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Miranda Writes: Facing Homosexuality, Part 8




by Omar Miranda

Confronting the Christian Homosexual, Part 2

Last week we began the discussion on how to lovingly and clearly convey our concern and the facts of God’s ultimate judgment to somebody who is openly gay and claims to be a Christian. This week I’d like to finish that discussion and end this series about the very important issue of homosexuality.

First, I want to encourage and assure you that as the friend or family of someone who is openly gay, Christian, and unapologetic, you can show them from the Bible where appropriate godly, Christian judgment can be shown. And remember, this type of judgment is not for exclusion; it’s for inclusion. It’s not for condemnation; it’s for restoration. The apostle Paul was writing to the Christians at a town called Corinth. Now, this town was heavily involved in immorality, and Paul was writing to them because he had just been informed that the Christians there who knew the truth were choosing to live a life that was sexually immoral and steeped in sin. Paul dropped the hammer on both the Christians who were outright sinning and the Christians who knew what was going on but didn’t say anything about it! I want you to pay attention to the tone of the letter he wrote to them. We know it as the book of 1 Corinthians. The passage is found in chapter 5:

“I have heard terrible things about some of you. In fact, you are behaving worse than the Gentiles. A man is even sleeping with his own stepmother. You are proud, when you ought to feel bad enough to chase away anyone who acts like that. I am with you only in my thoughts. But in the name of our Lord Jesus I have already judged this man, as though I were with you in person. So when you meet together and the power of the Lord Jesus is with you, I will be there too. You must then hand that man over to Satan. His body will be destroyed, but his spirit will be saved when the Lord Jesus returns. Stop being proud!” (verses 1-6, CEV).¹ “In my other letter I told you not to have anything to do with immoral people. But I wasn’t talking about the people of this world. You would have to leave this world to get away from everyone who is immoral or greedy or who cheats or worships idols. I was talking about your own people who are immoral or greedy or worship idols or curse others or get drunk or cheat. Don’t even eat with them! Why should I judge outsiders? Aren’t we supposed to judge only church members? God judges everyone else. The Scriptures say, ‘Chase away any of your own people who are evil’” (verses 9-13, CEV).

What! Don’t miss it: Paul went off on the Corinthian Christians because there was incest openly going on in the church and no one did anything about it! You and I think, Come on. Surely someone said something about it, didn’t they? We have no way of knowing if anybody personally said something to these people about it, but one thing was clear: These Christians let these people who were committing consistent, open, purposeful, shameless sin continue to come to church! What should have been the consequence? Paul clearly states it in verses 5, 11, and 13. The bottom line: We should focus on their ultimate salvation by lovingly warning people of the consequences of their sins, and respond to their blatant and sinful practices by patting them on the back and telling them that God forgives them and they should try harder? No! The Bible tells us to exclude them from our fellowship! That’s right! Put them out of the church! This position is not one that is very popular in this day and age, because it smacks of moral absolutes. There are two things I want to say about this:

• Placing somebody out of the church and withdrawing church membership is being done for the ultimate good and salvation of that person. The apostle Paul clearly states this in verse 5 when he says “Hand that man over to Satan” (CEV). Paul doesn’t literally mean that we should somehow contact Satan and say, “Here he is! Have your way! Do your worst!” and totally forget about somebody. No, not at all! The whole purpose of removing somebody from church fellowship is to let that person feel the consequences of their behaviors and to let them know that there are clear standards of behavior and morality in the church. I hope and pray that if somebody was stealing at a job, or somehow being violent or outright breaking some other sort of rule, that you would want that person to be fired, or at least removed for some sort of time until they could change their ways and get their act together.

• The second thing I want you to consider is this: As a teenager, you may not have the power, authority, or guts to have somebody removed from church fellowship, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t change the type of interactions you have with that person. God wants us to be concerned about somebody’s eternal destiny, and we should be saying something about it when we speak with them. Remember, relationship is key here, and if you’re concerned about them as a person, then they’re typically not going to snap on you when you ask them if they’re still outright living a homosexual lifestyle. You could plainly ask them and talk with them about your—and God’s—concern for their salvation.

As a fellow believer, you could also share with them two passages of Scripture that have to do with the relationship between knowing truth and living in it and the consequences for not doing it. The Scriptures are pretty clear, so make sure that the other person knows how much you unconditionally love them and how much God unconditionally loves them, but the fact that there are consequences for continued practices outside of God’s plans for joy, peace, and happiness. The two passages are Hebrews 6:1-6 and Hebrews 10:19-27.
Last, you can share with them the hope of glory and of salvation that Christ gives each and every one of us—specifically, God, through the apostle Paul, spoke to homosexuals and those who think God will overlook their blatant sexual sins. Paul writes to them—and you, and me—in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. 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” (TNIV).²

If you would like more information on how to interact with friends and family who are homosexual, or if you are a Christian who doesn’t have a problem with being homosexual, please go to http://exodusinternational.org/exodus-student-ministries/ for more information, or you can always write, call, or text me. I’d love to interact with you.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 770-354-2912


1Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.
2Bible texts cerdited to TNIV are from the Holy Bible, Today’s New International Version. Copyright 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
   
Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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