Monday, August 10, 2015

My brother-in-law's last sermon

For the past three weeks, my brother in law has been preaching about sex.
I should first of all mention he is a pastor at Real Life Christian Church in El Dorado. And yes, the potential for awkwardness is ripe. For one thing, he is married to my sister. I’ve been seated next to my teenage daughter for every minute of the series, and my parents too.
So there are the family dynamics … and then there’s the fact that I am making a documentary about the relationship between Christians and gay people.
Until this morning, the word “gay” hadn’t been brought up in the series. But it was yesterday morning.
I should also mention Corey is really conservative, as is most of my family. At the heart of this series is what Corey calls the “sex circle,” which includes a husband, a wife, and nobody else. Go outside the circle, Corey warns, and you’re asking for trouble.
Corey spent five minutes talking about the gay issue, and you can read what he said below. It pretty much falls in line with Central Christian, Newspring and all the other churches I've attended in my life.
 I will post this without further comment.
When it comes to this issue, we’re expected to keep our opinions and our ideas to ourselves. You can have that view, you can have that idea of scripture, as long as you keep your mouth shut and don’t talk about it. That’s the first rule – just shut up.
But the other option is, to actually express what the Bible says about this issue, and then be labeled as somebody who supports hate crimes, as a homophobic. We’re expected to either keep quiet about our convictions, or if you’re vocal about it, you can be accused of a hate crime.
If you’re here today, and you’re gay, or you really struggle with same-sex attraction, there are a few things I want to tell you this morning. The first one is this: I’m glad you’re here. I’m genuinely glad that you felt you could walk into Real Life Church this morning and you could participate in singing and communication and the things we’ve done this morning, I’m glad that you’re here. If this is your first time with us this morning, I’m glad you’re here. If you’ve been coming here for awhile, I ‘m glad that you continue to come. I am glad that you’re here.
The second thing is, I’m not mad at you. I don’t hate you. And maybe some other Christians have, that hate you, or have pushed that on you, I’m sorry for that. But I don’t hate you. The reality is, I’ve got way too many issues in my life that I’ve got to get worked out with my savior to spend my time throwing rocks at you.
The third thing is, I apologize to you, for the way the church has treated you in the past. Because chances are, if you fall into that category, you’ve been made to feel like you’re on trial and that you’ve already been found guilty and everybody wants to throw stones at you. And I’m sorry.
But I also want to tell you, because I love you, that being gay is outside of the circle that Jesus made, that he said was right and good for a husband a and wife, for a man and a woman. And I don’t tell you that because I hate you. I tell you that because I love you, and I think Jesus has better things for you in this life. See, I’m going to tell you the truth about God’s word as accurately and as closely as I possibily can when it comes to the issue of homosexuality, just like I do when it comes to the issue of adultery, or fornication, or sexual immorality of any kind – or stealing, or slander or gossip or any of those things. I’m going to do my best to tell you the truth about all of those issues.
I do the same as a parent. I want to tell my kids about the truth and things they’re going to go through in life and the things that they’ll face in this life – not because it’s easy, not because it’s always a joy to tell the truth to your kids, but because it’s what’s best for them. And just because I may not agree with you on this issue doesn’t mean that I hate you or I’m intolerant, because I’m not mad at you.
In fact, I hope you come back next Sunday. And I hope you keep coming to Real Life. Because just like you, we’ve all got issues. We’ve all got sin. We all need the mercy of a loving Savior. 

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