In 2012, Oprah asked T.D. Jakes in an interview for her Next Chapter series if he thought being a homosexual was a sin. He said, “I think that sex between two people of the same sex is condemned in the Scriptures, and as long as it is condemned in the Scriptures, I don’t get to say what I think. I get to say what the Bible says.” And we say this should be the position of all God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians. Here are the verses that T.D. Jakes is referring to:
Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 – If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.
Mark 10:6 – But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
Romans 1:26-27 – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Jude 1:7 – Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
In Greenleaf’s return to television March 15, the show explored a controversial issue that many churches are grappling with: the acceptance or non-acceptance of homosexual ministers and homosexual music directors or worship leaders and homosexual members in the church. In the show, Carlton is openly homosexual and Calvary Fellowship’s music director decides to begin attending church with his so-called “husband.” As would be expected, this does not sit well with the deacons and many of the church’s members who condemn what is happening in their private conversations, but not openly and not directly to the homosexuals.
This situation is one that many churches find themselves dealing with. In fact, Watermark Church, a megachurch in Dallas, Texas, had to deal with this same issue when it revoked the membership of a homosexual who refused to repent of his sin. Church leaders wrote in their statement,
“Following the example of Jesus, Watermark loves and welcomes people of all backgrounds, economic statuses, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and struggles. Also following His example, we encourage people to turn away from sin and to follow Jesus. As directed by Scripture, Watermark makes a distinction between regularly attending and being a formal member of our church. We don’t remove someone’s formal status as a member for struggling with sin – whether that sin is pride, materialism, or sexual sin. Every member of Watermark needs God’s grace to stand firm in the midst of temptation and His forgiveness for the times we fall short. An individual’s formal relationship with us as a member is only changed when someone no longer desires to resist sin and/or refuses our help, care, and encouragement. Even if someone’s formal membership status is removed, our desire is to continue to love and care for them, and they are always welcome to attend Watermark and be reminded of the grace and truth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
It is our hope that Pastor Greenleaf and the fictional Calvary Church will follow Watermark Church’s example and that all real churches will follow this biblical and loving example.
Many churches do not allow openly homosexual individuals to serve in any leadership role in the church or be members of the church, as this lifestyle is in direct disobedience to God’s Word. However, some churches are approaching the issue as a matter of discussion and dialogue in order to be relevant to the changing times. Some churches are afraid to lose the “talent” or financial support of the homosexual community. Others are afraid of being labeled bigoted or homophobic if they do not appear to be “accepting” and “affirming” of the homosexual lifestyle. Tragically, therefore, there is a strange hesitancy in some of these churches about not allowing those who are openly homosexual to lead in the church. This hesitation is not there when dealing with those who are guilty of other sins such as adultery and fornication, or even drunkenness for that matter.
We don’t know what Greenleaf and its fictional church leaders believe about this matter and we don’t know what the directors and writers of Greenleaf believe about this matter but we do know what God said about this matter. Leviticus 18:22 states, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” First Corinthians 6:9-10 states, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Trying to lead sinners to Jesus is different from allowing those who are openly engaged in a sin that the Bible calls an “abomination” to lead believers in worship. No church should allow those who are openly engaged in unrepentant sin of any kind to lead.
There are four passages in the New Testament that explicitly talk about the qualifications that a minister in the church should have. In these passages, the word “blameless” is listed as the chief requirement. “Blameless” means one who is without reproach, one who cannot be rebuked, or one to whose charge no one can lay a sin. This does not mean that all ministers will be perfect, because no one can attain to that standard. What it does mean, however, is that those who are in leadership in the church should not be engaged in sin of any kind.
If a leader sins, he or she should confess it before God, confess it before those whom they have offended, and make the appropriate restitution. Depending on the egregiousness of the offense, the church and the church’s elders should decide on whether the leader needs to step down temporarily before being allowed to minister again, or to step down permanently. Therefore, these rules of church leadership exclude those who are openly unrepentant homosexuals from serving in ministry positions. It is baffling how many churches seem to think that this is not the case. Until those who are homosexuals renounce their sin and prove that they have repented by a reformed lifestyle, they should not be allowed to minister in any capacity. And they should not be members in good standing of the church, just like a man or woman who insists on living in adultery should not be members of the church. However, all of them are welcome to come and hear the Gospel like anybody else.
As we said before, we do not know where the director and writers plan to take this story line, but we do know what God has said about it and how it should be dealt with in His real church. And as we did last year, we caution the directors and writers of Greenleaf to make sure they treat this subject in a fair and balanced fashion, understanding that the church as a whole, and the black church in particular stand against the sin of homosexuality as an abomination against God. In addition to that, if they want to keep a good and growing audience over the long term, we would strongly caution them against graphic homosexual scenes. Further, we would add here that the directors and writers should be careful about being hard on certain sins such as child molestation and abuse which they have done a good job on, but not be just as hard on other sins such as shacking up with Alonzo, fornication as with Gigi and the good church boy, adultery as depicted between the bishop’s son and the bishop’s secretary, and homosexuality as with Carlton and his so-called husband. We have noticed there is a whole lot of condemnation of the evil Mae’s brother has done but very little condemnation of these other sins. Remember what Jesus told the scribes, pharisees, and hypocrites in Matthew 23:23, “these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Finally, we would say to our dear, little sister in the Lord, Oprah, not to let her friends in the homosexual community pressure her to make a mockery of God, Jesus Christ, and the church, for the Bible is clear, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
In closing, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can be forgiven of your wicked sins of the past no matter how dark, God is available to hear your prayer of confession and to hear you ask to be saved from sin and from the punishment of sin which is eternal hell and separation from God. And you can begin a light-filled relationship with God Almighty today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s laws. You have done some bad things. You have broken the commandments of God. So have I. And so has the Pope. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” We die physically because of sin and we go to hell to burn forever, to be tormented forever because of our sin. God does not put us into hell; we put ourselves into hell because of our sin.
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ, the loving Lord of glory, preached more on hell than anybody in the Bible. He preached more on hell than he did about Heaven. He said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Now that is bad news, and I know most people do not want to hear any bad news. But you have to hear the bad news because the good news is good news because there is bad news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins. He is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, your sins and mine. And all we have to do is trust Him and believe that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you and me so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
And please believe these words found in Romans 10:9 & 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Saved from what? Saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell.
If you believe in your heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer and mean it from your heart: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life — even some of the sins being brought out in this show called Greenleaf. I am sorry for my sins, and today, please have mercy upon me a sinner. I believe with all of my heart that You died for me, was buried, and rose again. Now, Lord I pray that You would fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to repent of my sins and to follow You for the rest of my life for Your glory, praise, and honor, and, from this point on, to be the shining light that You want me to be. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, and for His sake, Amen.
Beloved friend, if you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read my pamphlet titled, “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, my beloved, may God bless you and keep you. We look forward to seeing you for the next Gospel According to Greenleaf podcast.