What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

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What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:21 pm

I'd like to direct this question specifically toward the Christian brethren, no offense to anyone else.

I'd also like to avoid debates. I'm simply interested in how people answer the question, so I can gauge it with my own thoughts, which I'm happy to share as well.

My question is: What if your pastor/bishop/pope/prophet/whatever sent the word down that your church would now welcome gay marriages to be performed, as some Christian churches have done already? Would you go along with it? Would you leave that church and find another? What would you do?

In my case, I don't see my church doing that, but heck... there was a time when it didn't ordain black people. I'm sure members back then felt like changing that was never going to happen until it did. Black priesthood and gay marriage are two completely different things, mind... I'm only mentioning it because none of us can tell the future. I don't know what I'd do if the Prophet said that the church was going to start participating in that stuff. I suppose I'd go down on my knees and ask God what I should do (James 1:5. Best. Verse. Ever.) but it would be extremely difficult either way.

So again, what would you do?
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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby ccgr » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:33 pm

If our church changed it stance and performed same-sex marriages willingly I would no longer attend that church as I feel that the Bible is pretty clear on sexual sin. If the government wants to recognize and perform marriages so be it. However, if my church was forced into it I'd fight alongside them.

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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:48 pm

I feel the same way... but I think for many it's a question of submitting to the wisdom of church leaders... Where is the balance?
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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby jvogel0321 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:05 pm

I am fairly certain this would never happen in our church. Our preacher has spoken on this issue more than once in the past and has made it clear that if it were ever a law that he was forced to perform same-sex marriages, he would step down from the pulpit and would not preach again (at least not in a formal setting).

That being said, if somehow by some crazy circumstance this were to happen, my "knee-jerk" instinct would be "i'm finding another church". But I know that I would first talk with my preacher, brother to brother as to why he condones this behavior and I would gather the members together to pray for our church and for His guidance. We as a church would probably ask the preacher to step down before we'd allow this, though. But I cannot say how God would actually direct us in this. I can only say that it is obviously against what the bible teaches and therefore should not be tolerated. How god would lead us to act? I do not know. I don't know a lot of things... that's why we have prayer... that He leads us in those things we just cannot understand.

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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:11 pm

My grandmother is a United Methodist and in her little country church in WV a few years ago, they sent an openly gay preacher.

Initially, the congregation was reluctant to allow this, but there was no choice... the church itself was owned by the United Methodist church and they couldn't refuse the pastor without losing the church itself, and they didn't have the funds to build another one. What struck me about that was the comfort of the congregation was unimportant next to the agenda of sending in this preacher.
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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby Wildebear » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:18 pm

I concur with ccgr.

However, the act of joining in matrimony is not explicitly Biblical. The marriages we know today is more of a tradition than faith-based. People need to remember that the medieval church administrated many realms. In an age where secularity was condemned the church was involved in many matters of the people. Religion and the law were inseparable.

Today things are different. Most western governments are secular. There's nothing stopping a gay couple from marrying in an atheist church(yes they have those now too) or before the law in various countries and American states. Why would people want to get married in the church then? I think it's God trying to show us that we should not forsake them. They're taking an antagonistic approach towards our church, our tradition and values...but
in my experience the real shame is where gay people are turned away or shunned by ministers.

I have a good friend, who happens to be gay, who desperately approached various churches for an answer. They turned him down; he's now a Buddhist. I don't have an answer or enough knowledge, but what I do know is that John 3:16 speaks to every single sinner in the world.
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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby oregorn1997 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:40 pm

The church I attend with my family, is what you call an "elderly" church. My parents, who are in their early sixties, are considered the youngsters, and myself and my siblings are the grand/great-grand children. My siblings and I are literally the only people in my church of 200 or so, that are under the age of 40. That being said, I'm sure you will understand when I say that there are very few marriage ceremonies conducted by my pastor. Marriage and relationships are seldom brought up at all, actually.

My pastor has a few times, briefly made it VERY CLEAR his opposition of gay marriage/relationship, but the subject simply doesn't come up very much. I feel even if he did change his views on it, it would still be a very long time before it was ever brought up in-sermon.

