Monday, February 10, 2014

“I’m Gay!” “I’m Lesbian!” (Bridging the Gap - Part One)

When Someone at Your Church Says, “I’m Gay!” “I’m Lesbian!”

Things to Remember –

1. No one is born gay, and no one chooses to be gay or lesbian. Because of relational brokenness in families and among peers, some people experience emotional needs that they try to meet in ungodly ways. Many of them are uncomfortable with their own gender; later, they discover they are attracted to others of the same sex, but this is not their choice. Acting on it, however, is.

2. Change is possible. Even going back to the first-century church, the apostle Paul wrote to former homosexuals in the Corinthian church, “and such were some of you” (1 Cor. 6:11).

3. Because we live in a fallen world, we are all broken. Many people in our churches are sexually broken-victims of incest, pornography and masturbation addicts, and compulsive sex addiction. Homosexuality is only one form of brokenness.

4. Homosexuality grows out of broken relationships and is healed in healthy relationships, especially same-sex relationships. This is one of the reasons it is essential for recovering gays and lesbians to be actively involved in the church, because this is where they can find healthy, God-honoring friendships. Their homosexuality is not contagious!

5. Treat them with respect like you would anyone else. They are people made in the image of God for whom Christ died-they are not their sexuality. Many people trying to come out of the gay and lesbian lifestyle expect to find respect and acceptance only in the gay and lesbian community. Finding it in church is immensely healing to their souls.

6. Accept them where they are, just as Jesus did. Choose to accept the person, but not sinful behavior. People don’t change unless they experience the grace of acceptance first. But once they know they are loved and accepted, many of them are willing to do what it takes to live a life of holiness.


Anonymous said...

Oh baloney. Tell it to the two founders of the now defunct Exodus, International (later Exodus Global Alliance) of which this Bridging the Gap Ministries was probably a local ex-gay ministry under its umbrella at one time. (unless I heard something about it being a new umbrella group created to take the place of Exodus? I dunno. I'm not sure.)

Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper were among Exodus' biggest success stories. They got married to women, had children, and flew all around North America giving their testimonies---until one day when they fell in love and ran off with each other.

Also, there's the founder of Reparative Therapy which is closely related to the ex-gay ministries and is in a roundabout way alluded to in the above article; Dr. Charles Soccarides (a now deceased professor at Einstein University on Long Island, New York), pushed for years the idea that homosexuality was caused by a faulty family configuration which could be cured by butching up gay men with footballs and letting bull dyke lesbians see how really cute they could look with properly applied eyeliner and nail polish.

Since his son Richard turned out to be a flaming queen (he worked in the Clinton administration) it boggles my mind why anyone but the most unknowledgeable, ignorant of people would even listen to any of this garbage. According to his own theories Dr. Soccarides must've been a terrible father.

Of course I've mentioned these stories on this site before but until people start realizing the absurdities of these claims of cures, I think they are stories that bare repeating---especially since they can be multiplied over and over again.

Btw, has anyone ever stopped to think that if broken, dysfunctional, faulty family configurations were really the cause of homosexuality, that 99% of the world would have always been exclusively gay or bisexual---including several of the eight Booth children? (uh duh,)

Daryl Lach
USA Central

"You Must Go Home By the Way of the Cross, to Stand With Jesus In the Morning!"

Anonymous said...

....part 2.....

