Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sermon resources to address homosexuality and the Bible

Homosexuality & Hospitality: Hot Topics Series




Romans 1:18-2:11 (NIV, NIRV, TNIV, KJV)



“Homosexuality and Hospitality”
2003 Hot Topics Series
Romans 1:18-2:11
August 17, 2003

Purpose: While homosexuality is a sin, there is no sin greater than not showing God’s hospitality like He showed in his love for us. Therefore, we do not call sin anything but sin, however, we also realize that we are all in need of God’s grace.

I. Introduction
I have a friend. We’ll call him Brad. Brad and I grew up together, graduated together, and for a time even went to the same college together. Brad grew up in a strict Reformed church family. He was adopted. And for the most part, we excused his sometimes peculiar behavior to his family life and his upbringing.

Brad came up to me at our 10-year class reunion, and told me that since I was a pastor now, he knew that I wanted nothing to do with him. When I questioned why he thought this was so, Brad looked and me and said, “Greg, I’m gay and whether you believe it or not, God made me this way. And I know that you don’t agree. So am I still your friend!”

Believe it or not, it wasn’t much of a shock to be honest, and I told Brad so, but I also told him the best piece of advice I could muster in the situation, “Brad, you’re right, God did make you that way. In fact, each of us in born into sin in some fashion or another. But Brad, you’re wrong when you say that I won’t have anything to do with you. I still consider you as a friend. And, as a matter of fact, as a pastor, I believe that God put me here in this very moment just to tell you that He still loves you, and he’s waiting for you to come back to him.”

Brad looked around the room, scoufed, and shook his head, “Yep, he’s definitely a pastor.” And with that, we caught up on old times.

Back at the beginning of June, when I put this worship planner together, I had no idea that this was going to be such a hot topic. In fact, I almost didn’t put it in because I felt that we had probably heard enough about it.

But what has happened with the legalization of same-sex marriages in Canada; the decriminalization of sodomy by the Supreme Court; the announcement of new anti-discrimination rules for same-sex workers at Wal-Mart, and now even a openly, practicing, homosexual bishop being elected in the Episcopal Church by a 62-43 vote, separating the Episcopal Church from the consensus of the Anglican Communion of which we are a part, tells me that we have not heard too much of this message yet.

While The United Methodist Church, from 1972 right up until our last General Conference in 2000, has continuously stated that the homosexual lifestyle is inconsistent with the holiness of life expressed in Scripture, and while affirming that persons with homosexual tendencies are still worth the saving grace of Jesus Christ, but not allowing practicing homosexuals to serve as pastors or bishops or allowing any sort of “covenant union” to be practiced by our pastors, the battle is far from being won.

We still hear a minority of our bishops, who seek to pull us into the world’s thinking…

It’s that world around us…

Where we see several states considering the sanction of homosexual marriages.
Where we see gay couples granted the privileges of married partners when it comes to insurance.
Where we see our televisions that show us several boundary-stretching sitcoms that have openly gay
characters and often make fun of those who have a problem with it.
Where our military just says “We don’t ask…you don’t tell”?
Where the Boy Scouts of America lost funding because they refused to have a gay scout master.
Where there’s a yearly Gay Rights Parade in just about every major city around the globe.
Where there’s even a “Gay Day” at Disney World.

…and the list could go on. In general…

The sin of homosexuality used to be a clear-cut issue that every Christian agreed on…
it now has become an issue that divides even the most conservative of denominations.

The sin of homosexuality was once believed to be a mental illness…but now the American Psychological Association has deemed in its ethical practices that Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual clients are no different than hetrosexual clients, and that any psychologist who counsels a homosexual to change his or her lifestyle “harbors prejudice or is misinformed about sexual orientation.”
(Source: www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/guidelines.html – guideline # 4)

And, the sin of homosexuality, clearly condemned in Scripture…now has theologians ready and willing to stand in front of television cameras and explain it away and call homosexuality anything but sinful.

Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil…”

And from our passage today in Romans, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal men…”

I. The place we need to start in this discussion, is in the simple question, “Is homosexuality sin?”

Now, before we get all righteous, and simply answer, “Yes, of course it is.” Today, I need to warn you that is not enough. We can quote the Old Testament Scriptures like…

Leviticus 18:22 that says, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable.” or
Leviticus 20:13 that says, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done
what is detestable…”

But those who support homosexual rites will call these outdated, for we don’t follow many of the Old Testament laws to this day.

So we can quote the New Testament Scriptures like…

I Timothy 1:9-11 says, “We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, (for fornicators and sodomites (male homosexuals) - NKJV) for slave traders, liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which he entrusted to me.” or

I Corinthians 6:9 which reads “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kindness of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexual offenders, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the greedy or covetous, nor the drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” or

Jude 1:7 which says, “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing punishment of eternal fire.”

We can quote those and say, “See…see…here it is…” But to the one standing against us in the “sin or not sin” argument, they will not be convinced as they manipulate the Biblical text for their purpose.

II. I believe the first way we can convince homosexuals to think hard about their lives is to help them find the answer in the results of what they do…Homosexuality has dire consequences…

A report entitled Homosexualities: a Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, written
by Bell and Weinberg (1978), published by Simon & Schuster, says that…

…70% of homosexuals admit to having sex only one time with 50% of their partners
…79% admitted that these persons were often total strangers.
…74% of male homosexuals had more than 100 partners in lifetime
…43% had more than 500 partners
…28% had more than 1000 partners(the average hetrosexual has 8 partners in a lifetime)
…78% at any given time are affected by an sexually transmitted disease
…over 80% had a history of sexually transmitted diseases

In a report on drug use for Newsweek magazine, it was found that…
…89% of homosexuals had used marijuana
…over 50% had used cocaine or LSD
….42% had experienced depression because of there drug use
…which led to 35% considering suicide, 18% attempting it.


