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October 16, 2013


I'm with you all the way on this one! Fear of the topic and fear of the people who want to have a real 2-way conversation about the topic breeds a "lecture/Q&A"format. (It's the same with this generation not wanting an apologetics approach for why God exists and who he is.) It allows for the lecturer to maintain control of the results and not get "confused".

I love that you're bringing this up! We have personally seen too many young people turned away from God as a result of those who wanted to lecture instead of inviting conversation. Conversation means two ways, so thanks for modeling the art of conversation in the tone and words of your post!

I'm with you in wanting more of a focus on the question-asking, and frankly, I wish the "expert" had a better set of questions to present the person asking for advice. Wouldn't it help "Todd" to work out the difference between his gender-expression and his same-sex attraction, for instance? Even if at the end of the day he's convinced that celibacy is his only option, say, how will he sort out his identity as a single man who might not be into stereotypical "man" stuff?

I'd also really like to see a set of useful questions for younger children to consider, for instance if you have a child who loves a best friend of the same sex so much that he/she is putting a lot of thought into how to marry that friend when they grow up. It's anything but simple, especially when children are more and more likely to encounter families with two moms or two dads.

Thanks, Linda. I've often thought that the church ought to be the safest place on the planet to talk about sexuality, especially for adolescents who are on a quest for identity. Research gives us plenty of evidence that college students leave the church because they were never allowed to process questions and ideas, but were dictated a particular identity. Unfortunately, when many churches see their students leave the faith, their response is to retrench and give more answers with greater urgency, thus driving inquisitive teens even farther away at faster and faster speeds. This self perpetuating cycle is very obvious once you spend anytime at all with college students. Thanks again.

Liv, you've nailed some important questions. Dwelling on whether homosexuality is right or wrong (and continuing to argue the evidence for either position over and over again) does nothing to help a teen who is wondering how to interact with the girl in the next desk who was a boy last year. EVERY student I know knows someone who is LGBTQ. Theological debates mean nothing to them and seclusion in a churchly fortress is a failed strategy. Thanks for the comment!

When you have lost the moral compass as we have in this world today you can ask all the questions you want and converse all you want but you will never find an answer. Until you have that moral compass or know where to find one you are lost. Here's a question for you, how is homosexuality different than any other sin? It's not. Back in the old days people were excommunicated from churches for unrepentent sin. Separation from community meant something. Now you just go somewhere else where your sin is accepted. Pretty easy in the apostacy of the church that we have going on today. If a person is a true christian they will realize their error and repent.
What kind of conversation are they going to have with God when they meet Him? Is he going to grade on a curve?

Tim - you seem to be disappointed by the scope of the article. Dr. Jones is obviously approaching the issue from a conservative position. But he is correct in saying that the biblical way is not easy, and in that respect he is entirely counter culture. The concepts of loving correction, of struggling against rather than giving in to our sinful tendencies, of being transformed by sacrificing ourselves are all lost on the world. Yet these ideas are vital to our walk as believers.

Unfortunately many in the Church have stigmatized homosexuality and made it into a "super" sin. We have done the same with many other sins while at the same time holding tightly to our dear sins of laziness, gluttony, gossip or pride. This obviously drives people away from the church and should be repented of by those who have erred in this way.

The opposite extreme is just as unfortunate and wrong. In an attempt to be accepting, nonjudgemental and tolerant some in the Church have simply ignored or interpreted away the clear biblical condemnation of certain behaviors.

The questions that teens are asking, or that we should be directing them to are the same questions we all should be asking regarding the world around us. How do I live next door to a neighbor who curses at his wife and and threatens my family? How do I work alongside a co-worker who brags of his weekend or nightly conquests? How do I remain faithful to Christ when the world is constantly pulling me in the opposite direction? How do I love the unlovable? How do I live with grace in a graceless world? How do I accept and not condemn?

Thanks, Dave, for the comment. I'm actually not reacting to conservatism. I'm much more concerned with how we move college students to understand the issues at play. The problem with BOTH conservative and liberal perspectives is that they are each fairly uncritical and dismissive. This only leads to a politicizing of the topic along party lines. Arrogance abounds. College students see right through this. They are on a quest for authentic dialogue. I believe that is absolutely essential for their faith development.
BTW, I couldn't agree more with your comment about "super" sins. And those questions you ask are primo! Thanks again!

I agree with David regarding the fact that we have made homosexuality (or any sexual sin really)a "super" sin. I find myself fighting with this concept in my own heart and mind very often. I worship next to liars, cheats, prideful and arrogant people every week. Yet, I have for most of my life been bothered by issues of homosexuality more than any of the others I just mentioned.

We will continue to struggle with having legitimate, open conversations as long as this attitude is unchecked.

I very much desire to have the heart of Christ in these situations. To see people as He sees them, rather than allowing these issues to distort my view of them.

Right on, Chris. I hope we always seek to have the heart of Christ. The tough work lies in being his Body when we have disagreements about what he would actually do and say in our contemporary context. The hardest thing to do on this journey toward Christ is be a community of Jews and Gentile, slave and free, etc. Thanks!

Tim, perhaps some clarification may be in order. If you are saying that we as believers should be engaging the world in dialogue, stretching out beyond the four walls of the sanctuary, listening with compassionate hearts and sharing the gospel in a winsome way then I wholeheartedly agree. On the other hand, if the suggestion is that we should train up our children in a value neutral way, eschewing clear biblical truth, then I must disagree. The difference is a straight forward one: the church is divinely established for training, reproving, rebuking, exhorting believers. Sound doctrine MUST be taught in the church. If I can't teach sound doctrine at church, where can I? I occasionally teach in our church's high school group, and the kids are welcome to ask any question they please. My desire is to answer with a biblically sound, God honoring reply. But there will be no doubt when God's word speaks clearly and unequivocally--truth will be taught. I understand that students don't want to choose one side or the other. But Tim, they must choose. Our Lord was most clear on this point: no servant can serve two masters.
Just as an aside regarding dialogue: My workplace has informed me that my opposition to gay marriage is considered workplace harassment--I'm not even allowed to engage in dialogue! I'm not so sure that the world wants to consider the possibility that there is absolute truth, and that it is knowable, and that it is revealed in God's word.

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