Last fall, I attended a church leaders forum put on by The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender. To be honest, I was rather skeptical that I could learn anything new—after all, I was a seminary graduate and have been studying the Bible since I came to Christ more than 45 years ago.
However, I was thoroughly impressed with Dr. Preston Sprinkle, the main speaker, the president of The Center, and a former New Testament professor. While I was a little apprehensive of running into a perspective that was more influenced by our culture than God’s Word, Dr. Sprinkle’s commitment to following God’s standards as revealed in the Bible quickly became apparent. While I may have not learned a lot of new Bible content, I did learn a whole new approach to the topic of sexuality. I have been amazed how much my perspective has changed by realizing that God was calling me to approach how the church handles LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender + others) topics should be primarily about people, not issues. My views of what behaviors the Bible condones and condemns did not change, but my views of how I ought to approach people who were created in the image of God were significantly changed.
Beginning Sunday, July 28, and running through the end of August, I am going to be leading a discussion group on Grace/Truth 1.0: Five Conversations Every Thoughtful Christian Should Have About Faith, Sexuality & Gender, a resource created by The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender. Each week we will be watching a video and then have a discussion on that week’s topic. Grace/Truth 1.0 was created primarily for Christians who believe in the authority of the Bible. The videos will introduce you to LGBT+ people, language to use and avoid, a Biblically faithful view of marriage and sexuality, and practical guidance on how to embody the love of Christ toward sexual and gender minorities.
Two main themes will be emphasized. One, LGBT+ related questions are not just about issues; they’re about people. Two, we can have confidence that the traditional Christian marriage ethic (one man and one woman) is indeed Biblical.
Here are the titles of the five conversations we will be having:
- Conversation 1: Dear Church: I’m Gay
- Conversation 2: Grace/Truth-The Jesus Way
- Conversation 3: What Is Marriage?
- Conversation 4: What Does the Bible Say about Same-Sex Relations?
- Conversation 5: Six Relational Do’s and Don’ts
The class will be open to any adults and mature teens accompanied by their parents.
Grace/Truth is produced by The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender, www.centerforfaith.com
The Grace/Truth 1.0 Class will begin July 28 at 10:30 AM in Room 109. Join us.