Personally, I would not abandon my church or pastor over something like this. The blessing my church has been on my family has been too great to abandon it for something so small. No church is perfect. As I have been told by a close friend, "If you ever find the perfect church, don't dare walk in, because the second you do, it won't be perfect anymore."
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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby ChickenSoup » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:15 pm

I'd keep on keeping on, probably. I disagree with several doctrines of many churches, so I'm not sure why this one would stand out among the rest as a dealbreaker.
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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby Sstavix » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:08 pm

For me, it would depend on what God told me to do. Like with AF, I doubt this would happen, but if it did, I'd have to spend some time in prayer, and probably some fasting, until I received an answer as to what I was to do. If a spiritual leader came forward and said that gay marriage was supported by Heavenly Father, I would want to know if it's truly by divine inspiration, interpretations of biblical passages, or an effort to keep tithe-payers in the pews.
I'd keep on keeping on, probably. I disagree with several doctrines of many churches, so I'm not sure why this one would stand out among the rest as a dealbreaker.
I find this stance curious. If you don't mind me asking, if you have doctrinal disagreements with your church, why do you still attend?

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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:23 pm

I'd keep on keeping on, probably. I disagree with several doctrines of many churches, so I'm not sure why this one would stand out among the rest as a dealbreaker.
I find this stance curious. If you don't mind me asking, if you have doctrinal disagreements with your church, why do you still attend?
At the risk of derailing the thread, here's a tangential question: What does one do if there isn't a church that you completely agree with doctrinally? (For instance, you disagree on one or two points but agree on the rest) Find one with the basics down? Refuse to go to church altogether? Somewhere in the middle?

He also didn't necessarily say he attended churches he disagreed with. :P

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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby Sstavix » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:34 pm

[
At the risk of derailing the thread, here's a tangential question: What does one do if there isn't a church that you completely agree with doctrinally? (For instance, you disagree on one or two points but agree on the rest) Find one with the basics down? Refuse to go to church altogether? Somewhere in the middle?
For my family, the answer was not to go at all. Their stance tends to be one extremely dubious of churches in general (actually, it runs along outright mistrust, as they think the church leaders simply say whatever they can in order to fleece their flock, pardon the pun). So if my church did deviate too far from what I've been told to believe by Heavenly Father, this would probably be my approach. I've done it before, after all....

I don't think gay marriage would be the breaking point for me, though. Probably more fundamental doctrinal issues, like stating "Jesus Christ was simply a wise man, and not the Son of God," would be a red flag to me that I might not be in the right place.

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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby ccgr » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:26 pm

(For instance, you disagree on one or two points but agree on the rest)

Depends on the points.

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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby storm » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:06 pm

I have never been a member of what is called a main line church like the Presbyterian church in the USA (PCUSA) I did belong to the Presbyterian in America or PCA a smaller denomination but with more missionaries and out reach I miss that church
I know they and the baptist church I go to now will never allow gay marriage or even gay membership
This is based on what we believe the Bible and God to say about these things WE ARE NOT homophobes rather we feel we are true Christian trying to hold fast to His word
that said we do have some gay visitors who have come often for we do believe that we are called to LOVE the sinner and HATE the sin
Anyone is allowed to attend but only those who meet what God has laid out can join or teach
so many churches have bowed to man and to what is popular instead of what is right all through the Biblical history a few have stood against the many rather than deny God or His Word
So much I see today seems to mirror what Ive read in the Bible so I guess right or wrong in others eyes I chose to stand by what I feel is God's word
BTW I do not belong to the present church I attend after seeing my other one fold I feel not ready to commit as a member but I do give to support it as I do any Christian group I am connected to
not sure if that answers your question but
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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby ChickenSoup » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:57 pm

