Can we lovingly support gay family members as Christians? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open right now, and you can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. The number is 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Now we also have a YouTube channel, and you can watch us live on YouTube, see what Adriel's up to in the studio, and send him your question that way through our YouTube channel. And you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Rochelle. I'd like to know, how necessary is it to be a member of a church? I attend regularly, but is it necessary to be a member?
Thank you. Thank you for that question. As a minister of the gospel, pastor of a local church, I would say to you that it's very important to be a member of a church. Now, I know that some churches don't even have a formal membership process, and I know that that varies also from church to church. But I think that as individual Christians, we should be doing everything that we can to be there, apart, visible to the leadership of the church, and receiving care, accountability, and we can help, I think, the pastoral team or the elders of the church in doing that.
I mean, we should want to put ourselves in that position. Hebrews chapter 13 verse 17 says, obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls. As those who will have to give an account, let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. One, what a sobering text that is for people like me, for pastors, who are going to have to give an account for the people that God has entrusted to our care within the local church. Now, as a minister of the gospel, it's not like every single Christian is entrusted to my oversight as a pastor. There are particular people in the local church who are there that I'm called to, together with the elders of the church, oversee and care for and preach the gospel to.
Membership helps with that. It helps to draw those lines very clearly so that we know, as a church and as elders, okay, these are the people that we're accountable for. These are the people that God has called us to watch over and we're checking in on and so forth. I would just encourage you, be in your church, be involved and be a member of the church. Of course, that's just, I would say, an implication of the doctrine of baptism. We're baptized into the body of Christ, into this visible community of faith. That's a very formal thing. It's a very spiritual thing, but it's also a very formal thing. Church membership is a good thing. I think it's what you expect coming out of the New Testament. It's unfortunate that there are many churches that don't have formal membership. I would just encourage you, get plugged in and become a member of your local church. Good counsel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
If there's a passage in the Bible that has always kind of confused you and you'd like some clarity on that, maybe something in Leviticus, one of Adriel's personal favorite books, give us a call right now. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. And you know what? We're also open to people that have doubts about the Christian faith.
Maybe you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist. We're more than happy to talk to you. So give us a call right now.
Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes. 833-THE-CORE. Here's a YouTube question from one of our listeners named Eduardo. He's referring to Hebrews 12-14. He says, what exactly does the author of Hebrews mean when he says no one will see the Lord?
Let me just read the text. Hebrews 12. I'll begin in verse 12. This is the exhortation that the author of Hebrews is giving to this group of Christians that is struggling, being tempted to go back to the rituals of the Old Testament.
He says, Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather healed. Strive for peace with everyone and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled, that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. Another very sobering passage of scripture.
And let's just take these words at face value. See to it, the author of Hebrews says, Strive for that peace and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Now, does that mean that you are saved by your holiness?
No, that's not what the author of the Hebrews is saying, because how could that even be possible? Who is holy enough? Only one, Jesus Christ, and yet the same Jesus who justifies us by faith is also sanctifying us so that the way of salvation, if you will, the path that we walk on is that path of holiness and purity. Not that we're saved by it, as though we merited our salvation, but no one can say, oh, I am the Lord's, right? Just kind of waltz my way into heaven, who isn't justified and who isn't being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. And so I think that's at the heart of what the author of the Hebrews is saying there, and specifically in the context of the book of Hebrews, again, he's writing to Christians who are abandoning the faith.
Like Esau, right? They're giving up this great promise that has been given to them, rejecting the sacrifice of Christ for them and going back to the temple rituals, the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. And that's why you have those strong warnings that we find in places like Hebrews 6 and in Hebrews chapter 10. So we should be encouraged, brothers and sisters, to live lives of holiness, lives of godliness.
Again, that's what saves us. But because we have been saved by the grace of God, we're called to be devoted to good works. You see this in Paul's letter to Titus over and over and over again. I'll just read one more verse sort of in line with this in Titus chapter 3 verse 5. He saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.
So we're not saved by our good works, but we are saved for good works or unto good works to walk on that path of holiness drawing near to the Lord. And so thank you for that YouTube question, Eduardo. God bless you. Eduardo, thanks so much for tuning into YouTube. By the way, if you want to post one of your questions on our YouTube channel or any of our social media sites, we're always welcome to hear from you.
Any questions you might have about the Christian faith or the Bible, feel free to do that. Let's go to Eric calling in from Missouri. Eric, what's your question for Adriel? Hello? Hey, Eric. Hey, hey, how are you doing? Well, how are you? Good boy. You guys got to me right off the bat. I wasn't sure that was going to happen. So I'll try to make this fast because I know you're trying to get a lot of people in. Okay, just a little. Did you get any of the background or I need to reflect it? You're good.
