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What would you do if you found out a church member was gay?

OK… this is not that outlandish a question.

What would you do if you found out one of your church members was gay?

That’s what happened to Nicholas Coppola.  An anonymous letter outing him was sent to the bishop of his catholic church on Long Island.  The Bishop expelled him from the church.

Church discipline is not an attractive topic during this season of time, but I wonder if you or your church would do the same as this catholic bishop?

What WOULD you do if you found out one of your members was gay?



12 Responses to “ “What would you do if you found out a church member was gay?”

  1. Wow.

    What would I do if I found out that one my members was greedy, or gluttonous, or perhaps had some kind of idol in their life that kept them from serving God fully.

    messed up…

    I would treat them the same way I treated them before.

  2. Barry Nall says:

    What he (pietrosquared) said.

  3. brianbergman says:

    The question posed in your post does not present the same situation as that in the article. You simply ask what a church would do if they found out a member was gay.

    However, according to the article, the parishioner was out to the church and the pastor yet was still involved in various volunteer/leadership activities. The church was then notified that he had been married. The implication is that he was not celibate.

    What we don’t know from the article was whether the parishioner was required to remain celibate in order to keep performing his duties. If the church truly knew he was gay before this letter, we have no idea from this article what transpired between the parishioner and the church prior to this letter. It is possible that the church’s response was not a knee-jerk reaction but was based on prior conversations and/or agreements with the parishioner that are not disclosed or discussed in the article. I don’t think we should be so quick to rush to judgment against the church on this one.

  4. Rick says:

    If he was an attendant only, I would agree with pietrosquared. Since he seemed to have leadership roles, I would have to wonder how he attained those roles while being open about his sexuality. No person living an overtly sinful lifestyle should be permitted to have leadership roles in the church. The way I read the story, he was not barred from the building or meetings, just from leadership. And that is what I would do.

    • Overtly sinful lifestyle? Do we not all sin, falling short of the glory of God? What is it about this particular sin that ignites so much righteous indignation among all the other sinners in the faith? We’re all a bunch of liars, cheats, fornicators and idolaters, what’s one more in our ranks? Aren’t we all seeking a higher truth and closer relationship with God? I’d suggest your pride in calling out another’s sin is equally offensive.

      • Dea. Daryl Jones says:

        Sounds like somebody’s toes just got stepped on…the media, in all forms, plus the federal government with Obama leading the charge, is trying to make traditional, God ordained marriage on equal footing with gay marriage, and you wonder why Christians are upset? I think your response says it all. The vocal minority has dominated the news cycle, with a lifestyle that isn’t self sustaining. Society would cease to exist from true same sex relationships. I am a Christian and heterosexual male married to a heterosexual female!! Praise God!!!

  5. Gary Sweeten says:

    Many churches have healing and counseling ministries that attract people with all kinds of addictions, sins, and problems known and unknown. I have helped set up Healing centers internationally and homosexuals are commonly asking for help as are heterosexuals with compulsive sexual problems. We would welcome them and give them hope for change and healing. We have seen many people with deeply difficult problems make major changes, repent, get married, and help others in the same fix. Churches who have given up the biblical approach to healing, growth and change are left only with morality as a weapon for fostering change.

  6. Leonard says:

    I have dealt with this in all my churches. Take each case, apply the scripture with an attitude of humility and grace. Lead courageously and above all, keep in step with the Holy Spirit. As a pastor, it is essential that I love the sinner and hate MY OWN SIN.

    All sins are not equal… They all cause the same impact between God and humanity. But since I was born into sin, no list really matters when it comes to being separate from God.

    If I lie we know that I am sinning, however, if I hold fast to lying calling it okay, tell you it is not a sin, saying you are a prejudiced for telling me that lying is wrong… Well then that is different. This is what the message being sent to the church…

    Christians are being bullied into accepting a sinful act by mainstream media, some politicians, activist and now some evangelicals, suggesting we do not talk about the issue and telling is that because we do not talk about every sin, we cannot talk about any sin.

  7. Dave Patchin says:

    Having discovered that church members were gay in my ministry, I have handled it by sitting down with them for a pastoral conversation. I did the same when told someone was having an affair. I asked questions about how they were doing, if their behavior was biblical, and how I could help them (ie. shepherd) them toward repentance, wholeness, mercy, etc. I sorta handle it like I want others to handle things when they see my sin.

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