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Current, Part 1, Introduction
Navigating the Waters of Today’s Same-Sex Culture
Bruce A. Hess
Today, we are going to tackle a topic that is a topic in our culture and over several different Sundays, investigate what the Bible has to say about that. If you would now, please take out your Bibles and turn in them to the gospel of John and chapter number 1. If you don’t have a Bible with you, there should be one under a chair in front of you and you could take that Bible and in the New Testament, turn to page 71, and you would find yourself at John, chapter 1. We’ll be getting there a little later in our service.
Today we are going to be launching a three-part series that we have given the cover title of, “Current,” as in a river current.
One of my first personal exposures to a strong current happened in 1995 in Tamasopo, Mexico. What we were doing there in 1995 is, we were on a mission trip from Wildwood. I was there and some of my family was there and some others from Wildwood. One of the things you would do when you were ministering in that area of Tamasopo is, the team that came would always go off to this really beautiful area called the Bridge of God. It was part of the Gallinas River. The Gallinas River normally is a very calm river and groups would always go there. We decided we were going to go swim in that particular area. But, we did not know, though, that there had been very heavy rains before we got down there. This river, that had a very calm current, had a very fast current. But, we were swimming, not really understanding the difference, because I had never actually been there before, and at one point one of the high school girls, not from Wildwood, but another girl that was there, decided she was going to swim across the river. As she was swimming across the river, the current began to pick her up. She tried to fight it for a few moments, but then realized, ‘I am not going to be able to fight it,’ so she just went to floating on her back, allowing the river to begin to take her where it was going to take her.
One of the things that I noticed, and another young man who was there, by the name of James Ingle, we both noticed that there was a problem, because a little ways down the river there was this area where there were heavy rocks and there was basically a little opening there. It was a little swift current funnel that was really pulling you through, this little, tiny area. She was headed right for that. Then, I noticed that beyond that was some white water and there were a number of boulders and I am thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ So, at the same time, James and I dove in from different places and tried to grab her before she went through this really fierce opening. James got to her before I did. I was a little further downstream and I got right to that very opening and I found myself being, basically, sucked through that opening. I managed to grab underneath the boulder that was there and I found this little protrusion and I grabbed onto that and then I held onto the rock. Rather than being swept in there and downstream to the white water and the boulders, I was slowly able to pull myself back and did not become a victim of that particular current.
That is the problem with a strong current. If you’re not careful, you can be carried away downstream and sometimes downstream there are hazards and perils and pitfalls. The same thing is true of a cultural current. If we allow a cultural current to carry us away downstream, there can be hazards and perils and pitfalls for individuals and for the church and for the culture.
So, we want to talk about this idea of Current. We have a subtitle to our study, and that is, “Navigating the Waters of Today’s Same-Sex Culture.” The same-sex culture that we have around us is rising and it is surging.
I last spoke about this on a Sunday morning seven years ago. It is kind of amazing to look at what’s happened in the last seven years. Over those seven years, a lot of things have happened. Lady Gaga came out with her hit song, ‘Born This Way,’ which became an anthem for the homosexual community. In these last seven years, we have had a number of DOMA laws passed in states, the Defense of Marriage Act, that has been passed to defend classic understanding about marriage. In many states that has been overturned in the courts. In these years we have seen the legalization of same-sex marriage, it didn’t really exist, it was right on the cusp, seven years ago. I now believe that same-sex marriage is legal in eighteen states, out of our fifty.
A lot has happened in these years since then. There have been a lot of state laws passed. For example, in the state of California you have SB777. What that state law says is this, that it is required of all public school districts and all grades to celebrate LGBT history in America. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender. It is the state law that every grade has to celebrate that history in America.
In the years since we’ve seen a lot of websites pop up. For example, gaychristian101.com. All kinds of websites popping up that publicly name the name of Christ and they are dedicated to justifying the legitimacy of homosexual activity inside of the believing community. In these subsequent years, there has been so much material written, multiple books have come out, even written by those who identify themselves as evangelical, who claim to embrace the inspiration of Scripture, who would say they hold to sola Scriptura. Yet, they are presenting a new interpretation, so called, on classic passages that address the whole issue of same-sex relationships, in the Bible. These new interpretations are designed to validate same-sex sexual relationships on one level or another. For example, one book that just came out this year is entitled, God and the Gay Christian. It is written by a young man in his twenties by the name of Matthew Vines. I just want you to know that since we spoke about this a number of years ago, there has just been this avalanche of information that has come down. I have, literally, in the weeks preceding this series, read thousands and thousands of pages of material. I have read multiple books, all kinds of online articles and online material, just in an attempt to try to get my arms around all of this, so that I could effectively, Biblically, evaluate it.
