Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Six helpful resources for those seeking an evangelical Christian perspective on homosexuality

Because of the bias of the liberal press, Steve Chalke’s recent endorsement of permanent gay partnerships and the extreme unorthodox views of the ‘Accepting Evangelicals’ group, to which he belongs, have had an unhelpfully disproportionate amount of media coverage.

Many Christians are understandably confused.

I received this letter this week which I think is not an atypical experience.

I am publishing it anonymously with permission and have removed the name of the church.

‘My husband and I worship at a leading conservative evangelical Anglican church and we value the teaching we receive there. Our adult children come from different angles, one from a traditional evangelical church in London, the other from a more liberal Christian background. The recent Steve Chalke article will highlight the differences in our views. I have tried to find support for the evangelical views to enable us to discuss this from an informed evangelical point of view. Your blog has been useful but I wonder if you have any further areas you could direct us to? I would appreciate any help you can offer.’

So, here are some articles and resources that I hope are helpful (each title is hyperlinked)

1.A battle I face


Vaughan Roberts is Rector of St Ebbes Church in Oxford and a popular Christian author and conference speaker with an international ministry. He has also struggled personally with feelings of same-sex attraction. This testimony was published in Evangelicals Now last year and is clear, biblical, passionate and pastoral.

2.How can the Gospel be good news to gays?

Sam Alberry is associate pastor at St Mary’s Church in Maidenhead. This brief article is clear and compassionate taking a firm biblical stance on the issue but arguing that people with homosexual orientation need more grace and not less.

3.The Bible and Homosexuality

Greg Downes is theologian in residence at Christianity Magazine. This article which unpacks a traditional evangelical understanding of homosexuality appeared initially as part of a head to head with Steve Chalke but it has had very little publicity. It is an excellent overview of the main Scriptures and links to a longer article going into more detail.

4.Biblical and pastoral responses to homosexuality

This new book, published last summer by the Evangelical Alliance gives ten affirmations clearly setting out EA’s position on the subject. In explaining these affirmations it reviews biblical and scientific material and explores the pastoral outworking of an evangelical position. It will especially be of help to church leaders and pastoral workers as well as those with same-sex attraction seeking to live faithfully as Christian disciples.

5.Unwanted same sex attraction

This booklet was published just over a year ago by Christian Medical Fellowship and is jointly written by an evangelical theologian and a professor in psychiatry. It sets out a framework for Christian ministry among people with same-sex attraction which is psychologically rigorous, theologically orthodox and pastorally sensitive.

6.Homosexuality

This is an article in the CMF File series which gives a basic overview of the subject of homosexuality from both a Christian and Medical perspective. Although I wrote it ten years ago before the Equality Act most of the material is still very much up to date. It is available in photocopiable pdf format so makes a useful handout.

16 comments:

  1. It's also important that evangelicals become much more aware of the likely connection between 'same-sex marriage', the normalisation of homosexuality and population contrrol on a global level. Most evangelicals in Britain are not. In addition, not enough evangelicals realise the sexism involved - the push for 'same-sex marriage' in the churches will lure men away from their wives and further the sex-ratio imbalance which is keeping faithful Christian women single against their will, and against God's will really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. >> the push for 'same-sex marriage' in the churches will lure men away from their wives and further the sex-ratio imbalance which is keeping faithful Christian women single against their will

      I haven't read such utter tripe in a long time. For goodness sakes. This is an insult to all married men - I highly doubt I will "lured" away from my wife and into the arms of some hairy bloke just because gay activitists want SSM.

      As for christian women, perhaps they're single because there are fewer christian men than there are women - generally speaking, women tend to be more spiritual and open to the gospel than men. The solution would be to convert more *men* to christianity, not bleat on about homosexuality.

      Delete
    2. Why then does the sexual 'revolution' result inevitably in first-rate Christian women remaining single in ever-greater numbers when over 90% of women would prefer to be married - a situation completely out of kilter with any other society or age? Because men are now allowed to have their cake and eat it. The homosexuality revolution is squarely part and parcel of this same damaging sexual revolution which claims to be liberalising on the surface but produces slavery. Dr Christopher Shell

      Delete

    3. >> Because men are now allowed to have their cake and eat it

      Are you suggesting that most men are, by nature, bi-sexual? That is yet more tripe. I suspect bi-sexuals, like homosexuals, make up a very small minority of all men.

      I, for one, have never been attracted to another man, and find the very thought of having sex with someone of the *same* gender sickening (gay folk may well find the thought of having sex with a member of the *opposite* gender sickening).

      Methinks you have some sort of internal struggle with your own sexuality, matey. You need counselling. Perhaps Peter can suggest a therapist.

      Delete

    4. Btw, the sexual revolution that allows a man to "have his cake and eat it too" refers to the sexual promiscuity of heterosexual men (and women) - men can have all the casual sex they want, without the constraints of marriage.

      This is the real problem we should be addressing.

      Delete
    5. Correct, I was referring to the removal of restraints on sex outside marriage. NOT to what you suggested first time round! Dr Christopher Shell

      Delete
  2. that is utter tripe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes it is....as if man's sin can stop the will of God!

