Monday, July 6, 2015

Helpful resources for addressing same-sex issues

The nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, the ascendancy of transgenderism and the growing acceptance of homosexual relationships likely are raising numerous questions for the church. As followers of Christ, we may be asking ourselves:

-- Can a Christian experience same-sex attraction?

-- How do I help a fellow church member who acknowledges his or her same-sex attraction?

-- How do I help my child who senses he or she is attracted to the same sex?

-- How do I befriend, love and evangelize a gay or lesbian person?

-- How do I respond if a friend or family member invites me to his or her same-sex wedding?

-- How do I talk to my children about these issues?

And those are only some of the questions we may be confronting or will confront.

While other Christian organizations have provided helpful resources, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has performed what may be the most beneficial service for Christians in partnership with The Gospel Coalition and the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas. It has collected many videos and articles at a central site: Equip: Same-sex Marriage and Homosexuality.

The resources at this site include 20 brief videos of answers from Sam Allberry on questions related to same-sex attraction. Allberry is a British pastor who wrote the book Is God Anti-gay? and has acknowledged he deals with same-sex attraction. The site also features one-on-one interviews with other pastors and specialists, as well as videos of speeches and panel discussions from the ERLC's conference in October on the gospel, homosexuality and marriage.

Here are some of the best resources to help you get started:

"How to Care for Your Gay Neighbor" -- Rosaria Butterfield, converted to Christ from a lesbian lifestyle, gives advice on loving homosexuals.

"Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert" -- ERLC President Russell Moore interviews Butterfield in a conference session with the same title as the book about her conversion.

"What Does It Mean to Be a Same-sex Attracted Person Who Is Also a Christian?" -- Allberry briefly provides a biblical answer.

"How Can Christians Minister to a Same-sex Attracted Member Who Is Experiencing Loneliness?" -- Allberry explains the importance of friendships within the church, especially to a same-sex attracted Christian.

"Is It Okay to Be Gay? A Candid Conversation on Christians and Same-sex Attraction" -- Moore interviews Allberry, Butterfield and two others in a conference panel discussion.

How Should You Talk to Your Children About Same-sex Marriage?" -- Moore provides counsel to parents in a blog post.

"Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage" -- This is a statement from a coalition organized by Moore in response to the Supreme Court's ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.