Major Points, Questions and Wrestles on Homosexuality–A Pre-Sermon Chat with Nowra City Church.


Recently, as I am currently preaching through Romans, I touched on the issue of homosexuality. Before I got into the scriptures I wanted to have a bit of a chat to the church.  Here are my major points/questions/wrestles of that chat.

1) Jesus loves homosexuals and any conversation we have must be condemnation free, and love based.

2) At Nowra City Church we don’t and won’t view a person through the primary lens of their sexuality – our primary lens is that a person is created by God in his image and therefore worthy of respect.

3) At Nowra City Church, we recognize that homosexuality is a complex issue with varied understandings as to its cause/s and effect/s. We also recognize that every part of us is touched and tainted by sin and brokenness and this therefore must include our sexuality.

4) The call to follow Jesus includes how we express sexuality and so we believe it ought to be marked by faithfulness inside of marriage and abstinence outside of marriage.

5) I struggle with  the idea that we can’t judge by saying something is right or wrong

This is the latest politically correct fad – you can’t judge. The problem with the observation that I am being judgemental is of itself a judgmental comment.

The bible lays out what is right and what is wrong and we if are no longer able to call right right and wrong wrong, we have removed sin from the world and therefore we have removed the world’s need for a saviour

If Laura (my daughter) is about to run out on the road and there is a car coming I am going to tell her to stop. Its not judgemental. Its my love guiding her to safety.

6) Why can’t we have a robust discussion about the broader implications of homosexuality or gay marriage without it descending into name calling and anti religious fervour?

7) As a Christian we need to be very careful that we are not being brainwashed into changing our theology by the subtle continuous messages of cultural spokesmen.

8) My heart breaks for the struggle that homosexual people go through.

Quote from a letter to a Pastor from a lesbian lady

“It is easy for people to tell gay people to get counselling, pray, read the Bible and stay away from their mates. But could you stay away from your wife and pray to love a man? It would be tough, huh? You can’t even think about doing that, right? Well, neither can I. That is the only comparison I can make that could really get you to feel what it’s like on my side of the fence.

If I think this kind of struggle through – wow.

9) In regards to gay marriage – I have wrestled with the idea of is it right for the Church to expect the government to legislate morality on non Christians. How would I feel if this was Islamic Shari law being put onto me?

The conclusion I have come to is that Marriage is a God ordained institution and between a man and a woman and it’s our responsibility to defend it.

10) I have recently written a paper on the damage that the gay marriage debate has done to the church and its standing in the community. The church worldwide hasn’t done itself any favours by its conduct toward the gay marriage debate.

11) How big of an issue is this really?

Quote from a research paper I wrote on the topic whilst studying at Fuller Theological Seminar on the subject of Theology and Contemporary Culture.

So how big an issue is this really? How many gay people are there in Australia? How many of them want to get married? According to a research paper from Monash University based on the 2001 Australian Population Censure – See report in Appendix A, there are 37,774 same couples in Australia. This as a percentage of all the couples in Australia is .47%. Now let’s assume that the gay community has experience radical growth over the last 10 years, and its double in size. It would still be less that 1% of all heterosexual couples in the entire nation. Granted, this minority are very vocal and appear a lot larger than they really are, one could conclude this is issue really is not as big an issue as it may appear.

To some degree, I am reluctantly posting these points as in previous blogs that I have touched on the gay marriage debate, the viciousness of the attacks on me have been shocking, so it you are going to comment on this blog, comment or argue a point, don’t attack me personally.

Peter

I acknowledge a couple of these points I took from a statement that RiverView Church in Perth use.



Categories: Current Affairs, Nowra City Church, Sermon Notes

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24 replies

  1. Thankyou for a well thought out loving discourse .

  2. Thank you for your great article. I also wanted to say that I know how you feel about being attacked. I have lost 99.9% of family. It’s basically me, my boys and a dad I haven’t seen for 30. I have my Heavenly Father though and that is everything.

  3. Can a homosexual be a born again christian while not giving up their homosexuality? In other words, can you be a christian while still in sin and not give it up?

    • Thats a very hard question. I don’t think i can give a definitive answer, although I would tend to think not.

      • Thanks for the reply Peter. My question’s hidden agenda was more to do with the requirements of salvation rather than the issue of one’s sexuality.

        Most christians, have a bias against homosexuality – due to it being an abomination to God – and we ususually condemn them or say they cannot be saved while still in sin or refuse to give it up. However, don’t all christians have sin – some of which we give up yet there is still a lot we do not give up, be it conciously or unconciously. Does that make us just as all exempt from salvation? Who will be saved then?

        Maybe you can discuss all this in your next blog! Would love to hear your thoughts!

        Justin

      • Justin, I think Jesus specialises in messes and brokenness. At Nowra City Church, our attitude is that we are a church where its ok to not be ok. I want to be part of a church that is a faith community that is grace based. This doesnt mean that we are soft on sin – it just means that we are aware of our own brokenness and our humble reliance on God’s all sufficient grace. Can a homosexual give his heart to Christ and keep being gay – yes – will Christ bring his transformational grace into his life and cause him to change. Yes.