The Current, Navigating the Waters of Today’s Same-Sex Culture. Men and women, I don’t have to tell you that the current is picking up and I have some great concerns about potential hazards downstream, some perils and pitfalls that may befall our overall culture.
As we are beginning to launch into this, I want to make one point very clear. It is really not pivotal what I think. It is really not pivotal what you think. It is really not pivotal what the culture is promoting. What is pivotal in all of this is, what does God think? What does the word of God say? And, what is the heart of Jesus?
A little later today we are going to begin to look at some Scripture. We are going to pick up that pace a whole lot more next week. But, before we move any further along, what I want to do in the next few moments together is to lay some groundwork. We have a three-part series. It is really one message over three weeks. It is so important that we realize we are not going to get to all of the issues, all of the Scripture, all of the questions, in one week. We just cannot do that, so, what I am asking you to do, and understanding, this is one message over three weeks, is to be patient and plan to come the next two Sundays. Our goal is to have a Biblical dialogue that, ultimately, we want to bring some clarity and to being some hope.
We just want to lay some groundwork in all of this. Part of that groundwork, I want us to understand, is that when it comes to the homosexual community or the homosexual movement, there is a spectrum of people inside of that umbrella. For example, on one end of the spectrum you would have what we might call the radical homosexuals. They are the ones who totally reject God, they could care less about what the Bible has to say. The people who are on the radical end of the spectrum are very aggressive and very attacking against anyone who would dare disagree with their behavior. When you talk about this end of the spectrum, for years this end of the spectrum has had a very organized agenda and strategy they have been working through. I want you to know that when you talk about the radical end of the homosexual movement, their ultimate aim is to explode all limitations on sexual behavior, including age. That is the radical realm of the spectrum and that is where they want to go with things. Much of what they are proposing, in this radical realm, I have to tell you, is unfit for me even to share with you today.
But, people in the homosexual community fall in a spectrum. So, you have this end of the spectrum. Another end of the spectrum might be somebody like this, someone who struggles with same-sex attraction, which we could call SSA, same-sex attraction, but they wish that they didn’t. In fact, a lot of people on this end of the spectrum wish they had a magic wand and they could make their same-sex attraction go away. An example of someone who would fall on this end of the spectrum would be this Matthew Vines, this twenty-four year old guy that I mentioned, who identifies himself as an evangelical, who would say the only hope is Jesus. He would say, ‘I believe in the full inspiration of Scripture.’ But, here is what he says about homosexual activity, ‘There is only one expression that is legitimate, only one, and that would be a monogamous long-term same-sex relationship.’ In essence, same-sex marriage. Matthew Vines says that is the only one that is valid. Everything else outside of that is wrong. One thing I will say about Matthew Vines, compared to the other end of the spectrum, is he is quite a gentleman in his tenor of how he communicates.
We need to understand, though, that there is a spectrum. We need to take great care to not lump everyone into the same bucket. We want to be irenic, we want to be peaceable, we want to be fair. So, there is a spectrum out there.
We could flip that around for a moment and say, those who would not agree that God approves of same-sex activity also fall into a spectrum. For example, on the far end of the spectrum for those of us who may not agree, would be somebody like Westboro Baptist Church, who will show up at these very emotional settings and they will carry placards that say, ‘God hates fags.’ They communicate, towards those in the homosexual community, this hate and this utter disdain, even though these people are people for whom Christ died.
So, there is a spectrum here also. At the other end of the spectrum I would like to see myself being there, and Wildwood being there, and many others being there, because at the other end of the spectrum we might say, ‘Hey, we disagree with some of the life choices that you are making, but we care. We all struggle, we are all sinners, we are all really on the same level, we all need Jesus to be our rescuer.’ So, in the same way I don’t want to be lumped together with Westboro Baptist Church, we need to be careful not to lump everybody under the umbrella of the homosexual community. There is a spectrum that is there.
