How to React to Homosexuals in the Congregation?

The question was raised on the PB how a congregation ought to respond to practicing homosexuals who are visiting a congregation regularly. Here’s a slightly revised version of my initial answer.

First, praise God that they are in the congregation where, one trusts, the gospel and the law are preached clearly.

Second, all sin, homosexuality included, should be confronted plainly in the pulpit. We should be just as upset with the respectable middle class husband who abuses his wife as we are the homosexual and we should be just as gracious to both.

If, however, it is through the “due use of ordinary means,” and particularly through the “preaching of the holy Gospel,” that the Spirit brings sinners to faith, then it is a good thing for sinners to be under the preaching of the Word. We’re Calvinists here, aren’t we? We should trust the Spirit to do his sovereign, powerful, singular work in the hearts and minds of all the sinners present.

To the impenitent we preach the law. To the penitent and sorrowful we preach the gospel but we should also remember that not everyone in the congregation is ordained to the ministry! Not everyone is called to do pastoral counseling.

The congregation, as distinct from office bearers, should be warm and accepting of persons as fellow sinners. We should confess our own sins and thereby set an example for other sinners. We should gently call each other to repentance in light of the law that has been preached and to faith in light of the gospel that has been preached. We should pray for ourselves and for fellow sinners to repent and trust the promises.

In all this it is essential, however, that the law and gospel are preached clearly, distinctly, and biblically.

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  1. Hey we just talked about this for an hour during Sunday school at Phil G’s church in Springfield. Good stuff. When I moved up to Santa Cruz (the Lesbian capital of the world) I was really put off by the whole feminist thing. But when I got to know my neighbors as real people with real problems (due to sin and misery) I got less and less excited about my theonomist friends throwing stones at the ladies. I just wanted my neighbors to receive the same gospel that saved me from my sins. The Reformed have the power of word and sacrament like no body else. We need to be the ones scooping in the sinners and tax collectors like nobody else.

    Happy Thanksgiving Clark family

  2. I’m glad for this and I’m glad your recent reference to it on the PB thread didn’t result in a firestorm for you…

    • Thanks Ben.

      This is an interesting comment. Homosexuality (i.e., homosexual behavior) is sin and should be confronted as such. Sinners need the gospel and they (and we all) should hear that.

      Why is this controversial?

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