Upon the recommendation of a trusted mentor, I just finished reading Christy McFerren‘s First Steps Out: How Christians Can Respond to a Loved One’s Struggle with Homosexuality.
I cannot begin to count how many times a month I am approached as a Christ follower, lead pastor, and church planter with the question, “What are your beliefs on what the Bible teaches on the topic of homosexuality. Partially this is due to our church being fairly new within the community and partially because of the cultural climate and questions in which we live.
Maybe the better question is how has Christ called us to serve those who identify themselves to be a part of the LGBT community as well as how can we serve the families most affected. For such an approach, this book is a wonderful resource. The author speaks openly and honestly with those who are struggling with their same-sex attraction. In this way, she offering them an alternative to the extremes of “pride” on one side of the spectrum and “anger or shame” on the other. Her parents share insight from their experiences that encourage and equip family members through their own journey.
My favorite quote was when McFerren suggests, “When I first began to see and understand that this is what was at work in me, I started to rise up a little bit against it. The foundations of my faith gave me the understanding that I could and should call out to God for completion and identity in these areas instead of trying to draw it out of a relationship with a woman — or any human for that matter. The revelation came that I was engaging in idolatry, expecting wholeness and fulfillment from something and someone that wasn’t designed to give it to me, and I was valuing that as primary to God. It was angering and humiliating when I saw that I was underestimating my own womanhood and allowing some other woman to define what was rightfully and uniquely mine to express. This marked my freedom from the bondage of looking to women for affirmation in my womanhood, and I started looking for that affirmation in the mirror — the one I dressed in front of each day and the one this is the Word of God.”
I am praying for our family and church, that we would be messengers of the gospel to all people of all backgrounds. That we would show and share Jesus with truth and love. It will be far from easy and absolutely impossible without viable relationship.