April 8

Standing Room Only!

Thank you Paul Fong (Pungo) for leading our discussion today, "Can we all get along?"

The Sunday Gathering thanks everyone for joining today. We hit record numbers today and appreciate your participation. 

Our topic for today focused on how FCBC and our Christian community currently manages their views on homosexuality. Pungo opened our discussion by defining what the American Baptist policy is. He tells us that homosexuality practises are incompatible with Christian teachings and that FCBC is part of the Growing Healthy Churches Region (formerly the Church of the West) practises, "Welcoming but not affirming" - What does this mean?

"Welcoming but not affirming" is when homosexuals are welcome to a church community but they are not affirming. For example, they may not participate in the choir, teach Sunday School and/or there may be other limitations placed upon them.

He mentioned there was 1 church out of 80 that chose to welcome and affirm Gays and this church later was disfellowshipped and formed the Evergreen Region.

FCBC does not currently have a policy in place specifically about gays that's voted by the membership. We are a membership governed corporation. Whatever the membership decides trumps whatever the Board of Deacons decide.

So what does the Bible say??

The Old Testament:

For example, Leviticus 20:13 "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination, they shall be put to death."

Another words, if you're a homosexual, you will be stoned to death.

The literal word may not be relevant today. It may not be possible or acceptable to follow all the biblical commands today, here are a few examples:

1. Cannot eat oysters or shrimp
2. Cannot wear clothes with different fibers
3. Women cannot teach men in church
4. People of disabilities cannot serve as ministers
5. Adulterers and rebellious children can be stoned to death
6. Slavery is acceptable 
7. Multiple wives is acceptable
8. Cannot charge interest on loans

The New Testament:

For example, Corinthians 6:9
Paul says, "surely, you know that the wicked will not possess God's Kingdom. Do not fool yourselves; people who are immoral or who worship idols or are adulterers or homosexual perverts or who steal or are greedy or are drunkards or who slander others or are thieves---none will possess God's Kingdom.

Paul says gaming and adultery and all non consensual relationships are a sin. Homosexuality was not clearly defined. 

What Jesus talks about through the Bible is to Love One Another. 
John 13:34-35, "I give you a new commandment, that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER, just as I have loved you, so you must love one another."

John 8:7, Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you let him cast the first stone at her."

We broke into groups and answered these questions within our group:

1. Should FCBC be welcoming and affirming to Gays? What are the consequences?

2. Should FCBC be welcoming and NOT affirming to Gays? Should there be restrictions toward Gays? Membership? Voting? Elected office? Teaching Sunday School or any other leadership positions?

3. If we believe that homosexual activities are sinful and place restrictions on their participation in our church, should we place similar restrictions on other sinful behaviors??

Maybe-----We acknowledge each others strong positions and agree to disagree?

We spent 30 minutes discussing these questions and participants were engaged and compelled to share their thoughts on this "hot topic."

The FCBC Sunday Gathering
"A place to share and get to know one another better and grow closer to God."

Next Sunday April 15th, Pungo will take a few minutes to wrap up and Robert Mah will lead our group re: Homosexuality, "Why has this become a difficult and emotional subject, how has this topic affected our personal lives and experiences with our friends and family..."  

George Lai will continue to teach us scripture for us to memorize to further enrich our Christian life.

Please join us!


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