This a Part 2 of the “Tough Question--A Christian Response To Homosexuals?” This was the sermon Pastor Dan preached on August 30, 2009 at Parma Heights Baptist Church. After his sermon, he then interviewed two Christian gentlemen who left the homosexual lifestyle they were in. This post picks up with their stories which I found both fascinating and mind boggling. Both these men sought help from The Way Out non-profit ministry to gain freedom from homosexuality and found it.
Bill’s Story: Bill had a background of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. He was an Eagle Scout. By the age of 10 he had been abused by eight different men. Growing up, he began to notice boys but thought it was just a phase--it wasn’t but it didn’t feel right to him. In college he became actively involved in the “Lifestyle Choice” group. He went to church and heard Romans 7 preached talking about the inner struggle the apostle Paul had and identified with that.
Jeff’s Story: He grew up in a loving Christian home. At age 9 he was molested by an older boy. He was saved at the age of 10 but had feelings towards other boys. He felt God rejected him and that he was an abomination to God. He went about seeking to earn God’s love by going to a Bible college to become a Pastor. He thought certainly God would love him then. In college, he got a homosexual roommate and so he continued in that lifestyle and did not become a Pastor. Then he figured if he got married and just had a “normal” home, that would do it. He got married and lived a double life for 15 years. He went to a men’s conference and got counseling.
Here are the questions Pastor Dan asked them and their answers:
1. As a Christian who has/is struggled with same-sex attraction, what message does the church need to hear?
Jeff: Show love and kindness to homosexuals.
Bill: Don’t say homosexuality is a choice because it just proves you really don’t understand. Show patience, compassion, love and try to understand that it is an urge that we don’t control but that we don’t have to give into and act on it.
2. How can the church (Christians) minister to those struggling with homosexuality?
Jeff: The myth is that we’re born this way and can’t change.
Bill: Realize that acting out is a sin but thinking and desiring men is a temptation, not a sin. Help by realizing a change in desire is necessary. I turned from desiring to act out on my urges to desiring to develop a relationship with Jesus. The opposite of homosexuality is not being straight, but being holy.
3. How do I respond to a homosexual family member who is living with a partner? Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, family get-togethers… I don’t want to condone or accept their lifestyle, but Christ calls us to reach out in love and compassion. How do we do that? What does that look like?
Jeff: Let Jesus shine through you and realize that everyone is entitled to God’s grace.
So, be nice, people! I must admit I find it creepy if I see two guys or two women kissing, but condemning them or labeling them and name calling is certainly not acceptable. I admit I don’t understand homosexuality but do know that God loves them too!