I recently heard one of the most absurd statements on homosexuality in the Church that I’ve heard in a long time. Someone told me that his church was “gay-friendly,” but that they still preached the true gospel. At least, that statement should sound absurd to any Bible-believing Christian who respects the authority of the Word of God. However, in today’s climate, it doesn’t.
A church, however, that truly loves gay people just like the Bible calls us to love all people would, in reality, not have very many in its doors — at least not for very long. Here are some reasons why there is no such thing as a “gay-friendly” church.
1.) Unrepentant Sinners Hate the Word of God.
The Apostle Paul calls on us to declare openly and boldly the truth without disguising it or sugar-coating it in any way. 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 teaches that softening our posture on sin is “disgraceful” and “underhanded.” He calls it “practicing cunning” which is what we see in today’s church environment as pragmatism. But Paul, instead, says to do away with tampering with God’s Word rather “commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”
In Isaiah 55:11, God declares through the prophet Isaiah that any time His word is preached, it will accomplish its purpose. And that purpose is two-fold; it will either draw people to Him or further harden them (Romans 9L15). In other words, the bold proclamation of the truth of God’s Word will either lead one to repentance or cause them to flee.
If we’re faithfully preaching the full counsel of God in our churches, homosexuals will have two choices; repent or flee. However, unless they repent, they will likely not hang around too long.
2.) The Scriptures Command Us Not to Associate With Unrepentant Sinners
That’s a tough pill to swallow — aren’t we all sinners? He who is without sin, cast the first stone, right?
No, not exactly. The Apostle Paul is abundantly clear in his command to expel the wicked from among the ranks of the Church. Those who claim to be Christians, yet continue to justify their sin — whatever sin it may be — are living double lives and bear false witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s why he says to “purge” them.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (ESV)
3.) They Have no Real Interest in the Things of God
God can save anyone he pleases — and he does. That includes homosexuals, fornicators, swindlers, drunks, murderers and even (gasp) rapists. Who God saves is a testimony to His mercy and His glory and confirms that His mercy is in no way dependent upon our ability to choose Him or earn our salvation.
That being said, how someone lives is a confirmation of one’s testimony. If one continues to live in sin after professing to come to Christ — and after ample time has been given to examining the fruits of their conversion — it is safe to conclude that that person’s conversion was likely false. Jesus said, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Jesus’ sheep will hear and respond in faith to the preaching of the gospel. Jesus said that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44), and that “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37).
On the other hand, those who desire to continue living a life of homosexuality really have no interest in the things of God. They are self-pleasers and do not seek to honor God, therefore, eventually, they will become bored and move on. Jesus calls this the judgment that has come into the world, that people would be given over to their sinful selves.
Following the world’s most famous verse, John 3:16 is this gem of truth.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”John 3:19-21 (ESV)
So while we shouldn’t immediately slam the doors in the faces of homosexuals who visit our churches, in no way should we compromise the truth. Jesus said it is the truth that sets us free (John 8:32). Openly preaching the truth of the gospel would cause most homosexuals to flee from the church — lest they repent and believe the gospel. The Word of God purifies His bride — it is a self-cleaning solution to our filth-ridden nature. To soften our position on homosexuality or to allow them in to serve or become members is to oppose the purifying qualities of the Scriptures and, ultimately, God Himself.