How much do progressive pastors and other leaders rule the church on these complex issues? How much are they changing the King’s original intent for his kingdom?
This is a post in a four-part series.
Let’s get started with the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus teaches us what marriage is:
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, [Gen. 1:27] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ [Gen.2:24] ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matt. 19:4-6, my translation)
The norm for marriage is one man and one woman.
See my post:
Paul says that men who had had sex with men were now washed and sanctified and justified in Jesus’ name and by the Spirit; in other words, they were changed and are now living a new life:
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral … nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men… will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11, NIV)
No matter how desperately gay activists reinterpret v. 9, men who have sex with other men cannot inherit the kingdom of God. This “kingdom” is probably talking about the future kingdom, but the verse may also be talking about the kingdom right now. Both now and in the future.
Men and women with same-sex attraction must be born again, filled with the fulness of the Spirit, discipled, leave behind their old friends and relationships, and taught how to be friends with and court someone of the opposite sex. In time they will develop opposite-sex attraction. Thousands of men and women already have, and their stories should be respected and imitated, not ignored. Look them up online.
These next verses are very sobering because they are about sexual immorality among brothers and sisters in the church. The Thessalonians are not to reject this instruction, because to do so is to reject God, who gave his Spirit.
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thess. 4:3-8, NIV)
That teaching is straightforward. We need to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit (vv. 3 and 8). In which area of our lives? We must avoid sexual immorality (v. 3), so that we can learn to control our own body (v. 4). This avoidance means we do not take advantage of a brother or sister (v. 6). I desperately wanted to find a softer definition in Greek of “punish” (v. 6), but I can’t. He will punish sexual sins. Let’s hope the punishment is accomplished down here on earth mercifully and redemptively and not irreversibly at the final judgment! We need to live a holy life, not an impure life (v. 7). As noted, if we reject this teaching, we reject God, not Paul (v. 8). So the NT Scriptures are authoritative, and they teach no illicit sex.
In this post I did not even refer to Leviticus or the first chapter in Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Jesus said one man and one woman. That’s it.
Your cousin or friend has told you that if the church does not accept gays and lesbians who have sex, just as they are, then she will refuse to come to church. You can now tell her that you have no authority to make the changes that she insists on. If she asks you who does have the authority, tell her only the King does; it’s his kingdom, after all.
You can also tell her the good news. She is invited to your church with the specific purpose of her being empowered to leave behind her old life of same-sex attraction and sex and of her being born again and Spirit filled and discipled. Many have already. Tell her there is hope. But you must not change the rules of the Son of God’s kingdom just to please your friend or cousin. She must change; the kingdom does not change.
To the leaders in evolving, progressive churches: In Matt. 16:18, Jesus said he will build his church on Peter’s confession that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. He was intending and is now fulfilling his intention to build his church, not your church, his church, not your brand, his church, not your ministry.
You are not permitted to barge into his church and build it as you see fit. You can’t change the rules of the kingdom because they inconvenience you. You simply don’t “know better” than the King who set up his kingdom, long before you were born in the West. You have compromised too much just so that you can fit in to the spirit of the age here in the West–just so you can be liked and attract people into your “church.”
Judgment is coming, both in your lifetime and on the Last Day. Don’t place yourself in peril. Therefore, I urge you to drop your western arrogance and submit to the King’s rules.
ARTICLES IN SERIES
Warning to Evolving, Progressive Churches: Marriage and Sex