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The Priesthood and Homosexuality

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In 1993, at their annual conference, Methodists debated homosexuality amongst the priesthood. No matter what the content of that conference was (this paper was written before it took place; the outcome of it makes no difference to my argument), the mere fact that the debate was even on the agenda, is appalling!

The debate has nothing at all to do with free speech, although free speech itself is a peculiar concept when placed against God's word. It has everything to do with what God demands. In a pre-conference radio discussion ('All Things Considered', Radio Wales, Sunday 20th June, 1993), this matter was the focus of attention. Amongst the speakers was an homosexual clergyman and one who was said to be "diametrically opposed" to his viewpoint.

Sadly, the opposition was nothing but watered-down appeasement! Somewhere along the line of discussion (about half-way) the presenter brought in the scriptural position, not as a fixed or doctrinal fact, but as a point of debate! The discussion was debauched. It was based entirely on the views of men, with scant reference to the commands of scripture, which are those of God Himself. Let the various quotes and ideas speak for themselves....

"If homosexuality is genetic, then the Church cannot blame homosexuals for the way they are."

Let us suppose, for a moment, that homosexuality is genetic. If it had a physical cause, would that make any difference to, say, Romans chapter one? No, it would not. In that chapter we see God's anger against, and loathing for, homosexuality (both male and female). A long list of allied sins are added to this one sexual sin.

One Methodist speaker said that this was Paul's view of the then known world (implying that it was not scripture). What theological rubbish! If that were so, then the Bible is just one book amongst many, without authority or meaning. The Bible is, from start to finish, wholly God's word and nothing less. Paul may have written the book of Romans, but he was only recording God's word to men, without flaw.

Let us further suppose, then, that the Book of Romans is just one man's view of the world... what about the book of Genesis? Is that God's word or is it another piece of human. flawed writing? Again, the answer must be that it is all of God. In which case, we cannot ignore what God did to Sodom and surrounding district! A whole region wiped out, and the direct cause was the sexual deviancy - especially homosexuality - of its inhabitants!

So, even if homosexuality had a genetic cause it would still be a sin. But, such a statement (re genetic cause) is an absurdity! There is no proof for this hypothesis, which is the result of socialistic humanism, rather than of Biblical truth, or even of science. Homosexuality is a straightforward and heinous act of defiance. It is an insult to God and, as Paul puts it - a 'vile' activity.

The homosexual 'Christian' on the programme claimed that homosexuality is not a choice but is a "discovery of your own being". What a play on words, with no meaning whatever! There is every indication, in theory and in observation, that homosexuality is a choice. That is, a choice to do wrong. The Greek wording of Romans chapter one supports this fact.

Much was made of the difference between 'orientation' and 'practice', as though one is acceptable and one is not. In scripture, the thought or central object of desire is exactly the same as its outworking in practice, so the pro-homosexualist cannot rest on this idea. There is no difference in God's wrath against the pastor who is homosexual-in-mind-only or the 'pastor' who is homosexual-in-practice. Let it be made clear, that a Christian can indeed act homosexually, sinfully , because he still has the 'old man' (though such acts are still sinful)... but a pastor who does so immediately sins and can no longer be a pastor.

There is a strange theology amongst so-called 'gay ministers'. They say that because "God loves all men" and that His love is "unconditional", He therefore accepts homosexuality! The jumps in logic here are quantum leaps without warrant or basis in truth. Again, let us be clear about all this...

Firstly, no promise of God, including His love toward mankind, is 'unconditional'. He expects to see changes in our behaviour, after we are saved. If a man has known perverse sexual practices (or thoughts), then he must change them. A sexual perversity is no different from any other sin - it is a matter of choice and a choice can be reversed. What makes it hard to alter homosexuality is the fact that homosexuals enter into their own twilight world of make-believe, which they dare to call a 'community'. In that make-believe world, they reinforce and convince themselves they are different but acting normally. It is this that makes their conversion so hard. Once they accept they act out of choice and that their behaviour and thoughts are sinful and have no genetic or other external basis, things become easier.

Secondly, God's purity and holiness come before His love for mankind. God's prime command is that all men obey Him. Only those who obey will receive His favour and specific love. God's 'love for all men' is found only in His general providence toward them e.g. He allows the sun to shine on us all, etc. God's salvic love is reserved only for those who obey and are saved. Those who remain in their sins are destined for hell, as scripture plainly states.

Thirdly, even if a man is a real Christian, but he thinks or acts homosexually, then God hates his sin. There is no way that God can 'accept' homosexuality. Indeed, if a man places his homosexuality before God's word, then every Christian has the right to question that man's claim to be a Christian. (The same goes for any publicly-known sin... continuous activity suggests a love for sin more than a love for God).

