“What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.”
A person might be tempted to think that “news stories” contain things that are “new.”
Here is reporter Mike Rowe at WGN news in Chicago:
Demonstrators flocked to one of the South Side’s largest churches Sunday morning after its pastor removed a woman from the congregation because of her same-sex wedding.
Get it? Flocked?
The situation renewed a long-standing debate in churches around the country, pitting tolerance and acceptance against tradition and teaching. There has been a massive culture shift over the last decade on gay marriage, but the Apostolic Church of God is staying put, saying it’s defending faith and family.
And that “flock”?
Nearly two dozen people gathered…to protest after a woman was kicked out or ‘disfellowshipped’ from the church by Pastor Byron Brazier when it became public that a long-time member of the church married her partner in a same-sex ceremony last week.
‘It was done with great grief, but it was in faithful observance to the scriptures and to the body of Christ,’ Pastor Brazier said from the pulpit Sunday.
Pastor Byron Brazier v. Pastor Jamie Frazier
Reporter Mike Rowe included a quote from another pastor, Pastor Jamie Frazier from the Progressive Lighthouse Church on the city’s north side:
The pulpit is not a weapon with which to silence, but rather it is a beacon from which to shine light… How could we say two men or two women in a committed god honoring relationship are sinning?”
Pastor Byron Brazier finds an answer to that easy question in the Bible.
In 1 Corinthians 5 the Apostle Paul shows how a church should deal with obvious sexual immorality. One translation provides this subheading: “Immorality Rebuked.”
From news reports, Pastor Byron Brazier is merely acknowledging what Paul states in verse 6: “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?”
To clarify, Paul then lays it out in easy-to-understand words that even “progressive” twenty-first century Christians should be able to understand:
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.
That last sentence is right out of the book of Deuteronomy. Yes, God is love, and to better understand that love, it’s good to become familiar with scripture, since “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“All” includes passages like Romans 1:18-32, which are not subject to cultural shifts in opinion. Fortunately, men such as Pastor Byron Brazier are refusing to bow the knee, and choosing instead to defend faith, family, and scripture.
For a lot more on the topic, read this book by Dr. Michael Brown: Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding with Love & Truth to Questions About Homosexuality.
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