Bearing Fruit

I have a few questions about homosexuality in church.

  • Can gay individuals become members of a Christian church?
  • Can a gay member occupy a position of authority in the church (e.g. deacon, elder, teacher) if he demonstrates the skill and ability to serve?
  • Can a single gay man become an ordained minister at your church? A married gay man?
  • Can a married gay couple become members at church?
  • Can a gay member who joins in civil marriage with a gay man continue to attend at church?
  • Should the church officiate same-sex marriages?
  • When we say that Jesus dined with sinners and tax collectors, and we then say that Jesus would do the same with homosexuals today, are we saying that they are sinners, the “sick” for whom the physician comes?
  • If a gay man is baptized, confessing with his mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believing in his heart that Christ rose from the dead, but continues to be gay, is he saved?
  • Did you know I used to have rainbow suspenders? No joke. I had rainbow suspenders when I was a kid. I wore them, too. With white pants.

More to ruminate upon.


  1. Rod says:

    And what is the point of asking these questions? To make a point or to obtain real information?

    And perhaps you should change your verb from “can” to “ought” because we all know the answer to several of these questions is “yes” because we have seen them happen.

    Now the question about whether an openly gay man should be allowed to do these things is quite a different matter.

    However, I believe the story of Zacchaeus, who is a tax collector, which whom Christ dines but does not admonish, is informative. Z reforms himself out of gratitude for being treated as a human being, with no prompting from Christ.

  2. Rod says:

    Oh, and just because I like to stir the pot:

    If church accepts gay people as members, but does not require that they formalize their relationships, does this mean that the church condones fornication for gay people?

    And if it permits gay people to fornicate without restriction, does this not set a bad example and an undue burden for the heterosexual couples, who are required to marry? Is this not a double standard? Does this mean that fornication is a sin for hetersexuals but not for homosexuals?

  3. Paulo says:

    It’s a bit of both, really; I just want to know what people think. I use “can” rather than “ought” because I want to know how various people react to these questions within the strictures they believe Scripture sets for them.

    Followup: excellent questions. I’d love to see what people think of that.

  4. Jason Wall says:


    If you answer those questions according to scriptural teaching on the Church and Church discipline then:

    1. A gay indivudual couldn’t become a member without repentance of his sin. I’ll not argue wheather sodomy is inherited or chosen, but the Bible does call it sin. I understand also that no Christian is perfect, but to live in sin purposefully with no intention of changing or trying to be in obedience would precipitate church discipline which, if ignored, would lead to excommunication.

    2. A gay member, because he/she is taken in a fault, would not be eligible for church leadership. He/she should be confronted as Jesus taught in Matthew, and if the member does not repent, should be removed from fellowship.

    3. A gay man could not become an ordained minister for the same reason.

    4. For the same reasons as why a single gay individual couldn’t be members, neither could a “married” gay couple.

    5. Anyone can attend church. I’ve never been in a church that would refuse entrance. Membership and participation in the sacraments would be a different story.

    6. Officiating implies blessing or legitimacy to an act. Scripture teaches that Sodomy is sin. The church should never legitimize or bless a sinful act.

    7. I believe that is true. Sodomy is no worse a sin than fornication. Jesus sought out the lost, the hungry, the broken because they were the ones who needed Him. The point here being that they recognized their need, being poor, not that the pharisees did not need Christ, but that they failed to see their need and desire Him.

    8. You pose a theoretical question here that I’m not sure fair. The Bible says that if a man believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth the Lord Jesus, then he will be saved. But we also know that a saved man proves his salvation through works (ref: James). (what do you really mean anyway? does he continue to have feelings but refuses to follow through with them? or does he continue to live in a sinful lifestyle?) I think you present a false dichotomy here. Salvation does not, by any means, make us completely perfect at the start. There is an aspect of working out our salvation, of becoming perfect. Sure, a gay man/woman may continue to struggle with the sin after being saved. But who can really judge his state? Only Christ can do that.

    9. I did not know you had rainbow suspenders. At one point, I think I did too, when I was four or five. I wore them with red pants though!

  5. kevin says:

    These are very good questions. The answers depend, in my opinion, on how you define being gay. Does being gay mean engaging in a homosexual relationship? Or does it mean that a person is attracted to others of the same sex?

    If the latter is the definition, then yes, a gay individual can become a member of the church. For the same reason that a recovering alcoholic can become a member; or a repentant adulterer. I would also say that person could hold a position of authority or become an ordained leader.

    And, I’ll just answer one more of your questions: Yes, I do believe you owned rainbow suspenders. I did too, once.

  6. Rod says:

    Question: do any of you actually KNOW any gay people? Do you have any gay friends? And more importantly, do they consider YOU their friend?

  7. Raffy says:

    It depends. Who exactly did Jesus hang out with when he was out ministering? (Matt. 9:10-12)