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Intersection of Life and Faith

Can a Person Who Practices Homosexuality Be a Christian?

Eric C. Redmond

Well, I think I would, first starting out by saying, when we're called upon to make judgments like that as believers, we have to take a stance of humility, recognizing that each one of us has failures, our faults, we have our own depravity within. We're never saying that we sit better or higher or more righteous than anyone before God. 

But then, we also have to recognize that God has set standards in His word for how to approach Him, and also the behavior that we have as we walk with Him, live before Him. It seems in scripture that two important things are said. One, that God has a standard for how we honor Him with our bodies, and there would be things that would be off-limits as God has prescribed, where a single believer, we would not be involved in sexual relationships with anyone, that's just a standard that God has set. If we are married believers, we keep our marriage bed pure and undefiled. The Book of Hebrews would tell us, and this runs all throughout scripture, "adultery will be forbidden," fornication as we call it, or now they just say playing around or affair, it would be forbidden. But also, it would appear that homosexuality in that list.

We can think of 1 Corinthians 6, which draws from Leviticus, where it would say that, "Those who practice homosexuality shall not inherit the Kingdom of God." So then we have God saying, "My kingdom has standards, and those who are in this practice would not be part of my kingdom," and so that's one thing to look at, how God asked us to approach Him if we're coming to Him.

But then also, we have throughout scripture this idea of how we approached the lord Jesus when he was in the earthly walk, and some would draw upon that and say, "Well, it seems like people could approach Jesus in whatever state they were. If they were lepers or women with five husbands, former husbands, could approach Jesus and He could even say to her, "The one you are with now is not yours," and she was fine to be in His presence, or there could be those who came with tears that were women of the night and spilled their tears and their perfume before Jesus, all sorts of sinners and publicans, we read in the New Testament, came to Him.

Jesus did welcome people, but Jesus also did something else. He always sent people out differently than whatever their lifestyles were. If you were socially outcast as a leper and you lived as a leper all your life, when Jesus was done you were cleaned from being a leper, or if you were a woman who had, five, eight, six lovers, when you finished you were saying, "Could not this be the Messiah?" And you were going somewhere differently.

Same if you were a sinner, publican or whatever. Zacchaeus is great case. After he meets with Jesus he says, "I'm going to change my behavior. I'll pay back fourfold. I'm not going to extort taxes." That seems to be the pattern that we see that Jesus is saying, "I'm offering you something differently than the lifestyle that is contrary to what I want, that you're bringing to me. I'm offering you something new, better and greater."

We're not sitting in judgment to say "we're better," but saying, "The Lord is offering something so much greater than you could ever imagine." It's not "We're here to condemn you," but rather, "We're here to offer something that is far more.

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