Thechurch plays a central role in propagating morality in the communityit shapes the virtues of its believers. To ensure morality ispreserved, every member of the congregation must take part insupporting men of the cloth in defending these moral values. The HolyBible provides explicit ethical guidelines that stipulate theexpected conduct of Christians which, the congregation is responsiblefor maintaining, and pointing out the prevailing evils in thesociety, as it conforms to the values of Christianity1.However, the church is composed of a diverse population, and thus,this creates conflict in moral values, thus, calls for the church toengage its members in an active discussion on the issue of morality2.They must scrutinize the conduct of every member to ensure theexpected moral values are upheld. The church must establish anexplicit value system, to enable the congregation fully understand,the expected moral values of a Christian.
Membersof the church face numerous temptations in their everyday lives, butthrough fellowship and the Holy Spirit’s help, they can overcome.Through Bible study programs, the congregation can examine the moraland ethical issues, trending across the globe. For instance, thechurch has been asked to clarify its point of view on homosexuality,corruption, and sexual harassment, as they are important issues thatimpact on the lives of Christians. The church must, therefore,address and provide a way forward regarding issues affecting itsmembers3.Studies have shown that members of the congregation have differentopinions on the matter of homosexuality, with some condoning same-sexmarriages, while others view it as ungodly. This has created conflictin many churches, and for them to be established as a moralcommunity, the congregation must discuss, and agree on contentiousissues affecting the society.
TheMatter of Sexuality in Church
Sexualityis a contentious matter not only to the church but the entiresociety, for which, the Holy Word has condemned adultery and same-sexrelationships. The 1stchapter of Romans explains that homosexuality arose from sin and in1stCorinthians 6:9-10 warns Christians about the repercussions ofvarious immoralities. In particular, the verse states that thehomosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. The complexity ofthe transgression of homosexual practice is acknowledged, andnonetheless, we have faith that God’s grace is abundant to overcomeboth the perversion leading to its practice and practice of theactivity in itself4.
Inregards to the case study, I would engage gays and lesbiansvolunteers in a biblical discussion and have them understand thatGod, did not create them as homosexuals and that their tendency tohomosexuality is a result of sin, but there is also hope for them.The Bible states that salvation is accessible to every personregardless of their deeds, Christians have been preached to, and toldto love all people, and not judge them harshly. The Bible prohibitspeople from judging others as it is written in the 7thchapter of Matthew. It is important to note that some gays andlesbians struggle to refrain from homosexual desires therefore, asChristians, we need to be compassionate to homosexuals and help themin their fight to overcome these desires. Otherwise, condemningmembers who practice homosexuality may have an adverse impact ontheir spirituality. In response to a member’s sexual orientation, Iwould have them understand, homosexuality as a sin is about thebehavior and not the temptation or desire.
ChristianMarriage and Views of Sexuality
Asdiscussed above, the Bible provides explicit illustrations onsexuality, and that marriage was intended to be between a man and awoman. Although Christians understand the instructions given by theHoly Bible on sexuality, many of them still struggle with sexualimmoralities such as lust. Members of the congregation on occasion,report cases of sexual harassment by church officials. The Bible alsoprovides teachings on issues affecting Christian marriages such asdivorce and adultery. The parishioners need to take into account theguidelines provided by the Bible when dealing with matters ofsexuality and marriage. The marital union was supposed to be sacredand free from sexual immoralities such as adultery5.The second chapter of Genesis elaborates on Christian marriage a manand a woman become one flesh after the union. 1stPeter 3:1-7 provides an explicit guideline on how a husband and wifeshould conduct themselves in marriage. The husbands are encouraged tolove their wives since they are one body, and the wives areencouraged to submit to their husbands.
Inmodern society, the Christian marriage has experienced much challengethat leads to its dissolution. Studies show that over 50% ofmarriages end in divorce, which is alarming, as it has continued tobe on the increase since many Christians are unable to sustain theirvows6.Christians are supposed to steer the society towards morality, butsome of them are propagating immorality in marriage adultery hasbeen one of the problems contributing to the dissolution of Christianmarriages.
Membersof the congregation may have experienced sexual harassment in varioussettings such as the workplace which, in most cases, women bear thebrunt of sexual harassment. On a scale of sternness, harassmentranges from sexual assault, obscene phone calls to whistles in thestreet. As the pastor, I ought to consider the feelings of the womenwho view this as an inappropriate behavior from TJ. Sexual harassmentis not necessarily the intent of action by the perpetrator, but howtheir behavior impacts the victim emotionally7.From a biblical perspective, sexual harassment is a sin that isfueled by selfishness8.
In1stTimothy 5:1-2, men are told to treat young ladies with dignity. Inthis case study, I would advise TJ to uphold Christians’ moralvalues, thereby, restraining himself from the vice of sexualharassment. It is important for TJ to understand the dangers ofsexual harassment and its effects on the victims. I would alsoencourage the young women to observe their conduct, including theirdressing to avoid provoking sexual harassment. These are some of thesteps I would recommend, to deal and prevent sexual harassment toother members of the congregation:
Respect other member’s personal boundaries and ask, if not sure of your action, whether it is appropriate.
Refuse and report any inappropriate contact or gesture.
In serious offenses that may require legal action, a written or verbal record of the incidence will be helpful.
If you take notice of the behavior being perpetrated on another member, do not be silent, approach the victim, and offer assistance.
AllenVerhey, Boulton, Wayne G., and Thomas D. Kennedy. FromChrist to the World:
IntroductoryReadings in Christian Ethics.Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans, 1994.
Miles,Rebekah L. ThePastor as Moral Leader. Minneapolis:Fortress, 1999.
Hollinger,Dennis P. Choosingthe Right: Christian Ethics in a Complex World.Grand Rapids,
Mich:Baker Academic, 2002.
Dayton,Donald W. Discoveringan Evangelical Heritage.Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2011.
1 Dayton, Donald W. Discovering an evangelical heritage. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2011.
2 Allen Verhey, Boulton, Wayne G., and Thomas D. Kennedy. From Christ to the world: Introductory readings in Christian ethics. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans, 1994.
3 Miles, Rebekah L. The Pastor as Moral Leader. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999.
44 Hollinger, Dennis P. Choosing the good: Christian ethics in a complex world. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2002.
5 Hollinger, Dennis P. Choosing the good: Christian ethics in a complex world. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2002.
6 Dayton, Donald W. Discovering an evangelical heritage. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2011.
7 Miles, Rebekah L. The Pastor as Moral Leader. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999
8 Hollinger, Dennis P. Choosing the good: Christian ethics in a complex world. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2002.