What's your question? Okay, I have a brother who lives in Colorado who has rejected the family here in Missouri about 10 years ago. One of his daughters had a lesbian wedding, got married, and none of us here in Missouri went to the wedding, three of us. So I never went out of my way to make statements or to reject his daughter or to do anything in that way, but I'm a born again Christian who believes in the Bible when it says about homosexuality and I just I was kind of at a loss, didn't know what to do.
So he's going to be in town probably next week for a funeral for our dear family member, and I'm going to be and us three here in Missouri going to be confronted with him at this funeral and I don't know what he's going to say what he's going to propose to us and in all honesty, I'm coming up empty here. I really don't know what to say to this man besides, you know, hey, I'm not who I was 10 years ago. I love the Lord. I love his word and I want to do what's right by the Bible and I I'm sorry that it doesn't allow homosexuality, but it just flat out does not. There's an overwhelming amount of scriptures and I tried to communicate with him almost 10 years ago about that. I was I was putting scriptures out to him one after the other and he just rejected that and you know, basically said I wasn't a Christian and said I was evil on I didn't practice or believe in the God that he knew so that ended that. So, all right, I want to just Eric just one question does your brother profess faith in Jesus Christ? Did he back then is he you know, there's been so there's been literally no communication besides some really vile emails from him when I've tried to reach out to him at Christmas and you know, just basically say hey Merry Christmas and you know, and you know, I've sent a couple Christian things to him and basically he stated don't waste my time with this kind of stuff, you know, and then when I tried to reveal scripture to him at the beginning of all this that was pretty much rejected to so I don't know I can't say for sure if I was going to go by evidence.
I would say probably not. Yeah, but I don't know I pray for him. I love my brother. I've forgiven him. I don't know if he has forgiven us three here in Missouri, but my other two siblings are there at a loss and they are unbelievably angry at him.
We're just basically copping out on us here in Missouri and just using it as a good excuse to just not have us in his life. Yeah. Okay, Eric. I think of the words of our Lord Jesus in Matthew chapter 10 verses 34 through 36 do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. I have come to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and one's foes will be members of one's own household. When we commit to Christ and following him and we're not willing to engage in certain things maybe that we once would have engaged in things that the rest of the world engages in things that maybe even family members engage in. There is a line that's drawn, isn't there? And we walk the fine line as Christians between, okay, I need to be and am called to be faithful to God's word. What he says in scripture, how he calls me to live, not to compromise, not to imbibe the cultural idols of the day, but to be fixed on what God has said, what God has revealed, to follow him and to do that with humility and to exhibit love and charity to others. It's not like I hate you, you're a terrible person.
It's that I don't agree with this. I don't think that this is a good thing, speaking back about the wedding that you guys chose not to attend because it wasn't a wedding that was honoring to the Lord according to scripture. And so, I mean, that's the challenge that we face and my encouragement to you would be continue to pray for your brother.
I hope that you have an opportunity to have a conversation with him to just say, I love you. Like I actually want to have a relationship with you. I'm grieved by the fact that that decision 10 years ago has created the rift in our family that it has. But you also have to understand that I have these deep convictions according to God's word and how God calls me to live.
And I couldn't in good conscience attend that wedding because I felt like it went against everything that I believed. Just like you have your beliefs, right? Just like you have your convictions. And so I think you want to be able to have those conversations.
You want to be able to be honest. You hope and you pray that those kinds of things don't create the kinds of rifts that they often do in families. But we also, again, we know that this is a real thing that believers have had to wrestle through for the last 2000 years in terms of that call to follow Jesus, to be faithful to him. And I know there's a lot of complexity with regard to some of these questions.
What does it look like to love an individual without supporting what they're doing? And that's where you're going to need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Eric, with your brother coming back into town. And I pray that the Lord does give you wisdom, guidance, and ultimately that the Lord opens your brother's heart, softens his heart as well to be convicted by the word of God. And so let me just take a moment to pray for you, brother, especially with this upcoming meeting, and just ask for God's grace and wisdom in your life. Father, be with Eric. I do pray that you would bring healing in these family relationships, Lord, where there's been a great rift, that you would bring healing, but that you would also bring faith and repentance and a sense of conviction. I pray that you would give my brother wisdom, charity, conviction, love, Lord, as he enters into these discussions, that you would give him much grace, and that there would begin to be a process of healing and even a restoration of relationships, but one that doesn't come at the expense of the truth in your word. And so be with them, we pray, in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Okay, Eric, thanks so much for your call.
We'll be praying for you and that entire situation. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We actually have a free resource on this topic, which we think will be really helpful to you. It's called 10 Things You Need to Know About Homosexuality. It's one of our free core guides, and you can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash guides.
Again, corechristianity.com forward slash guides. Well, let's go to David calling in from New Mexico. David, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi, Pastor Adriel. Since we're on the same topic, this question kind of goes along with that same topic, but it's really in relation to a question that was asked of me or some comment that was made to me from a skeptic. We were talking about homosexuality, and this person said basically they don't really see a problem with it because it's also in the animal kingdom. You see this in different and various forms in the animal kingdom, homosexuality, and so I was wondering how might you respond to that?