What we are doing, for most of our morning today, is to lay some groundwork. I want you to know, as transparently as I can, that much of this gives me a very heavy heart. Those who struggle with same-sex attraction, even if they do not act on it, experience a lot of isolation. They experience a lot of rejection, they experience a lot of deep struggle in their life. The church at large, too often, has been a toxic atmosphere, where someone who is struggling with same-sex attraction can be even afraid to share their struggle with anybody else. There is a fear that they have of ridicule. Why do they fear ridicule? Because they have overheard the pejorative, sarcastic, acidic, snide comments that are made about those who have same-sex attractions. Often in the name of humor, in the form of gay jokes. That, men and women, it just gives me a heavy heart.
Too many people who struggle with same-sex attraction issues just fear rejection. To them the church is not a safe place. I have shared this before, but, I have had personal friends, back to the time I was in high school, who struggled with same-sex attraction in their life. Some of those friends I have known repeatedly for multiple decades. I have heard of their struggle. Even here at Wildwood many of us have relatives and we have friends who struggle with same-sex attraction. We have people here today who struggle with same-sex attraction in their life. It just gives me a heavy heart. See, many in the gay community are hurting and they are acting out over their pain. Maybe they experience, as I have heard people tell me, they experience abandonment and emotional isolation. Maybe they have experienced, as I have been told personally, mistreatment and molestation in their life. Many are just confused and they experience a lot of fear and uncertainty. They would love to have someone to talk to, to be able to share some of their struggles. Yet, they feel the need to keep their desires shrouded in secrecy. Many who struggle with same-sex attraction are, frankly, just without hope. To them it just seems that their homosexual lifestyle is inevitable and it is impossible to change.
I want to quote some words of one woman who came out of the gay lifestyle. She wrote this, ‘If you had asked me a year ago if I could have come out of the gay movement, it would have been equivalent to asking me to move this building. Impossible. And yet, it wasn’t.’
When I look at this situation in our culture today, it really gives me a heavy heart. I have a heavy heart for my friend, John Yates, who I serve with on the FamilyLife speaker team. For thirty plus years John Yates has been the pastor, the rector, of the historic Falls Church Episcopal Church in Falls Church, Virginia. I know you probably don’t know anything about that church, but Falls Church has been a strong evangelical beacon in that area of Virginia since 1732. An outstanding church. The people of Falls Church have invested, over these last thirty plus years, tens of billions of dollars in their ministry facilities and their ministry programs. When you are in the Episcopal denomination, things are a little different at Wildwood, we have invested millions of dollars here also, but as a church family we actually own these facilities, but in the Episcopal Church denomination, even though the congregation is the one who invests all the money, technically speaking, it is the denomination that owns everything.
In 2006, John Yates and his leadership decided to apply to withdraw from the Episcopal Church over the fact that the Episcopal Church had approved the ordaining of same-sex clergy, which to them was a ratification of that kind of behavior. The denomination took them to court and went all the way to the Supreme Court and they lost their entire ministry home. Not only that, but they had saved up 2.6 million dollars for other ministry endeavors they wanted to do and that savings account was ruled by the court to also belong to the denomination. They lost all of that. They are continuing on, they have now joined with the Anglican denomination, it is Falls Church Anglican Church there, but it has been hard. It has been gut wrenching.
So, a lot of what is going on just gives me a heavy heart. There is another thing that gives me a heavy heart as we lay some groundwork and that is that the atmosphere today, increasingly, will not allow a Biblical dialogue on this subject. Increasingly, you cannot talk about this without being labeled, and without being attacked as outdated or archaic. Without being labeled or attacked as uncaring and judgmental. Even if you graciously disagree, you end up being labeled…what?…bigot. You end up being labeled homophobic. That is a weird term. It has an odd odor of a psychiatric disorder and frankly, I don’t like it being thrown my way. You increasingly, cannot have a Biblical dialogue without people accusing you of being intolerant and hateful, without being accused of (quote) “terrorizing homosexuals with religious dogmatism.” That just gives me a heavy heart. Why can we not have a conversation about this?
