Warning: parental approval is required before children or youth should read this article or book. Content should be read carefully by parent(s) before children read. It could be a good subject to read together and discuss.
Recently, I read through the book, Is God anti-gay: And other questions about homosexuality, the Bible, and same-sex attraction by Sam Allberry. The book was literally just published and was released less than a month ago by The Good Book Company as part of a series of books they call, “Questions Christians ask.” Other books in the series include What happens when I die?, Who on earth is the Holy Spirit?, and Did the devil make me do it?.
I was really interested in this book particularly because of some of the feedback after a sermon I preached a little while back in which I addressed the topic of homosexuality. More accurately, a portion of the sermon was on homosexuality, and it had to do with our treatment of and acceptance of those who express that they are gay or lesbian. As I said then, it is likely that each one of us knows someone or is even related to someone who believes himself or herself to be homosexual. Because of this reality, Christ-followers should consider how they will respond in the future as situations arise.
In the introduction, the author, Sam Allberry, expresses a little about himself. He openly talks about his own journey of facing the reality that he might be gay (5-6). He makes a very important distinction that I found helpful. Mr. Allberry prefers to use the term same-sex attraction to describe an aspect of himself rather than use the word gay because often those who describe themselves as gay are referring to an entire lifestyle and a personal identity wrapped up in being a homosexual (8). Allberry states that same-sex attractions are “part of what I feel but are not who I am in a fundamental sense (9).” This distinction, I believe, helps us understand that same-sex attraction is simply a temptation that some people deal with just like others deal with temptation to indulge in drugs or alcohol or heterosexual sex outside of the bounds of marriage.
In chapter 1, Allberry sets the stage on the foundation of the Bible. He looks to the Bible as the source of truth and authority. From the Bible, he argues that the Bible approves of sex. He reminds us that God invented marriage for a man and a woman, and he argues that sex was a gift from God for both reproduction and pleasure, but all within a marriage.
In chapter 2, Allberry exposes the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality from both the Old and New Testaments. With solid interpreting methods, he acknowledges that the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin against God and is a perversion of what God created.
In Chapter 3, Allberry talks about the compatibility of a Christian and a homosexual lifestyle. He asserts that if one is a Christ-follower, he or she should either marry a person of the opposite sex or remain single.
In chapter 4, Allberry appeals to the church to receive homosexual couples as warmly as they would anybody else. He argues that the church should be concerned about the state of their souls first. He offers some very practical advice on how to welcome someone who is a homosexual or someone who deals with same-sex attraction.
In chapter 5, Allberry describes practical ways for individual Christians to embrace and respond to someone who deals with same-sex attraction regardless of whether they go to church or not. He appeals to Christians to share the gospel, and he offers some insights into more effective ways than have been used by Christians to tear down the individual.
This topic seems to be growing more prominent in our culture; we cannot ignore it. This is an excellent book on the topic. He highlights some of the key questions that come up in discussions that will likely be the content of future articles … so stay tuned.
Justin began serving as the pastor at Faith in February of 2013. He is passionate about people having the opportunity to hear the good news about eternal life through Jesus Christ.