by Mike Goeke
There should be a place for every sinner in the local church. Jesus came not for the healthy, but for the sick. To close off the church to only those who are “healed” is to miss the point of the Gospel. However, the local church cannot tolerate intentional, purposeful sinful behavior, no matter the form it takes.
There are many lifestyle choices that may hinder someone’s ability to serve in the local church. A sexually active homosexual is sinning in the same way a sexually active single heterosexual is sinning. A sexually active homosexual must be biblically confronted with their sin as should anyone actively pursuing sinful activities.
The church must protect the flock and sometimes the greater good means that individuals are negatively impacted. However, it is the rare situation that requires the expulsion of someone from corporate worship. The church is called not to sanitize the world of believers, but to make disciples, no matter how dirty it gets!
It is important to remember that homosexual desires and feelings do not mean someone is a “homosexual.” Homosexual desires may lead one to accept a homosexual identity, but every Christian is first and foremost a child of God. Someone who struggles with unwanted homosexual desires is not a homosexual.
Someone who practiced homosexuality in the past is not a homosexual simply because of their past struggles. Temptation is not sin and should not be treated as such. If the church takes each person as it finds them and holds every Christian to the same standard, then the church should have no problem finding a place for anyone in the local church!