© 2003 Wesleyan Episcopal Assemblies Pentecostal
Recently a synod of a mainline denomination in the United States confirmed an openly confessed and practicing homosexual as a Bishop of the Church. A divinely called and scripturally ordained priesthood is called by God to give leadership to the church as it fulfills its purpose in performance of the sacerdotal functions. The Bible clearly advises the
ordination of Overseers or Bishops as needed to administrate distinct geographic regions. A Bishop must be a devout and respectable believer of mature experience, sound Christian character, and ability, who has been married and only once and who has established his (or her) good reputation in the community prior to the nomination (Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:8; Ephesians 4:11).
God’s call to this ministry is entirely at his discretion without regard to gender, race, physical disability or national origin. A Bishop is one who has shown good judgment and Biblical guidance in management and administration. However being well liked and respected as a person, doesn’t qualify a candidate for such an important office without the additional requirement that they also be men or women of good moral character.
Scripture teaches us that in the last days many will fall from the faith (Matthew 24:8-10; 2Thessalonians 2:2,3) and seek teachers who promote unrepentant sinful life as a parody of Christian Liberty (2 Peter 2:1-3; James 3:1). This apostasy will twist the minds of many causing them to instead falsely condemn those who remain faithful to the biblical imperative to live a holy life (Matthew 24:11, 12). In these days of growing apostasy, state and federal laws are continually being rewritten to encourage the free practice of rebellious and licensuous lifestyles, including Homosexuality.
Homosexuality and lesbianism can more properly be known corporately as Homosexuality, since this term has no gender value and refers to sexual activity between members of the same sex. It is the repeated witness of scripture that persons who engage in homosexuality are suffering from a state of delusion and a sinfully depraved mind (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17; Judges 19:22,23; Romans 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9). God provides healing and restoration for persons who engage in all sorts of sinful behavior and freedom from the desire to commit those sins. Homosexual sin is not deemed to be more severe than any sexual sin, or other conceit (Romans 3:22-25; 6:20-23). However, since the principles of natural procreation and male-female union are violated by homosexual relationships (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9), they can never be deemed to be marriages and cannot be blessed or sealed by God.
Scripture clearly calls for the encouragement and protection of marriage and the family. As with any sinful sexual behavior, homosexual persons are entitled to healing and restoration to the faith, once they have turned away from (repented) their chosen sinful lifestyle. The Church must not exclude from fellowship, those homosexual persons who are committed to seeking such healing. However any homosexual or in fact any person engaged in any rebellious and licentious lifestyle may not legitimately claim to be called of God or Ordained by God for leadership and service in the Church. The role of a leader is to model the behavior and the relationship with God which are espoused by Scripture. For instance, Paul said be disciples of me even as I am discipled by Christ.
The Holy Spirit operates in the life of an authentic believer. This activity of the spirit produces fruit, which Paul refers to corporately as Sanctification (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35-39). Sanctification is a work in the life of the believer, which produces a separation from evil, (Genesis 17:1; Romans 12:1,2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 7:1) and dedication to God (John 14:23; Colossians 3:17; 1 John 2:6). Many would try to argue that love means unconditional acceptance. This is certainly not the witness of the Bible or of common sense. When a parent loves his or her child, that parent places many restrictions on the behavior of the child. Such restrictions are a necessary part of healthy emotional and social development. Behavior that leads to danger or that will cause emotional harm is censured by punishment. Genuine love demands punishment, which is proportional to the misbehavior.
A loving child will grow to appreciate the correction and guidance provided by such a parent, so long as this punishment is tempered by good judgment. This appreciation is a result of emotional maturity and is often precipitated by the birth of a grandchild. This model is extended into the spiritual arena. God takes the role of a parent providing guidance and correction. As we mature, we respond to this loving and kind use of a Rod and Staff by showing appreciation and returning love. The spiritual grandchildren that often precipitate this maturity are those new believers that we lead to Christ or are privileged to teach. The outward evidence of mature love for Christ is a life of righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24; Titus 2:11-14), which is focused on pleasing God rather than satisfying the carnal nature (2 Corinthians 5:9-13) and by faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that life, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Ghost (Romans 6:1-11, 13; 8:1,2, 13; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12,13; 1 Peter 1:5).
This new life in Christ causes a person to have a new nature, predicated on the foundation of the spiritual disciplines, for the perfection of the saint (1 Peter 1:15, 16). For this reason, no person currently engaged in a lifestyle proscribed by the Bible may be given full fellowship, or be allowed to hold any office in the Church. No ordinance or sacerdotal function may be extended to a person who is habitually engaged in a sinful behavior (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). Further, no person who has failed to mature to a point of such appreciation for this loving kindness can be trusted with a position of authority and leadership.
Good leadership in the Church demands Spiritual maturity. No practicing Homosexual is a spiritually mature Christian believer. Maturation in Christ would of necessity, precipitate the healing and repentance of a behavior that Christ himself condemned as sinful. God loves the Homosexual but he demands that they mature and grow in holiness, leaving behind the things of the flesh. Join me in praying for the cleansing and restoration of our brothers and sisters who have taken the decision to allow such a rebellious lifestyle to stand in their assembly. Let’s remember that such apostasy is a clear defiance of God, and that the precious people who have been deceived into supporting this decision will surely encounter censure by the Holy Spirit. God help them to repent quickly.
In Service to our Lord,