I can still love people who have same-sex attraction. I have loved a number of them, for decades. I can still love someone who is caught up in homosexual behavior and not condone their choices, if God doesn’t condone them. God loves the world and yet He doesn’t tolerate our sin. Do you remember when Jesus got up and He was overlooking the city of Jerusalem? That sinful city in Luke 19:41. Do you remember what His reaction was? He wept. He wept.
So, what we are doing here is, taking some time just to lay some groundwork. Creating an atmosphere where we can have a little bit of a Biblical dialogue about this. There is another part of the groundwork that I want to do and that is to talk for a moment about different categories of church reactions to the same-sex culture. Different reactions. I think we could identify four different categories of church reactions to the same-sex culture. I want to look at them and I don’t want us to be one of the first three.
The first category of church reactions to the same-sex culture, we could identify as being the Permissive Church. The permissive church ultimately winks at what God says is sinful. But, what the permissive church does is, out of a fear of offending, or out of a desire to just be inclusive, the permissive church succumbs to the societal current or the societal pressure. What the permissive church quickly finds itself doing is, revising the classic passages in the word of God that deal with this subject matter. The permissive church starts rationalizing, they start twisting, they start turning, they start inserting ideas. They bend the text to make the passages say what they wish the passages said. I want you to know, I’ll tell you, if you do reading on this, some of the most creative hermeneutical gymnastics, interpretive gymnastics, is employed to come out with the end of what people really want. I don’t want us to be the permissive church.
There is a second category of church reaction and we might identify it this way, the Judgmental Church. What does the judgmental church do as it looks upon the same-sex community? Well, it attacks them with a harsh spirit. It slams them without any compassion at all. The attitude of the judgmental church is something like this, ‘My sin is minor compared to yours. Yours is at a whole other level.’ The attitude seems to be in the judgmental church, ‘God forgives me, but I have a lot of great doubts about Him forgiving you.’ The implication of the judgmental church to the same-sex community is, ‘You are the ultimate sinners.’ You know what is interesting about the judgmental church? Did you know that the judgmental church has been very quick to ascribe the demise of marriage in our culture to the same-sex community? That is what the judgmental church does, they say, ‘Marriage is going downhill and it’s your fault. You same-sex folks, it is your fault.’ The reality, men and women, is the heterosexual world has been contributing for decades to the demise of God’s plan of marriage in our culture. The heterosexual community has been contributing to this for generations. Undermining God’s design of marriage. The heterosexual has been doing this through our unfaithfulness, through our abuse, and through divorce and so forth. So, the demise of marriage is not a same-sex community issue. They may be contributing to that, but in the heterosexual world, we have been already contributing to that for decades.
There is a third category of church reaction to the same-sex community. We could identify it this way, the Indifferent Church. I want you to know, as transparently as I can communicate, now remember, we are just laying groundwork, this is maybe the biggest danger to many evangelical churches today, to be the indifferent church. What does the indifferent church do? Well, out of a fear of offending or a fear of being attacked, or a fear of being labeled, they view the subject matter of the same-sex culture as a hot topic that, “we are just going to keep our hands off of. We want to avoid that all together. We’ll just sort of retreat back over here. We’ll dodge over here. We’ll go silent over here.’ The indifferent church takes an ostrich in the sand approach. The indifferent church says, ‘Let somebody else speak out on this. Let somebody else take a stand.’ That is the indifferent church.
I will say this, I don’t necessarily think that a church becomes an indifferent church due to an active decision that they make. It is more just subconsciously they move that way. Subconsciously, the church develops what I might call spiritual laryngitis.
How many people were here in 1999? Let me see your hands if you were here in 1999. I don’t know, that is probably less than a sixth of those of you who were here. Let me tell you what was happening in 1999. In 1999, we were undergoing a capital campaign here at Wildwood and we wanted to communicate the vision about that capital campaign. So, what I was doing was, I was speaking. I was speaking in home meetings and speaking in multiple meetings over several weeks in the church and what happened to me is, I developed some laryngitis from that. It was very severe, so severe that all I could do was eke out a little whisper. What was interesting about that experience is, because it was severe and I tried to protect my voice, over a period of days I actually, subconsciously, forgot how to speak normally. It seems like you couldn’t do that, but it happened. Even after my throat was repaired, in terms of the laryngitis that I had, I couldn’t talk. I had to go to speech therapy to be retrained how to speak normally. That was a subconscious thing. I didn’t sit there and think, ‘You know what? I’ll just forget how to speak normally.’ Just a subconscious event happened in my life and I think that happens a lot of times in the indifferent church. Suddenly, without consciously deciding to do it, the indifferent church has spiritual laryngitis.
