I always find it helpful and refreshing to hear from Christians who are gay who decided to surrender their sex lives to the design God lays out in the Bible. I say this is refreshing because the alternative message you hear in the “gay Christian debate” is to make Scripture say what you want it to…saying whatever it needs to to allow you to do what you want sexually. It’s certainly much more difficult to take the first view than it is the second. In fact, I’m downright inspired by those who take the first view. It reminds me that we are all in the same boat. I’m not gay, but I do struggle in my marriage sometimes. And I struggle with my sexual purity. I struggle with how I’m wired to want to do things the Bible says are wrong. I’m inspired by my gay brothers-in-Christ like Jim Decke, Mike Lado, Wesley Hill, and Christopher Yuan and many others who have put the Bible first over the flesh desires of their sexuality. If they can do it, so can I.
I attended a workshop by Christopher Yuan on Tuesday about homosexuality that I found to be very helpful. Christopher lived many years as a sexually active gay man prior to receiving Christ as his Savior while serving time in prison for drug crimes. Upon accepting Christ, Christopher also surrendered his sex life to God’s commands in the Bible. Christopher is now in his 40’s and is single and celibate. After getting out of prison, Christopher attended Moody Bible Institute and is now a professor there. He is co-author (along with his mother) of Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope. Here are some great tidbits I took from Christopher’s talk:
- Unconditional love is not the same as unconditional acceptance of your behavior
- There are two ways to view the Bible:
- One is the traditional view which looks at Scripture first and experience second. This is the view Yuan, Hill, Lado and Decke all take.
- The second is what Yuan calls the revisionist view which looks at experience first and Scripture second. This is the view taken by gay Christian authors like Justin Lee, Matthew Vines and others whose conversation typically begins with “I’m gay and I love Jesus. I’ve prayed he will take this away, he hasn’t; therefore he wants me to live this out.” It starts with how they feel and then goes to Scripture after that and reads it through that lens; reading what they want to hear.
- We all have an orientation to live against what the Bible says in one way or another
- The secular version of love really just means “don’t judge me.” This definition dichotomizes love and truth, which is impossible. The biblical version of love doesn’t do this. When secular people talk about love they are usually talking about the Bible would call compassion, which is the wrong definition.
- The Church needs to make sure we are convicted about our own sin
- One sin is not better than another
- Conviction of our own sin leads to humility; and the gospel is best expressed through humility
- Marriage isn’t more important than singleness. If our message to gays is to walk away and be single, do we have a healthy place for singles to thrive in our churches? We give the impression that singleness is equated to loneliness. How do all fairy tales end? They get married! Marriage is an idol.
- Don’t make singleness a consolation price. Singleness is a gift, 1 Corinthians 7:7. Paul doesn’t use the regular word for “gift”, he used the greek word “charisma” which means “spiritual gift”, echoing Ephesians 5. In Eph 5, we have spiritual gifts FOR THE CHURCH.
- “Heterosexuality” is a broad category, with many things within it that the Bible condemns as sin — heterosexuality is not God’s standard! God’s standard is holy sexuality – if you’re married this means complete faithfulness to your spouse of the opposite sex. If you’re single, this means complete faithfulness to abstinence.
- change is not the absence of struggles, but change is the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles
- Be compassionate toward gays and lesbians, especially Christian ones. Many think God hates them, are in a deep depression, wish they were never born and/or contemplate suicide because of this.
- Expect this to be present in your congregation
- Newsflash: we have sinners in our congregation
- We need to have zero-tolerance on bullying and need to stop gay jokes – we have to wonder why the public schools are spearheading this not us
- Give the good news, not the bad news — don’t single out the homosexual sins from the lists of sins in the Bible
- When someone confides in you that they are gay, thank them for trusting you. Tell them they’re not alone.
- Our identity is in Christ, our sexuality should never define us
- we don’t read the Bible and pray to get rid of the difficulties, we read the Bible and pray so that when difficulties come, we can remain faithful
- Encourage God honoring same-sex friendships – show how people love one another in non sexual ways — at the core of sexuality is a desire for intimacy from those of the same gender. it’s a legitimate need——so how can we help foster this?
- Do not compare this to addiction, pedophilia, murder, etc.
- Do not say “lifestyle” or “choice” –ppl who are gay do not see this is something they do, they see it as something they are
- Don’t say “love the sinner hate the sin”
- Show the gay community we don’t hate them. Build relationships.
- Listen. Be patient and persistent.
- “I didn’t leave gay relationships because i thought they were so bad, i left them because i found something better and his name is Jesus”
Christopher also has book reviews on the most popular books from gay Christians who say active gay sexual lifestyles are okay with the Bible:
- Yuan’s review of Justin Lee’s book Torn
- Yuan’s review of Matthew Vines’ book God and the Gay Christian
My posts on homosexuality on AtACrossroads.net, in order of oldest to most recent:
- Gay Christian? A sermon by Noah Filipiak and Jim Decke
- Jim Decke on Nature vs. Nurture
- Thoughts on gay marriage
- Is legalizing gay marriage the same as legalizing polygamy?
- Can a gay Christian still identify themselves as “Gay”?
- Are there different levels of being gay?
- How Should Christians Respond to the Boy Scouts Policy on Gays?
- 5 Reasons Gay is not the New Black
- Both Sides of the Arizona “Anti-Gay” Bill SB1062
- How Gay Celibate Bible-Believing Christians are Breaking the Mold of the LGBT vs. Christian Debate
- 3 Reasons I Didn’t Want to be Gay by Jim Decke
- City Pulse Article on Gay Friendly Churches Sadly Lacks Complexity
- A Solution to the Bible vs. Gay Community gay marriage debate, Part 1
- A Solution to the Bible vs. Gay Community gay marriage debate, Part 2
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