Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to the Homosexual Community

In listening to a few podcasts regarding the issue of "homosexual marriage," the best audio file that I heard was an interview of Rev. Chuck McIlhenny on Iron Sharpens Iron. I would like to recommend that anyone reading this post would take the time to listen to this interview, which can be heard HERE. What impressed me most about this interview was not so much the philosophical or legal analysis of "homosexual marriage," but the fact that McIlhenny was a pastor in San Francisco and was actively involved in ministering to the homosexual community despite vigorous persecution. The following is a sample of the conversation on the program:

Host: Did homosexuals ever disrupt services there during this period [when the church was being targeted for protest]?

McIlhenny: Oh, yes. Periodically, they would picket outside our church building, and they would come into the church- we didn't restrict anybody from coming in, even the homosexuals in their obvious dress- transgender dress- we let anybody in, and if it really got disruptive, we would either call the police [sic]. But, quite frankly, they never did close down a worship service- short of the fire-bombing, which effected the church building itself- they never disrupted a service enough to stop it altogether. Because we're there to share with them the gospel, that Jesus came to save sinners. And heterosexuals and homosexuals and immoralists of all kinds are all part of that thing. So yes, we were able to minister to the gay community, and yes, we were "black-balled" from attempting to do it in a variety of ways, too.

Host: Were homosexuals who had genuine and sincere motives- because they wanted to hear the gospel preached- attend [sic] the services?

McIlhenny: We have had people come in who were struggling with homosexuality, the issue is not whether they're struggling with it, whether they have proclivities, if they turn to Jesus Christ, continue to struggle, they can be saved. It's when one completely resolves that he's going to be homosexual, he's going to go contrary to the Word of God, and then claim to be a Christian [that there's a problem]- as far as I'm concerned, Scripture is real clear... Now, you can struggle with the whole sin issue and be a believer, whatever your sin is- whether it's sexuality or alcoholism, or whatever it is- we struggle with those things, even as Christians, and they're even welcome to the worship services too, so that we join together as Christians trying to live a holy life against the background of an unholy cultural environment.

More on the McIlhennys' ministry from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church website:

Chuck and Donna, along with a group of ministers, met with Mayor Newsom [of San Francisco] and confronted him with biblical teaching on this issue ["homosexual marriage"]. During the meeting, Chuck presented Mayor Newsom with a copy of the McIlhennys' book, When the Wicked Seize a City, and told him about the lawsuits, vandalism, firebombing, and attacks against their church and family. From Romans 13, Chuck told Mayor Newsom that as mayor of the city he functioned as a minister of God. He further told the mayor that he needed to repent, believe in Christ, and stop supporting same-sex marriages.

That same day, the McIlhennys participated in a press conference on the steps of the city courthouse. Then, on April 25, they helped to organize a public demonstration against same-sex marriages, which an estimated seven thousand people attended. Chuck also had the opportunity to debate this issue at the University of California in Santa Cruz.

Before Mayor Newsom, during the press conference, at the demonstration, and during the debate, Chuck essentially delivered the same message. First, he issued a call to repentance. Second, he admonished the authorities to stop same-sex marriages. Third, he urged that the law of God be obeyed. And, finally, he proclaimed the need to turn to Christ.

This has been Chuck's consistent message over the years in his efforts to reach the city of San Francisco for Christ. He repeatedly tells others that homosexuality is not the unpardonable sin. As sinful as such behavior and attitudes are, homosexuals are not beyond the supernatural power of God to bring them to saving faith in Jesus Christ. The message to homosexuals in San Francisco from the McIlhennys has always been the same: You must repent of your sinful ways and turn to Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

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Blogger Living Water Christian Fellowship said...

We have been blessed to have Pastor Chuck spoke several times at our church. He and his wife are wonderful brother and sister in Christ.

10:33 AM  

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