While the church is not called to coerce the culture in some way, we are called…right men and women?…to be salt and to be light. What does salt do? Salt helps to preserve God’s standards. And light shines the way, the way to righteousness and the way to abundant life. So, we do have a calling to be a witness to God’s nature and work and to His truth and to Scripture.
I want to share with you a quote from Martin Luther. A very powerful quote and I want you to particularly notice the middle of it and the end of it. [I have those highlighted on the slide there.] Here is what he said,
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God, (here comes the important part) except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. (Then, the concluding thought he makes.) Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.”
Men and women, I think that is right where we are. Jesus said this in Matthew 5:13, “If the salt loses its saltiness, it is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
We don’t want to be the permissive church. We don’t want to be the judgmental church. We don’t want to be the indifferent church. What should we be? That leads us to the verse of Scripture in John 1 that we opened to at the very beginning, so look in John, chapter 1, at verse 14. This first part of John is talking about the person of Jesus Christ. He is described as the Word. Verse 14 says, “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father.” Then, we have this descriptive phrase of Jesus Christ that is given, “Full of grace and truth.”
That was the description given of Jesus, full of grace and truth. I wonder what the description should be of the church of His followers. We should be full of grace and truth. So, that is the fourth category of church, what I would like to call the Grace and Truth Church. What does a grace and truth church do? It accurately handles the word of truth, even if it is unpopular. The grace and truth church declares the truth and says that all sin, no matter what it may be, is sin. Yet, the grace and truth church communicates that God’s grace is able to transform hearts. He is able to bring hope and healing to anyone and everyone.
We spent a lot of time this morning laying some groundwork that I think is very, very important. Before we look at some Scripture this morning, I want you to know what is coming ahead. What is coming next week is, we are going to look at the primary passages on this whole subject matter, in the Bible. We are going to look at three, what I call ‘foundational passages,’ which talk about God’s design for marriage. Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 2:18 & 21-25, and Matthew 19:4-6. We are going to take a look at those passages.
We are also going to look at, in terms of primary passages, three pivotal passages, two from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, Leviticus 18:6-23, Leviticus 20:10-16, and Romans 1:21-32. You don’t need to write all those down, they are going to all be part of the discussion questions that are going to go out on the website and on The City later on this morning.
We are going to look at those passages. So, you are going to, and I am going to, have to come prepared with our sleeves rolled up because we are going to have a lot of Scripture we are going to look at next time.
What is coming two weeks from now? Well, we are going to begin to address a lot of the questions. Questions like: Isn’t homosexuality inborn? Isn’t homosexuality unchangeable? How are we to respond to all of this? What are we to do? Where are the resources we need? We are going to cover all of that? That is where we are headed.
Before we get there, I want us to turn, in the New Testament, to the book of I Corinthians. It is right behind the book of Acts and the book of Romans. Chapter number 6, and we want to look at verses 9-11. While you are turning there, I just want us to know that God does not laser target those who have same-sex attraction. God is not fixated on those who are part of the homosexual community. In fact, what is really fascinating to me is, when you look at most of the passages in the Bible that relate to this subject matter, homosexual behavior is part of a list of behaviors that God says is not part of His will, that God would say is wrong. We see that very thing right here in I Corinthians 6:9-11. Let’s read through these verses, you can follow along. Paul is writing, he says,
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; (here comes, men and women, a list) neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (Then, he says in verse 11) Such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
Here is what I want us to notice from this particular set of verses, there is hope and help for everybody. There is hope and help for fornicators. Who are fornicators? Fornicators are those who have sex before marriage.
There is hope and there is help, it says, for idolaters. You say, ‘I’m not an idolater.’ Anyone is practicing idolatry when we worship something ahead of God.
