Ethics: You Find Out the Church Pianist is Gay

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What would you do Wednesday!

The church pianist has been playing during Sunday worship for the last two years. Sometimes he sings and plays the piano. He is liked by all and has been a faithful member always present and always serving others.

The pianist is single. And you wonder when some lucky lady is going to catch this great servant.

One night on an Evangelical Facebook page you are discussing homosexuality and Christianity. There are a few who support gay Christianity and same-sex marriage.

You notice two comments that the homosexual life-style is acceptable within Christianity that are from your church pianist.

For a moment, you can’t believe what you just read since you are from a theologically conservative church who holds strongly to Christian orthodoxy. But then when you click on the name – hoping it is not the church pianist – you are lead to his Facebook wall.

What would you do?

  • Send screen shots to the pastor seeking advice.
  • Send screen shots to the pastor asking the pianist be removed.
  • Lovingly confront the pianist seeking repentance.
  • Stay quiet since it is not your business.
  • Or…

Here I blog…

Mark

p.s. There is a true story that a Catholic Organist says he lost his job because he is gay.

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The above article was posted on October 2, 2013 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rhology October 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Lovingly confront the pianist seeking repentance.
If he refuses, initiate church discipline.

2 ShawnPaterson October 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I suppose I would talk to the pastor about it, or if I had a good relationship with the pianist, talk to him about it. I think the more interesting question is what happens when the pianist affirms his Facebook statements when talk to by the pastor. Now the pastor is aware that his pianist is gay and believes it is coherent with Christian orthodoxy. I assume church discipline would go in motion. Or, what if after many conversations with the pianist, he comes to believe that the homosexual lifestyle is not biblical, and he no longer identifies as gay. He still has homosexual desires, but is committed to living a celibate life unless his desires are changed. Can he remain as the pianist? (I would say yes).

3 Andrew October 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Whatever you do, do it somewhere other than Facebook!

4 Todd October 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm

“You notice two comments that the homosexual life-style is acceptable within Christianity that are from your church pianist.” 
I know several people who are working through this issue and would probably side with it being acceptable.  None of these people are homosexual or even have that desire.  So it would be wrong to assume something until you have had a chance to discuss with the individual about his/her beliefs.
The only way to fully understand and hopefully, lovingly help them to understand the Bibles stance on the issue would be to have a one on one conversation with the pianist.  This to me would be the only way to move forward.

5 LarryFarlow October 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Sounds like a Matthew 18 situation. I’d start with a private one-on-one with him and see where it needs to go from there. Another question would be if this was known by others on the staff already and was being ignored. If so, there are deeper issues.

6 Zack Stepp October 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I’m curious. For those suggestion that this is a Matthew 18 situation, (where you would be required first to go to the individual privately, followed by church discipline, if necessary), how does this situation fit the first clause of Mat. 18:15: “If your brother sins against you…”?
I’m not seeing how somebody in the church making public statements of a potentially heretical nature qualifies as a sin against me personally. 
If I knew the individually personally and closely, I might choose to go to him personally as a friend, but not as a biblical mandate. Otherwise, since this person is in a position of leadership in the church, I’d probably just bring the situation up in a confidential and non-confrontational manner with the pastor.
Any thoughts, anybody?

7 SethDunn October 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Matthew 18:15-18

1. Lovingly confront the pianist seeking repentance.
2. Send screen shots to the pastor seeking advice.
3.  Send screen shots to the pastor asking the pianist be removed.

8 SethDunn October 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Zack Stepp It’s a sin against me personally because I am part of the body of Christ.
http://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/12-26.htm

9 sschristiane October 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm

@rhology 
and can he then confront you lovingly about YOUR sins?

10 SethDunn October 2, 2013 at 9:58 pm

sschristiane Doesn’t he have a moral responsibility to do so?

