As You Are? Yes and No.

In listening to a brief discourse by Ben Witherington, III (ATS) on homosexuality, I found myself greatly appreciating a perspective he expresses rather succinctly in this way: You’re welcome to come as you are. You’re not welcome to stay as you are. I myself came to the cross and into the congregation of the Body of Christ bearing the ugliness and pain of sin and its scars. I still carry in my un-glorified person the carnal nature. But I have and do continue to invite and surrender to the cleansing, purifying work of the Holy Spirit … repenting of, turning away from, every sin that clings to me and so easily distracts (Heb 12:1). Whether the sin – not the temptation, inclination, predisposition, etc. – is pride or greed or envy or rebellion or deceit or (given the context of this discussion) any form of sexual activity that is not strictly within the bounds of heterosexual, monogamous marriage or ultimately whatever else is not strictly of loving God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself (the later flowing inherently from the former), NO sin is acceptable before God or in the Body of Christ. We are NOT welcome to stay as we are. We must first be born again (John 3:6-7). We must be being transformed (Rom 12:2). We must be growing in grace (2 Pet 3:18). We must no longer walk/live as we were (Eph 4:17-19). We must be putting off the old and putting on the new (Eph 4:20-24). We must be continually seeking to be holy as God is holy (1 Pet 1:14-15).

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