Talking with Children About Homosexuality

Recently I was contacted by Sheldon Good, the editor of the Mennonite Weekly Review blog entitled: “The World Together”.  
He said that he was planning to post a blog by Brian McLaren and he wanted me to write a response from a different point of view. I accepted this assignment.
Brian McLaren is a well known author, speaker and activist.  He had been asked  by a reader of his writings how to talk to his home schools children about homosexuality.
Brian responded that “the way many Christians respond to gay folks today is pretty far from what Jesus himself did or would do.” He said that gay folks have two moral options: celibacy and fidelity in the context of a committed relationship.  By this he meant that it was morally appropriate for two persons of the same sex to marry but that they needed to remain faithful to their marriage partner.  He added that he would make the comparison to young children that even as some people are right handed and others left handed, some people are attracted to the same sex and others to the opposite sex. He went on to emphasize the importance of love and of welcoming and befriending persons who had same sex attractions and relationships.
I responded to the blog post in the following manner:

A response to Brian McLaren’s blog about sexuality

By E. Daniel Martin

In the beginning God gave to humankind the gift of sight, a very good gift. But over the centuries following the “fall,” some have been born without sight and some have lost their sight. All types of issues have contributed to the absence of sight. Although the absence of sight very significantly affects life, it must not be allowed to define a life. The person without sight is first of all a person with an identity separate from the blindness. He/she is a person who happens to be blind, but the blindness is not allowed to define or ultimately limit the meaning and significance of his/her life.

In the beginning God created the Earth and said, “It is good this way.” Then God created man and woman in his own image and said, “I want man and woman to cleave to one another as one flesh in marriage and to produce offspring.” Then God added, “It is very good this way.”

Over the centuries following the “fall,” some have discovered that they are not attracted to the opposite sex; rather, they are attracted to the same sex. This attraction to the same sex appears to be caused by varied biological, psychological, social and spiritual factors. Some experience this as a very early awareness so that they feel they were born this way.

But whatever the cause, we do not define a person by his/her attraction to the same sex or to the opposite sex. We see each person as a human being with purpose and meaning and destiny. And we do not celebrate a person’s same-sex attraction any more than we celebrate blindness. Rather, we say we will walk with that person and assist that person in every way to have a joyful and purposeful life. We would no sooner reject a person with same-sex attraction than we would reject the person who is blind. Rather, we hold these persons closely and support them with our love and relationships.

God intends sexual intercourse to be between a man and a woman, a husband and a wife in a lifelong monogamous marriage. God says premarital, extramarital and homosexual behaviors miss his desired plan and are sin. These behaviors are “not good.”

But God shows to all that the sexual desire must be controlled. The married person must not have sex outside the marital relationship and must honor the desires, needs and preferences of the spouse. The person with opposite-sex attraction who is not married must seek God’s grace to lead a celibate life unless God provides a marriage partner. The person with same-sex attraction must seek God’s grace to lead a celibate life unless God should give to them a desire for the opposite sex in which case they could enter a heterosexual marriage.

It is the devil’s deception that if you cannot have sexual intercourse you cannot have a fulfilling life. Sex is elevated as a god that must be served at all costs. But God’s word says, “Stop thinking about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature; rather, clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ and think about how to please him” (Rom. 13:14).

So whether you have same-sex attraction or opposite attraction, your focus is not on how to gratify your sexual desires but on how to please the Lord within the context of your sightedness, your blindness, your opposite sex attraction or your same-sex attraction.

And above all, we celebrate the Gospel which proclaims that “we are all more wicked than we had ever believed but at the same time more loved and accepted than we had ever dared hope.”

Responses to this blog:
One respondent, a ‘minister of peace and justice’ in his church, labeled my above response as hateful speech. He went on to say that God did not say that premarital, extramarital and homosexual behaviors are sin but rather  “these remarks are Mr. Martin’s interpretation of a set of scriptures that are complex, nuanced and rooted in the culture of its day.”

I respond here to these comments by saying:

First. it is clear that some draw from a source of truth that is different from a straightforward reading of the scriptures and an interpretation supported by the community of faith throughout the past two thousand years. 

Secondly, Satan has blinded people’s eyes to the extent that a biblical perspective is viewed as hate speech. 

Thirdly, Let us intensive our time in the closet , praying that God will open the eyes of the blind, both physically and spiritually.

E. Daniel

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