11 Zack Stepp October 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

SethDunn I’ll be honest; I’m not quite following you. 
I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, so please help me out. Is it your position that, if a Christian finds out that another Christian is committing a sin, it is that Christian’s responsibility to always follow Matthew 15? Stated another way, is it your position that all sins, by mere virtue of the fact that they are sins, are a sin “against” all other members of the body of Christ, as the term is used in Matthew 15?

12 ChippySAT October 3, 2013 at 12:30 am

I would continue to love the pianist, unconditionally. I would also love his ER Doctor partner of 20 years. The same ER Doctor who volunteers in his community giving out free service to the elderly. and I would love their 9 adopted children – all of whom were adopted from foster care after straight Biological parents abandon their children immidiately after birth. All 9 kids are on the honor role, and all 9 are active in sports and the community. I would love him and his family – without judgement. // btw – adding the word “lovingly” in front of “judging” and “confronting” doesn’t really sugarcoat your “crucifixion” of your pianist at your church. When you cut that pianist out of your conditional-love church — have him call us at our church. Our Jesus loves everyone – unconditionally.

13 Lynn Mac October 3, 2013 at 10:03 am

ChippySAT
1) I do not see anything loving about getting him to feel comfortable in his sins when he is lost.  The loving thing to do, the required thing to do is to try and get him to repent of his sins.
2) you posted ” I would love him and his family – without judgement”.  Yet you have no problem passing judgment upon those that would do the loving, right thing in trying to get him to repent of his sin of homosexuality.
3) Jn 8;11 Jesus told this woman who was in in sin to ‘go and sin no more’.  Jesus passed judgment upon this woman not allowing her to continue in her sins and be lost…this is love.
4) Jn 14:15,21,23,24  “If ye love me, keep my commandments…He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him….Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him….He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”
Those that refuse to obey Christ’s commands to repent of sins do not love Christ and do not abide in the love of God.  Even though God loves the world in general, Jn 3:16, as shown by sending His Son to die for mankind, one must conditionally love Christ to be saved.  No one will be saved unconditionally in their sins.
5) I would get rid of the piano and just sing as the NT commands.

14 LarryFarlow October 3, 2013 at 10:13 am

ChippySAT It’s not loving to allow someone to pursue unrepentant sin. Jesus is clear that those who do so face eternal damnation, their good works notwithstanding. None of the things you’ve listed in your post to try to justify sexual sin have any ability to save us. As Isaiah says, all our righteousness is like filthy rags before God. Only when our sins are covered by the shed blood of Christ do we have any hope of standing before God safe from His wrath.  To allow someone to think they’ve done enough good things to be right with God or to justify their sinful lifestyle, only to be told by Him on the last day “away from me, I never knew you” is to hate them, not love them.

15 ShawnPaterson October 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

ChippySAT So you will love him enough to humbly point him to the truth… or?

16 rhology October 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm

SethDunn sschristiane Yes of course he can. Anyone is free to point out my sin to me, especially online.

17 SethDunn October 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Zack Stepp SethDunn 
Yes, it his responsbility.  This is clear from scripture:
Galatians 6:1-10.

18 SethDunn October 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm

ChippySAT You seem to have a very works-based attitude, Chippy.
1) He’s got a commited ER Doctor Partner who volunteers.
2)  They adopted 9 children who make good grades.
One thing you haven’t done at all in your post is quote scriptiure.  Which makes me ask the question, “Are you, yourself justified in your own sight or in God’s?”
I don’t think you can cite scriptiure in any coherent or contextual way that can justify your statement.

19 ChippySAT October 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Good news – your pianist quit your church. He plays at our church now, and we are all very happy. Also, Jesus came down the other day and told us that we are all ok at our church. He said that it is crazy to think, Jesus, the son of God, would ever crucify /condemn any two people for falling in love and having a great life together. So, we are all good here at our unconditional loving church. Feel free to stop by. Or, spend time worrying about your own sins.

20 ShawnPaterson October 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

ChippySAT Actually, I don’t remember Jesus ever saying that. Clearly you disagree with everyone here, and you are a very witty person. If you wish to show us we are wrong, or to convince us that you are right – use Scripture and articulate your interpretation – rather than judgmentally (gasp) mock us with your stories (however witty they are).