        We all come to Christ as sinners. Thats the point. We all come to Christ broken.

  4. An interesting question.
    My answer is another question.
    If you still lie or gossip as a Christian are you a born again Christian? I would say yes because although you’re commuting sin you say you’re trying to be better although you are human and live in a sinful world.
    The problem is people view homosexuality as a choice or defiance or a slap in the face to the church. What if its as simple as you feel it is ok to love someone of the same sex? How would you feel if someone said that’s not ok? Or not normal? You’d be feeling pretty judged. Christians treat homosexuality like its a “worse sin” no one says it but its definitely treated that way.
    Let me ask you have you lied, cheated, gossiped about someone, maybe even stolen $5 from your mums purse when you were little? Well you’re no more perfect than you claim a homosexual.
    Imagine being told you’re wrong for living someone. That you should pray to love someone else and god condemns your love. Imagine you were told that after you had been with your husband or wife for years. If you can imagine that and you feel bad just remember you feel better than a gay or lesbian couple cause they don’t have the right to a husband or wife only a partner, girlfriend or boyfriend.
    No ones asking the church to preside over these marriages. People get married in parks, on beaches and in courthouses by celebrants every day and have no faith in god whatsoever yet no one complains cause they’re straight. How is that honoring god? It’s like saying prayer to Buddha is godly because prayer is a godly act. Sounds silly right? Well that’s what I think too.

    • Zoe, did you actually read my blog as the stereotypical comments that you have made about the gay marriage debate, I answered them in the blog.

      One thing that I didn’t address is your comment about “no one is asking the churches to preside over gay marriages”. Well Sarah Hanson Young, a Greens Senator, made the comment to the media ten days ago, that she doesn’t support churches being exempt from marrying gay people once gay marriage is approved. So your comment is not the position of some of our nation’s lawmakers

  5. Pastor Pilt, how can you not give a definitive answer regarding Justins question about the possibility of a homosexual being born again whipe continuing to be a homosexual when the bible, the book which you live your life by, is very definitive about what happens to people that continue to live in sin. If the bible is clear on these issues, if God is clear, and if Jesus is clear, why arent you clear and sure enough to give a definitive answer based on gods word? David Sinkovic

    • David, there are 25 sins listed in Romans 1. Sin is sin in the economy of God. No one sin is worse than another sin. Homosexuality here is listed beside being disobedient to parents. Can someone who is being rebellious against his parents get saved? In my blog, I said that any conversation about homsexuality should be condemnation free. I am not condemning anyone to hell fire by saying they can’t become a christian. The question has so many variables that it serves no one to give a definitive answer. Can a couple in a defacto relationship get saved and keep living in defacto relationship? Yes. Over time I would hope the transformational power of Christ would impact their lives to the point where they would make thier lives right before God. I would hope the same for a gay couple. Or David do you think people should sought out their lives first and then come to Christ. Nowra City Church is a church where its OK to not be OK. We are all broken David. We all need Christ.

  6. Its not what i would rather Pastor Pilt. I am typing on behalf of God and since homosexuality is an abomination to God. Did God ever say eating shell fish or being disobesient to your mother and father is an abomination? Sure, all sin dirty and disgusting to God but homosexuality is putrid. If i saw somone smoking a bong in the grounds of your church, or somone off their face on alcohol, i would expect that you or somone else in the church would tell them what the bible says. I would expect that after they gave they life to christ things would change and if they continued to come to church drunk or high on drugs i would expect that the church ask them to leave. Am i expecting to much Pastor Pilt? And would i be expecting to much if i think that should happen with all sin?

  7. Jesus isnt a shmuck. The grace of God only goes so far. This is truth…probebly wont tickle many ears, but it is true. You cant continue to live in the same sin day after day and expect everything to be okay

    • Hi David, Interesting reading some of the discussion here on a very emotional topic.

      I admire your passion and if you are out in the world sharing your faith and being led by the spirit with the boldness you have God will see many souls saved through you.

      But I think Peter’s comments are true.

      If salvation was by works no one can be saved, so if a person who has a lifestyle towards homesexual actions repents and believes in Christ they are saved. This means their sin is forgiven.

      But even the apostle Paul struggled with the battle between the sinful fleshly desires and living a spirit filled righouteous life, which is why he talks about God’s grace being in abundance.

      I know brothers in christ who have a solid faith, daily seeking God and desire His will for their life and have had struggles with pornography (another example of sin), when they give into temptation it cuts them deep and they know they have done wrong and they repent and according to Gods word He has forgiven them and that sin was dealt with on the cross.
      It has taken them time to be at a place that they are free of this, it took time for them to see the way out of temptation that God provides and to put in place boundries to not give temptation a foothold in their life and they now live as believers free of the sin of pornogrpahy… how…. by the transformational power of Christ slowly changing the old man.

      Now I have also heard of some men who have struggled with pornography who when they believed and were saved, Christs power healed them instantly and they never had a struggle ever again.

      Pastor Peter is right my friend David, Christ calls sinners to him to repent and believe for salvation and to expereince his love and through then being with Christ peoples lives do get transformed, remember Zaccheaus the Tax Collector, his life was transformed by being with Jesus and he stopped his sinful ways of defrauding the people.

