Friday, February 26, 2016

How Do You Deal With A Leader Of The Church Who Is Practicing Homosexuality?

Can We Continue To Go To A Gay Pastor's Church?

Question : If the Pastor at your Church came out as gay, would you continue to go to that Church?

Answer : Greetings to you in Jesus name!

First of all the Word of God says,
"9 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, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor 6:9-10).

The unrighteous are those who are unbelievers who may outwardly profess a creed, go to Church, be a respectable deacon or even lead a Church being a Pastor of it to inspire people with their Charisma or grace gift which they might have received with a calling of God over their lives which is irrevocable
(Rom 11:29). Even Judas was such a person who was with Jesus hearing all the truth and professing to be first a disciple of Jesus and later as an apostle among the twelve, but he was never saved and went to hell fire by committing suicide at the end (John 17:12; Acts 1:17-18, 19-20). But it is entirely another thing to become a righteous person, in the Biblical description of a righteous person, God imputes his own righteous to the ungodly people who believe Him, and from that point of time onward their faith is accounted by God for righteousness, Paul the apostle describes this as a blessedness from God who imputes or puts in to our spiritual account His righteousness apart from our works (Rom 4:5, 6). Having said about the above facts of becoming a righteous man in God's sight by believing God, I also say that God forgives the past, present and future sins of a believer once and for all time forever, and therefore no more sacrifice is ever needed by that person to do towards God except confess his sins to God for intimate fellowship as God cannot continue to work or fellowship with sin when it is hidden in the heart of a believer (Rom 4:7-8; Heb 10:12, 14; 1 John 1:7, 9; Hab 1:13; Psa 66:18). In other words, the born again or saved person is not the one who lives a sinless life, but they are saved to do good works and live a saintly life by the grace of God (Eph 2:8-9, 10).

To me as the Bible says, a born again saved person cannot continue in sin and practice it indefinitely as like the unbeliever without remorse or sorrow for doing it
(1 John 3:6; 2 Cor 7:10). A person who keeps on sinning without regretting or having dislike for it have not ever been really saved as the following Scripture points out, "5 And you know that he [i.e. Jesus] became a man so that he could take away our sins, and that there is no sin in him, no missing of God's will at any time in any way. 6 So if we stay close to him, obedient to him, we won't be sinning either [i.e because Jesus comes to our aid in our fight against sin to overcome its power and its hold over our lives (Heb 2:16)]; but as for those who keep on sinning [i.e. without any remorse or conviction which leads to life of repentance (John 16:7-8; Rom 2:3-4; 2 Cor 7:10)], they should realize this: They sin because they have never really known him or become his." (1 John 3:5-6, LB).

There is another category who sin adamantly, they are those who are saved but because of living in the flesh and loving it have become stubborn enough to practice it
(Heb 3:17; 1 Cor 10:6, 7, 8, 9, 10-11; 11:30-31, 32; Heb 12:4, 5-6, 7), these people will be chastised by the Lord Jesus and may even face death if they do not turn back from their evil ways and judge their own self of their ungodly practice of sin. Because the goodness of the Lord leads us to repentance, these believers if they persist in sin against God's chastising and loving hand, they will fall away and will have lack of repentance which will lead to God's judgment upon their lives for their stubbornness (Heb 6:6; 10:29-30, 31-32).

Should we judge the Pastor who lives in gay lifestyle openly or not?

Here is what Paul the apostle says,
"For what have I to do with judging outside the church? Do you not judge those who are within the church? God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, "You must remove the evil person from among you." (1 Cor 5:12-13). In other words, Paul the apostle says, the Church should intervene as one body to take a decision to remove the person who is stubborn in practicing sin as a believer or in a leaders capacity.

In others words, when a leader is not repentant about his sin, he should graciously take a sabbatical until he full repents and then the Church should consider reinstating him to the position of leadership that he has been called for.

Jesus clearly told how a sinning Brother or a leader must be dealt by the Church,
"15 If a brother sins against you [i.e Church at large or individual at the least], go to him privately and confront him with his fault. If he listens and confesses it, you have won back a brother. 16 But if not, then take one or two others with you and go back to him again, proving everything you say by these witnesses. 17 If he still refuses to listen, then take your case to the church, and if the church's verdict favors you, but he won't accept it, then the church should excommunicate him." (Matt 18:15-17, LB).

Also other apostles like James, Peter and Jude said, " 19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins." (Jam 5:19-20) and " 7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”" (1 Peter 4:7-8). Jude continues in this same vein saying, "22 Some, when they argue with you for sin, you must endeavor to convince against sin; 23 Others you must try to save who are religious but unsaved, as brands plucked from the flames; and still on others who are stubborn look with pity mingled with fear, while you hate every trace of their sin." (Jude 1:22-23, Paraphrased).

