These are the questions I asked:
"1.What are your general views on homosexuality, in terms of is it seen as a negative disposition?
2.Is it a sin?
(Side question: what is sin?)
3.If so, is it something that'll cause us to go to hell if we continue?
4.If not, what quotes do you have from the bible to support this?
5.Does believing in Jesus mean that the sin is okay?(if it's a sin)
6.What are some of the questions others have asked about homosexuality and what was your response to them?
And these are his answers:
"1. The best way I’ve seen same-sex attraction and homosexuality described from a Christian perspective is as a desire for something good (whether it be companionship, romantic relationship, sexual pleasure, someone who understands, or something else) that’s being sought after in a way contrary to the means God has provided for us to get those things. In that respect, it’s not too different from the other things people do that are contrary to God’s will.
2. The word ‘sin’ is used in different ways in the Bible - it could be a general attitude or it could be specific actions. Most broadly and generally sin is living our own way rather than living God’s way. The Bible makes a distinction between being tempted to sin (which is not inherently wrong, because even Jesus faced this) and actually sinning (which Jesus never did.) Being attracted to someone of the same sex isn’t a sin, and is better classed as temptation, but acting on that attraction through homosexual sex is.
As an aside, there are a few people in our church who I either know or suspect have this temptation and, because they are Christians, struggle against indulging it.
3. If a person goes to hell, it will be because they did not recognise they were a sinner and did not receive God’s offer of forgiveness through Jesus dying in their place (e.g., John 3:36.) This is where the difference between general and specific definitions of ‘sin’ come in - a person does not go to hell because of a specific sin, but because of a general attitude of antagonism or ignorance toward God and not wanting to be forgiven of that.
The best analogy I have for this is that general sin (rejecting/ignoring God) is the disease, and our specific sins are the symptoms of the disease. What kills you isn’t the symptoms - and it’s incorrect to say that they do - the source of the symptoms is the real thing that needs dealing with.
Once a person has received God’s forgiveness through Jesus, though, in God’s eyes they’re clean, though the past effects of their old life might remain. e.g., I speak to a lot of Christian guys who, despite being Christians, keep struggling with pornography. As much as I encourage them to resist the temptation to engage in it, I also remind them that anything they’ve done has been wiped clean by Jesus.
4. Look at Romans 1:18-32 to see that it’s the general attitude of ignorance and rejection of God which is the source of specific ‘sins,' including homosexual sex.
Check out Romans 3:21-26 to see that being righteous (right with God) is a matter of God’s action through Jesus alone, and not us improving ourselves.
Luke 17:3-4 sets a pattern for us forgiving others who sin repeatedly that must be patterned on the way God forgives us.
I can provide more if you want specific sources for the things I’ve said here.
5. Depends on the question being asked. ‘Is it okay’ can mean ‘Should I do it?’ in which case the answer is no (e.g., Romans 6:1-4 and following) - if you recognise something is contrary to God’s will for your life, you shouldn’t do it. But ‘is it okay’ can also mean, ‘will God forgive me if I do it and come back to God in repentance?’ the answer is absolutely yes because of Jesus. This is something about Christianity that particularly appeals to me - it’s realistic about the strength of temptation and refuses to call evil good, but offers acceptance and forgiveness for everyone, no matter how many times they fall.
6. The political question about marriage is a bit of a hotbed issue - People in my church are generally convinced that the Bible disapproves of homosexual sex but the question of whether we should make laws about it is an altogether different issue. This is another huge can of worms that I can go into on another email if you want.
The other questions that are common are the practical ones - ’Should I say anything to my gay friend?’ ‘Should I take part in movements like wearing purple to work?’ For the former, I generally advise not making their sexuality the main issue, because as I said, it’s not - it’s that attitude of rebellion against God. As for taking part in corporate movements, it’s a matter of understanding exactly and precisely what the purpose of these gestures is, and then making a decision about that.
Hope that helps a bit."
I was wondering if I missed any questions I should ask on the matter? What follow up/opinions would you have? And what questions, other than homosexuality, do you recommend asking to understand the christian point of view? Thanks :)
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