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September 2016

Unlike us humans, God is willing to forgive again and again

2 Peter 3:9 -The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

How amazing that unlike us humans, God is willing to forgive again and again, he doesn’t count past sins against us and when we ask for forgiveness he gives it instantaneously.  It heartens me massively to know this.  As someone brought up going to church I aways had an understanding of “sin” and I knew in my heart that my sexual identity and choices were sinful.  I lived over 30 years defying God, continuing to sin over and over and whilst I suppose a small part of me cared, the truth is I blanked it out as sin because I believed I didn’t have a choice.  What I mean by not having a choice is that I didn’t realise as a lesbian I could build a relationship with God.  I thought I was condemned because of that choice and as such didn’t talk to God about it.

When God called me back to him and I reluctantly went to a local church I started to get the feeling that he did love me and that love was unconditional.  I continued in my lifestyle and as I grew closer to God it was then that he had the conversation with me about my sexual sin.  He didn’t ram it down my throat the minute I tried to get close or use it as a barrier to my getting close, he patiently and lovingly drew me closer to him, developed a relationship and then lovingly and gently told me what he expected of me, obedience to his word.

We are called to model our Father’s behaviour, being transformed into his likeness and we can learn a lot from how he works.  When someone from the LGBT community comes to our churches we too need to show them love, grow close to them in fellowship and only then in a loving and gentle way talk about their choices and the Bible’s teaching on sexual sin. To be honest I genuinely believe that if we welcome people in love and support them God himself will pave the way for that conversation if required but if we put up barriers or act too quickly we may cause that person to leave and that is the last thing we want to be doing.

Responding to same sex marriage discussions with love and prayer

I was reading a post about the Archbishop of Wales backing gay marriage and have to say that once again the comments are a poor reflection of Christian love one for another.  We are called to love, of course we can disagree on things but please let’s reflect God’s love in the way we talk to each other.

One post that I thought was good and tried to pull people back in love suggested all took a step back and prayed:

  • Pray that the poison of doubt, confusion, and fear that statements such as these spread would be neutralised.
  • Pray for the church (the body of Christ) to have a revelation of the complete truth of God’s word, and to walk in that truth.
  • Pray that our youth and children, who have to deal with the mentality of these last days in their more impressionable years, would know and be grounded in the truth of God’s word no matter what.
  • Pray that at every opportunity, and with godly wisdom, Christians will speak out the truth of the Bible (ALL truth, including truth on sexual immorality, sexual morality and marriage) so that every one around us can hear.
  • Pray that those who tell lies and the lies they tell will be exposed, not for shame but for healing, and that God’s will would be done in and through His church.

If you are not teaching your kids, who is?

A local youth drama group are currently doing a production of “Bare-A PopOpera” and there is a lot of hype around the production.  One thing it brought on my heart due to the subject matter was the question, “what are we teaching our children about same sex attraction and how are we protecting them?”

If we don’t have a conversation with kids about same sex attraction and what God’s word says about it what protection will they have from temptation?  When Jesus was tempted he himself used scripture to rebuke Satan.  If our children do not know the relevant scripture or have been brought up believing that the Bible is silent on this matter how can they protect themselves?

Same sex attraction is portrayed all around us, not just in theatre but in television, films, chat shows, social media as well as it being more openly displayed in public by same sex couples.  So if a child grows up seeing this and we never have the conversation with them then what will they think?  Or worse still if all you say to them is that you think it is wrong with no substance to back that up then their only feedback on same sex attraction is ” it’s wrong cos my Mum said so”, what kind of argument is that?

We need to equip our kids from a young age to deal with all the worldly issues they are going to encounter and same sex attraction is just one of these.  Yes they may grow up with same sex attraction but with God’s help and a strong foundation in the Word they can overcome, whether that means they do end up happily married or remain single they can be fulfilled in God’s love.

Parents if you are struggling with this issue, how to talk to your kids or if you perhaps are struggling to see it as a sin yourself please do refer to one of these websites:

http://www.livingout.org/

http://satisfiedinchrist.com/

http://www.truefreedomtrust.co.uk/

desiringgod.org

 

 

 

 

 

No BUT’s when it comes to God and Same Sex Attraction

Don’t make compromises to try and make someone feel better about their sin. There are no ifs or buts in the Bible.

I love this quote by Jean C Lloyd –

May I make two requests? Love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.

What more can we ask of our fellow Church members and leaders.  Love and truth must always go hand in hand when seeking to help others with any aspect of their faith walk.

Supporting your church members..

A must watch for any church leaders – how you can be supportive of members of your congregation who experience or have experienced same sex attraction?  What a difference it would make if more of us had positive experiences like those talked about in the video…. please take a couple of minutes to watch.

Modelling a helpful way to live?

Following on from the announcement that a Bishop of the Church of England has come out as “Gay but in a celibate relationship” I noted a response from GAFCON which concluded that despite his affirmation that he is not a practicing homosexual they felt:

“It is not modelling a helpful way to live, given the reality of our humanity, and temptation to sexual sin”.

I had just been listening to an interview of Jackie Hill Perry by Priscilla Shirer and had made a number of notes about temptation which came out of their discussion which I have summarised below.

Temptation is part of human life, we all struggle with temptation, whether with “Same Sex Attraction”, gossip, telling lies, cheating, stealing or more.  What God’s grace gives us is the power to overcome temptation.  His salvation allows and empowers us to change following our conscious choice to walk in freedom and obedience to his word.  As such we grow in strength to turn our back on past behaviours and patterns of living and are able to call on God to help us overcome any temptation to sin or fall back.

We are all sinners, all born into sin and some of us discover that a lot later than others. Who knows when this particular Bishop received God’s grace and turned from his previous lifestyle?   I don’t think anyone should seek to judge him, he receives God’s grace and mercy as he moves forward in his walk with God as do the rest of us when we confess our sins and turn to God for forgiveness. He may stay in that relationship, he may move on, but the important thing for me is that he grows in his understanding of biblical teaching and pulls on God’s promises to help him transform.

Having said that I do think it would be great if he would join the growing movement of those speaking out against homosexual sin and openly stand up for Biblical truth.  Given his position in the church this could prove to be powerful in bringing more LGBT people to salvation than his silence.

Let’s not forget our God gives us amazing strength to overcome all things, any and all sinful behaviour can be forgiven.  God is good to those who are obedient to him, I pray for obedience, love and truth to be central to the lives of all our church leaders.

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