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What Saddleback Church Believes

Timothy Kincaid

December 22nd, 2008

From their (now missing) webpage:

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
The Bible very clearly says that homosexuality is a sin.

“Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin.” (Lev. 18:22 TLB)

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:9-11 NIV)

While all sin is destructive, Romans 6 warns us of the great dangers in sexual sin when it says, “Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (1 Cor 6:18 NLT) This includes not only homosexuality, but all sexual immorality: adultery, sex without marriage, pornography. We must not act as if homosexuality is the only serious sexual sin, and we must not act as if homosexuality is not a serious sexual sin.

I’ve heard it asked, “Isn’t being homosexual something that a person is physically born with?” First of all, there are absolutely no facts to support this claim. From time to time studies have been reported in the news that seemed to indicate this, but every one of these studies has proven to be wrong. Secondly, even if some physical difference were discovered, it would be no excuse for sin. We know that some people can develop a stronger physical addiction to alcohol than others, but that’s obviously no excuse for living an alcoholic lifestyle.

Finally, a word about being judgmental. It’s not judgmental to say that what the Bible calls a sin is a sin, that’s just telling the truth. Not being willing to talk to someone caught up in sin, or not believing that they can be forgiven, or thinking that you are not just as much in need of Jesus as they are … that’s being judgmental.

Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one’s life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church. That does not mean they cannot attend church – we hope they do! God’s Word has the power to change our lives.

In equal desire to follow Jesus, we also would not accept a couple into membership at Saddleback who were not willing to repent of the sexual sin of living together before marriage. That does not mean this couple cannot attend church – we hope they do! God’s Word has the power to change our lives.

Comments

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Evan
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

What kind of a joke of a translation must the TLB version be, if it translates Lev 18:22 that way?

No honest Hebrew scholar could ever insert that many false concepts into a verse…

Pathetic.

Timothy Kincaid
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

The Living Bible is not a translation, it’s a paraphrase.

That Saddleback uses TLB for this one verse, the New International Version for another, and the New Living Translation for a third is a rather questionable practice. It suggests they are Scripture Shopping for the versions that best suit their position at the moment.

Erica B.
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

@Evan — I noted that, too. While it’s sometimes quite amusing to compare various translations (e.g., “The lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need” — far less poetic than KJV!), it’s mostly just disturbing when the language gets twisted that far. With enough creativity, you really can get whatever you want out of scripture.

ohchicken
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

“In equal desire to follow Jesus, we also would not accept a couple into membership at Saddleback who were not willing to repent of the sexual sin of living together before marriage…”

and yet, we’re not allowed to get married. i wonder if we’d be accepted into membership if we showed a marriage certificate?

Emily K
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Seriously, that verse in Leviticus is extremely straight-forward in terms of what it prohibits, and it’s anal sex. The only gender mentioned is the male gender in terms of who the law is applied to.

Female sexual relations between other females are perfectly fine.

Jewish scholars also interpret this verse to be prohibitive against any form of anal sex, no matter the genders of the couple.

AL
January 13th, 2009 | LINK

Hmmm… as it seems with most arguments that many Christians make on this subject… they quote every bit of scripture but the ones that Jesus said on the subject.

Jesus never said anything on this subject, but tended to hand out with the margins of society.

Can you really call yourself a Christian if you don’t live by Christ’s example?

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