There is hope and help here for adulterers, those who have been unfaithful to their spouse.
There is hope and help here for those who are thieves, those who steal things, whether it is from work or someplace else.
There is hope and help here for those who are covetous, those who sit around and desire so much to have what that person has.
There is hope and help here for those who are drunkards, for those who get high on drugs, for those who get drunk on alcohol. There is help and hope for them.
There is hope and help for those who are revilers. What does that really mean? It means verbal abusers. There is hope and help for them.
I am not going to ask for hands, but so many of us would have to put our hands up in one category or another. Yet, the beauty is, verse 11 is there. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified,” set apart unto a relationship with Me, “you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
I want you to think about that list. When he says to them, “Such were some of you, but you were washed, sanctified, and justified,” he is not saying, ‘You are no longer tempted to do any of those things.’ Listen, if you have a life-pattern problem with any of these areas, you are going to still, even after coming to know Jesus Christ, have the potential to be tempted in those areas. He is not saying, ‘Hey, you are no longer tempted to do any of those thing.’ What he is saying is, ‘You have now experienced victory, you are no longer defined by those things.’
Men and women, the issue is not the greatness of our sin, the issue is the greatness of the power of God. Every one of us are marred image bearers. I was just thinking early this morning and it just…my own weaknesses…my own tendency to do sinful and make sinful choices…it just humbles me. But, that is why Jesus died. That is why He died.
In the book of Isaiah, chapter 53, it is a chapter that really talks about the person of Jesus Christ, in verse 6, just some amazing phraseology there. It says this,
“All of us (everybody here today, everybody listening) like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way (we’ve all made choices to walk away from the will of God, all of us, each of us). But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all (no matter what may be besmirching our life) to fall on Jesus Christ.”
I just want everyone to know, no matter what your life situation may be, no matter what flavor of sinful rebellion you may have in your life, as I have in my own, that Jesus loves you. I want you to know that Jesus died for you. I want you to know that Jesus desires to deliver you and me from our sin. He wants to have a relationship with you. The most important message we could ever convey.
What a great thought it is when we look at our sin to hear Jesus Christ say, “Such were you, but you have been washed, you have been sanctified, you have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Not, to never have any trouble with temptation, but to experience victory.
I am going to ask the worship team to come and we are going to sing a closing song this morning. It is a song that has great lyrics in it. It is going to be an opportunity for every single one of us, who know Jesus, to be able to worship Him. It is called Before the Throne of God Above. I want to share some of the lyrics of that song with you. We will sing them in just a moment. The lyrics go like this:
Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea
A great high priest whose name is love, Who ever lives and pleads for me
When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look to Him, there Who made an end to all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free
For God, the just, is satisfied to look on Him, and to pardon me.
No matter what sin we may be dealing with in our life, men and women, nothing is impossible with God.
Lord, we need You! We are so grateful that the issue is not the greatness of our sin, but the greatness of Your transforming power. Thank You for Jesus who died to set me free.
Questions for Reflection on this message
“Current” Series Part 1
Have you ever been in a situation where a strong current was close to carrying you away? Explain.
“The homosexual movement is a spectrum.” How often do you think everyone in the homosexual culture gets lumped together?
We mentioned four categories of church reactions to homosexuality:
Permissive Church Judgmental Church
Indifferent Church Grace and Truth Church.
Since the church is made up of individuals that means each of us tends to display one of these categories personally. Which are you most prone to practice? Be honest.
How often have you witnessed some in the Christian community mocking gay people or making crass jokes about them? If it was YOU struggling with same sex attraction, what message would that send? How would that make you feel?
Reflectively read through the Primary Passages from Scripture that relate to the subject of homosexuality.
The Foundational passages:
Genesis 1:27-28 Genesis 2:18, 21-25 Matthew 19:4-6
What is the point of emphasis both from the “Book of Beginnings” (Genesis) and from Jesus regarding God’s plan and design?
The Pivotal passages:
Leviticus 18:6-23 Leviticus 20:10-16 Romans 1:21-32
How many different forms of sinful behavior are identified in these passages? List as many as you can.
When same sex issues are addressed, how would you summarize God’s directives?