June 19, 2015

Is God Anti-Gay?

Every year our national team at the EFCA tries to call as many of our senior or lead pastors as possible. One of the questions I ask during my calls is: What are some of the cultural issues your leadership team is wrestling with and wishing you had more resources or help on?

Nearly half the leaders I spoke with identified the same-sex attraction and gay-marriage issue as one they are working to clarify their position on, and its implications for everyday ministry. This includes, but is not limited to, the implications for weddings, youth retreats, volunteerism, membership, etc.

After sending the following two resources to several pastors, I realized that many others would benefit from these resources as well and may not know they exist.

A Church Statement on Human Sexuality, a resource from the EFCA.

The EFCA Spiritual Heritage Committee has developed a helpful resource for church leaders entitled, A Church Statement on Human Sexuality with a specific focus on Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”. As stated on the download page, “This Statement, drawn from Scripture as our ultimate authority, sets forth a Christian vision of human sexuality as a good gift of God. The divine design for sexual expression within the commitment of marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the well-ordering of human society and is integral to human flourishing. We desire to articulate this ethic as moral truth binding on us all while recognizing our need of God’s grace and forgiveness in the ways that we all fall short of this divine ideal, specifically as it relates to homosexuality and same-sex ‘marriage’.”

The 2013 EFCA Theology conference theme was The Theology of Human Sexuality. Additional resources from that conference can be found here.

Is God Anti-Gay?, a resource from Village Church

The second resource that I find helpful is a very helpful video training entitled, Is God Anti-Gay? The video contains accessible lecture from Sam Allberry that was given at the Village Church where Matt Chandler pastors. Village also lists several other resources you may find helpful.

Allberry wrestled with same-sex attraction all his life. His lecture, and his book by the same title, is richly gospel-centered. Sam starts in the right place—starting with the nature of God and the nature of man rather than in the middle of the specific issue. In so doing so, the gospel does what the gospel always does: it levels the playing field for all, leaving no room for arrogance or self-righteousness.

Ideas for using these resources

  1. For Leadership: The EFCA’s A Church Statement on Human Sexuality document is a fantastic resource for elders and leadership teams to wrestle through together to create your church’s own position and policy.
  2. For Parents: Consider creating a short discussion guide for parents to go along with Sam Allberry’sEncourage them to watch 10-15 minutes at a time over a few weeks with their pre-teen and teenaged children. Challenge them to read the various scriptures together that Allberry surfaces and to spend more time dialoging than watching. Let kids’ questions surface. It’s OK to hit pause every 2-3 minutes if it is generating authentic questions.
  3. For Youth: These materials and resources would be very helpful in next year’s sex talk. Today, teenagers need a more robust Christ-centered vision and theology of sex; more than just the pragmatics about dating and how far is too far. Then, from that foundation they need help with the implications for everyday life.
  4. For Youth Volunteers: Have your youth volunteers watch Sam’s lecture prior to your series on sexuality. In fact, consider inviting your whole youth team to your home to watch 30-45 minutes and dialogue over a meal together. You’ll find that you are not only prepping the team to lead students, but you’ll be helping them grow as well.

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