Dr. E. Fields, from Maretta GA, wrote a paper entitled “Is Homosexuality Normal?”

In doing the research, he found that the median age of death of homosexuals is 42 (with only 9% living past the age of 65). This drops to only 39 if the cuase of death is AIDS, while the median age of death of a married hetrosexual man is 75.

He also found that the median age death of lesbians is 45 (only 24% live past age 65). The median age of death of a married heterosexual woman is 79.

I believe that the world of the homosexual is not always as glamorous as we are led to believe. If we are to lead these people out of this lifestyle, then we must pay attention to the real hurt and pain that many homosexuals have experienced, are experiencing, or will be experiencing. This is where the hospitality comes in. We have the answer…and that answer is Jesus Christ.

Rev. Les Longden, associate professor of evangelism and discipleship at the U.M. University of Dubuque (IA) put it like this, “Our firmness in adhering to Christian teaching must be accompanied by an equally passionate practice of ministering with and to homosexuals…A robust theological defense…must be accompanied by dynamic ministries that welcome homosexual people into the transforming power of the gospel in the midst of our congregations.”

III. In fact, I believe that best way we can convince homosexuals to think hard about their lives is to show them what Jesus can do.

When homosexuals claim they were born that way…tell them that the “gay gene” has yet to be
found and verified, but Jesus did die so that sin of all forms could be transformed.

When homosexuals claim that Christians shouldn’t judge...tell them that God does the judging,
His Word is proof of that, but we can escape that judgment when through his Son we
come asking for forgiveness of our sin and for the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our lives.

When homosexuals claim that we no longer want them because of their choice, tell them how
Jesus ate with sinners, how Jesus even saved a sinner by saying, “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more,” and how Jesus has opened that wide door of faith, so that any sinner may be welcome. When redemption comes, old things are passed away, and the new creature in Christ develops. It’s not that we no longer want them, it’s quite the opposite, we want to show the love of Christ through us, to them.

When the homosexuals claim that Jesus didn’t even mention “homosexuality” in his teachings,
remind that that he didn’t mention rape, incest, kidnapping, or wife abuse either, but no one would argue that his silence on these issues would ever indicate that he approved of them. Instead, he told us to love God, following his Word, becoming his disciple, and then to love one another.

It is true that Jesus isn’t going to change rules…
Jesus was quick to call a sinner a “sinner” in his day. And, if a homosexual refuses to repent, refuses to accept the offer sealed on that Cross and evidenced at that Resurrection,
and decides to openly live in sin and try to fool God in the process,
Paul told the Romans that “God will give them over to their depraved mind, to the sinful desires of their hearts, to the shameful lusts, because they are doing what ought not be done. (Romans 1:28).

IV. Which brings us to our last point, what is our job as the church? I believe that our job is to continue offering hospitality and salvation to every sinner, including those among us, if not ourselves…

ex. hospitality statement petition at Annual Conference – Wakelee’s “all sinners welcome here.”

Jesus invited people from all walks of life to come follow him. He loved and welcomed many. He accepted and protected sinners. And while he called each of us to forsake it all in order to come and follow him, we know that the challenge may be the same or different for each one us.

Homosexuality is just another sin that draws the person away from God’s plan for their lives.

And instead of being fearful, instead of calling names, instead of making signs and getting angry, let the church be a beacon of light for those who want to leave any sinful lifestyle.

Let us offer all people the power of Jesus Christ to bring healing in to their lives.
Let us offer them the one thing that can set them free from sin, so that they can be made into a new creation in Christ Jesus.

Romans 1:32 says, “Although they know God’s righteous decree, that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things, but also approve of those who practice them.” Wakelee, I don’t want to be that church.

While homosexuality is a sin, and we do not want to call a sin anything but, there is no sin greater than not showing God’s hospitality like He showed in his love for us. We are all in need of God’s mercy and grace. Let us be the church that offers that instead.

Will you join me in prayer?

Heavenly Father,

You have called us to follow your Son and his teachings. You have called us to be His disciples. You have called us to be your church.

In these days, when evil is called good and good is called evil, we’re often left perplexed, confused, and confounded. While we sit back asking, “how could this happen?” we often miss the point that you have called us to reach out in your love in times such as these.

Lord, help us. Help us to live out your will. Help us to be strong in our faith. Help us as we offer that same faith to others.

Help us, outside of these walls, to recognize and call sin what it is, help us to be willing and ready to offer the solution, which is the hope that we find through your Son Jesus Christ.

And when its our sin that gets in the way, give us the strength to overcome it, the knowledge of learning from our mistakes, and your promise of redemption. Give us the loving nudge or push that we need to get back on track with your plan for our lives.

Lord, we give you thanks. For your Word and the direction in which it gives.
Send your Spirit upon us, so that we may be your witnesses in Wakelee and beyond.

In the name of Christ, we lift this prayer…Amen.

#410 – I Want A Principle Within

Benediction…

As we leave this place…
May God’s love be in everything that we do,
May it show in everyone we share it with,
May it be in every place God would have it to be.
In the name of the One who first loved us, even when we were yet sinners, we pray…Amen.

other sermonsfrom them on this subject here

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