A Conversation About Gender & Sexuality

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

Series Summary: Wk 2 | Chris talked about our posture as a Church with our LGBTQ+ friends 

Framework for our time: 

    1. What’s the question, problem, misconception, that needs to be discussed? 

    2. What does the Bible say about how we as Christians (those who plead to Jesus for mercy) live? 

Tonight, I’ll give you things to wrestle with this week that will guide our time in Scripture next week.  

We all have a framework, a perspective on how we see things. This is the authority by which we see & determine what holds weight in our lives, thus becoming our core beliefs. 

4 AUTHORITIES 

Authority because we give it weight in our lives. 

Authority is a set glasses we see through. This forms our identity, our community, & purpose

    • Identity: who I say I am, and in term the actions/behavior I will live 

    • Community: those around me with shared beliefs and practices 

    • Purpose: why I am here on this planet 

  1. SCRIPTURE 

    • Interpretation of Scripture is very important... Theological word: hermeneutics

        • How to Read the Bible For All It’s Worth: great resource 

    • Exegesis - “to lead out of.” the exposition or explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis. That means that the interpreter is led to his conclusions by following the text.

        • The process of exegesis involves

          • 1) observation: what does the passage say? 

          • 2) interpretation: what does the passage mean? What is the context? 

          • 3) correlation: how does the passage relate to the rest of the Bible?

          • 4) application: how should this passage affect my life?

    • Eisegesis - “to lead into.” Inject your own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants. 

        • How we interpret the Bible has immediate implications on how we to live.

        • Jesus is more concerned with how we live our lives a than what’s stored in our brains (simple belief) 

2. CHURCH TRADITION 

    • Scripture forms the basis of Christian tradition. 

    • With Exegesis, It’s not about believers discovering new truths, but passing on truths to the next generation and addressing current issues in light of one’s faith.

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” - 2 Timothy 2:2

    • Dr. Mark Yarhouse, Psychologist and director of the Institute of Sexual Identity at Regent College says, “There’s a traditional Christian sexual ethic seen in both Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions. That ethic is grounded in Scripture and has been held throughout the history of the Church. It would be a radical departure from church tradition for Christians to embrace same-sex behavior and relationships today. Those Christians who are making this shift seem to be doing so based on reason and personal experience rather than the teaching of Scripture or church tradition (28).” 

3. SCIENCE | REASON 

    • Scientific advances that have shed light on our understanding of same-sex attraction & behavior

    • The good: 30-40 years ago, there was a major shift in the mental health professional organizations declaring that homosexuality was no longer a mental disorder. 

    • There are several ways in which science and reason has tried to move the debate about homosexuality away from the church’s traditional sexual ethic. 

1. Commonness of Homosexuality: United Methodist Church council’s early study from 1991, states: “if the best scientific data seems to put the figure of gay and lesbian people in the 10% at 10% then you and I need to realize that 10% is such a large population that is could hardly be incidental.” 

2. Mental health: If it could be shown that homosexuality is a symptom of unmet emotional needs or difficulties in social adjustments, then it might point to problems in relating to God and other people. But if it can’t be shown, homosexuality is not pathological or otherwise an inversion, developmental failure, or deviant form of life, but is rather a human variant, one that can be healthy and whole.” 

3. Cause of sexual attractions: there has been no scientific data showing how same-sex attractions form. Are we born this way? Does our upbringing shape who we become? Past history of sexual abuse? Did we choose this? (Yarhouse) 

The challenge, the tension: we are called to faithful to God and his revealed will for our lives. We should be concerned with our behaviors more than our sexual orientation. 

Changing our orientation is one thing. 

4. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE 

    • It’s important to recognize that sexuality should be experienced as central to a person’s overall sense of identity. I think this was intended by God. We are inherently physical beings and sexual beings. So we don’t want to communicate that our sexuality is removed from who we are.

    • Some Gay Christians say that behavior and identity can’t be separated, other Christians who experience same-sex attraction do precisely that. 

    • We must ask what God thinks about same-sex oriented people or people who experience same-sex attraction - He would say, “I love them and understand far more than anyone, even them, what they are experiencing.” 

WE | APPLICATION 

The question: how do you define and live truth? 

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!” - John 14:6-7

Who is allowed and accepted to travel this road? 

We must make it easy for people to TRAVEL AND TRUST Jesus 

    • We want as many people possible trust in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection that rescues us. 

    • We must never under emphasize that 

    • When we look at Jesus in the Scriptures he is SO gracious to those who come to him with humility and especially those who were caught or confused sexually. 

Biblical mandate:

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” - John 15: MSG

Jesus loves us the way the Father loved him. 

We are to live in the same manner. 

Are you willing to lay down your life, your reputation, your comfort for the sake of another? 

Do I care more about their soul and salvation or them being straight? 

COMMUNION 

New Barna study: 45% of Evangelical Millennials say that evangelizing is wrong

    • Sifted: it’s a rejection on the method. 

    • For 30-40 years, all we had to do was tell people to the truth (truth bombs) & that’s our only part 

    • BELLS: Bless - Eat - Listen - Learn - Sent is the best way forward 

Rocks

OT | NT: Memorial or stone people who’ve sinned | outside city, excluded from community | until dead

You have a rock: take time to pray and then write it on a rock 

1. How have you and others condemned yourself? 2. How have you condemned others? 

    • Jesus nullified need for us to condemn someone. 

    • We are good at throwing rocks... at others and at ourselves. 

    • Instead lets drop our rocks. Instead of building walls between people, or throwing them at people, let them for a path that we meet to bless, eat, listen, learn, and proclaim the good news of Jesus life, death & res for us. 

The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news. - Mark 1:15

    • Repent: rethink what you believe about God and about yourself (this will change behavior eventually) 

    • Believe:  that Jesus took your condemnation and your need to condemn others to the cross. 

    • We are to live in light of our belief about who God is and who we are: children of God 

For those who trust Jesus, we must, above all other labels, believe in the mark of Child of God. 

Over LGBTQ+, straight, gay, transgender, cisgender, etc. These are human labels. 

We must, if we are to move forward according to Jesus, be will to be saved.  

Homework

What does the Bible say about same-sex sex? 

Read Leviticus 18 & Leviticus 20 | Romans 1 | 1 Corinthians 6 | 1 Timothy 1

We will look at these passages and learn how a traditional belief and affirming belief interpret these texts. 



NotesLaura Furman