The United Methodist church defrocked Pastor Frank Schaefer from central Pennsylvania on Thursday for violating doctrine by officiating his son’s gay marriage, leaving the minister shocked and upset that he could be punished for an act which he called an act of love.
An act of love?
If God could wink at sin, Jesus would not have needed to die. But sin is so horrible that it separates us from God. When Jesus carried the guilt of humanity on the cross, His Father turned His face away and Jesus cried to His Father, “Why has thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
Is homosexuality a sin?
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
God does not create a person with homosexual desires. The Bible tells us that people become homosexuals because of sin (Romans 1:24-27) and because of their own choice. People may be born with a greater susceptibility to homosexuality, just as some are born with a tendency to violence, lying, and stealing. But that does not excuse the person’s choosing to sin by fulfilling his sinful desires. If a person is born with a greater susceptibility to lying and stealing, does that make it OK for him to give into those desires? Of course not! The same is true with homosexuality.
According to the Bible, God’s forgiveness is just as available to a homosexual as it is to an adulterer, idol worshiper, murderer, thief, etc. God promises the necessary strength needed for full victory over all sins, including homosexuality, to all those who will believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13).
This is the true act of love, to love people and call them out of their sin to God’s forgiveness. One should not do that in a judgmental manner, but in a loving manner. Love is not patting a sinner on the back in their sin rather it is hugging them and pointing them to God’s changing power.