The moral standard of the church according to God's word
By Rev. Robert Ramphal, Oster First Covenant Church, Waverly
Here are passages of Scriptures found in the Bible that address sexual matters: Leviticus 17:7 and 18:22, Exodus 34:15-16, Genesis 19, II Peter 2:6-8, Jude 7, I Corinthians 6:9-10, and Romans 1:18-27.
As believers of Jesus and his church, we have been facing all kinds of issues dealing with the matter of human sexuality. Some are confused in an overwhelming way, while others find their answers in the Bible.
To be sure about our beliefs, we have used the Bible for centuries to give us pertinent information about sexuality. The Bible has been our guide.
In the recent past, we have been hearing about the dilemma of people who want to change the codes of conduct to fit their own special sexual need and preference.
They have been bringing these issues to the church and want the church to accept them and their behavior like anyone else. We are reminded that the church is for everyone, sinner and saint, rich and poor, wise or otherwise, and all the nations of the world.
This is certainly most true. We must welcome everyone, but this does not mean that behaviors that are in opposition and conflict with the Biblical teachings of the church are acceptable.
God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. Those who would like to change the moral standards for living must face the moral truths and mandates of the Bible.
We cannot unilaterally or democratically change the moral imperatives of the Bible. The Bible is for all and for all times. We are living in modern times, but the old truths and standards regarding sexuality still stand.
While God is ever loving, his words are everlasting. We cannot pick and choose from the Bible what it says about sexual behaviors. The moral imperatives have been established for all.
These rules for living are for everyone when they join the church. We cannot pick and choose the rules, nor can we change these rules by voting on them.
When we abnegate God's moral code for living, we become like God, but there is only one God and one church universal. We can argue and debate endlessly about rules for sexual relations, but we will find ourselves defying God and his church.
We need to ask those who question and defy God's rules from where did they get their rules.
Trying to justify ourselves that some people are born with these sexual behaviors, and therefore, we need to accept these proclivities is not plausible. This argument for change of God's established standards cannot over-ride the church's position.
We are all born sinners, but the church believes in miracles and that God can change anyone once that person is willing to turn over his or her life to God.
Being a good, loving, and caring person also does not alter God's word. To think that people are elected to positions of leadership because of these characteristics, should not in anyway replace God's moral standard with a man-made morality.
The church's source of authority for moral issues about sexual matters has always been the Bible, and anyone who tries to change this authority will be acting in a selfish and ungodly manner. We cannot pre-empt God's stated and unchangeable word.
It is time for the church as a whole to be more forthright and to speak out more forcefully and not to be drowned out by the loud cries of those who want to be members or leaders in the Church.
The moral standard has been set. The church must reflect this standard, because there is no other standard or any other standard that is comparable. If the church fails here, the church might as well close its doors or become an institution that stands for nothing.
May God keep opening our eyes as a people who want to do right and make our hearts pure and holy in his sight. As we focus on God's glory, delight, and desire for each of us, may we also continue to forgive and love one another.
Only love will prevail.