Additional Resources on Homosexuality

Last night I got home from Willow about 10:30 pm. I was really late getting home. Anyone have some Reconcilosec? (Film Festival inside joke) But my wife wasn't worried because she was deeply engaged in a documentary on PBS about a gay men's chorus. It followed their life experiences as a group and individually.

Julie's heart was broken by one moment in the film. Almost every man recounted how his church abandoned him. One man told the story of how as an 18 year-old he was unexpectedly brought before the congregation, accused of being a homosexual with evidence from a secret council, and then excommunicated before all.

I don't know how to love gay people the way Jesus would and does. As a pastor and leader, I don't know exactly how the Church should engage people who are gay and their families. In the blog comments Wednesday, someone mentioned a lesbian couple in their church that was fully accepted until they had a child and it came time for Baby Dedication before the church. What do you do?

There are no easy answers.

We wanted to provide you with some additional resources to help you as you prayerfully seek answers for you and your own ministry context.

Nothing we could offer would be able to do all of the work for us,, but our hope is that these materials would be helpful to you as you seek scripture and the Spirit for guidance.

“Is God … Homophobic?”

MP3 of a recent Message from Gene Appel, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek

Peppermint Filled PiƱatas
Book by Eric Bryant

Podcast of a recent message from Erwin McManus, Lead Pastor and Cultural Architect of Mosaic


Kathleen Sullivan Isacson said...

Ok, I know I am now officially blogging obsessively - but seeing as I'm obliged to stay up waiting for a friend, this has been enjoyable way to process over the last three days.

Thanks for tackling the hard subjects, and for treating them with eyes and words of love. people often ask for tolerance, but but tolerance is cold and lifeless. Compassion, even in disagreement, is warm, alive and full of hope. It is a far better gift to give.

Sarah Trommer said...

Wow what a great response!

Maggie said...

Tough love is a killer, but I think God calls us to it. I say that, not because I'm thrilled about using it, but because I know it works if it doesn't kill you.

Even David wrote pained expressions feeling "friends had judged, left, and abandoned him" in his time of need. Sometimes it was unjust...sometimes, it seems justified. The reason he could not see that it was justified is because he was deceived and blinded by his own sin. That is where I was, and I spoke the same way. As the lover of sin began to prove unfaithful, I sought again those friends whose love and wise counsel I could still trust.

I didn't need wishy washy friends. I needed friends willing to even sacrifice our friendship in hopes that I would come to full truth and live in it's freedom. It nearly made me bitter. It nearly killed me. It nearly swallowed me up in it's pain and lonliness. But, I found God there.

The church is great, but sometimes, we have to practice being the Prodical Father and trusting God with the rest, even the slander of the church--divorced people say terrible things abuot the church. Let's not mention they may walked in all sorts of sin, deceit and selfishness it was having to try to navigate. They don't want to really talk about the wear and tear they put on it there. I'm sure the church can be cruel, but many times, I'm finding it is, in actuality their own fatigue holding up their own pained and false stories that caused them to leave, not the church.

We do have to be concerened with views of the church, but hurting people will always say hurtful things. We can only do so much--God is our vindicator and defender. He will take care of that. We just have to keep being the church.

Jeff said...

In response to the last post... be careful about generalizing!... "Divorced people say terrible things about the church." I, for one, am among the "divorced people," and I have a major leadership role in my church. When this happened in my life, my pastor assured me that I would always be welcome in my leadership role. The experience I went through has helped others in my church. My divorced happened for reasons beyond my control, after years of praying and doing everything in my power to keep my marriage together.

If I had been at a church where I heard generalized comments like those presented in the previous post, I would not have felt loved by God's people. "Tough love," as you call it, is appropriate in many situations. But if tough love is called for, it needs to be presented in a loving way. There are times when tough love is inappropriate and damaging. "Slander" can go both ways. Church people can slander a believer just as easily as a person can slander the church. Neither type of slander is acceptable. Putting the name of God behind it, does not make it right in God's eyes either.

Also, "hurting people will always say hurtful things"? Again, we should be careful about making blanket statements. If that statement is true, then the writer of the previous post must be hurting!

If we aren't careful, we will be perpetuating the attitude of the Pharisees. We all sin and fall short. All believers who are working towards a closer relationship with Christ and with fellow believers should be welcome into a congregation. We must remember that it is GOD who will do the real work within each of us. Our job is to provide a loving, accepting atmosphere in our church, which will help create a place where the relationship between that person and God can be cultivated.

Christopher said...

Hear! Hear! I salute your well-thought out response, jeff!