Tag Archives: fellowship baptist church

Church kids need to stop being so gay

There is a microcosm of our popular culture today that is spread and spewed on a daily basis by many members of the Body of Christ, and this is the fact that “gay jokes” are socially and spiritually accepted within the Church. That is  tragic, disturbing, and damaging. Most Christians know that you shouldn’t tell dirty or sexual jokes and if you confronted a man telling a coarse joke, more often than not he’ll become embarrassed, self-conscious, and acknowledge that he probably shouldn’t be saying them. There is no such stigma for “gay jokes.”

Congregation members, especially teens and young men, have made this a part of their daily repertoire of insults and wit, specifically using the term “gay” as a disparaging epitaph. Innuendos and insinuations of effeminacy and queerness come naturally and quick. They do this based on perceived character defects, personal mannerisms,  speech patterns, clothing style, affectations, interests and oftentimes for no reason whatsoever. It doesn’t really matter what the impetus is, if there is an opportunity to burn another soul [usually in jest]  it’s rare that someone would think twice before saying  “that’s pretty gay” in order to frame them as a homosexual and demean and marginalize them. That’s part of it. The other part is when people  thoughtlessly define “gay”  and make it a synonym for stupid, lame, week and boring.  They might say “that restaurant was pretty gay” or that band is so gay”. Its very, very common, and Church kids love saying it.

Church kids are being bombarded by one of the worst dimensions of  Christian culture which says it’s either alright to make fun of homosexuals, or as is far more prominent and is usually the case, that they don’t care when you make fun of homosexuals. It doesn’t register. They are lethargic and apathetic, and they need to be woken. It is  inexcusable. It is an immature, uncaring and unloving practice. Our culture does it all the time, and instead of making this a dividing line where we draw a distinction between the hateful rhetoric of our culture and the loving, welcoming, nurturing character of the Church’s soul towards homosexuals, our young men have joined the party and have become indistinguishable in this regard.  The pastors and leaders need to take them to task and correct them when they say things like that. They need to be told that what they are doing is a sin and that it has no place in that community of faith. The pastors need to rebuke, shame and discipline them. Call them out on it and take them aside and help them develop it as an issue of personal sanctification.

It is a shame in every sense of the word, and it needs to be seriously dealt with.  It’s not funny and it demeans the name of Christ when they are being allowed to profligate it with impunity through careless and crass words.  Their joking may not all be overt, but they implicitly bleed superiority and condescension when they  take a facet of a person spirit  that they’ve wept  and trembled over and use it as a dismissive disparagement- when they reduce such an important, raw part of gay person’s identity to a punchline to score points.

A while ago I was in discussions with some people about what I would say if I were apologizing on behalf of the Church for how they’ve treated the homosexual community. I think what I wrote then has some relevance to the topic at hand and I figured would share part of it to close out the post;

“I would not apologize for the theology, but rather how we have presented it. I would apologize that we haven’t been more accepting of homosexuals in the congregation and have not aggressively been evangelizing them. I would apologize that we have related to them as lepers, instead of as image bearers needing Christ- and that we are less “leprous” than they. I would apologize that we have not denounced the young men in our congregations who have made a habit of telling “gay-jokes” and other shameful humor. I would apologize that we have been ambivalent and have not paid attention to the men and women in our congregation who have been struggling with same sex attraction. I would apologize for not ministering to them enough, and for not supporting them enough in their desire to be free from this. I would apologize for the tactlessness that certain ministers have exhibited in public forums and for the lack of loving tone with outsiders and unbelievers. Last of all, I would apologize that we have not been clear, intellectual, concise and consistent in our theology of marriage. We have let people who have no theology of marriage hijack the conversation and speak for us. We have let ignorant people with loveless rhetoric and billboards saying “Adam and eve, not Adam and Steve” represent us, instead of thoughtful, wise and well spoken men and women of God who are  able to intelligently lay out a loving, clear presentation of why and what we believe marriage and sexuality to be and how that relates to the homosexual and heterosexual.”

*note. the title of this blog point is deliberately provocative and ironically tongue-in-cheek. When contrasted with the content and thesis, I believe it serves its purpose well.

Jesus sees us as we could be, not as we are??

The Fellowship Baptist Church, in keeping with its tradition of putting up church signs, has one that reads “Jesus sees us as we could be, not as we are”. And what I wanted to do today is ask the question -is that true? I’m not trying to kneecap anybody, but I am hoping to have some robust dialogue on this point.

I’ve been thinking about that sign and trying to put the best construction on things. I’ve been rolling it around in my head as verses of scriptures hiss and pop in my mind, trying to uncover all the nuances of such an expression. It’s possible it could mean different things to different audiences, but the fact that it is posted publicly for both believers and unbelievers to see and interpret in their own way limits its ability to be nuanced. While I think the perception and misconstruction of such a statement is important and would probably yield some interesting results, I wanted to focus on the theological precision of such a statement. Namely, is it true that Jesus sees us as we could be, and not as we are?

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.

For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— he was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

The scriptures make it clear that before the foundations of the world God has elected and predestined some to salvation. God sees us exactly as we are- children of wrath who live in the passions of our flesh and are slaves to sin- and out of his great love and mercy he saves us anyway. Romans 9:13 states “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” I would suggest that if you read Romans 9:13 and you are bothered by that last phrase, then you didn’t read Romans 9:13 closely enough. Instead, what should be amazing to anyone who understand the holiness of God and the justice of God against sin- what should be amazing to anyone who recognizes the depth of their own depravity, is “Jacob I loved“.

There was nothing in Jacob that was lovable. There was nothing in Jacob that was particularly attractive to the love of God. What should amaze us then is not that God hated, but that he loved. There are those who like to throw out objections to the Christian faith like “Why does God allow bad things happen to good people?”  My normal response is;  the Bible says  there are “none righteous, no not one”. There are no good people. The real question should be why does God allow good things to happen to any of us at all? We have to have a right understanding of the God that Isaiah saw upon his throne.  The angels circled the throne and what did they say ? Morning, noon and night, “Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty”. We underestimate his holiness and we greatly overestimate our goodness.  We  have no goodness, and any goodness we do have comes from God. That is why when we are dead in our trespasses and sins- when we are being ugly and cruel and selfish- blasphemers, god haters and god deniers, it should amaze us that Christ loves us as we are, in those moments of filth and scorn, and adopts us and brings us into a relationship with him.

God does not look into the future, see that we will become believers, and then goes back in time and elect us based on what we will be one day- covered in his Son’s righteousness, or a two-fold son of hell. God does not passively take in knowledge that way, or learn what we will become.  The quote reads as if God sees our potential to be moral, or our potential to do good works, or even our potential to be Christians, and then based on that he acts upon us accordingly. I would make the case that God sees us as we are. All the time. His eyes are wide open. He is “clear headed” He is under no delusion. He sees us exactly as we are, and still he saves.

And so I would love some discussion on that church sign.

Do you agree with it? How do you read it? Am I reading it wrong? What impression does it give to unbelievers or believers? Is it theologically and biblically accurate?

Ecclesial Roundup. Week ending 08.28.11

MGA Church. Pastor Glen Forsberg.

Fellowship Baptist Church.  Pastor Brent Carter

Fm Alliance. Pastor Val Johnson

Family Christian Center

Emmanuel Baptist Church


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