by Thomas Harold
by Thomas Harold, July 28, 2014
Before we begin talking about LGBTQ’s in the church we need to discuss the relationship of the church with LGBTQ’s in the world. If you believe in separation of church and state, then there is no place for the church discussing publicly the LGBTQ stance in the eyes of civil law. Those who believe in an alternative sexual lifestyle have every right to live as they please in perfect freedom without being censured and suffering persecution, as the constitutions of every civilized government owe them that much. African and Muslim governments who persecute and penalize the LGBTQ movement even to the extreme of threatening a death decree only demonstrate that their countries are a perfect union of church and state and thus a true enemy of Christianity and religious liberty.
In the church, however, the role and place of LGBTQ is an entirely different matter. It is Christians deciding from the Bible whether the LGBTQ lifestyle is a sin or not. According to the Queen James Bible and Christian defenders of the homosexual lifestyle, the sin is not in the act or relationships but the actions of those among them who exercise unwarranted control or mean spiritedness. On this point the majority of Christians beg to differ. If Christians believe homosexuality to be a sin, then happy, rejoicing homosexual believers in their eyes are still living in sin and the question then becomes, how do we relate to this? It is worth noting that the rampant homosexuality found within the Roman Catholic Church priesthood is a disgusting matter to church goers, and Christians have a hard time separating their priests from the pedophilia that usually accompanies their sexual orientation. Whether it’s fair or not, LGBTQ’s are behind the eight ball in the eyes of most believers before they arrive or come out, due to the Roman priesthood.
Christians interpret their Bibles differently than do LGBTQ’s, and to Christians it is pretty straightforward when they read of two God fearing Old Testament kings who made getting rid of Sodomites a priority. “King Asa did right in the eyes of the Lord and he took away the sodomites out of the land” (1 Kings 15:12) after he identified them and their abominations (1 Kings 14:24). He was immediately followed by good King Josiah, who destroyed the houses of the sodomites, and God said “he walked after the Lord with all his heart” (2 Kings 23:7). Sodomites were lumped in with Baal worshippers, idolatrous priests, and those who passed children through the fires offered to the heathen god Molech.
Jesus walked among sinners, dined with them, and conversed with them but always with one sole purpose in mind – to achieve their salvation. We as Christians owe the LGBTQ community the love they deserve, that anybody deserves. We are there to help them to restoration through the power of God. We are there to help restore a lost soul to righteous living. This is the way we are programmed to think. An alcoholic, a sex addict, a druggie, a thief are welcomed into the ranks with the purpose of a change coming thanks to the Holy Spirit. In our minds, when sinners feel their sin is not a sin, and feel no convicting power that it is a sin, then we assume from scripture that God has given them up to believe a lie because they are living in delusion (2 Thessalonians 2: 11,12).
At this point there is nothing more we can do for them within the church setting. Ellen White one time told a man who had committed adultery in the church and eventually married an adulteress church member that they could still get to heaven but it would have to be outside the confines of the Adventist church. The reasoning was that it set a terrible example for the youth for the re-marrieds to remain active in the church, no matter how repentant and dedicated these former members would be. The same principle holds true for LGBTQ’s. Very few would condemn them to certain damnation because of their lifestyle, if they love the Lord and want to follow His ways in every way but one, but practicing LGBTQ’s who feel no conviction of sin upon their conscience will need to find their way into heaven from outside the confines of the SDA church. It is not our place to judge whether this is doable, for God alone knows their hearts, their history, and their future.
The very role of the Laodicean church is at stake in all of this. Most think of the Laodicean church in a negative light, focusing upon the attribute of lukewarmness and being spewed out of God’s mouth (Revelation 3:16). The reality of Laodicea is that this is the church from whence comes forth a group who accept the righteous, white garment, plus the rebuke, chastening and love of God borne through the fires of affliction (Revelation 3:18,19). There is no retreat back to Philadelphia’s brotherly love (Revelation 3:7), nor will there be an eighth church. The most dedicated, God fearing, obedient Christian in the world belongs to the Laodicean movement. This is the last church on earth that will withstand the vicious assaults of Satan. Many churches have caved in by bringing secular laws into their churches, such as the United Church in Canada (Episcopalian in the US) and most recently the Presbyterian Church (USA), which has now voted to marry homosexuals in their churches. In God’s eyes they are no longer a church of Christ but simply an extension of the governments of the countries offering their citizens the freedom rights afforded to every man, woman and child. The Laodicean church is different. It stands for Biblical truth though the heavens fall; its compass remains true as the needle to the pole. From out of Laodicea will come forth the 144,000 of Revelation. Laodiceans have eyesalve and are no longer blind to the merging of church and state within the church, and it does not happen on their watch nor within its walls.