      Good to talk.

  8. Pastor Pilt, can we both put some time away and have a robust discussion about this via email. I want to understand this from you, the Pastors, point of view, but i dont want any other people throwing in their comments because it just leads me off in a different direction. Last time i discussed this in open forum i had one of your friends, who identified him self as a pastor, try and tell me that homosexuality is fine with God. This irked me to the point where i couldnt read such garbage anymore so i left the forum. I grew up in the pentecostal churches and i have family who are pentecostal christians and i have never heard anyone in the pentecostal church speak of homosexuality in a good light.My understanding of the bible is homosexuality is an abomination to god. When somone tells me that homosexuality isnt an abomination, or if somone is asked a question like you was by Justin ,and give a wishy washy answer to a very clear cut question, i get annoyed. I bet if i argued with you that motor bikes dont come any bigger than 125 cc after i had just told you that i did a mechanics course specialising in motor bike motors, you would wonder how on earth i could say such a thing. You may get frusterated. Thats what happens to me Pastor Pilt. I dont know any homosexual people, i dont have any homosexual people in my family and i have never been hurt by somone who is homosexual. I dont have anything against homosexuals! I have somthing against faulty logic, or what i think to be faulty logic. Maybe my logic is faulty.

    • Possibly David. I think you and I are on the same page theologically with this issue. However, as I said to the church recently, Scripture is black and white on this issue, but there are wrestles and issues as to how that outworks in modern day life that makes it shades of grey. There are multiple people in the church that have siblings or children that are gay and complicate a christian’s position. Doesnt mean this is a compromise – it just means that is messy in its outworking. Its a tension. Maybe we need to be comfortable living with some unresolved theological tensions. I live with some. The bible says by his stripes we are healed yet I live with a wife with a chronic pain condition. Black and white in scripture – shades of grey in life. Do I still hold to a theology that God heals? Absolutely. Hope that helps your wrestles.

  9. From my experience, when I became born again God changed my heart on some pretty major issues. I went from being a supporter of abortion to being horrified at the thought of abortion! I went from believing that homosexuality was fine and so was SSM to opposing it with all my heart. The idea of sex after marriage only was just bewildering and nuts! As God’s truth came into my heart my ideas just turned around. It wasn’t a debate with someone that changed my mind or some slogan. I don’t believe anyone could have changed my mind. ONly God was able and He did so softly and gently and lovingly and then I had to say sorry, sorry, sorry God. I have never looked back and I am grateful for God’s mercy, forgiveness and love and grateful that I left my old self destructive life style behind or I would be dead for sure.

    I still sin of course in word thought and deed every day. I strive to be God’s servant though and not sin, no one can be perfect which is why we need Jesus. But once God has shown you what is wrong, I think you also need to strive to stop it and keep fighting and praying until it’s overcome. It took me a long time to get off drugs and many times I went to church high as a kite or if I had managed to go straight, I would be rushing home to change that! I didn’t want to but that’s just the way it was. One day I came home from church and said to God,” I can’t stop this by myself. If you want me to be clean of this stuff ( which I wanted to) you need to do it.” In a term I know now, I let go and let God! It didn’t happen overnight and there were some major twists and turns in my life that led me to give it all away in about six months. It’s been about nine years now and I hate the stuff! My old friends and family still find it hard to believe haha God took control!

    So to cut a long story short. I think you can be a born again homosexual but it shouldn’t last. God would set that person free. I tell my children not to look for what people say but how they act. I had a person say to me, Oh how I love God and so on in front of my boys… That’s nice and everything I said to the boys but the proof is in the pudding! 🙂

  10. Thanks everyone, i think i do understand things a little more clearly now. Thanks again for taking the time to explain

  11. All the coments seem to be out of chrono order on my browser so if i kepton writing with out replying, i didnt see the coments untill my browser loaded complelty. Phone browser isnt very good

  12. good on you Peter for being prepared to address this issue – especially after being berated once for it!

  13. Thanx, Pete.
    This will be a great link for my son in Coffs.
    He’s been getting very smashed on facebook for his very hard-line, black-and-white attack on gay people.
    Hoping he will take away from that a more compassionate love the sinner hate the sin attitude and approach.
    Love to see you fighting the good fight with fervour and most of all love of your fellow man.

  14. Hi Peter, (and hi Melanie)

    Questions I am really struggling with too. I love your attitude to this question and your refusal to condemn, and your willingness to tackle really hard questions… I have been asking questions myself lately and it seems that people don’t really want to apply their minds to this question, we just want to get emotional about an already highly emotional issue. That’s all, keep having the conversations, keep asking the questions of yourself and others, continue to love one another, keep on defending the faith.

    And I’m so sorry to hear about the other nasty business your family are experiencing.

    Lisa- from long, long ago 🙂

  15. “9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4: 9-10 NKJV)

    “3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world, And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” (1 John 5: 3-4 NKJV).

    “1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6: 1-4 NKJV)

    Praise God the Bible gives many guidelines for living the Christian life.

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