For me, it would depend on what God told me to do. Like with AF, I doubt this would happen, but if it did, I'd have to spend some time in prayer, and probably some fasting, until I received an answer as to what I was to do. If a spiritual leader came forward and said that gay marriage was supported by Heavenly Father, I would want to know if it's truly by divine inspiration, interpretations of biblical passages, or an effort to keep tithe-payers in the pews.
I'd keep on keeping on, probably. I disagree with several doctrines of many churches, so I'm not sure why this one would stand out among the rest as a dealbreaker.
I find this stance curious. If you don't mind me asking, if you have doctrinal disagreements with your church, why do you still attend?
Because no two people/organizations/etc are ever going to agree 100%, and most of this stuff isn't critical to me outside of the fundamental doctrine of salvation. Anyway, I prefer diverse opinions on spiritual topics. To be perfectly honest, most churches in my area absolutely bore me to death. It's the same stuff again and again and again and again, to the point that I feel that I should probably be investing my time in challenging/interesting online sermons when I found them, and volunteering more, or something. I really only go to a local church for a sense of religious community (I mean... outside of websites :P), and if I'm going to do that, I'm not going to surround myself with yes-men. Give me some dissenting opinions, man. Besides, while I still lean fairly conservatively in many ways, I'm a lot closer to center field than I was a couple years ago, so I'm pretty sure I have both major and minor disagreements with most American churches. I'd be hard-pressed to find one that lined up 100% :P

EDIT: Now that I've thought about it, I'm pretty sure I'd rather ditch a church for intellectual reasons than for doctrinal reasons, and for reasons of what I call "spiritual uselessness"--that is, if they teach pretty hardcore conservative Christian doctrines but utterly fail to produce any kind of proof of how awesome they apparently are (local volunteering, feeding the homeless, and so on and so forth)
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Re: What if your church opened up to gay marriage? (CIP)

Postby LegoFan560 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:05 am

My question is: What if your pastor/bishop/pope/prophet/whatever sent the word down that your church would now welcome gay marriages to be performed, as some Christian churches have done already? Would you go along with it? Would you leave that church and find another? What would you do?
That's a tough question. It probably depends on the pastor's explanation. He's very thoughtful and always has a reason for what he does. We'd need to hear why he felt we should allow gay marriages and see whether we agreed with him. Granted, it's not likely to happen. I don't think there has ever been a marriage ceremony at our church. The sanctuary can only seat 150 and it's not a fancy "marriage ceremony" church.
At the risk of derailing the thread, here's a tangential question: What does one do if there isn't a church that you completely agree with doctrinally? (For instance, you disagree on one or two points but agree on the rest) Find one with the basics down? Refuse to go to church altogether? Somewhere in the middle?
Well, we don't quite agree with some of the beliefs in our current church. They are rather minor opinions, but we don't agree. Most of the church prefers the standard baptism, but we were originally in a Presbyterian church, so we do infant baptism. Although my parents have explained, and I agree with them, that if any of us (kids) wants to be baptized again they are happy to make that happen. There isn't much of a consensus on the way things will work when Jesus returns - we have premillennials and postmillennials split almost in the middle - but it isn't really a major issue so no one worries about it.
EDIT: Now that I've thought about it, I'm pretty sure I'd rather ditch a church for intellectual reasons than for doctrinal reasons, and for reasons of what I call "spiritual uselessness"--that is, if they teach pretty hardcore conservative Christian doctrines but utterly fail to produce any kind of proof of how awesome they apparently are (local volunteering, feeding the homeless, and so on and so forth)
So maybe this deserves another thread, but I want to ask: What if your church doesn't have the standard outreach programs? For example, our church doesn't have a food pantry, doesn't have a specific outreach, and doesn't hold community events. There isn't a church-wide outreach (with the exception of nursing home services once a month; not many people participate in those). Instead, we've found that the best way for us to make an impact in the community is to support our members in their areas of outreach. For example, Columbus has a HUGE Nepali community. One of the families here has a close friendship with a Nepali family who they are mentoring and teaching. The church has supported them and welcomed the family when they come to the service every once in a while. One member is involved with Victory Missions, a food pantry in the area. They just moved to a new site, and we've had several work days where many of the men in the church go to tear out the inside of a very old strip mall. This type of thing is how we do outreach - by supporting other members and encouraging them in their work in the community. A lot of this is not seen when one visits the church; you have to stay and get to know us. What are your thoughts on this?
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