No one should struggle alone.
Chances are that there are men and women in your church who struggle with same-sex attraction. These brothers and sisters have experienced God’s love through faith in Jesus and want to follow Him. But they still feel attracted to their own gender, experience sexual temptation (like all human beings), and they live in fear that they would be rejected or judged by the church if anyone knew. Because of fear or shame, they struggle alone. That may or may not be true in your church, but it is a valid fear. The church has not always been compassionate toward these individuals. In fact, the historic response of evangelical and conservative protestant churches has been either condemnation or apathy toward this group.
A more recent trend has been just the opposite: some churches have begun to “affirm” same-sex sexual relationships, teaching that God approves of gay marriage and they are free to pursue such relationships. All three responses are wrong and harmful to these brothers and sisters. The first crushes their spirit and burdens them with shame and fear. The second renders them invisible, leaving them lonely, unknown and again in fear. And the third deceives them with the false teaching that same-sex sexual desires and acts are not something to be repented of but something to celebrate.
Your local church needs a discipleship program like ID for three reasons:
- to offer hope, teach truth, and provide Biblical encouragement and support for these dear brothers and sisters
- to lovingly stand for Biblical truth in matters of sexuality, marriage, and family
- to cultivate a heart of compassion for those in the LGBTQ+ community who don’t know Jesus or the hope of His gospel