The Bible is clear about homosexuality
We can not shirk our responsibilities but must give people the theological guidance that is a consequence of what the Bible actually says. So write 22 Pentecostal pastors in the debate on homosexuality.
The Newspaper Dagen, through its editorial writer Joel Halldorf wanted to create a debate about the church's view of homosexuality and her ability to get it right in their arguments (Homosexuality no rule issue, Day 18/3). We share the ten Pentecostal pastors' letter (Newspaper Dagen 2/4).
We believe it is important and proper that Pentecostalists engage in theological issues affecting the public debate, but that it is also essential that all of express ourselves clearly in order that no unnecessary misunderstandings arise.
The globalized world in which we live means that our church members keep up with what is said and written about via the digital media. The time when one thought one could partition the internal discussions only to the local church fellowship is past, you can’t stick your head in the sand in an era where the theological discussion is determined globally.
This is where common Pentecostal Christian and theological values enter the picture. It is precisely in situations when the church is put to the test in the crucial theological issues that foundational values point us in the correct direction.
The Pentecostals gathered earlier to a ‘Preacherweek’ in the Philadelphia Church Stockholm to encounter and tangle with issues to arrive at a consensus. The meeting’s form was contentious like any other forum with different representations but the road ahead can not simply be about the small local congregation’s position.
We are gathered Pentecostal churches, unified and converged, not just as a friendly fellowship where the keyword is the lowest common denominator, but to find a common doctrine.
We wish to refer to the theological doctrine/position which is formulated in parish marriages.
The policy document, which is provided by Pentecostal leadership to the churches and their Pastors, explains why we stand firm to the unambiguous biblical view of marriage and thus reject homosexual partnership/marriages. A pastor who receives their marriages ordination from the Pentecostals simply must not officiate/conduct same-sex marriages.
We believe that we need to be clear, albeit in a loving tone, and clearly describe the concrete consequences of what the New Testament says.
The emphasis on the local church has always been important to Pentecostalism, but not at the expense of what is written. When Paul writes about the prerequisites to inherit the kingdom of God, it is not a local issue. It is universal and thus a conclusion in Scripture that no one can change. Consequently, it is God, not man, that eventually will stand as judge over all creation.
But this should not prevent us from pointing to the collective and public directive in the Pentecostal policy document that clarifies a clear set of values on the current issue.
We can not shirk our responsibilities but we need to give people the theological guidance that is a consequence of what the Bible actually says. For us, possessing a clear idea of homosexuality, is not an attempt to position ourselves in any specific category of Christians or seeking a particular identity or label.
We believe that practicing homosexuality, based on what the Bible says, is sin. There has been a consensus on this throughout the Protestant Reformation, and even before that there was a clear theological conviction on this issue.
Revisionism is a modern invention which has the task of twisting the biblical texts to make them say the opposite of what the contents say and mean.
We are not seeking identity within group labels but see it as a sin against both the individual, the churches and ourselves if we are not clear on matters where the Bible without a doubt says that if you live in that way you will not inherit the kingdom of God. In other words, in that case you're missing heaven.
It hurts us all when we see that an individual suffers, but if we truly love our fellow man, must we not tell the truth even if it’s painful? It has to do with our loyalty and allegiance to God, at home in our congregations but also in the leader columns of the newspaper Day.
But ultimately it's about heaven and eternity. The spirit of our time and truth are not always in sync.
Tommy Dahlman, Trollhattan.
Tommy Lilja, Sölvesborg.
John Amritzer, Stockholm.
Carl-Wilhelm Hasselgren, Eskilstuna.
Curt Levin, Sjöbo.
Leif Svensson, Tollarp.
Christer Askevik Vrigstad.
Daniel Fahlstedt, Kalix.
Daniel Karlsson, Umeå.
Stefan Larsson, Photo.
Holger Strandgren, Koping.
Timo Lordhem, Örkeljunga.
Roland Green, Hällekis.
Christer Karlsson, Stockaryd.
Bengt Andersson, Landskrona.
Christer Borg, Ystad.
Dan Nilsson, Saffle.
Ewa Gustavsson, Bottnaryd.
Bjorn Magnusson, Virserum.
His Sköldenäs, Munka Ljungby.
Henry Juneus, Vadstena.
Ing-Britt Silwer, Kristianstad.
Translation: Sven Ljungholm