Stu wrote: neo-x wrote: Stu wrote:
Come on man, answer the question - are actively gay pastors acceptable?
Stu, sorry to butt in, however do you think a pastor who habitually lies, is acceptable? Or one that envies, or who is doing a business by running a church? What if a pastor watches porn, is he acceptable?
At the end of the day it is your perspective that is distorted because you keep acts as very important to salvation. If a person who lies or is an envious one or steals or watches porn is a pastor, then he has deeper issues that he needs to deal with - which is between God and him. And then between him and his church.
However, to say that one such person is not a christian, or can't be one is wrong. I know what you'd say, that if such and such a person is unrepentant than he is not a christian and I will still say, this is wrong.
We often commit sins we don't even know about or are aware of if God judged us by our acts, which you are saying he should then every one of us will fall into one of another category of sin, me and you included. But when God looks at us through the grace that we have in Christ then it doesn't matter what sin you have done. You will need spiritual correctness, you should be punished legally if that is what entails from your act, but God can and does forgive you, not because of the degree of screw up you did but on the grace and love of God for us. And if that sounds like something which isn't justice and where one doesn't deserve forgiveness for the sin or crime they have committed, then that is exactly what grace is. You don't deserve it, ever, no one does. It is not justice and isn't suppose to be. The punishment can't match the crime, because the wages of all sin is death, period. There isn't a big one or a small one.
I am saying you need to stop thinking of God as an accountant and more like a father.LATER EDIT:
And to answer your question: No person should be a pastor if he isn't called to be one.
Habitually? No then they wouldn't be acceptable (not to get off-topic too much, but the Bible says that those who put themselves up as leaders of the faith will be judged to a higher standard). It means you are not being sincere in asking for forgiveness.
So you're saying an openly gay pastor is acceptable?
I do not subscribe to the saved by works doctrine. But James also says that "faith without works is dead", because our faith and relationship with Jesus/Holy Spirit/God will transform us from our old lives into our new lives and our lifestyle and deeds will reflect that.
If we keep on doing the things that we have repented from it will reveal no change in our lives.
There are varying opinions on once saved always saved, I happen to disagree with it.
I think you are not getting my point, I am saying it is irrelevant what sin a pastor is doing, including homosexuality. I am saying no one should be be a pastor if he isn't called to be one.
I have never been a huge fan of OSAS because it creates problems as well when it is taken to extreme conclusions. However, I do lean somewhat to what it says and it quite evident that - since you can't do good works and achieve salvation, you can't out-sin your way out of salvation as well. It just doesn't work that way. It is not based on our actions. I use to struggle with this, quite literally with the same arguments you provided.
I agree with Rick that you can't lose your salvation by sinning. But I do think you can reject it by putting your trust in Christ, even after you have received salvation. For instance, as you said, once could convert to another faith or no faith at all. And I think at the point it is a choice and it is in a way, God's grace that you can even choose to live without him. As in a relationship, one partner doesn't want to be anymore. Like C.S. Lewis once said, "the doors of hell are locked from the inside". Those who don't want to be or live with God can be without him. That is indeed a love like no other. God offers it but we can reject it. Everything works for OSAS as long as we maintain that both persons in the relationship trust each other or in this instance that a person puts his trust in Christ even though he sins and falls many times but because of that trust the relationship still works fine, even because God who is forever faithful is always with us, but the human in that relation can choose to walk out and if that happens, there is nothing to be done, because salvation is gained because of grace of God when we put our trust in Christ. However, if we don't put our trust anymore in Christ then there is nothing that can be done about it. It is love and grace of God that even allows us to have that choice, even in the act of rejection, God is still faithful but can't help us.
What good is salvation if someone doesn't want it? I don't think God wants anymore dragged to him, as that isn't loving, a dictator might do that and we know that is not what our faith teaches.