Homosexuality: 10 Ways to Love Biblically

 

Homosexuality: 10 Ways to Love Biblically

 

A month or so ago I started a series of posts on homosexuality and transgender issues. Now that the holidays are over I want to pick up where I left off. Last year I attended the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors annual conference where homosexuality was the main theme. Much of what I’ll share comes from my conference notes. I’ll endeavor to give specific credit wherever I can.

In the first post, Homosexuality: What set the stage?, I discussed the cultural changes that got us here.

In the second post, Homosexuality: Many Voices, I talked about the various view points on homosexuality and why biblical Christianity and the relevance of God’s Word are at stake.

In this post I want to discuss 10 practical ways we as Christians can love biblically when it comes to our transgender and homosexual friends and family members.

Matthew 22 in the New Living Translation says this:

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

We are called to love our spouses, to love our neighbors, and to love our friends and family members. We are even called to love our enemies. While we don’t want to confuse love with acceptance in the area of lifestyle, it doesn’t matter where on that continuum someone is, we are called to love.

One of the most powerful testimonies at the conference was that of Rosaria Butterfield. Rosaria is a former tenured professor of English at Syracuse University. In spite of what she termed a normal childhood and adolescence, she became a feminist and lesbian, even more, a vocal spokesperson for that agenda. Continue reading

Homosexuality: “Many Voices”

 

Homosexuality: Many Voices

There are many voices talking about this issue of homosexuality: secular, so-called Christian, and biblical. How do you know what is right and what is wrong?

We are living in a world that continues to spiral out of control when it comes to morality, especially in the area of homosexuality and transgender issues.

As I said in the first post in this series, what was once condemned is now celebrated as good and right and anyone who disagrees is attacked and condemned.

In that post I, also, talked about the changes that took place to set the stage for the moral revolution we are now experiencing. If you missed it you can read it here.

Much of the information for this series comes from a conference I attended recently put on by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors where homosexuality and transgender were the main themes. But the bigger theme of the conference was how to minister to people who are struggling with these issues in ways that are biblically appropriate and full of God’s grace. I’ll endeavor to give specific credit wherever I can.

In this post I’ll be talking about the battleground of ideas and what is at stake. This is an issue that is not going away and each of us needs to learn what the Bible says, what other voices are saying, and how to minister the truth as God gives us opportunities. Continue reading

Homosexuality: What set the stage?

 

Homosexuality: Setting the Stage for a Moral RevolutionIt’s easy to condemn and criticize out of hand what is now accepted, condoned, even mandated, especially when it comes to homosexuality, trans-gender issues, and sexual immorality, in general. And as believers we should be concerned about the changes in morality in our nation and the world.

But what is our responsibility? How should we respond to those we meet who are struggling with these issues? How should we respond to those who don’t seem to be struggling at all, but instead, are “in our face” about what they consider our unloving, even hateful, attitudes?

What set the stage for the moral revolution that is taking place in our world today? Does all the responsibility lie with the LGBT community and other non-believers or do we bear some of it?

I recently attended the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky where homosexuality and transgender were the main themes. The conference was incredibly helpful and informative and I want to share some of the information with you in a new series of posts. Much of what I’ll share comes from my conference notes. I’ll endeavor to give specific credit wherever I can. Continue reading

May 10 “Use what you have”

We often look at others and wish we had their gifts and talents. We think about our mistakes and, sometimes even, our family history. And we wonder … can God really use me?

can God really use me

Today’s Readings:
1 Samuel 22 & 23
Psalm 59.6-17
Proverbs 16.1-2
John 1.1-28

1 Samuel 22 & 23:

Use what you have!

Have you ever wondered about your spiritual gifts? Or lamented the fact that you don’t have certain talents? Even wondered if you were good at anything?

It’s so easy to look at someone with great musical abilities or teaching gifts or success in the business world and wish that were you.

Perhaps it’s education you believe you lack or experience or opportunity.

Or maybe it’s your past mistakes or your family history or even your race that you believe keeps you from being used by God.

I hope you’ll take some time to read and consider this passage. Look at the men described here … men who would later be called David’s “mighty men.”

“… everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented …” (v. 22.2). These were not the elite or the talented. These were not the princes or the royalty. They were probably not well educated or polished. There were the guys not making it some place else.

Yet … God would make a mighty army out of them. They would one day march into Jerusalem. They would become the king’s men.

But what if they had stayed home and simply bemoaned the fact that they weren’t well bred or well educated or born into different circumstances? Instead, they took a risk. They had to leave something behind and go where God was working.

What do you need to do to be used by God? Is there something you need to leave behind? Do you need to quit grumbling and complaining and get in motion? Where do you see God working?

can God really use me

Maybe you don’t have a degree in theology. Maybe you don’t have a degree at all. But you can go to a Bible study. You can pray and look for someone to disciple you. Perhaps you need to start working on that degree or get some other training. Maybe you can take classes on line. You can read books … or listen to podcasts. There is a wealth of information out there!

Perhaps you don’t have the experience to teach a class right now. But you can volunteer to be an assistant and let that teacher mentor you. Maybe you aren’t the soloist, but you can join the choir. Start where you are. Use what you have available to you. God can do great things with those who will humbly and obediently make themselves available to be used by Him.

One example

I spend a lot of time helping and encouraging men and women who want to be involved in Biblical counseling, for example. There is an abundance of resources and opportunities to get trained today. Many of them are free and doable from home even with kids and jobs and other responsibilities.

Maybe you just want to be better equipped to help or able answer questions when friends ask for advice. There is a wealth of information and training available through the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship … much of it absolutely FREE!

Many Bible teachers offer their sermons and notes online. There are podcasts, audios, and even, video recordings. (I’ve listed a few below.)

Get in motion! God can and will use you, if you’ll be faithful with the opportunities you have (Lk. 19.11-27)! God is a great Rewarder of faithfulness!

It’s not always smooth sailing

Let’s go on with our passage. Notice how David sought God in these verses, and as he did, God blessed and protected him. But also see how his decision in chapter 21 to deceive Ahimelech had far reaching consequences. David recognized that fact and took responsibility for it in 22.22.

But what about the priests? Why did they have to suffer the consequences of David’s actions?

Walking with the Lord, even stepping out in faith to be used by Him in a new way, doesn’t mean their won’t be setbacks or struggles.

God doesn’t guarantee us a life free of pain and suffering, but in 1 Peter 3 we’re told, “… even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed (v. 14) … For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (v. 17). Continue reading