Some of you know that for the last three years, I’ve spent a good share of time meeting with LGBT+ people and their families. It hasn’t changed my theology, but it has changed my heart.
As a result, I’ve teamed up with Dr. Preston Sprinkle to form The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender, www.centerforfaith.com. Preston is the president (the brains of the outfit), I’m the chairman and CEO.
Preston has a PhD in New Testament from Aberdeen University in Scotland. He’s taught at Cedarville University, co-written a book with Francis Chan and four books on homosexuality for Zondervan. He’s also young (41) and cool (two things I’ll never be again) and a passionate follower of Jesus.
Who We Are and What We Do The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender (The Center) is a collaboration of Christian pastors, leaders and theologians who aspire to be the Church’s most trusted source of theologically sound teaching and practical guidance on questions related to sexuality and gender. We seek to address two primary needs in the church:
One, to help leaders cultivate a more robust biblical ethic of marriage, sexuality and gender.
Two, to help churches and organizations create a safe and compassionate environment for LGBT+ people, their families, and anyone wrestling with their sexuality or gender identity.
To meet these two needs, our mission is to educate not only pastors and leaders, but to help these leaders educate the people they lead by providing small group material, educational videos, podcasts, blogs, youth curriculum, and other resources.
“If LGBT+ men, women or their families ever leave our churches over theological differences, that should sadden us. But if they left because we were unkind to them, that would sadden Jesus.”
Programs and Materials we Offer 1. Leader’s Forums Our half-day, one-day and two-day forums are generally sponsored by Christian colleges, seminars, denominations and groups of churches and are led by Preston. In them, pastors are introduced to The Center’s resources and Preston’s teaching, so they can return to their churches inspired to tackle these difficult questions. We currently have two forums scheduled for San Francisco and Palo Alto and a third in Grand Rapids, MI. (See our website for more information.)
2. Grace/Truth 1.0 Small Group Study Guides
Grace/Truth 1.0: Five Conversations Every Thoughtful Christian Should Have About Faith, Sexuality and Gender
(Available September 2017)
Grace/Truth 1.0 is a five-week learning experience that introduces Christians to LGBT+ people, the language to use and avoid, a theologically faithful view of marriage and sexuality, and practical guidance on how to embody the love of Christ toward sexual and gender minorities..
Most importantly, each participant will be given practical, Christ-centered information how your church can love and care for LGBT+ people and their families, and still be faithful to the church’s historical teachings.
The questions at the end of each chapter will encourage honest conversations that are badly needed if a church or organization wants to get this right! Every chapter (Conversation) is supplemented by high-quality videos, podcasts and Pastoral Papers to enhance the learning experience.
3. Pastoral Papers The Center is writing dozens of well-researched, thoughtful, and accessible papers on the most crucial questions pastors and leaders are being asked, such as:
Guidance for churches membership, baptism, leadership, and communion for LGBT+ people.
Should Christians attend a same-sex wedding ceremony?
Is same-sex attraction (or being gay) a sin?
A Christian view of sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy.
Parenting a gay child.
Did adult, consensual same-sex relations exist in Bible times?
Why didn’t Jesus mention homosexuality?
What does the Bible say about questions related to transgender people?
Are LGBT people “born that way?”
A Christian Perspective on the Pronoun Debate
Here’s what I’m asking of you;
Go to our website and purchase a copy of Grace/Truth 1.0 and read it for yourself.
Send this blog to your pastor, so he/she learns about The Center.
Pray for us regularly. There is probably no more divisive topic in all Christianity. We are already being accused of being too liberal by some, and too conservative by others.
How following Jesus works in real life.
If you found this blog and are not a regular subscriber, you can take care of that right HERE.