Homosexuals in Heaven

24 05 2008

General SuperintendantsHere’s a somewhat controversial question.  Will there be homosexuals in heaven?  I think many christians will be surprised when they get there to find the answer is yes.

I was interested to read in a blog that I have started following called Emergent Nazarenes about a new letter to pastors put out by the General Superintendants in the Church of the Nazarene on the topic of Homosexuality.  I read the post and then went on to read the entire pamphlet for myself.  I have to say I am pleasantly surprised at some of what I read.

You can read the pamphlet yourself here, but some of the quotes are as follows:

“The Bible does not homosexual orientation. What the Bible does talk about are homosexual acts.  We need to be clear about this, and to not say more than the Bible says.  One of the problems in the destructive debates that are taking place is lack of clarity on this very point.”

“What we do know from walking with people in a fallen world is that homosexuality is real, it tends to begin early, and it is rarely a choice.”

“Sexual orientation is not usually a willful choice.  (Can the heterosexual point to a time they chose their sexual orientation?)”

“Americans tend to be greedy as an influence of our consumer society.  We didn’t wake up one morning and decide to be greedy.  We were born into a greedy world and this sticky sin stuck to us.  …homosexuality is a sin because it reflects the fallenness of our world.  Like greed, it is something we are called to respond to by grace according to the character of God.  The person who is homosexually oriented does not need a church that condemns their orientation, but rather a church that calls for a response that is in keeping with the character of God.”

Our refusing to come alongside in the complexity of the journey too often results in two wrong responses.  The first is to naively believe that homosexuality is a simple matter to be fixed by one serious trip to the altar…The second wrong response is to simply cave in to the belief that homosexuality is irreversible, homosexual behavior is natural, ‘just who I am’, and therefore we offer no help at all”.

“The reoriented or celibate single homosexual will be invited to full participation in the life and ministry of the church, leading ministries, serving on boards, and singing in choirs.”

This is just a sampling of the contents of the letter, but I thought it showed the general theme.  I was pretty happy with the tone of the letter.  I think a lot of Christians might be surprised to hear some of what was said.  I know I was.  I was happy to hear them acknowledge that homosexuality is most-likely not a choice.  I don’t believe I have ever heard that inside the walls of a Nazarene church before.  I was glad to read that they make a distinction between homosexual orientation (most likely not a choice) and homosexual behavior (a choice).  And, I think the comparison to greed (in this country especially) is very valid.  It creates an equality for a behavior that carries with it a huge stigma with a behavior that has become extremely commonplace in many christians’ lives.  Finally, I appreciate the statement that homosexuals should be included completely in all areas of ministry in the church.  Not only should they be let in the doors, but they should be allowed, perhaps even expected, to participate in all areas of ministry.

I am pretty happy with the stance the general superintendants in the Church of the Nazarene took with this issue.  So, what do you think?  Will there will be homosexuals in heaven?

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11 responses

24 05 2008
john

the bible doesnt have to mention something specifically to cover it in scripture(1tim)”all scripture is god breathed” it covers everything under the sun, thru its discussion of spirit. even in the old testament god canceled those things of his regulations because of the spirit of the people.

isaiah 1

5 Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. [a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

AGAINST THESE THERE IS NO LAW.

gal 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

that is why it is so ridiculuos to argue what is and is not of god thru form and regulation.

nobody who speaks out against homosexuality dares to, condemn it thru spirit. because they have not witnessed it thru a fellowship witness.”that which we have looked at, which we have seen with our eyes, and our hands have touched”

they withhold fellowship witness for the sake of their theology, a theology that would never hold up under the exposure of examination of spirit.

is heterosexual bonding about ” since we have compatible genitals i think we should marry” no, of course not. one desires to bond because of a thousand reasons emotional, psychological, spiritual reasons, along with a sexual attraction. which a million poets and a million song writers have attempted to identify.

a sexual attraction that has to do with sight and smell. a sexual attraction along with a desire to be one with another human being.

one with another human being to walk thru life with as a life time helper…………. to share all the joys and travails of living.

that is what homosexuality is about.

and like i said, none of the theology of those that would condemn, would hold up to a life exposure to that reality.

like isaiah 1 and gal 5

THERE IS NO LAW AGAINST WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF HOMOSEXUALITY.

because it embraces the fruit of the spirit in the same way heterosexuality does, and does not come against loving ones neighbor as oneself, in the same way that heterosexuality doesnt, which is the summation of all the law.

in regards to the issue of spirit. the word spirit appears 569 times in scripture. 201 times in the old and 368 times in the new(niv)

yes, of course they are going to be heaven!