Every one of us probably has known an LGBTQ whom we love very much and respect as a human being. To some it’s Ellen on TV, who gives away gifts to the poor and is so sweet. To others it’s closer to home … a family member, a church member, a former spouse, a child. Emotions of love and respect can blindside a Laodicean until he don’t know whether he is the horse or the rider. The devil will deceive the very elect if possible, especially on this point. Christians in the last days need to know in the Laodicean church that they will find a retreat set apart from the world, protected by the separation of church and state. It is our last city of refuge in a world gone crazy. LGBTQ’s who come crashing its gates demanding acceptance show an ill-informed understanding of what the church is.
The world has embraced the LGBTQ movement to the place where they now teach this lifestyle to minors in school and accommodate them with their own separate bathrooms, including the “whichever” bathroom. How much more love and acceptance is required? The premier of Ontario, Canada is a two-time elected leader, and she is a lesbian. That is public acceptance at its greatest level since the days of Nero. However, the time has come when the LGBTQ movement needs to respect the union of church and state and what the church actually stands for and why it stands apart from government. Christians are not citizens of this world but their citizenship is in a heavenly country (Hebrews 11: 14, 15).
There is a musical group out of Nashville called Micah 5. They consist of a gay, a lesbian and a transgender. They sing beautiful music about Jesus. In their CD liner notes, Micah 5 say that they are not welcome in most churches to perform so they take their ministry into the gay bars and homosexual camp meeting retreats to witness on behalf of their Lord. I admire this group’s stance. They don’t force their lifestyle down the throats of churches who don’t want them. They are not on a crusade to reform the churches’ way of thinking. They witness to those of like mind in regards to sexual lifestyle who haven’t accepted Jesus and are appealing to this class to find a better way with hope. For this, Micah 5 should be commended not condemned.
Look at the Christian Church as a club (even though the Bible says it’s the apple of God’s eye) and compare it with other notable clubs throughout history. In order to join this club you have to believe in certain basic principles, including the marriage of a man and woman as found in the creation story. Those who believe such things are called Christians. There are similar clubs who believe almost the very same things but veer off with their own Bible, such as the Mormons. Muslims believe in almost all the same principles of fine living but separate with their own book and prophet. Most do not question whether a Mormon or a Muslim is worthy to go to heaven, and the Bible leaves the door open to all those who have God’s law written in their hearts and for those who have never heard the name Jesus. All too often, stories are coming out about those who discovered they were of a differing sexual orientation and were shunned by their church, and had to burrow into hiding and suppress their feelings to the point of desperation and suicide. These true accounts are heartbreaking to Christians and should not be happening.
LGBTQ believers in Jesus need not doubt for a moment their standing before God. They pray, teach, witness, help and make the world a better place. For this they deserve to have their own club, one that readily accepts them for who they are. To try and change the rules in the Christian club, which for almost 7,000 years has believed a certain way about the LGBTQ lifestyle, is a stretch at best. Time is too short to try and re-educate an aging church population or to wait for a more tolerant LGBTQ-accepting generation to emerge. In a hypothetical example, an 82-year-old church member witnesses a man come into the church on Sabbath dressed in female clothes during the midst of a sex change operation and take to the children’s division pulpit to teach the children. The church sends observers into the class to make sure the children are safe. How is this a comfortable worship setting in the name of acceptance?
The big question is why bother seeking acceptance in the Christian club, unless yours is more a political agenda of government than a church matter. The Christian church does not have a license on who can believe in God and who cannot. There’s always going to be the stigma of how centuries of teaching have shaped the Christian club, which owes its peculiar values to what they perceive the Bible says about LGBTQ’s. As long as Christians can love the LGBTQ’s as human beings and worthy citizens, why question their hearts? Bible-believing Christians will love and accept the LGBTQ movement in the world, choosing to live peaceably with the decisions of rulers, yet be set apart from them when it comes to worship in their church.
As a Christian, why would I want to join the Klu Klux Klan? Why would I barge into their meetings and try to reform the way they think about minorities? Even though they are wrong in my eyes, every person in that meeting would tell me to depart, some even violently, because they think I am wrong. As a vegetarian, why would I want to join the Beef Farmer’s Association and try to convert them? As a practicing LGBTQ, why would I want to force my way into the Christian churches who openly oppose my lifestyle, and in the case of Adventist Kinship, militantly seek the pulpit and platform to speak to those who believe I am wrong? Would it not make sense to open your own churches with pride and invite straight sympathizers into your services to worship and yes, even teach? There would be peace in the valley. No believing Christian who supports the separation of church and state could object to such a practice. No believing Christian would prefer a man drinking in a gay bar to one sitting in church hearing the words of Jesus. Christians would no longer look upon LGBTQ as a supreme threat but as that alternative worship group.
Many of the objectors to the Christian stance on LGBTQ’s are not church goers themselves; thus, they are dealing with the matter through the eyes and legalities of the state, which does not mingle with the church. Their sympathies and love are a natural outpouring of a citizen of this world and honoring the rights of LGBTQ within the laws written by every civilized government. They attribute the cold-heartedness they see coming from the various churches as a sure sign of hypocrisy, not recognizing that there are two governments at work here, the secular and the heavenly. This is a misguided attempt to have the church unite with the state, which in the purest form of Christianity will never happen.