So what we hear the apostles say in the above verses are, resist the sin of people and yourself with a holy hatred, but love the people and yourself with the unconditional love of Jesus which has been expressed on the Cross. The Cross put a end to sin and its power, so we must take up our cross to follow Jesus and put an end to it in our lives too (Luke 9:23-24, 25-26).

We should judge the Pastor as he is the leader of a flock purchased by the very blood of Jesus (Acts 20:28), but not by ourselves, but collectively as a Church so that he could be given time to repent personally in his life.

Individually, we should judge sin in the Pastor who is gay, and make sure we love and support him in the process of repentance.

Should we continue to go the Church where we know the leadership is gay and practice it? 

It all depends on whether the Pastor is ready to repent or not? If the Pastor asks pardon for his lifestyle and takes a sabbatical for a time and repents, then we need not judge further. If not, we should stay away from such place because the Bible prohibits it and says
"bad friendship corrupts good habits, morals and communication" (1 Cor 15:33). We are also told to follow the faith of those who profess the Scripture, considering the outcome of their conduct (Heb 13:7). In other word the Bible clearly says and warns the believers, if the conduct of a leader of a Church is not positive in holiness, and what he believes, speaks and practices in his life and ministry is against sin, do not follow them as they are not practicing the faith they profess which is not good for your soul growth spiritually. Praise the Lord! In other words, if we know that a leader practices a sin and condones it, but if we still choose to stay there just for the sake of maintaining our friendship, soon sin will desensitize our spiritual immunity and we too may become a part of the sinful lifestyle sooner or later to be judged by God along with the crowd around us. It is better to kill sin in us or others, before sin kills us or others by its power.

Hear how Jesus commended those believers in the first century who were carefully judging the life of people to find whether what they are is inline with truth or not, "2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary." (Rev 2:2-3). In other words, Jesus expects us to test the life of leaders with what they profess and practice to understand whether their faith follows them. If we are ever deceived by something false, we are responsible for gulping out the deception due to the foolishness of our own spiritual laziness. We should be diligent like the Berean Christians whom the Holy Spirit recommended as a fair-minded or noble people for checking even apostle Paul's teaching from the Scripture to find out what he says is in the Scripture or not, to see whether his life sums up to what he professes from the Scripture (Acts 17:10, 11). So as a good disciple of Jesus Christ, learn to test the prophecy of people which can mislead you and cause ship wreck to your faith (1 Thess 5:20-21, 22; 1 Tim 1:18-19, 20), test the spirit behind the message of the gospel whether it is the Holy Spirit driven or flesh or evil spirit (1 John 4:1, 2-3; James 3:13, 14-15; 1 Tim 4:1), test the doctrines and hold fast to the sound doctrines that are taught by ministers of God (1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 2:15, 16-17, 18; Eph 4:14-15) and finally test the fruit of the Spirit and godliness in the life and character of the ministers who ministers to you in the Church or through media (Matt 7:15-16, 17-18, 19-20).      

The greatest single tool of leadership is an exemplary life. The puritan Thomas Brooks said, “Example is the most powerful rhetoric.”

The apostle Paul knew what it means to live a life others could follow, and he reminded the Church to look for character in the ministers of God when it comes to following them. Paul the apostle wanted leadership in the Church that not only will talk the talk, but also that which will walk the talk, and continue to talk the walk further in their lives. Look at the following verses:

1 Corinthians 4:16
, “I urge you to imitate me.”

1 Corinthians 11:1
, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.”

Philippians 3:17, “Join with me in following my example and also others who walk just like me in following the Lord.” 

Philippians 4:9, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, put into practice.”

1 Thessalonians 1:5-6, “You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord."

In other words, the greatest message a minister of God will ever preach is the one they preach with their life which is worthy to emulate and have followers. The example we set is absolutely critical for people to follow us as we follow Christ. It is the walk that gives authenticity to the talk we do to others.

In this last hours of the last days in which we are living, God expects us to be filled with Scripture and have a hatred for sin and love for the people (Matt 24:12, 14). He expects us to pray for overcoming sin and also help through it to people who are deceived by sin. May God help us to continue to live a godly life that pleases Him and receive great reward later for living it now gloriously by the grace of God. The bottom line is, hate sin and have no friendship with it, but love the sinner and lead him to the power of the Cross where there is always deliverance for us and others who are tormented by sin.

Much Blessings....


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