Yeah. I mean, I just think that's a terrible argument, right? We see all sorts of things in the animal kingdom that we would never want to do as human beings made in the image of God. And so when people say, well, look it, you see this kind of behavior among certain animals. Doesn't that mean that it's natural, that it's okay, that it's right?
I would just say, I mean, think of all the other things you can think of that we would say, no, that's not right, that's wrong. And there's a clear distinction, we would say, as Christians between us as human beings made in the image of God, called to reflect his goodness, his light, his love, and the rest of the creation, which God has given us dominion over, Genesis chapter one, Psalm chapter eight, that's very clear. But what's wild about this is sin, it dehumanizes us truly. It debases us. And it does sort of reduce us to be, the Psalmist, Paul and Romans, essentially there's this principle that we become like the things that we worship. You worship blind idols, you're going to become blind, deaf, and dumb, and so forth. And that's part of Paul's argument too in Romans chapter one, where he talks about homosexuality. He says in verse 24, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to dishonorable passions.
That's what this is. And so that line of reasoning just doesn't work. It's not a strong argument. We're not called to be like the animals.
We're called to be like God as his image bearers, to reflect his goodness, his light, his love. And so this is a big issue right now. We just entered into quote unquote Pride Month. And so I'm glad we're able to address this and to have this conversation on the broadcast in particular today, David. And that's how I would respond to this individual, obviously.
Maybe just highlighting that's not a good argument when you think about it. Okay, David, we're going to actually send you a copy of that resource we mentioned. It's our free resource on homosexuality. Ten things you need to know about homosexuality, which again you can find at corechristianity.com forward slash guides. So important, as you mentioned, Adriel, this month being quote unquote Pride Month for folks to have a good handle on this issue. And I think so many Christians are confused about it and have struggles, have decisions to make. In fact, we got this call from one of our listeners who has a question about a gay wedding.
Hi, Pastor Adriel, I just have a question. My sister, who's openly gay, is getting married next year, and she asked me if I would stand up with her as her maid of honor. Initially, I was like, oh, of course I would love to. But now I'm just not sure that I should do that. I never had a problem with my sister being gay, but at the same time, it's not a choice I would make and I don't support that choice. But at the same time, I don't condemn my sister for her choice and I don't want to crap all over her special day. So I feel like maybe the thing for me to do would be to respectfully decline that honor.
And after all, I do love Jesus, too, and we're commanded to love him above all others. Anyway, I would just appreciate any advice here. Thanks. Yeah. Deborah, again, just like the previous caller, you're in a difficult situation, right? Here's what I would say, and again, getting to what Paul is unpacking in Romans chapter 1. You said something. You said, look, I don't condemn her. And that's not our job to condemn people. God's law is what condemns.
And the tragic thing right now in our society is what people are doing is they are embracing and celebrating the very thing that God in his law has condemned, one of the very things that God in his law has condemned. And what we should do is weep. We should mourn. We should lament. We should say, God, pour your spirit out upon us. God, lead us in repentance, because we're so backward in certain things, especially when it comes to things related to sexuality, things related to gender, to personhood and identity.
I mean, this is one of the areas where we're really just falling headlong. Paul says in Romans chapter 1, verse 18, The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made, so that they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
That's where so many people are right now. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. In other words, we've just run to idolatry. We're worshiping the creature rather than the creator. In our day today, that worship is the self. We worship ourselves.
It's the sovereign self. So that whatever I want, whatever I feel, whatever I decide, you have to honor and respect that, and if you don't, then you're not loving. That's not the biblical definition of love. And so I think that the loving thing to do, I mean, you pray, right, and you long to have open conversations about these things where it doesn't disintegrate into, okay, well, fine, then we just can't be siblings anymore. No, you ought to be able to say, hey, I love you, but I don't agree with this decision that you're making, and I can still love you, but I don't want to give a stamp of approval or come off as like, hey, this is a great thing, we should celebrate it. No, this is a sin that destroys us.
That's what it is. And so God help us, God give us the courage to be bold, and again, at the same time, to be loving. Those things aren't contradictory. We need to have both, and we especially need to have both right now, today, at a time where the society by and large is saying, no, we need to celebrate and promote these things, and if you don't do that, then you're just not loving.
No, that's not true. That is not true, and we are not, as Christians who embrace the truth of God's word, going to celebrate this, going to be proud or prideful about the very sins that are condemning people to hell. And so we need, brothers and sisters, a great deal of wisdom, a great deal of humility, and the courage to stand upon God's holy word and trust in Him to be at work in the hearts of people, because He does redeem and save all of us from all of our sins, and our hope is in Him. God bless. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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