Homosexuality In The Pulpit
This is a subject that has managed to wiggle, pry, and vie for our attention in Christendom. It effects our co-workers, neighbors, family, and churches across this nation and the world. Homosexuality has been debated, argued, and has shaken the foundations of families and friends.
No matter what side of the line you may stand, the ultimate question is how do we compassionately and wisely deal with the person that finds their sexuality a daily struggle. Whether to conform or pursue the nonconformance life of homosexuality.
I was impressed to write on this subject because of a recent event. It was my birthday and I was reading a birthday wish placed on Facebook by my neice when a casual acquaitance whizzed in, sat down, and said that she needed to talk!
In the busyness and clatter of the cafeteria patrons, I quickly moved the remnants of my lunch to make room for her. The conversation started off with her asking about my eight year old in 3rd grade, then the molestation case of the coach in Pennsylvania and finally progressed to the revelation that her friend was married to a man who was struggling with homosexuality.
The couple has two children, attend church, and he's the annointed worship leader! The friend confided in her, about his addiction to on-line pornography and has since started hanging out with men with "questionable" tendencies. I instinctly asked her about their "pre-marital" counseling! She looked at my with such puzzlement and thought. Even people have a tendency to "hide" the undesirable stuff about themselves in counseling a Spirit-led person has the ability to dig beneath the surface. Thereby, revealing the necessary information that may hinder a God-fearing couple from a successful marriage.
We talked about the need of "deliverance" and the confusion that can be caused when we continue to function in ministry, while hiding dark secrets. Even though prayer helps, it is necessary for the person to step aside and deal with the confusion of their life and then return to ministry when they become whole.
The Tamar then said that the friend "questioned" the large amount of time that her husband was spending with the Pastor. So I asked the Tamar if she believe the Pastor had these tendencies and she said "No, he doesn't! He's just trying to help him through it."
My lunch was up and I left but the Holy Spirit let me to know that something was hidden. Upon my return to work the words "First Lady" popped into my spirit as I entered the cafeteria. I was almost finished my lunch when Tamar arrived. She sat down and we resumed our conversation of the day before. It was then that she revealed that she was the Pastor's wife!
For Your Reading
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that I've come across such situations in the Church. The news, internet, and denominations are riddled with stories of Pastors who struggle with homosexuality and try to successfully pastor while leaving a wreckage of souls in their wake.
The wives of these Pastors struggle with decisions on whether to wait it out, pray them through, or simply leave to save themselves and their children. Oftentimes, we deal with the matter at hand with valiant cavilere attitudes. We shake our fists and raise our voices in disgust and revile. However, we must remember that the souls of the wives and children must be taken in account while attempting to deal with these situations.
As I endeavor to find words that will encourage this wife, the pain of her journey speaks so loudly that I've placed myself in her shoes! What would I do? Stay or Leave? Tell or Keep Quiet? The revelation of perhaps moving to soon to marry. From experience I wonder about the signs that were there, ignored because of a wedding date!
As I look at her, I see the light of God has gone out of her eyes. I she the toll of decisions that weigh on her like boulders. I see the consequences of loving someone with an issue and the pain it causes. I see the exchanges between a man and a woman as they argue over a behavior "only" he can change.
I've been in churches where it has been revealed. In most cases the Pastor will sit himself down for a period of time but before the time is up, announce that he is whole enough to take over the reigns of ministry. In some cases, the Pastor refuses, denies the allegations, causes the church to fracture off and will continue to lead those who refuse to believe the allegations.
Confession of a Pastor
This Pastor gives us a glimpse into his secret:
"To most people, I was perceived as having it all together, but I struggled fiercely many days just to keep my life together.
He further went on to say that he was outwardly faithful to his spouse and his ministry but flashes and thoughts of committing adultery was a consistent day-to-day battle! He went on to say that it was only the grace of God that helped him escape the temptation of being involved with a man but he ended this thought by confessing that the right moment, opportunity, or situation did not make it an easy option for him to pursue.
He longed for the temporary escape, pleasure, and thrill that pornography offered him but this was always short-lived since the shame of those moments were monumental and overwhelming. This was a consistent cycle and revolving door of repentance, forgiveness, and resistance to temptation. -- Pastor in Kentucky
What Have I Learned?
Aside from all the scripture that we can quote, recite, and validate our points of belief, there are a wreckage of souls that need to be ministered to.
I've learned that hurt people, portions of the Body are looking for Christians, who love God that they can trust with the complexity of their issues. We need transparent overcomers that can light the road to recovery and reconciliation.
I've passed Tamar for about two years in the cafeteria. Sometimes we would say hi and sometimes we simply flashed a smile. I did notice that she made me uncomfortable, I guess I knew there was something there, hidden.
We must not only preach that this lifestyle is not Godly but we must make ourselves available to be a solution to an overwhelming problem in the Church. It is those that are in the Body of Christ, Kingdom People who are empowered to set the captives free!
Until next time my friend...