SAME-SEX ATTRACTION: CRUCIAL COUNSEL FOR CHRISTIAN LEADERS
If you're a leader or public speaker, take pains to speak respectfully and caringly about those who are caught up in the gay lifestyle:
- The LGBT agenda is the millennial generation's no.1 issue. Unless it’s understood and addressed by church leaders, we run a high risk of losing our precious kids. If not addressed in a compassionate and open manner, SSA kingdom kids will feel no hope and leave – and then the non-SSA millennials will view church as intolerant and bigoted and also leave.
- Be Jesus to the SSA. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn it - but to save it. He saved the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, and many others by treating them with respect while at the same time giving them the love, inspiration and hope to repent of their sin. This is Jesus' ministry. No one ever became a Christian through condemnation, and truth be told, few stick around in condemnation-based ministries. Would you?
- Don't make excuses for any sexual sins, or condone by not taking a clear and loving stand. None of us is above enjoying sin. (This is what the world and our own sinful hearts do for us.) As disciples, we must learn to “take every thought captive” for Christ (2 Cor 10:5), and SSA is no exception. Keep expectations high.
- Repentance from immoral behavior isn't optional, yet that does not mean that SSA persons will necessarily ever get to a point of zero SS attraction. In most cases, the Lord leaves the temptation, and we must master it (Gen 4:9).
- Emphasize the track of celibacy as the ideal path for singles. This was taught by both Jesus and Paul (Matt 19; 1 Cor 7). We do singles a great disservice when we view singles ministry as a "holding tank" for those who hope to marry. A good number of SSA individuals may anticipate a long and productive life as singles for the kingdom.
- While leaders should address all sexual sin both frankly and humbly, if we single out homosexual sin (perhaps subscribing to anti-gay rhetoric) and yet fail to challenge other sins in the Bible (materialism, gluttony, apathy towards the needy, and so forth -- see Ezek 16:48-49), we are clearly not following the way of Jesus.
- If you yourself are from an SSA background, don't keep the fact hidden. Share it openly. In so doing, you will set many free.
- Devote a few talks each year to addressing this important area. Expect your brothers and sisters to show up! Those who fail to engage may well be out of step with the modern world.
- Stay informed. It is well within your pastoral responsibilities to read a good book or two on the topic!
- Although there are two genders, there are conditions in which a baby is born with unusual chromosome combinations, like XXY. Further, some infants are hermaphrodites. This is not hypothetical -- a number have become Christians. From time to time it has been less than clear as which gender a child should be brought up, especially where sex organs are missing, or there is androgyny or other birth defects. All the more reason to stay informed.
- Take advantage of the great resources in Strength in Weakness, a ministry devoted to SSA understanding and practical help.