COME AS YOU ARE, NOT “STAY” AS YOU ARE

I believe my post yesterday, “GOD LOVES THE SINNER!  OH REALLY?” might have been a little too strong, perhaps a little off when explaining my thinking regarding God’s relationship with the sinner.  I mean, I should know it better than most because I “am” a sinner.  In fact, Paul’s claim being the “chief” of sinners got nothing on me.  Where Paul stopped, I excelled making me even greater in the depths I have traveled in my course and life of sin.  But, even some of you would make mine pale because each one’s sin is in fact no greater than the person beside you.

To bring clarity, rather, to take it a bit further, the point I was attempting to make, and probably poorly yesterday, allow me the opportunity to explain myself.

There is this belief God is going to save us “in” our sin, and this is impossible. He won’t and He cannot.  What is beginning to happen in my church is the “acceptance” of those who sin, publicly acknowledging such and the church finding a place not only for them to “come as you are” but “you can continue as you are”, and this is not right.  I came into my church as a drug addict but I was not expected to remain as such.  Many are coming into the Seventh Day Adventist church as homosexuals and transgender and we are opening the door, as we should, but we are not encouraging them to change.  Now, I have to be careful how I say this because I don’t want it to confuse anyone:  “There is a place for each sinner, regardless of the sin, but there is no place for those who wish to remain unrepentant, of their sin, or place for leadership within the church.”  If this were the case, then what is the purpose of the church?

I hear this phrase which is so commonly spoken from single women from the Philippines, “I’m looking for a man who can accept me as I am.”  This is a statement which is loaded with all kinds of problems.  In short, God doesn’t even accept me as I am, IF, and let me repeat this, “IF” I desire to remain as I am.  You cannot come into the church a homosexual and leave as a homosexual because at some point there is supposed to be a change in every aspect of our lives.  Isn’t there?  I “was” a drug addict.  I’m not one anymore.  I “surrendered” my addiction and God “healed” me from the addiction, therefore I am restored from addiction, make no claim to have it, and my life is changed by the evidence, or fruit I now produce.

If you wish to hire me as your pastor, counselor or teacher knowing I am still practicing addictive behavior, or those who have a so-called alternative lifestyle, and expect them to function properly in that position then you are sadly mistaken.  While it is true there are homosexuals who practice Christianity, there are no Christians who are homosexual.  When I was an addict, I used to practice or pass myself off as a Christian, but when I became a Christian I was no longer practicing addiction.  Something has to be given up, ecclesiastical term:  “surrendered”.  One cannot maintain a former life with the expectation to be “accepted” in continuing this life, without repentance, if what one is doing is classified as “sinful” from the standard of Scripture.  Homosexuality is a sin.  Substance abuse is a sin.  Both need cleansing and it is possible, through God’s Holy Spirit working upon and within the person’s life.

So, “no”, for those who wish to remain a practicing homosexual because this is how you believe you “are” and there is no plan, no remorse, no idea to repent and change, then “no” you do not have a place within God’s community of believers.

April 25, 2017

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