What We Believe
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February 13, 2019 Q & A

How does the OPC view homosexuals?

Question

How do you view homosexuals? Christ ministered to Mary Magdalene. How does that inform your view? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Is that reflected in your view? I sometimes struggle with my prejudices and ask what Jesus would think. I usually come to agape love as his overriding charge. I try to love the sinner, hate the sin.

Answer

Thank you for your question. It is a very important question. And of course the topic is very controversial, not only in society in general, but even among professing Christian churches. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church is committed to the Scriptures as the inerrant Word of God and therefore as the final authority in all questions of Christian doctrine and life.

The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9, “… do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals … will inherit the kingdom of God.” And so, homosexuality clearly is a sin. There are many other passages that teach the same thing.

Yet, to believe that homosexuality is a sin does not mean that the homosexual is to be hated. We firmly believe that no one is to be hated. But we do believe that it is biblical to call homosexuals to repentance, to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and by the abiding power of the Holy Spirit to fight against sin.

The passage most often referred to in objection to confronting someone with sin or wrongdoing is Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” But that passage is usually misunderstood and misused. What is forbidden by God is self-righteous, hypocritical judging, which is false and calls down God’s judgment on itself. Jesus is saying that we are to clear our own eyes and judgment before we judge another. After we do that, then we will see clearly to help someone with a speck in his eye (v. 5). (If making true, righteous judgment according to the Word of God is wrong, then Jesus was wrong when he again and again charged the scribes and Pharisees with evil hypocrisy and self-righteousness. And if such judging were wrong, then the apostles sinned when they repeatedly rebuked the readers of their epistles for all kinds of sins and misconduct.)

We in the OPC welcome all to our churches to hear in the proclamation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that there is forgiveness of sins for all who repent of their sins and place their faith in the shed blood of Christ as the only sacrifice for sin, and that they stand justified in God’s sight as they trust not in their own righteousness but in the righteousness of Christ alone.

We believe that we all sin—even Christians—and that we must always come to God in repentance. But grieving over our continued sins is different than willful, rebellious, unrepentant sin. True repentance involves a turning from sin with grief and hatred of that sin, and striving for righteousness.

 

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