A Worthy Response

Reverend Joseph Bae

In 2015 the General Assembly adopted a motion inviting congregations, sessions, presbyteries and synods to enter into conversation on the topics of human sexuality, sexual orientation and other related matters, the results of which would be shared with both the Committee on Church Doctrine and Life and Mission Agency (Justice Ministries) prior to March 31, 2016.

This is the the start of our conversation. If you would like to join the conversation in the community of small groups, contact Reverend Joe.

  1. What points stood out to you from the sermon?
  2. What are some of your questions around the church’s position on homosexuality?
  3. Look up and read the following passages and what they have to say about the posture and attitude of Christians as they relate to fellow believers and those outside the church.
  4. Ephesians 4:1-3, Titus 3:1-2, Colossians 3:12-14; 1 Peter 3:13-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:12
  5. Why do you think the early church placed such an emphasis on these ways of relating to people inside and outside the church?
  6. Paul talks about humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing one another in love as being consistent and worthy expressions of our faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. What would it look like for our church to radically start living in this way as a way to welcome all people into the community of faith? What would be different? What would it take?

Notes on question 3.

  • So many of the letters sent to the churches in Scripture describe what Christian conduct and character should entail – they talk about the same thing. Love, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing one another.
  • They are not given in a vacuum but the all these early churches probably knew the necessity of such teaching:
  • Through Christ, people find themselves (suddenly) in a new spiritual family and community. This is the unity that is accomplished and given to us in Jesus. Our work is to learn how to live out of that new reality and will require these attitudes and postures.
  • Paul talks about making every effort – being crazy passionate – about maintaining this unity we have: the most important thing about us is that we are united in our faith in Jesus who saves us and makes us sons and daughters of God.
  • It was easy and tempting to drift away from the gospel. It’s kindness that brought us to faith in Christ; the call to kindness keeps us constantly rooted in something that reminds us of Jesus.
  • These are values that Jesus lived out in his life and ministry to people. These attitudes are how we are to be more like Jesus.
  • These attitudes were to be part of their witness to the people who did not yet believe in Jesus. The witness of the church to those who do not believe is important. Like Jesus, we live to give glory to God – help others see God’s goodness. Though they may not have had a loud or popular voice in their day, the early church became known for their kindness, compassion and care for people. Today, we need to get back to being known for those things.