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Question and Answer

How Does the OPC View Homosexuals?

Question:

How do you view homosexuals? Christ ministered to Mary Magdalene. How does that inform your view? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Is that reflected in your view? I sometimes struggle with my prejudices and ask what Jesus would think. I usually come to agape love as his overriding charge. I try to love the sinner, hate the sin.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. It is a very important question. And of course the topic is very controversial, not only in society in general, but even among professing Christian churches. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church is committed to the Scriptures as the inerrant Word of God and therefore as the final authority in all questions of Christian doctrine and life.

The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9, “… do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals … will inherit the kingdom of God.” And so, homosexuality clearly is a sin. There are many other passages that teach the same thing.

Yet, to believe that homosexuality is a sin does not mean that the homosexual is to be hated. We firmly believe that no one is to be hated. But we do believe that it is biblical to call homosexuals to repentance, to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and by the abiding power of the Holy Spirit to fight against sin.

The passage most often referred to in objection to confronting someone with sin or wrongdoing is Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” But that passage is usually misunderstood and misused. What is forbidden by God is self-righteous, hypocritical judging, which is false and calls down God’s judgment on itself. Jesus is saying that we are to clear our own eyes and judgment before we judge another. After we do that, then we will see clearly to help someone with a speck in his eye (v. 5). (If making true, righteous judgment according to the Word of God is wrong, then Jesus was wrong when he again and again charged the scribes and Pharisees with evil hypocrisy and self-righteousness. And if such judging were wrong, then the apostles sinned when they repeatedly rebuked the readers of their epistles for all kinds of sins and misconduct.)

We, the OPC, welcome all to our churches to hear in the proclamation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that there is forgiveness of sins for all who repent of their sins and place their faith in the shed blood of Christ as the only sacrifice for sin, and that they stand justified in God’s sight as they trust not in their own righteousness but in the righteousness of Christ alone.

We believe that we all sin—even Christians—and that we must always come to God in repentance. But grieving over our continued sins is different than willful, rebellious, unrepentant sin. True repentance involves a turning from sin with grief and hatred of that sin, and striving for righteousness.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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