This is a growing collection of resources to help familiarize Christians with the current debate on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and how we can better love and minister to the GLBTQ community.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH?
Here’s a good place to start if you’re wondering what the Bible teaches and how both sides make their case for or against same-sex relationships:
In People to Be Loved, Preston Sprinkle challenges those on all sides of the debate to consider what the Bible says and how we should approach the topic of homosexuality in light of it. In a manner that appeals to a scholarly and lay-audience alike, Preston takes on difficult questions such as how should the church treat people struggling with same-sex attraction? Is same-sex attraction a product of biological or societal factors or both? How should the church think about larger cultural issues, such as gay marriage, gay pride, and whether intolerance over LGBT amounts to racism? How (or if) Christians should do business with LGBT persons and supportive companies?
Simply saying that the Bible condemns homosexuality is not accurate, nor is it enough to end the debate. Those holding a traditional view still struggle to reconcile the Bible’s prohibition of same-sex attraction with the message of radical, unconditional grace. This book meets that need.
Andy Marin was caught off-guard when his three best friends came out to him in three consecutive months. Suddenly the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community – people he’d always seen as “out there” both literally and figuratively – were up close and personal. How could he reconcile his friends to his faith? That question has become his life’s work.
Why are so many people who are gay wary of people who are Christian? Do LGBTQ people need to change who they are? Do Christians need to change what they believe? Love Is an Orientation elevates the conversation from genetics to gospel and builds a bridge between these two communities – a bridge that leads straight to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Download for free the Introduction to Love is an Orientation and learn the circumstances of what led a straight, Bible-banging homophobe to get started on this bridge building path.
“Gay,” “Christian,” and “celibate” don’t often appear in the same sentence. Yet many who sit next to us in the pew at church fit that description, says author Wesley Hill. As a celibate gay Christian, Hill gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God’s “No” to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God’s will for believers who experience same-sex desires? Those who choose celibacy are often left to deal with loneliness and the hunger for relationships. How can gay Christians experience God’s favor and blessing in the midst of a struggle that for many brings a crippling sense of shame and guilt? He advocates neither unqualified “healing” for those who struggle, nor their accommodation to temptation, but rather faithfulness in the midst of brokenness. “I hope this book may encourage other homosexual Christians to take the risky step of opening up their lives to others in the body of Christ,” Hill writes. “In so doing, they may find, as I have, by grace, that being known is spiritually healthier than remaining behind closed doors, that the light is better than the darkness.”
Hays’ chapter on homosexuality puts forth a consistent ethic of sexuality that is based in God’s design, Scriptural support, and the tradition of the church. Read full chapter free HERE.
SUPPORT & TRAINING:
The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender is a collaboration of Christian pastors, leaders and theologians who aspire to be the Church’s most trusted source of theologically sound teaching and practical guidance on questions related to sexuality and gender.
We seek to address two primary needs in the church. One, to help leaders cultivate a more robust biblical ethic of marriage, sexuality and gender. Two, to help churches and organizations create a safe and compassionate environment for LGBT+ people, their families, and anyone wrestling with their sexuality or gender identity.
To meet these two needs, we seek to educate not only pastors and leaders, but to help these leaders educate the people they lead by providing small group material, educational videos, podcasts, blogs, youth curriculum, and other resources.
Grace/Truth 1.0 is a five-week small group learning experience that introduces Christians to LGBT+ people, the language to use and avoid, a theologically faithful view of marriage and sexuality, and practical guidance on how to embody the love of Christ toward sexual and gender minorities. This learning experience is designed for Bible studies, discussion groups, elder teams, pastoral staff, or any other small group of Christians who desire to engage questions of faith, sexuality and gender with both grace and truth.
Lead Them Home helps families connect well with LGBT and SSA loved ones. We help individuals build sustainable support in their lives. We offer free help to students who lack family support. Lead Them Home originates from a posture of having witnessed the devastating effects of culture war over homosexuality. At the heart of this decades-long cultural divide, many LGBT people have been wounded by an us versus them mindset. Some of them have been rejected by families. Others have felt pushed out of our churches. Many have sensed judgment and exclusion in our actions, attitudes and words.
The Marin Foundation: Building Bridges Within the Gay Community
YouthWorker Journal editor Steve Rabey talks with Andrew Marin about ways youth workers can reach out to gay and lesbian youth, and how in the past churches have failed to minister to those struggling with same-sex attraction in a Christ-like manner. Andrew is the director of The Marin Foundation, and the author of “Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community” (IVP). Learn more at: TheMarinFoundation.org.
A TESTIMONY: FREEDOM THROUGH RESTRAINT
This Q Talk brings new perspective to the debate over how Christians ought to engage important questions of sexual identity, homosexual practice and the church’s role. As a Christian lesbian, Julie Rodgers challenges us to consider how self-denial can lead to flourishing.
A REFLECTION ON IDENTITY, HOMOSEXUALITY, & CELIBACY
In a lecture on his new book entitled Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality, Dr. Wes Hill delves into his personal experience as a celibate gay Christian, Dr. Hill brings a unique and refreshing perspective on how one’s identity might fit into the larger narrative of God’s creative and redemptive work in the world.
THE OTHER VIEW: A CASE FOR AFFIRMING HOMOSEXUALITY
We believe its important to listen to and understand the other perspective. Matthew Vines presents a “full acceptance” view on the debate regarding the Bible and the role of gay Christians in the church. A great place to start if you want to see how the 6 key Bible text are treated by those who argue against the traditional view.
TIM KELLER RESPONDS TO THE ARGUMENTS FOR FULL ACCEPTANCE
Tim Keller Responds to Matthew Vines & Other’s Arguments for Acceptance. Read here.
Vines responds directly to Keller here.
HOW SHOULD CHURCHES APPROACH THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY?
Dr. Preston Sprinkle reminds us that we are not dealing with an issue to be debated but people to be loved.
Pastor Greg Boyd addresses a “third way” for churches to approach gay people, as well as the marriage amendment vote in Minnesota.
BLOGS & PODCASTS:
The Grace/Truth podcast is a safe space where we discuss issues related to faith, sexuality & gender. Some of the podcasts address issues we find relevant for this discussion, while others respond to questions you may have. Listen
Created out of frustration with the prevailing narratives about homosexuality in orthodox Christian circles. We believe in a traditionally Christian sexual ethic: that God created human beings male and female, and that any sexual intimacy outside of a faithful, lifelong marital union of a man and woman is contrary to His plan. But we also believe that marriage is not the only way of life God calls us to, and so we seek to explore different ways of serving God in celibacy. And Christ-centered friendship is, we believe, essential to that task.”
Hill Shares how Eve Tushnet taught him that living without sex doesn’t mean living without love.