Ordaining a homosexual pastor?
There has been a lot of talk about a church in Nassau that recently ordained an alleged homosexual. Connected to that discussion, a friend recently forwarded to me an audio clip of someone asking why I and other pastors have not spoken about it. Although I heard the allegation, I had no intention of speaking to it, but I’ve had a change of heart since the recent ordination continues to drive many conversations.
It is unquestionable that the biblical position on human sexuality exclusively recognizes the male and female sexes and is opposed to any and all sexual conduct outside the bonds of marriage between one consenting man and one consenting woman. In short, scripture teaches heterosexual sexuality; it condemns homosexual sexuality. Therefore, any church that knowingly ordains, or receives into membership, a person who practices homosexuality or identifies as a homosexual is not a faithful church. In fact, it can be argued that such a church is not a church at all.
However, it is important to recognize that there are Christians who are tempted with same-sex attraction, and it is important to distinguish them from persons who profess to be Christians and practice homosexuality or identify as homosexual. Scripture says it this way: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV). Accordingly, people who formerly identified as homosexual are called to renounce that identity and embrace their new identities in Christ, even if they still face the temptation of same-sex attraction, which they must resist.
Those who have been born of the Holy Spirit are the children of God, and their identity in Christ by far surpasses all else. It is that singular identity that they are called to embrace. All other identities are to be renounced, especially those that are contrary to scripture. Therefore, a genuinely converted Christian who faces same-sex attraction can be ordained as a minister of the gospel or received as a member of a church. And they are called to live a holy life, as are all who belong to Christ.
No doubt there are those who disagree with me. I would only remind them of the biblically supported fact that we live in a fallen world in which everything, including human sexuality, is broken, and we all experience broken sexuality in different ways and to varying degrees. For example, when a married man is tempted to lust after another woman, it is an expression of sexual brokenness. When a single woman is tempted to sleep with her boyfriend, it is an expression of sexual brokenness. Homosexual temptations are also expressions of sexual brokenness. And in all cases of immoral sexual desires, whether heterosexual or homosexual, we who are followers of Christ are called to resist them by God’s grace and pursue holiness.
Temptation is not sin; sin is sin. Therefore, it is spiritually harmful to tell a believer in Christ who is tempted with same-sex attraction (or any other sin) that he or she is not a Christian because of that temptation, even though that person, by God’s grace, does not yield to the temptation. And the spiritual harm is compounded when that person hears that unbiblical indictment from those who should know better: pastors.
I have no doubt that if the recently ordained pastor had a reputation of being an adulterer or a fornicator we would not even know he was being ordained. And that’s because many people make little of heterosexual sexual immorality and much of homosexual sexual immorality. But in Leviticus 18, the Lord abominates all sexual immorality – heterosexual, homosexual, and bestial. We would be wise to do the same, and our nation will be better for it. May the Lord who created the gift of sex for the bonds of marriage help us towards this end.
– Pastor Cedric Moss