The Bible is not some pragmatist’s paradigm. It is the double-edged sword that chiseled truth into my stony heart, rendering it new and with it, recreating me as a new creature in Christ, a daughter of the King. I have no personal sexual orientation to call my own after Christ chisels my heart anew — and neither do you. We have Christ orientation, an alien identity to which we claim no rights. Do we struggle with sin? Yes. Is temptation a sin? No. What distinguishes temptation from sin? Temptation clobbers you from the outside and lures you to do its bidding. Sin makes temptation a house pet, gets it a collar and leash, and is deceived to believe that it can be restrained by impositions of civility. What you do with temptation reveals Who owns your heart. How you talk about other people’s sin patterns reveals Who owns your heart.
Lessons in Losing
So, here is what I have learned from being on the losing team of both historic, public, and political renderings of homosexuality.
Homosexuality is a sin, but so is homophobia. Homophobia is irrational fear of a whole people group, failing to see in that group God’s image diminished but not extinguished by sin, and that God’s elect people linger there, snared by their own design and awaiting gospel grace. Biding time. Think about that. Waiting like the caterpillar that spawned today’s butterfly. God has set apart a people from before the foundation of the world to receive his grace, and they are waiting for you in every nation and people group. It is an act of homophobia to believe that people in the LGBT community are either too sinful to respond to God’s call on their life, or to believe that people in the LGBT community have a fixed nature that will never, by the blustering, unfounded, and uncharitable declarations of secular psychology, change by the power of the gospel.
The only fixed feature of the human constitution or badge of personal identity is the soul; imprint of God to us, it will journey from life to death to life and will last forever, permanently, for eternity in heaven or hell.
Hopes, Dreams, Redemption
The gospel reorders and remakes people, and its metamorphosis manifests in a life that loves God more than itself. God doesn’t zap us. He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death, promising that as we “proclaim and initiate an irreconcilable war against our choice sins,” as Puritan William Gurnell states, God will be there. The Rock. Never leaving nor forsaking. Never failing the soul who puts trust in Him (Psalm 9:10). No matter what.
God promises that he will make meaning, purpose, and grace out of your redeemed life. God provides the church to be family, from cradle to grave, where single Christians are cherished saints in Christ’s Kingdom, not people waiting to be fixed. And God provides Christ-redeemed heterosexual marriage so that his creation ordinance is fulfilled and so that his Bride, the church, has imaginative authority over hopes and dreams.

Anonymous said...

"No one is born gay, and no one chooses to be gay or lesbian. "

"Homosexuality grows out of broken relationships"

"Their homosexuality is not contagious!"

Wow. Let us know how that whole "bridging the gap" thing is working out for you...

Anonymous said...

Comment moderation excluded part one of the above. (Comment 2)

Part 1 -
DOMA and the Rock - July 11, 2013
by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield Topics: Homosexuality

In 1996, when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), I grieved with my people. I was an atheist then, and lived in a monogamous lesbian relationship, working as a tenure-track professor specializing in English literature and Queer Theory.
Now, some 17 years later, in the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court has delivered its historic DOMA decision. I am now a Christian, married to a man who serves God as a pastor, and I homeschool in the Classical Christian tradition the two youngest of my four children. And again, I grieve with my people.
Standing with the Disempowered
Perhaps you think that I have a knack — call it a spiritual “gift” if you like — of affiliating with the losing team?
One of my enduring life values, which carried me through the Feminist and Gay Rights movements of the 1990s, and continues to motivate me today as one of Christ’s own, is the desire to stand with the disempowered. So here I am. Standing in a familiar place, bearing a new heart supplied by the Holy Spirit, a renewed mind, transformed by Christ’s atoning love, a new mission, created from before the foundation of the world by God’s sovereignty, and a new identity as a daughter of the King. But here I stand, still sporting my comfortable shoes.
An Electric Few Weeks for a Former Lesbian
This has been an electric few weeks for a former atheist, now Christian disciple. First, Exodus International closes down. Truth be told, this is fine by me. Reparative therapy was never part of God’s method, and Jesus Christ did not die to make any para-church his bride. But Exodus detonated with a colossal bang, and took with it gospel integrity, leaving even more theological turbulence in its wake.
Now the Supreme Court, using strong, cosmological, moral language defending the human dignity of same-sex unions, overturns DOMA and Proposition 8, sending a resounding rebuke to the Christian ideal of creation ordinance, and with it, the normative (albeit not always redeemed) heterosexuality that undergirds it.
Gathering the Children in Close
So I did what parents across the country did — believing parents and unbelieving parents, gay parents and heterosexual ones. I gathered my children in close, and I talked with them. You probably did this, too. No big surprises in my talk.
No new news. No identity bombs were dropped. My children have always known that their mother used to be an atheist and a lesbian. They cut their teeth on this vocabulary, and could say the words before they knew what they meant. Saved by grace. Closets are for clothes, after all.
Here is what I know: God is bigger than my sin. And God is sovereign over Supreme Court decisions and shifting worldviews. He has had the first and he will have the last word on all matters of sin and grace.
The Church, Christ’s bride, is a God-made institution and will sustain herself in majesty in times of persecution or revival. Context matters not. Providence will paint the walls of this worldview.
Who Owns Your Heart
But Jesus, the Word made flesh, will not be drawn and quartered. He came to fulfill the whole law, every jot and tittle. And he wants your whole life relinquished to him. Any theology that denies God’s moral law, and then domesticates sin by its absence, does not have Christ’s atoning love, God’s justifying pardon, or the Holy Spirit’s kind company. The Red Letters of the New Testament, unmoored from the moral law of the whole Bible, offer only half the God-man, mangling the gospel by wrenching salvation from sin and belief from repentance. Even the demons believed in Jesus — and it only sent them straight to hell. All dangerous lies pack a dollop of truth. That was true when Jesus walked the earth, and it is true today. That we are saved from our sin simply reveals the obvious: God was right all along. No shame in truth that loves like this.
...cont above.....

