Same-Sex-Attraction

Living in Grace and Truth

John 1:14 says Christ was “full of grace and truth”.  For him it is a natural combination that works in perfect unity.  But, for us, in our fallen world, it has broken apart,  often with truth at one end of a continuum,  grace at the other.
Truth___________________________Love________________________________Grace
For us, love is the messiness in the center where we endeavor to live in both grace and truth as Christ leads us.  For grace without truth is not grace but license – dangerous for all it contacts. Likewise truth without grace ceases to be truth -  is harsh, judgmental, legalistic, Pharisaic.   Neither of these extremes is love.

Every word counts - Proverbs 18:21  Words have the power of life and death.

“in the past, gay meant an identity closely associated with the rise of LGBT rights.  But a lot has changed in the last 15 years.  In today’s lexicon, gay no longer means an identity.  Most people under the age of 30 associated the term, not with identity or behavior, but with attraction.  Merrriam-Webster.com defines gay as ‘sexually attracted to someone who is the same sex’.  Dictionary.com has ‘of, pertaining to, or exhibiting sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one’s own sex; homosexual.’  The conservative  Christian world is one of the only place where gay still means primarily an identity associated with a sociopolitical community.  The problem develops when Christian use privatized language to define terms in contradiction to common lexical use is the risk of appearing as liars.  We know what we mean by our terms, but non-Christians don’t.  So when we say ‘I am not gay’ but in truth we still have same-sex attraction, we come across as frauds.  We defame the cause of Christ by the appearance of deception.” She asks:  “Have we broken fellowship, broken communion of the saints, with Christians who identify as gay because we can’t get our vocabulary and the theology from which it emerges squared up at the get-go? “     

 
Rosaria Butterfield – Openness Unhindered,  page 139

 

Advice from Dr. Leon and Angela Yuan 

Christopher Yuan's parents found they needed a paradigm shift in four areas:

• We are not the cause of our children’s faults.  Adam and Eve had the perfect father, and yet they still messed up!  God does not call us to raise Godly children, He calls us to be Godly parents.

• We are not the cure for our children’s problems. The father of the prodigal son did not pursue him in an attempt to fix him.  He waited expectantly for him to return when he was ready.

• Our children are not our own. They are God’s children who He entrusts to us.  Let Him handle them as they grow up and leave our home.  Our kids can become our idol.  Look first to God and be ready to lead them there also when they are ready.

• Love is: not enabling. We must each learn to face the consequences of our own choices and actions.  When we interfere with that process, we get in God’s way.  They spoke of Christopher and the hard road he traveled to the Lord.  They also spoke of his brother who has made “better choices” and looks like the “perfect son”, but has not found his real need for God.

 

PRAYER

When you pray for your loved ones.

1. FOCUS ON GOD
Rather than focusing on any problems, consider Peter as he walked on the water. Matthew 14:22-23.
Worship God for who He is and thank Him for the perfect plan He has for this person.

2. ASK GOD TO ALLOW YOU TO SEE THIS PERSON THROUGH HIS LOVING EYES.
Consider the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep, the lost son (Luke 15:1-24).
God does not look at the outside of a person, but at his heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

3. THANK GOD FOR ALL OF THIS PERSON'S POTENTIALS
Their abilities, skills, gifts and endearing qualitites – Everyone has some!  

"For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them." – Psalm 139:13-16

4. ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU A SPECIFIC PROMISE
A Scripture verse to claim in prayer for this person.   

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."
– John 1:5-7

5. ASK GOD TO BLOCK SATAN'S PLANS.  

 "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to ME, strengthen your brethren."
– Luke 22:31-32

6. ASK GOD TO MAKE THIS PERSON OPEN AND RECEPTIVE TO GOD'S VOICE.  

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." – Romans 8:5-6

"Behold, I have been standing at the door and continually knocking...." – Revelation 3:20

7. ASK GOD TO USE ANY MEANS NECESSARY
to dissolve this person's resistance to following the Holy Spirit's guidance.

 "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." – Romans 8:26

"The father prunes the branches so that they might produce good fruit." –  John 15:1-4

8. ASK GOD TO BLESS THIS PERSON
in a specific way so that there will be no doubt in this person's mind that the blessing is from God.  

"But, as it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.'"
– 1 Corinthians 2:9

9. ASK GOD TO MAKE YOU WILLING TO DO WHATEVER HE ASKS
you to do in the life of this person, even when it means doing nothing.

 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye." – Psalm 32:8

 

 

1. Four Principles to Remember When Your Child is Far from Home
Hutchcraft, R. (2015 December 16). Four Principles to Remember When Your Child is Far from Home. Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
View additional articles by Ron Hutchcraft

MEDIA

Video: People to Be Loved: Homosexuality and Grace - In this video, Preston Sprinkle challenges how we look at those living with SSA.

Podcast: A Conversation with my LGBT Friends -  In this audio podcast, Greg Coles and Preston Sprinkle discuss how words can be helpful/hurtful.

Video: Space at the Table - In this video, Evangelical theologian Brad, and his gay son Drew tell their story.

Video: Melinda Selmys: Transgender - In this video, Melinda Selmy advocates for a compassionate, empathetic approach to learning from and loving those in our communities who experience gender identity confusion.

Video: What is Gender Dysphoria? - In this video, Dr. Mark Yarhouse presents recent research on the topic of gender dysphoria for a helpful framework in the conversation of identity.

Video: Transgender Q&A - In this video, QIdeas President Gabe Lyons chats with Melinda Selmys and Dr. Mark Yarhouse to field questions about transgender identity.

Website: Walls Down - This website helps equip the Church to be competent caregivers and disciple-makers in the LGBT and SSA community.

 

BOOKS

The resources below are available at Bridge of Grace and Truth meetings:

Mobley, Ann If I Tell You I'm Gay, Will You Still Love Me?: One Mother's Journey to Truth and Grace 
The shocking revelation that her son was gay threw Ann Mobley into a lonely, emotional tailspin and triggered a decision to hide the appalling discovery from family and friends. But as troubling questions continued to swirl in her mind, she launched a desperate search for personal and biblical answers. How did God see her son? Was homosexuality the worst of sins? How could her son be gay? And would his homosexual lifestyle tear them apart?

Kaltenbach, Caleb Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction
Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family. But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian…and a pastor. 

Harper, Drew & Brad  Space at the Table: Conversations Between an Evangelical Theologian and His Gay Son
Writing to each other with compassion, grit, and humor, Brad and Drew take us on their journey as parent and child from the churches of middle America to the penthouses of New York's party scenes, through a pastor's–kid childhood and painful conversion therapy to the hard–won victories of their adult relationship. 

Transgender 

Geiger, Tim  What to Do When Your Child Says, “I’m Gay”
If your child said this, you are probably experiencing a combination of shock, denial, anger, confusion, and uncertainty. Despite your shock, you still want to respond well. What should you say? What questions should you ask? How do you move forward in your relationship? Geiger walks with readers through the ups and downs of dealing with your child’s revelation. With the wisdom and compassion of Scripture, he offers helpful advice for navigating the new complexities in our relationship with your child and hope for moving forward together.

Lead Them Home Ministries, Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones
“Guiding Families is, quite simply, the best resource I’ve ever read when it comes to navigating the often complex relationship between Christians and their LGBT+ loved one. This resource is short and accessible, and yet comes with years of experience from one of Christianity’s leading voices in the LGBT+ conversation. Whether you have an LGBT+ child, sibling, friend, neighbor, or co-worker, Guiding Families will help you love well without sacrificing your convictions.” – Preston Sprinkle, president of The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender

 

 

  

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