Another speaker said that Paul's ideas were strictly 'first century', but that we must apply scripture, plus life experience, plus cultural norms, to our thinking, when we consider homosexuality. That is, if today we think homosexuality is fine and acceptable, then we can ignore scripture or twist it to suit our own thinking.

Let it be known: Paul's thinking was that of God! At all times, in all places, in all cultures, what matters is what God says. It does not matter if God said something before Adam was made or at the end of this world's existence... it remains true and full of eternal authority. What God said about homosexuality thousands of years ago still remains a command. It is still doctrine and it cannot be amended, by men's thoughts, by their life experiences, or by culture. 'God says' is our only authority.

Another display of appallingly sinful Bible teaching and theology came in the latter part of the discussion, when it was said that "We cannot put people out of the church because they choose to interpret scripture differently." That is, because they ignore God's word and say homosexuality is acceptable!

There is no possibility of finding a different interpretation of God's hatred for homosexuality. His word says what it says, plainly and in unambiguous language. If a man or woman is cast out of fellowship because of his or her homosexuality, it is because that is how church discipline must work. It has nothing to do with interpretation.

Note: 'homosexuality' is a word to be applied to men and women. The division now known as 'gay' and 'lesbian' is a red-herring, meant to confuse. Similarly, we now use 'homosexual' instead of the more graphic word 'Sodomite', which describes this sexual perversion more accurately. The aim, after all, is to 'normalise' this sin. Therefore, one of the first things to do is to alter words and their meanings - something homosexuals are now very good at. They also invented the word 'homophobia', but it holds no meaning. It literally means 'fear of mankind', but homosexuals use it scathingly to mean 'hatred of homosexuals'.

Speakers went on to say that Methodists must not question ministerial candidates about their 'sexual orientation'! That is an outrage. "What's the gospel to lesbian and gay teenagers?" asked one ignorant member of the panel. The gospel to these folks is exactly the same as for anybody else! It cannot be changed to accommodate a sexual perversion even if deviants claim that "Sexuality is God's gift and is to be 'celebrated'."

Sexuality is not a 'spiritual gift', but is simply part of the normal physical and emotional attributes of all mankind. It is not something to be 'celebrated' - it is just a part of everyday life. In particular, we cannot celebrate what is loathed and condemned by God. And to suggest that it is a very "complicated" thing is nonsense. There is nothing complicated about homosexuality - it is hated by God. Full stop! Nothing can be plainer.

If it is 'complicated' it is made so by men's disregard for God's word. This same 'complication' was expressed in: "If we exclude gays from the priesthood we will damage the church". The programme contained layer upon layer of irrelevancies and errors like this. If we exclude homosexuals from pastorship ('priesthood' being a blasphemy) then we obey God's word. This will strengthen the Church, not weaken it.

In horrific but typical manner the speakers asserted that "The gospel includes lesbian and gay people"! No - the gospel tells homosexuals, male and female, that Jesus Christ saves and that He can change their sexual perversion (repulsive to a holy God) to a life acceptable to Him. Homosexuals can indeed be saved - but they are not saved as homosexuals, or with their homosexuality. God saves a soul, not its worldly clothing! (This is proven by predestination).

Speakers urged that the debate should not destroy unity and should not "get in the way of the gospel"... but it does destroy Christian unity and it does get in the way of the gospel - NOT the debate, but the existence of homosexuality within the churches! The debate is, at best, irrelevant; at worst it is a blatant sign of the spiritual ill-health of the denomination. In an effort to avoid a split between Christians and pseudo-Christians, speakers will not use "constitutional terms", so that the debate can be, almost, off the record!

What can we say about all this? We can say that Methodists (and others who think likewise) are allowing sin to dictate the way of the Church. We can assert that those who brought the debate to conference place their ignorance and sin in the open. They show a deep and dark error - they do not know that the 'priesthood' should not exist anyway; they show that they do not understand the gospel or God's holiness; they show lack of understanding concerning the authority of scripture and what is doctrine. They allow a vile sin (homosexuality) to take up time in a conference which should exist only to serve God and provide Christian discussion.

It is a shame and a sadness that those who claim to be pastors should even consider a ‘debate’ on homosexuality. Scripture is explicit and plain on the subject. There can be no debate on it. The case against sodomy is closed and sealed for all time. What should believing Methodists do if they find an homosexual in their pulpit? They must walk out and demand his removal! Fear God, not men!

© June 1993

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