Christian

#32 Show Affection

#32 Show Affection

When I accepted Christ and the straight, Christian world became my primary community, I was surprised that there were several men who were not afraid to give the type of hug that says “Your presence in my life is felt and valued”.  They weren’t obsessed with “not looking gay”, the way many straight, unbelieving men in my life had been.  Their physical affection said one thing very clearly, “we’re not afraid of you or put off by your sexuality.” So will you be someone anointed by God, filled with the Holy Spirit, & walking in the power of Jesus, that will help meet the relational needs of LGBT people?

#31 Share Scripture

#31 Share Scripture

Despite my belief that all scripture is profitable, I continue to say that it wasn’t any of the verses on homosexuality that changed my mind or drew me close to Jesus.  It was actually all the verses that pointed to what God was actually like, most accurately displayed through His son, that caused me to want to give up all that was dear to me in order to obtain the One thing that really mattered most – that costly “pearl of great price”. And it’s in that vein of relating to God well and pouring out your heart to Him that the Psalms become a beautiful piece of discipleship.  One may think that the Psalms are “for beginners”, but it’s this book – these songs – that give me permission to pour out my heart and engage the grief, lament, and anger of my humanity.  So the question might be, “will you not just present Scripture, but will you use the right ones that meet the deeper need of LGBT people….”

#28 Be Invitational

#28 Be Invitational

          Those who are LGBT are certainly a minority group. This has nothing to do with morality, spirituality, or ethics.  More than 90% identify as heterosexual, making it very clear that if you identify as straight, you are in the majority and therefore have power.  Knowing, realizing, and using this power is crucial because those in the majority ALWAYS have the power to invite in, make room for, and help restore dignity. So how will you wield the power you already have (and can’t get rid of) to invite others in?
 

#26 Practice Patience

#26 Practice Patience

People often ask what convinced me to surrender my sexuality to Christ, despite him not changing my orientation.  They ask as if there’s a secret truth or special verse that did a magic trick in my heart, mind, and soul.  What convinced me is the same thing that convinces you, my friend – God’s goodness.   I had walked with Him long enough to be convinced that He could be trusted to fill my soul and satisfy my heart even if I gave him the very thing I thought would fulfill me most and came the most natural to me. 
            So can you practice patience by surrendering your ideas of what others should repent of next?

#23 Affirm Identity

#23 Affirm Identity

I think it’s definitely odd that we’ve raised several generations of people, especially boys, that will refuse to engage in things they are good at (or talk about things they like) simply because it might signal something about their sexuality.  As I’ve walked with God, I believe I’ve found a new freedom to really own my giftings, talents, and abilities, to disregard the shame others may imply, or the attachment to a sexual orientation those things might signal. An identity label doesn’t give me permission to enjoy things I’m good at, God does. One thing my church did well when I decided to steward my sexuality towards a more traditional ethic, was that they made room for my gifts rather than just tolerating them.

#22 No Sin Comparisons

#22 No Sin Comparisons

I often hear straight Christians comparing homosexuality to other sexual sins or their own experience with how this fallen world has affected them saying, “see! It’s the same thing!”.  While there may be many similarities, sexual identity and the LGBT experience makes it very unique for several reasons which, if not recognized, will hinder your relationship and conversations with LGBT people.....

 

#17 Be Authentic

#17 Be Authentic

     If you want to give an authentic response that is comforting and welcoming, an excited “I love gay people” response doesn’t really do it. Why? Because you may like some gay people, but you certainly don’t like all of them.  And neither do I. So what does a genuine, authentic response look like when someone tells you they are gay? 

For Parents of Gay Teens (Part 1)

http://youtu.be/0Ys4D9xRB2M

Ty, founder of Walls Down Ministry, sits with his parents as they describe what it was like when he came out of the closet as a teenager. His parents share their honest, initial reactions to the news and how God helped them to respond in a way that honored Jesus Christ and respected their son. Note: This video's purpose is to help parents of gay teens and give them hope that they are not alone or abnormal through the wide range of emotions often felt in situations like this. This is not a "how to make your son/daughter straight". Rather it is to help the entire family communicate, have peace, and love one another in spite of differing opinions. We hope this encourages families toward Christ regardless of the circumstances or outcome of your situation.

For Parents of Gay Teens (Part 2)

http://youtu.be/drONJ__YSOw

Ty, founder of Walls Down Ministry, sits with his parents as they describe what it was like when he came out of the closet as a teenager. His parents share their honest, initial reactions to the news and how God helped them to respond in a way that honored Jesus Christ and respected their son. Note: This video's purpose is to help parents of gay teens and give them hope that they are not alone or abnormal through the wide range of emotions often felt in situations like this. This is not a "how to make your son/daughter straight". Rather it is to help the entire family communicate, have peace, and love one another in spite of differing opinions. We hope this encourages families toward Christ regardless of the circumstances or outcome of your situation.