This is in answer to some questions asked in the comments to a recent post. Rather than type a lengthy response to what are some great questions, things worth rethinking and reevaluating from time to time, I decided to take a moment, or several, to address it right out front here.
I am still confused on the "Ex-gay" "post Gay" thing. Do you not believe someone can be set free from Homosexuality as people like Exodus do? I thought I read that you feel humans were not designed by God for homosexuality, is that correct? So you can see my confusion, if humans are not designed for it, how do you help someone who wants to be "as God designed" without offering freedom from it?
The best way, for me, to reconcile these questions is to put them in the context of any other behavior/attitude/spirit that I would consider sinful. Let's take greed. This, in my opinion, is a MAJOR problem. The sin of greed brings pain to millions. It has reeked havoc with nations, societies, families, and individuals. It continues. Many struggle with it at levels much greater than others. It is not part of God's original design for humanity and when His kingdom is fully restored it will no longer be an issue for any of us. It is not an "icky-poo" sort of sin in "church" society and can rule with reckless abandon in a person's life, even as they attempt to live faithfully as a Christian. It's easily hidden, for most. Would I be able to offer someone a program or course of action which could completely free them from greed? No. Can God grant someone complete freedom from greed? Of course. Does it appear that He often does that? Not so much. It looks more like folks can become very close to freedom from greed and yet must constantly manage their natural desires by living faithfully and walking as wholly as possible in the Spirit and with Christ.
The next, most obvious question, is; how do I respond to persons who struggle with greed and how does the church body respond to those who struggle with greed? My answer is....you guessed it....with GRACE and LOVE. What if there were people who struggled with greed and either didn't know they did or didn't recognize their greed as sinfulness? How would I respond to that? Hmmm.....this, is the 64 million dollar question for those of us in mainline churches, is it not? Do we "put them out"? If they desire leadership roles or teaching positions within our body, in which they would be unabashedly practicing greed amongst us and teaching that greed is acceptable....then yeah....I gotta say.....you're gonna have to go find a body that believes like you do and be a leader and a teacher over there. But, if you want to come and fellowship, commune, worship, and live amongst your fellow strugglers of various and sundry other sins....come on! If they are struggling with greed, and working towards wholeness from greed, believing that greed is not God's design for them and attempting to live faithfully within that greed.....then lead, teach, serve....do it all. I'll be here to lift you up, support you, listen to you when you fail miserably, forgive you, and LOVE you. And I expect and need the same from you as I journey and struggle.
This is all my personal take on the matter. It's based only on a bunch of experiences and my own reading, study, and prayer. It doesn't attempt to decide and sees no reason or need to decide, who's IN or OUT when it comes to eternity. I'm pretty sure that's why we have the whole sheep and goats story in Matthew 25.
I hope that's helpful.
love and grace,
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