    ReplyDelete
  4. May I also recommend a book called 'The Same Sex Controversy' by Dr James R. White which looks at all the Bible verses which mention homosexuality, explaining them in their original context AND refutes all of the arguments used by Christians and non-Christians alike who would say homosexuality is compatible with a Christian walk.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Robert Gagnon states his case rather bluntly, but he presents a robust biblical case
    http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homosexScripReallySays.doc.pdf
    http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/ScripturalPerspectives.pdf
    http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/HomosexHowBadIsIt.pdf

    Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson and Robert George give an excellent defence of marriage, which can be downloaded here
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722155
    (Their book, "What is Marriage?" is available on kindle, and is well worth buying)

    John Finnis has an excellent and enlightening article here

    http://www.princeton.edu/~anscombe/articles/finnismarriage.pdf


    Graham

    ReplyDelete
  6. Re: single women. It depends what you mean by "God's will". Can we honestly say that it is God's *perfect* will that there is such a shortage of single unmarried Christian men in churches? Is it really God's *perfect* will that most churches seem utterly uninterested in this missing demographic? If, as statistics are to be believed, and single Christian women outnumber single Christian men three to one, is it really God's *perfect* will that 2/3 of Christian have lifetime celibacy to look forward to? Quite clearly, God *can* allow these circumstances to develop and can use them to His glory. But absolutely none of it absolves the UK Church of it's appalling neglect of the evangelization of young men and its direct impact on the lives of young women.

    Incidently, I don't think homosexuality has anything to do with it. Quite the reverse. The shortage of men resulting from the First World War resulted in a rise in lesbianism - quite possibly because single women found affection where they could - with other women.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another incredible book by a guy who's really engaging with this issue is 'A Queer Thing Happened to America', but Dr Michael Brown (who was deeply involved with the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, FL). It's written from a largely, though not exclusively, American standpoint, but is a huge contribution to the subject.

    Another guy whose teaching on this subject is simply fantastic is Sy Rogers. He was on the verge of having a sex-change operation when he really met with God and had his life transformed. He campaigns that biblical purity & wholeness is absolutely possible and the will of God for us, regardless of orientation.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The problem with Christianity Magazine is that it also has Steve Chalke as a contributor. Is it, perhaps, trying to look both ways?

    ReplyDelete
  9. That’s their prerogative. It doesn’t change that I’ll be interested to see how the case turns out. Folks who don’t register as churches… shockingly… aren’t considered as such.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wayne Grudem's 'The Bible and homosexuality' is also worth a look - http://bit.ly/10IvDLN

    ReplyDelete
  11. FACT OR FICTION?

    Is everything you have been taught about Christianity fact or has there been a lot of fiction presented as Biblical truth?

    Here are some doctrinal positions, are they fact or fiction?

    1. The New Covenant was in force during the three year ministry of Jesus. Fact or Fiction? That would be fiction.

    Hebrews 9:16-17 where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.

    The New Covenant was not in force while Jesus was alive.

    2. The apostle Peter used the keys to the kingdom heaven (the keys to enter the church of Christ) before the Day of Pentecost. Fact or Fiction? That would be fiction.

    Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven....

    Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem.

    The apostle Peter first used the keys to enter the Lord's church, at Jerusalem, on the Day of Pentecost. Three thousand entered the kingdom of God on earth. The kingdom of God on earth is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The three thousand who were saved and added to the church of Christ on the Day of Pentecost believed that God raised Jesus from the dead and that Jesus was was both Lord and Christ. They repented and were immersed in water so they could have their sins forgiven and then they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:22-41) They were saved under the New Covenant terms of pardon.

    3. The thief on the cross was saved from the punishment of his sins. Fact or Fiction? That would be a fact.

    4. Men today can be saved just like the thief on the cross. Fact or Fiction? That would be fiction. The thief was not saved under the New Testament terms of pardon.

    The thief did believe in his heart that Jesus had been resurrected from the grave. (Romans 10:9 that is you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.)

    The thief was not immersed in water for the forgiveness of his sins. (Acts 2:38 ...be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins...)

    5. Moses, Elijah, Job, Enoch, Abraham and Noah were all men of faith and saved . Fact or Fiction? That would be a fact.

    6. Men living today can be saved just like Moses, Elijah, Job, Abraham, and Noah. Fact or Fiction? That would be fiction. These men lived and died before the New covenant was in effect.
    Men, today, can only be saved by believing in Jesus. (Acts 4:10-12, John 14:6)

    7. Jesus did not say baptism was essential in order to be saved. Fact or Fiction? That would fiction.

    Jesus said "and has been baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16)

    8. Peter and the apostles never taught water baptism was for the forgiveness of sins. Fact or Fiction. That would be fiction. (Acts 2:37-38)

    9. Men are added to the body of Christ before they are baptized in water. Fact or Fiction? That would be fiction. (Acts 2:41)

    10. Saul was saved on the road to Damascus before his sins were forgiven. Fact or Fiction? That would be fiction. Men cannot be saved without having their sins forgiven. Saul had had his sins forgiven three days later, when he was in Damascus, not on the road to Damascus. (Acts 22:16)(Acts 9:9)


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. http:/steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.