Anonymous said...


Witchy Pagan said...

I consider myself to be a happy and well adjusted individual, with friends and a nice career that suits me. I am active, healthy in mind and body.....and oh yes came out as a lesbian over thirty years in a long term relationship....and have a healthy spiritual life as well......I seem to have it all.....but steer well clear of negative people who judge me out of a sense of misguided religiosity.

Anonymous said...

If the 'traditional' interpretations of the 5 [count 'em FIVE] VERSES [not chapters, not books... verses] of Scriptures used to call homosexuality a sin is correct, then were are the homosexuals? Why aren't they in your congregations? Why arent there MILLIONS of testimonies about how God changed someone's sexual orientation? WHY?

So, if the traditional interpretations of these verses hasn't done ANYTHING to bring Gays and Lesbians into the Kingdom of God, what HAVE they done?

1: It [the interpretaion of those 5 verses] has shown gays and lesbians that the church is NOT a safe place for them to be spiritually.

2: It has shown them that Christians, especially conservative Christians, are NOT to be trusted. [and this inlcudes The Salvation Army]

3: It has shown them that the Ambassadors of Christ [Christians] who are supposed to show love for people, draw the line when the person is gay or lesbian, mnking "Christian Love" and by extension, God's love conditional.

4: Through th actions of the church, gays and lesbians have been lead away from [asked to leave, thrown out of] the Christian church again, this has also happened in The Army], and away from Christ.

5: Made 4 - 7 % of the population [280-490 MILLION people, NOTE: the population of the USA in 2010 was 384 Million] think that GOD HATES THEM.

Gay people already don't trust Christians, and they definitely don't trust conservative Christians. They think Christians Hate them, and in some cases, believe that certain Christian Churches [including The salvation Army] thinks they should all die. Is that what you really think is the result of a valid interpretation of Scripture?

Gay people are looking for the same love and acceptance that their heterosexual peers get. But in the Conservative Christian Church, they get rejection , persecution and ex-communication [in some ways]. I fail to see how a Gospel message, based on LOVE can have these kinds of effects. And, I fail to understand how the people of God could allow actions that would lead people to such horrible misconceptions about God, and those who truly follow Him.

When going over this debate, if you have a traditional understanding of these scriptures, ask yourself if you are sticking with this interpretation because it's right, or are you sticking with it because of your own personal disdain for homosexuality.

God wants to reconcile ALL of humanity to Him. The Church, and in particular The Salvation Army, is part of His plan to do so. But when it comes to 4-7% [180-490 Million] people, we are FAILING miserably, and the only reason we are is because of our own attitudes towards gays and lesbians.

The thing is, over the last 50 or so years, the Holy Spirit has been changing hearts in the Christian Church, and has created some safe places for Gays and Lesbians to find Him. At present, overall, the Army is NOT one of those safe places. Apologies about ill treatment aside. But we can be.

The time for scriptural debate is over. We've pretty much beat the issue of interpretation into the ground. The traditional interpretation is NOT working, except to work in favour of Satan, and his desire to keep people away from God.

No. Now is the time for building bridges to the Gay community. It's time to put our own personal prejudices aside and REALLY show God's love to gays and lesbians. [And slapping someone over the head with Scripture, or telling them they're going to burn in hell Is NOT showing someone the love of God.]

GLBT people are reaching out to God. Instead of slapping their hands, why can't we try to understand? Why can't we open our hearts? Why do we have to let Satan win the battle for the souls of GLBT people... just because they offend our sensitivities...

US Central