A few days ago I was hanging out at the beach with about ten high school students from our church. As we were baking in the sun, one of our new students asked me, “Pastor Dana, what does the Bible say about homosexuality?” This student had friends at school who profess to be homosexuals and was trying to figure out what being faithful to Jesus looked like in those relationships. She loves her friends and she has been growing more serious about following Jesus. For her, it was time to get her thoughts in order.
A marvelous talk ensued. The other students immediately joined the conversation with enthusiasm and interest. Lots of good questions were asked and – with Bibles open – lots of good answers were explored. God’s hand was all over it because God’s Word was everywhere in it.
At the end of our conversation, among the many things we talked about, I made sure the students understood that, at the end of the day, there was one message that Jesus had for homosexuals and everyone else: repent and believe.
Sam Allberry, the author of Is God Anti-Gay? and a Christian pastor who himself struggles with same-sex attraction, unpacks the message well.
“Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” Mark 1:14-15
Repentance means turning around, to change course. The implication is pretty clear and a little uncomfortable: we’re not heading in the right direction. We’re like the elderly man I read about recently in our local newspaper: in a moment of confusion in the middle of the night, he’d ended up driving a mile or so on the wrong side of the motorway. Thankfully at the hour there was hardly anything coming the other way; if it had happened when the commuters were up, it might have been a very different story.
Jesus is claiming that we’re heading in the wrong direction, and that the rush hour of God’s purposes is heading toward us. We need to change direction and line up with what God is doing. And that means believing the gospel: the announcement that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can be put right with God; that we are being offered a fresh start to begin to live as God always meant us to. This is his message.
And it’s his message for all people. When Jesus burst onto the scene, he didn’t subdivide humanity into categories and give each one a separate message. One for introverts; another for extroverts. One for left-brain types, and one for right brain folk.
God’s message for gay people is the same as his message for everyone. Repent and believe. It is the same invitation to find fullness of life in God, the same offer of forgiveness and deep, wonderful, life-changing love. (Taken from Is God Anti-Gay?, p. 7-8).
Jesus’ message to homosexual sinners is the same message he offers every other sinner in the world: repent from your sin, stop traveling the wrong direction, and trust in Him as Savior and Lord (John 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). This message is not for any special category of people or certain type of sinner, but for all people, all sinners, everywhere. He loves you and wants you to turn away from a self-ruled life so you live under the restful, peaceful, and delightful rule of Jesus. Yes, turning to Jesus may be a train wreck for you, denying self always is, but it will lead to glorious life.
Some Resources on Homosexuality
If you would like to read more about how Christians should think and speak about homosexuality, the following should be helpful.
- “How Should We Speak About Homosexuality” by Denny Burk (Article)
- “50 Resources for Equipping the Church on Homosexuality & Same-Sex Marriage” by Joe Carter (Article)
- “Why We Always Lose (the Homosexuality) Debate” by Trevin Wax (Article)
- “How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go” by Trevin Wax (Article)
- “How Do I Talk to My Kids About Homosexuality?” by Seth Stewart (Article)
- “Not That Kind of Homosexuality” by Kevin DeYoung (Article). This leans toward a more scholarly end and addresses the many revisionist arguments issued by proponents of homosexual practice within Christianity.
- “Is God Anti-Gay?” by Sam Allberry (Book, 83 pages)
- “What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?” by Kevin DeYoung (Book, 160 pages)
- What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung (Sermon)
- Livingout.org (Website)
For further reflections from Sam Allberry, check out the video below.
Sam from Living Out on Vimeo.
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