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Showing posts from August, 2017

Conservative Evangelicals and Homosexuality - Same-Sex Attracted Christians and the Church (Part 11)

In the last blog in this series, I looked at the question of how a church should pastorally respond to same-sex attracted non-Christians. This time I want to consider how the church should respond to same-sex attracted Christians.We are a Church of Saved SinnersFirst, it’s important to say that every local church is a church of saved sinners. In the Bible, the major focus of the “church” is not the building, or the denomination, or the institution. The common meaning of the Greek word translated as church (ekklesia) is “assembly,” i.e. the people of God assembled together. The people in this case are, of course, those who have repented and believed in the good news of Jesus (Mark 1:15). So, the church is the assembly of saved sinners.It is not just that we were sinners and now we’re perfect - each time we meet should make that clear, however much we try to put our Sunday best on! No, the Bible is clear that we live with an ongoing conflict with sin (Galatians 5:17). So the church is m…

Standing Fast in Hard Times

The magazine article for September:With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. (1 Peter 5:12 NIV)It was a tough time for the church. The society around didn’t know anything much about Jesus, “living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and destestable idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3) and they were increasingly antagonistic towards Christians - even when they were only doing good things. It could have been worse (in time it would be), but there were insults, mockery and unjust punishments. To be a Christian was to be be despised rather than respected. That was how it was in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) when the apostle Peter wrote to them.Perhaps that sounds a little familiar to now. Once we might have thought we lived in a Christian country, but things seems a little more like 1 Peter 4:3 in the UK now and bit-by-bit we seem to be seeing Christia…