Questions and Answers – Saturday, March 8, 2014
Hearing the words “I am a homosexual” can be devastating for an unsuspecting parent, grand-parent, spouse, sibling, or child. Such an admission will most likely be just the beginning of an on-going process that may take quite some time to work through.
Twenty-eight years ago, as a 35-year-old man in the throws of a battle with same-gender attraction, there wasn’t much help (if any at all) for me and the many, many others struggling with unwanted same-gender attraction. But God had a plan and He knew exactly what I needed, as He led me to a church where I found and experienced unconditional love and acceptance.
Christians with “gay-identified” loved ones are often eager to share the good news of Christ, but they wonder how they can do so without sounding judgmental. And can they actually promise those they love that change is possible – is change possible? If so, how is that defined and what does that look like?
Churches too want to be involved with ministry to homosexuals, but they are often too unsure of how to proceed. Should active gays be invited to church? Should the church start some sort of formal outreach – and what do they do when homosexuals do come to Christ? Are there effective ways to follow-up on new believers from a homosexual background?
I believe I can safely assume that someone you love or care deeply about is homosexual. If I were a betting person, which I am not, I would bet that you do not approve of homosexuality, but care about the “person.” And, rightfully so, as this is ultimately about people and not just an issue.
I will also assume and, hope greatly, that you would like to protect your relationship with him or her without compromising your beliefs. Many of you are probably hoping that the person whom you love will abandon homosexual behavior. No doubt, there are others, having found out about your homosexual loved one, are very anxious to know what to say or do, and what not to say or do.
There is hope. Change can happen. For some, the admission of homosexuality can bring a family closer together as they unite to help the gay family member through some very deep waters of change. But even when your loved one doesn’t seek change, your understanding of the complexities of same-sex attraction can be immensely helpful.
For the past twenty years or so, I have ministered with many people who have had very similar questions to yours. I have ministered to parents rebounding from the shock and horror of discovery, wanting to know what, if anything, they did wrong. Or what they can say or do to change their son’s or daughter’s mind.
I’ve listed to the concerns of family members who’ve asked how to handle their openly gay sibling’s wanting to spend time with their kids, or what their policy should be at a family gathering. Still others have asked to answer the claims of relatives who say they can be both homosexual and a Christian. Frankly, my interest in this subject is far more than professional. Homosexuality hit my family a very long time ago, bringing indescribable pain and misunderstanding along with it.
It never ceases to amaze me how often I find myself having lunch with friends or at any number of gatherings where the conversation often turns to homosexuality. Feeling very unequipped on the subject as Christians, they want answers to questions ranging from “Is it genetic?” to “Does the Bible really condemn homosexuality?” to “How can I love Christ and my gay neighbor without compromising what I believe?” Questions like these – and many others – are on the minds and hearts of Christians everywhere due to the increased awareness of homosexuality in our society. Fifty years ago a class like this would not have even been considered. Possibly not even twenty years ago. Being attracted to one’s own gender was simply not a topic for meaningful discussion in most circles.
Obviously, things have changed. And yet in the Church we still seem to be lagging sadly behind in having a workable, Scriptural response to the homosexuals that are looking to us (The Church) for “good news.” For too many, the Church seems like a place where “certain sinners” are not welcome. Many Christians still find it hard to believe it’s possible that their church has members who deal with same-sex attraction. For the most part, these men and women struggle quietly. For the majority, admitting to homosexual temptations is still just too risky.
Is it possible that we in the Church have also given some wrong signals to those how do come to faith in Christ. For example, we’ve taken verses such as 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” and mistranslated it to mean, “Come to Christ and get fixed immediately. And if you struggle after you come to Christ, there’s something wrong with you.”
Transformation is a process. Many Christians struggle in their forward movement to maturity. However, God is gracious and more than able to love us in spite of our fallibility. And that’s our task as Ambassadors for Christ: to effectively communicate God’s grace and power to change to a world that thinks to be a Christian one must either be perfect or a hypocrite.
I am confident you each would agree that it is incredibly frustrating, if not irritating to see numerous pro-homosexual movies and television programs (and they are on the increase), while there are so few resources offered from a Christian perspective available to help people with homosexual loved ones.
Therefore, on Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 9:00am to 11:00am at the His Way Out Ministries office, we will gather for Questions and Answers – a relaxed and informal meeting to discuss:
Is it our fault our child is gay? Would another male role model help my son affected by the loss of his father? Should we force our daughter to go to counseling? How do I bring up the subject of homosexuality so our family can talk about it? Will we push our son away if we frequently bring up the subject of homosexuality? Can I do anything more concrete than pray for my son struggling with same-sex attraction?
Why does His Way Out Ministries offer Questions and Answers?
We want to help you understand your same-sex attracted loved one while remembering to understand a person does not mean that you necessarily agree with them.
We want to help you preserve your relationship without compromising your own beliefs.
And finally, we want to help you present and express the biblical truths regarding homosexuality.
John 1:14 tells us, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”
This Scripture clearly dictates our goal when trying to reach or reason with anyone struggling with same-sex attraction: to be honest and truthful, tempered with grace. When someone you love is homosexual, you quickly become acutely aware of your inability to face life’s challenges apart from the grace of God. Please make plans to join us on Saturday, March 8th for Questions and Answers.
For more information about Questions and Answers, please visit hiswayout.com/calendar
From All of Us at His Way Out Ministries…
His Way Out Ministries is proclaiming to, educating and impacting the world with the biblical truth that freedom from homosexuality is possible when Jesus Christ is Lord of your life. To each of you who continually bless us by your encouragement, ministry participation, monthly financial support, offerings, and prayers…we remain truly grateful.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries