Who needs one more blog on homosexuality? Perhaps you do. But let’s find out.
How comfortable do you feel talking to your teenagers, adult children or grandchildren, on this subject and answering their questions?
You may be like most spiritually mature, Bible-believing evangelicals, who know what they believe on the basic issue of homosexuality and gay marriage, but don’t feel confident enough to actually initiate a conversation on them. And anyone who’s spent any time around younger Christians will tell you they are ready to accept same sex attraction and marriage as a fact of life. So, we have our work cut out for us!
This topic, more than any other today, threatens the church. Oddly enough, the major issue isn’t really homosexuality itself. It’s the authority of the Bible. If some Christians can dismiss some of the clearest teachings in all of scripture on this topic, and thereby it’s authority to govern and guide our daily lives, what’s next, pre-marital sex, adultery? What else have we gotten wrong all these years? It’s the confidence believers have had for 2,000, in God- breathed truth that’s ultimately at stake! So don’t fall for the’ “Let’s just agree to disagree, and move on” option being offered. We cannot afford to be reactionary and defensive. You, we, need to be the thought leaders in our families, with our friends and in our church.
This Talking Points Series is intended to provide you with a few of the most important ideas and truths on this subject, to give you the confidence to begin initiating those conversations – talking points. More importantly, by teaching them, it will equip your children with thoughtful, biblical ideas to counter the misinformation they are being exposed to. My Position – in Summary We, both heterosexuals and homosexuals, are tainted by the fall and sin has corrupted God’s original intent for human sexuality. That’s not the way he made us. It’s what we’ve become. All sex outside of marriage is sin and I do not believe the Bible allows same-sex marriage. While the Bible warns about the condition of homosexuality, as it does with many other heterosexual temptations, it only condemns its practice sexually. There’s no biblical evidence that God considers same-sex, sex, worse than other prohibited sexual sins.
Therefore, I consider born-again celibate, homosexuals to be my brothers or sisters in Christ and I encourage the church to fully embrace them as such. Born-again homosexual Christians, who do not choose celibacy, should be treated as we would any other heterosexual Christian who is violating any of the biblical commands for human sexual relationships.
My Experience I’m not an expert on this topic, however I’ve had dozens of meetings with Christian gay and lesbian leaders to better understand both their theology and their personal experiences of growing up, “coming out” and living as Christian homosexuals. I’ve also counseled several pastors, who themselves have struggled with homosexuality. The truth is, most have come to believe the bad and misleading theology of the gay Christian community, because they so desperately want to believe it, and therefore have come to the conclusion that the Bible does not prohibit loving, monogamous, same-sex relationships.
The purpose of this Series isn’t to talk this group out of their error. The goal of this Series is to help you teach heterosexual Christians what that error is, AND how we ought to love them, in spite of it.
Preparing yourself to be a thought leader on this subject.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15b
1. To prepare yourself for this series, please read Wayne Grudem’s wonderful article in World Magazine on this topic (http://www.worldmag.com/2013/04/the_bible_and_homosexuality). Having a good sound, theological framework, for why you believe what you believe, is key to dialoging with greater confidence on this subject. Print off Wayne’s article and read it several times, underlining some of its key teachings.
2. Familiarize yourself with all the scripture passages Wayne refers to and underline them in your Bible. In the back of your Bible, write down the locations of the following, five key scripture passages, so you’ll know where to find them when you need them;
“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22
“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Leviticus 20:13
“For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder,” Mark 7:21 (The Greek word for sexual immorality is pornia. Pornia covers any sexual sin prohibited in the Torah, including homosexuality)
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26, 27
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10
3. Print off each of my blogs in this series and don’t just read them, but practice teaching them by saying them out loud to yourself. Get comfortable with the basic arguments and your preferred answers, so you can articulate them with confidence. While I’d prefer to teach these ideas to people using my notes, many of those discussions come up with family and friends spontaneously when my notes are not available to me. So, I need to practice teaching them from memory, depending on the Holy Spirit to recall to me, the words and ideas I most need to guide a discussion.
4. Make a commitment that all your discussions are true to the Bible, intellectually honest and also, gracious. Younger people in particular, perceive Christians to be angry and hostile to gay people. Practice discussing these talking points with gentleness and empathy. Your goal is not winning an argument. It’s to enlighten people to what God says on this subject and cause them to doubt the half-truths and falsehoods they’ve been told by the gay Christian community and the media.
5. Avoid using derogatory remarks like “God didn’t create Adam and Steve,” or “gays disgust me.” Those are statements generally used by people unprepared to have thoughtful, biblical discussions and serve no useful purpose.
6. Set a date 30 days from now that you will gather some family together and begin discussing this topic. If you’d prefer, you can forward these blogs to them to read before you meet. Then begin praying for Holy Spirit wisdom to guide that discussion with truth and grace.
The Series Every Monday and Thursday for the next few weeks, starting this Thursday, I’ll post more Talking Points.
Additional Resources The two most practical books I’ve ever read on this subject are:
When Homosexuality Hits Home, by Joe Dallas Joe covers almost every topic from, what to do when a son or daughter tells you they’re gay, to should you go to a gay wedding or funeral? This book ought to be on every Christian’s bookshelf, just in case. (And why not purchase an extra to give away?)
The second book is: What Does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality, by Kevin DeYoung This book is largely devoted to the theological objections to the arguments gay Christians use to justify their positions. Well written and practical.
Note: Most of my Talking Points are borrowed liberally from these two books and Grudem’s thoughts.
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