife - Bathsheba - and killed her husband to cover his transgression.  That doesn't sound much like most gay men I've met.

And besides, since when have the Scriptures ever shied away from direct expressions of inappropriate sexual relationships?  If God intended for this relationship to be an endorsement of homosexuality (which would contradict his nature and rest of the Bible), the Bible would have stated something like this: "And Jonathan knew David" or "and Jonathan lay with David." Never is the Bible unclear where sexual relationship were obvious."

Haley concludes that to adopt the idea of David and Jonathan being gay, is to fall to self-deception.  Others suggest gay and lesbian couples are found throughout both the Old and New Testaments, such as Daniel and Ashpenez, Naomi and Ruth, Jesus and John, as well as Jesus and Peter.  These are stretches of the imagination, by those seeking to find endorsement in relationships where no true evidence can be found. 

What about the possibility of Jesus having a gay relationship with Lazarus who came to him at night wearing only a linen cloth to cover his nakedness and who stayed the night with Jesus?

This belief comes from an account in a book outside of the canon of Scripture. A book known as the 'Secret Gospel of Mark'.  The passage is said to refer to Lazarus and the love relationship he and Jesus had:

  And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, "Son of David, have mercy on me." But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.[9]

This book has not been accepted by any serious Bible scholar and has been deemed to be a medieval forgery. There is no original manuscript that has been found. However, this argument appears in several theological books to prove pro-gay theological arguments and in particular that Jesus may well have been leading a band of gay men. Pro-gay theologians sometimes see the relationship with John as gay, and with Peter since he asked Peter if he loved him. From a pro-gay perspective, there is a suspicion that the majority of people are really gay. So this line of argument fits their hopes. For someone who is gay and attracted to Jesus, it would be validating to think that he too may have been gay.

There are many variations on these new theologies, such as Jesus being intersex, or bi-sexual and having relationships with both disciples and Mary. 

We need to be aware of these, as they can be genuinely held views by some and if we are aware of these, it can help to have some form of defense of truth. The early followers of Jesus may well have been astounded by such modern applications, since they were as Jesus was, fully accepting of Jewish law and mores.

Some believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it does say homosexual behaviour is sinful. However, now there is new revelation and the Holy Spirit continues to speak. God is not silent and he has expanded his revelation in these times and shows how homosexual practice can be acceptable to God. 

Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

Those that have this view are not discerning the Bible with a desire to know God in his holiness. This kind of theology leads to eisegesis rather than exegesis. God's voice becomes what we 'feel' and what we want to believe he is saying, which is generally agreeing with our carnal desires. 

​We need to be careful to weigh any new revelation or interpretation through good biblical application. It is easy to distort the clear intent of God, by listening to voices that are subjective and unreliable. 


Was Paul Simply a Repressed Gay Man?

Some people believe that God does not expect people to repress what is their 'natural' orientation. Theologian John Shelby Spong, who was a bishop in the Episcopal church and was gay, commented on Chapter 1 of Romans. He felt that Paul was writing because he was personally repressing gay feelings.

Spong felt that Paul had a personal struggle that caused him to condemn homosexual behaviour, especially as this was not accepted in his time and within his Jewish culture. He wrote in his book, The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love: "Yes, I am convinced that Paul of Tarsus was a gay man, deeply repressed, self-loathing, rigid in denial, bound by the law that he hoped could keep this thing, that he judged to be so unacceptable, totally under control, a control so profound that even Paul did not have to face this fact about himself. But repression kills. It kills the repressed one and sometimes the defensive anger found in the repressed one also kills those who challenge, threaten or live out the thing that this repressed person so deeply fears(2005, p. 140).

Spong was asked in an interview how he could so easily find this understanding from the Bible on homosexuality, Spong said, “I don’t see the Bible as the Word of God. I see the Word of God as that which I hear through the words of the Bible. There’s a very big difference.” The difference that Spong put forth came from his dismissive view of biblical authority.

His views do not hold much weight. There is no biblical evidence of Paul struggling with homosexuality. Paul had a high view of scripture and was called of God to lay down much of the theological foundation for the church. Peter acknowledged his ability with rightly teaching from the Bible (2 Pet 3:16). 

Some believe that Romans 1:32 was taking about heterosexual people who had exchanged their natural inclinations to act in homosexual ways. Therefore God was not condemning people whose natural affections were inclined toward those of the same gender.

This is a twist of the scripture that moves the plain and clear intent of Paul who goes to pains to describe same-sex behaviour, whether male or female as contrary to God's requirements. His writing would have had plain understanding to Jews who understood the Old Testament that he was agreeing with the instructions that sexual activity was in its natural form, between and man and a woman only. 

This recent interpretation is based on the suggestion that some people are born or formed early to have only a 'natural' inclination toward their own sex and therefore they are being true to their natural nature to seek out these unions. This inference here is that God is aware of this and is only angry with heterosexuals who pervert their 'natural' desires. 

“We live in a culture that assumes a natural explanation implies a moral obligation. If you were born with a desire, then it’s essential to your nature to carry it out.” David Platt

“Differentiating between sexual orientation and sexual practice is a modern concept.” John Stott

"There is a movement from heterosexuality to homosexuality in Romans 1:26–27, and according to the rest of Paul’s argument, this is a movement away from godliness. Having moved from the knowledge of God, the human race has also moved from God’s natural, moral pattern for sexual expression (vv. 24–27 ) and social interaction (vv. 28–32 ). Therefore it is improper to limit this one expression to a particular immoral expression of an otherwise acceptable practice referred to as 'natural homosexuality.' Homosexuality is no more godly, and thus is no more 'natural,' than any of the other evils mentioned." (David E. Malick, "The Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romans, p.337) 


What do you do when a transsexual comes to church and wants to use the toilets?
Ideally, the church will have a unisex toilet that can be a disabled toilet as well. It is acceptable to suggest that this person use this toilet.
If the church does not have a unisex toilet, it is best that the transsexual or cross dresser is guided to the toilet of the sex they are identifying with. A man dressed as a woman will in most situations, cause less distress to women than to men and a woman identifying as a man will be less conspicuous in the male toilets. Human rights law guides any organisation to acknowledge people who self identify. The church can find it is against prevailing law if someone is forced to use the toilet of their biological gender.
For some churches this has meant putting in a separate unisex toilet.