Sorry this has taken longer than it should have, none-the-less here are some of my responses to some great questions. A lot of these questions were answered naturally during the teaching, if you were not there you can hear the whole sermon on our podcast at iTunes by searching Two Rivers Church.
1. so isnt the issue sexual immorality and lust rather than the persons preference
Response: I believe that we covered this in the teaching, but let me state it again in a different way. The biblical model is one man and one woman commit their lives together and are monogamous. Anything outside of this marriage covenant is sexual immorality. This includes heterosexual sin and homosexual sin. There is no difference in these two sins. A person's preference if it is not for the opposite sex and with the person they are married to equals sexual immorality.
2. How does the view of homosexuality apply to people who undergo surgery/treatment to change how the world precives them?
Response: I believe we are created by God intentionally, therefore we should not alter our bodies. This goes hand in hand with my belief that God does not create someone genetically homosexual. Homosexuality is a choice not a chromosome. While the media has adopted this idea as true, there is no scientific evidence only theory.
3. Unsuccessful apology = calling homosexuality a struggle, like its a disease that you can be cured
Response: I am sorry that my apology was not accepted in the way that it was intended. Here it is word for word:
"On behalf of God and His church we would like to offer this apology. We are sorry for our mistreatment of homosexuals. We are sorry for vilifying those who struggle with this issue of morality while we neglect to address our own hatred and bigotry. We pray that our actions will not keep others from hearing about the love of God and the salvation through the name of Christ."
The fact that we cannot agree on the science of homosexuality does not change the fact that there are some Christians who have consistently mistreated those who have a homosexual orientation. That is why an apology is necessary. There is no excuse for those who preach hate toward homosexuals. Unfortunately we will still disagree on the science. I do understand why someone would call this apology unsuccessful if they disagree with the root premise that homosexuality is morally wrong. This is why I took so much pains to explain the platform from which I was talking about this subject.
4. even with your view that homosexuality is a sin, how would you welcome a person(s) to your church?
Response: This is the best question of the day and one that speaks most directly to the issue that we as a church should be most concerned with. The answer is simply love. My prayer is that Two Rivers Church is a place where all people can find love. Anything less than that and we have failed as a church.
Thanks for all the questions. TRC interactive will be back soon.