John Piper is a good example of how to interact with the local community (see a Godward life). I tried to follow his example today when i wrote a comment in reply to this article: http://www.journalstandard.com/lifestyle/x144228860/Homosexuality-Seminar-examines-sexuality-issue-in-the-church-Bible
The newspaper article began this way, “Donnley Dutcher, pastor of St. John United Church of Christ, is going to present a seminar on “Homosexuality in the Church – A biblical education event showing an open way to do church.” Dutcher said he wrestled with the question of where homosexuality fit in the church more than 30 years ago. This led him to read a book called “Jonathan Loved David” by Tom Horner, which discusses homosexuality in a historical and biblical manner.”
Here is how i responded via email to the editor. The editor posted my entire comment in the opinion section of Sunday’s paper. Also of note, one of our church members said that he talked with a few of the people who attend Pastor Dutcher’s church and that they disagree with Dutcher’s understanding on this issue as well.
Pastor Dutcher is correct in calling Christians back to the Scriptures with regards to the topic of homosexuality. Human tradition should never trump God’s final authority the Word of God. The Christian church is made up of redeemed sinners who have been saved by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:1-10, Galatians 3:10-11, Romans 3:23). Those who have experienced the saving grace of God in their lives should not look down upon others in a self-righteous, condescending way (Luke 18:9-14); after all, but for the grace of God their go you and I.
As a fellow pastor I could not disagree with Pastor Dutcher’s conclusions more. In fact I’m reminded of the words of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! The Old and New Testament Scriptures are crystal clear with regards to the sin of homosexuality. If repentance (turning from sin to God) is a necessary part of genuine saving faith (Luke 13) than it is imperative that what God labels as sin is rightly described for what it is.
One of the most encouraging passages of Scripture is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Paul writes, Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, or thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. 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. The early Christian church was not much different than the Christian church of today. Paul says, using a past tense verb, and such were some of you. In other words, the cross of Christ has freed us from our enslavement to various habitual, life dominating sins. Let us rejoice again in the saving power of Christ and in the tender mercies of our heavenly Father.
Pastor Caleb Kolstad
Sr Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Freeport