This is a helpful article on how churches can become safe places for people with same sex attraction to experience love and hear truth.
In my opinion, the folks at the Public Discourse consistently offer thoughtful and academically challenging resources on moral issues affecting our culture.
Some big ideas in this essay:
- When Christians profess to believe the Bible, yet compromise on sexual ethics it is confusing for people searching for redemption. The author of this article (a lesbian) writes about the journey she took with a friend, “Both of us were confused, wondering whether we should continue to embrace our lesbian identity with abandon, give it up for our faith, or try to have it both ways by twisting the Scriptures and suppressing the voice of conscience.” Sadly, in the name of compassion some Christians in their lives were unwilling to tell them the truth. This added to their troubles.
- When we open our mind to sin, we open it up to deception. We lack objectivity when we try to wrestle with our own hearts, and often embrace bad ideas to rationalize what we want.
- Telling people the truth in love does NOT hurt them, it helps them. Trying to encourage people by confirming them in their sin hurts them. Sin is always bad for you. All sin is bad (MY sin is bad for me). This is especially true of sexual sin. And this includes the many different kinds of sexual sin, even the more acceptable varieties (like the Sports Illustrated soft-porn swimsuit edition). This includes anything outside of the bounds of a committed, monogamous marriage of husband and wife. When pastors and churches teach a Biblical ethic on sexuality combined with mercy and grace, that is good medicine.
- People that experience same sex attraction but want to honor God with their sexuality don’t have many places to go. The gay movement wants them to embrace their desires as their identity. Many in the church are also compromising and bending their message to the whims of the culture. There aren’t many places that will talk about repentance, AND also give you a helping hand in the process. And not enough churches that do speak the truth are also prepared to walk as fellow sinners saved by grace with their brothers and sisters in this messy journey.
- One of the best lines in the essay, when talking about sexual sin: “Don’t single out homosexuality, but don’t leave it out either.”
“Don’t single out homosexuality, but don’t leave it out either.”
The loudest voices in the propaganda machine would insist that the article I am referring to, as well as my comments above, constitute hate speech. Which is interesting that an essay by a struggling lesbian giving advise to the church would be considered hate speech. But none of this is hateful. And anyone who has ever experienced real hate-speech will know the difference. And one of the big parts of becoming a grown up is learning the difference between people that hate you and people that disagree with you.