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Ministering to Gay Christians*

posted Nov 9, 2015, 10:31 AM by First Baptist


 I listen to a number of podcasts each week and I found one this past week to be particularly interesting, even fascinating.

 

The name of the podcast (available on iTunes) is the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. Nieuwhof is a Canadian pastor & author.

 

The title of the episode last week was “A Gay Man’s Perspective on What He Wishes was Different in the Church.” It was an interview (almost 2 hours) with Aaron Harris, who is an evangelical Christian, an attorney, and yes, a homosexual.

 

As an attorney, Mr. Harris (I’ll call him Aaron now) is extremely articulate, well-informed, and has an amazing story to tell.

 

Aaron’s Story

 

Starting in 6th grade and continuing for several years, Aaron was sexually abused by an older male in his church. Eventually, he told his youth pastor, who handled it very well, as did his parents (his father was the senior pastor).

 

Aaron doesn’t know what “caused” his same-sex attraction – whether it was the early experiences he had or something he was born with. All he knows is that the abuse was followed by years of promiscuous homosexual behavior, as well as addiction to both pornography and cocaine.

 

Aaron was ostracized by the church and on the receiving end of many cruel remarks. Somebody even suggested he should commit suicide to deal with his homosexuality. Aaron regularly pleaded with God to take away his same-sex attraction, yet the attraction remained. At times, he became so desperate he would purposefully overdose on drugs, hoping to end his pain.

 

Eventually, Aaron found his way back to God, stopped using drugs, and is presently living a celibate life.

 

Two Lapses

 

In the interview, Aaron was vague about whether he thought it was acceptable for a Christian to enter into a monogamous, lifelong relationship with another person of the same sex. He explained that many Christians think it is okay and he provided a lawyer-like summary of how they justify it from Scripture. I wish the interviewer would have pressed him a bit more on this.

 

I also didn’t care for how Aaron said the church ought to put theology/doctrine aside when interacting with homosexuals and, instead, just love them. He asserted that’s what Jesus did with people. I don’t think Jesus’ ministry can be characterized that simply. Truth and love are not mutually-exclusive; you need both for a healthy relationship. Indeed, the New Testament prescribes pretty strong discipline for a member who is sinning repeatedly in an ostentatious manner and refuses to repent.

 

 

Helpful & Beneficial

 

Despite these “lapses,” I found the interview extremely helpful. Aaron encourages us (the church) to be careful with our words, including our use of the so-called “clobber” verses in Scripture (i.e., the verses Christians often use to clobber gay people). As a young teenager, perhaps when his life could have gone in a different direction, Aaron’s spirit was crushed by the cruel & insensitive words of people in his church.

 

Aaron also encourages the church toward compassion and humility. He doesn’t know a single gay Christian who hasn’t begged God to remove their same-sex attraction. Also, he doesn’t know a single heterosexual who hasn’t committed sexual sin in some way, shape or form (and probably on a fairly regular basis).

 

Hardly a week goes by now where I don’t deal with the “gay issue” in some respect. This was a very timely & beneficial interview.

 

 

Pastor Dan

 

*Some believe that “gay Christian” is an oxymoron – that you can’t be a Christian if you’re gay, or you can’t be gay if you’re a Christian. That isn’t right. “Gay” simply means having same-sex attraction, the cause of which we don’t know. The issue is how the person deals with their same-sex attraction or longing. Do they embrace it & act on it? Or, do they seek to submit their sexuality to the lordship of Christ?

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