21 LarryFarlow October 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm

ChippySAT So Jesus would be cool if I fell in love with my mother and had a “great life together” with her in a sexual relationship? How about my daughter or the 10 year old boy down the street? Would we all be welcome just as we are at your “unconditional loving church” if we stopped by? I mean surely you wouldn’t condemn us simply for falling in love, right?

22 SethDunn October 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

ChippySAT Chippy is trolling guys.  He’s a cultural Christian at best with a clear disrespect for the whole of scripture.  I don’t think we should feed the troll.  I think we should pray for his salvation.  I think his attitude exhibits that he is clearly outside the body.
If the hypothetical pianist at his church is happy there, then I’m not surprised.  Goats of a feather flock together.

23 The Tailor August 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm

I don’t see why his homosexuality makes him any less able to serve the Lord. I have a mental illness, and I’ve been denied from serving in my church in a few ways because of this. Don’t be like that. It’s rude and totally un-Christlike to think of a gay member of a congregation as less able to worship than anyone else.

24 Shay Malone August 13, 2014 at 4:12 pm

The Tailor- a mental illness is not something you can give up. Homosexual behavior is something you can give up. I’m sorry your church has not allowed you to serve. It is my prayer that they have been open with you about why and are encouraging your fellowship in other ways.

Regarding the ethical question, I agree ShawnPaterson and Andrew.

25 Anti Mammon August 16, 2014 at 5:12 am

Confront them gently about their sin. Explain to them it is a sin that leads people to Eternal Hell. Check out Ray Comfort’s witnessing encounter with a cross-dresser who attends a church that accepts homosexuality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVBjSNHdoRA

PS: Check out ‘Anti Mammon and Usury Conquerors’ fb page and fightingtheevilsofmammon.blogspot.com.au

26 GK November 16, 2014 at 11:51 am

I would approach the pastor about this, providing screen shots as proof if the pastor requests them.
I would not seek the immediate removal of the pianist, he should be called with the Gospel to repent and truly receive the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ.
I don’t believe this is merely an inter-personal matter which Matthew 18:15 addresses, but rather a corporate matter, since the pianist has been denying the Gospel while serving before the whole church.
I will not stay quiet since it IS my business if a man claiming to be a brother in Jesus Christ and serving before the whole church is actually denying the Gospel.

Todd, you’re right about making assumptions. However, the pianist may not be a homosexual, but he is clearly denying that homosexuality is a sin. That really shows his claim to believe the Gospel to be untrue, since he claims that a sinner can be a Christian while refusing to repent of what is clearly a sin. Claiming that a sin isn’t a sin and does not need to be repented of is a denial of the Gospel. 1 John 1:5-10 clearly teaches that this cannot be. He must repent of believing homosexuality isn’t a sin, or he must give up erroneously claiming to be a Christian.

I know that may seem like evangelising the converted, but it also forms the basis of my response to ChippySAT and “The Tailor.”

ChippySAT, you’re welcome to the pianist if he refuses to repent. I have some Bad News for you though. You may be happy, but you’re happy in your sins. Perfectly natural for the sinful nature (every Christian was once there: “And such WERE some of you. BUT you were WASHED…” -1 Corinthians 6:11). However, both practising and approving of homosexuality are unrighteousness, and those who are born of God will not do either (1 John 2:29), nor will they call God a liar by claiming their sins are not sins (1 John 1:5-10).

“The Tailor,” he can’t serve the Lord because he is denying the Truth of the Gospel. Claiming that a sin isn’t a sin and does not need to be repented of is a denial of the Gospel. Far from being “un-Christlike,” to call someone to repent of their sins and receive the love and grace of God by true faith in Jesus Christ is very loving and Christlike. Until they do, they can work as hard as they like, but they cannot change the Truth of the Gospel to accomodate their sin.

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