What Should Be The Attitude Of The Church To Homosexuals​

What Should Be The Attitude Of The Church To Homosexuals

Homosexuals first and fore most are human beings who need our love and the church should be at the forefront in all this. Their life pattern may be averse to what is natural but we need to understand what makes them adopt such unnatural lifestyle. However, let it be clear from the outset that no sound theologian or any Christian for that matter can deny that the Bible condemns homosexuality.  They however stumble and err when they hold the view that homosexuality in intrinsic to the personality of certain people as a kind of inborn inclination of the heart which the God’s grace cannot overcome.

 How then should the church respond pastorally to the problem of homosexuality?  Firstly, the church through its’ leaders must have firm biblical teaching and loving personal support programs for homosexuals and seek to reach out to them with the truth instead of sounding a word of condemnation from a distance.  Homosexuals should be told about the God of the Bible who reaches out to forgive and bless those who seek to overcome their way of life through the gospel of Christ which “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rm. 1:16)

In other words, the church should not compromise the fundamental biblical teaching that homosexuality is contrary to God’s will for sex life.  For the church to merely echo the views of human opinion regarding such sin is to abdicate its primary responsibility namely, to sound forth to a clear word from God. Rather the church must challenge homosexuals to seek personal transformation through the power of God’s word and Spirit.  This is where a clear gospel message is critical.  The church needs to sound forth a clear message of the power of divine grace to transform even sinful attitudes.  It must be understood clearly that the grace of God not only forgives sins of the past but also transforms old sinful attitudes and inclinations that remain after true conversion.

The church in Corinth is a perfect example of the power of this grace.  After listing down a variety of sexual sins, including homosexuality of which the Corinthians had been guilty before their conversion (1 Cor. 6:9-10) the apostle Paul said, “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 in the Spirit of our God.” It is quite clear that some who were previously involved in homosexual practices were given a brand new life and the old nature transformed through faith in Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in the depths of their personalities.

Homosexuals today can experience the same transformation as those in Corinth through faith in Jesus Christ.

It has been reported that, purely using secular means, that many homosexuals have been reclaimed back into normal life in society.  Masters and Johnson have achieved a 66% success rate.  If that is the case, should we not expect, with the power of God’s Holy Spirit, even more dramatic rates of transformation?  It is therefore such a biblically based hope that the church should hold forth as the way out for those who find themselves caught up in this sin or any sin.

At the same time, individual Christians must honestly examine their own attitudes towards homosexuals remembering homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin and prayerfully seek to minimize the stigma associated with homosexual lifestyle.

Regarding ordination of homosexuals to church offices, it must be said that the Scriptures give very clear guidelines and that no  church denomination seeking to place itself under the authority of Scripture can ordain avowed and practising homosexuals to leadership position in the church without being offensive to God. If the unrepentant practice of this sexual sin bars one from entering the kingdom of God (1Cor. 6:9) surely it must bar one from leadership in the church which is the visible kingdom of God on earth.

On the other hand, the Bible does not appear to put barriers to the ordination of one who has repented of such practices because “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17) Paul, who prior to his conversion was a persecutor of the church and a blasphemer (1Tim. 1:13) received mercy from God and transformed into the great Apostle of Jesus Christ.  Such a transformation and subsequent usefulness in the Gospel ministry of Jesus Christ are possible for the homosexual.  This hope is part of the Good news that the Gospel brings to man.

However the negative social reputation suffered by the person previously involved in homosexual practices may disqualify him from holding positions of leadership in the church according to 1 Timothy 3:7

Many of those who previously engaged in homosexual practices continue to struggle against possible relapse to the practice and it may be prudent to encourage such persons to devote themselves to the pursuit of personal sanctification as a matter of priority.


Joseph Masunga

Pastor Injili Bible church, Nairobi