24 05 2008
Fr. J.

I am glad to see that many evangelicals, Baptists, Nazarenes and other conservative Protestants are coming around to such a nuanced understanding of homosexuality. What is described above is essentially the Catholic teaching on the matter. In the past, the Catholic Church stood virtually alone in her distinguishing between orientation and acts.

The Catholic teaching is that homosexual orientation, attractions and acts are all disordered–that is, not ordered toward the proper purpose of sexuality –procreation and the bond of the couple. And while the same sex orientation, attractions and acts are all disordered, only the acts are themselves sinful–because sin is alway a willful action contrary to God’s law.

I have a post on the Catholic position is anyone is interested:
http://theblackcordelias.wordpress.com/2008/05/24/natural-law-and-homosexuality-made-simple/

25 05 2008
john

because within each of us believers lives the triune god, because we are created thru the spirit of christ, and because god has put his laws in our minds and written them on our hearts, and because each believer is the church, it becomes the responsibility for each believer to decide in his own heart what is and is not of christ.

god gave us the power as spoken in romans 1:20 , to witness his essence thru what was created. that hasnt changed.

surely, what the head of an organized church does or does not teach, cannot trump this.

25 05 2008
Jodi

I believe that something either is “of Christ” or it is not. My thoughts on the matter do not change that. Though, I do believe that one act can be a sin for one person and not for another depending on what their weaknesses and temptations and calls from God are because those differ based on the individual. For example, it may be sinful for Jack to have even a single drink of alcohol because he is a recovering alcoholic or God has placed it as a call upon his heart to stay away from alcohol while it is okay for Jill to have two or three drinks of alcohol because this is not a vice for her.

History, even recent history, is full of people believing they were acting on behalf of Christ but they were completely and obviously wrong. A few examples that come to mind are David Koresh, Andrea Yates (who drowned her 5 precious children because she believed she was saving them from evil), and the mom who cut her infant’s arms off a few years back because “God had told her to.”

This is why we need the community of faith, the Church. We need to pray with and for one another. We need to bounce our ideas off of one another to make sure we’re hearing God and not Satan. Of course, there are no clear-cut, easy answers, but we must strive to make sure we are following God’s calling and not our own.

25 05 2008
josephudo

Only spiritual beings will be in heaven and sexual orientation will not be an issue anyway. But anyone who doesn’t repent from the act or commitment to homosexuality, I ASSURE YOU, WILL NOT BE IN HEAVEN BUT IN HELL. God didn’t make a mistake declaring it a horrible sin and He destroyed entire cities for it.

26 05 2008
Chutch

A repentant homosexual who gives up their lifestlye and becomes born again will be in heaven. However a homosexual who refuses to repent can’t have come to a born again relationship with Jesus Christ and therefore will not be in heaven. God isn’t going to make exceptions for us and He sets the rules. Become Born Again and repent of your sins, including homosexuality, and be baptised with the Holy Spirit and you will see heaven.

27 05 2008
BuffaloNickel

Lots of good comments which is exactly what I was hoping for. I purposely kept quite in hopes that more people would chime in. I appreciate all the different view points. I personally keep coming back to the distinction between sexual orientation (not a choice) and sexual behavior or acts (a choice). I think there difference is key.

29 05 2008
john

i am amazed that there are still believers who think there is any sin or any unrepented sin that can deny anyone salvation.

icor6:9 was erroniously translated “homosexual.” the error was the influence of king henry’s 1500’s institued law, that punished sodomy with hanging, england, where there is no seperation of church and state. the original greek was a compound word that meant “malebed” an inanimate object was transposed with the word “homosexual”.
also paul said that those he told could not enter heaven were going to be allowed not because they changed their behavior, but because they were washed and sanctied, and justified by the blood of christ.

ephesians 6:8-9 we are saved by grace thru faith, this is a gift of god, it is not by works lest any man should boast.

works is anything a human does or does not do.

13 06 2008
Volunteer application: Are you gay? Check YES or NO « BuffaloNickel

[…] Maybe the leaders at this church need to go back and re-read the letter to pastors put out by the Nazarene Board of General Superintendents (I blogged about it here). […]

19 06 2008
Commonality

Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

cheers, Commonality!!

17 09 2008
Ray Boltz is gay « BuffaloNickel

[…] and homosexuality collide.  First, the leadership of my church denomination distributed a pamphlet to its pastors on the subject which I thought was very loving and accepting in its tone toward gay […]

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