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Phil Roberts: God’s love opens path to grace for homosexuals

ST. LOUIS (BP)–Addressing the issue of homosexuality at the Missouri Baptist Pastors’ Conference, R. Philip Roberts, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, emphasized the importance of showing God’s love and compassion in order to share His grace to those trapped in a homosexual lifestyle.

“I encourage you to be sensitive to their pain,” Roberts told the St. Louis gathering in early November, “not only to the homosexual but to the family.”

Roberts experienced personal loss in 1990 when his brother, an ordained Episcopal priest, died of AIDS, contracted through years in the homosexual lifestyle.

Roberts said he and his family sat by his brother’s bedside virtually every waking hour during his final days. To add insult to injury, the bishop officiating over his funeral condemned his family for not being supportive of Roberts’ brother, causing him to live a double life.

Although homosexuality is making its way into some churches as an alternative lifestyle, it is a sin, “and not compatible with biblical teaching,” Roberts said.

Roberts referenced the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop within the Episcopal Church that made headlines worldwide in recent weeks. In the course of his election to the post, Robinson defended his homosexuality, dismissing the relevance of Scripture to his lifestyle.

Roberts noted that not only is Scripture relevant today, but it is important that God’s people not suppress the truth.

“God created male and female,” Roberts said, adding that God’s design is for man and woman to be united for life — spiritually, psychologically and physically. When God’s truth is warped, great harm is experienced as a result, Roberts said.

God’s truth is lost when His Word is inaccurately taught, Roberts continued. Unfortunately, he said, some branches of the church have led the way for much of the moral decline in this country.

“What can the church do about the homosexual dilemma?” Roberts asked. “Preach the Word and live the truth. We need to hold on to the truth.”

While homosexuality is a distortion and perversion of God’s Word, the truth has the power to transform and regenerate sinners, Roberts said.

“The Gospel is the good news for everyone outside of God’s will,” he said.

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  • Susan Reed