Is God anti-gay? – That is the title of Sam Allberry’s book, and I want to talk about it in this text.
What I have written doesn’t aim to be complete, but it has important and profound aspects that may change the way you see homosexuals and same-sex attraction.
First of all, I would like to say this is a must-read kind of book:
- for every christian, because its content is enlightening!
- for anyone who feels same-sex attraction, if you believe it is a sin, and thus you think that surrendering to this practice will “set you free”.
Moreover, about this second aspect, I mentioned it because I know people who had this kind of thought, which is entirely mistaken. It comes from the lack of clarity on the subject, which is extremely complex. The reading of this book will help you to see it more clearly.
If you are a young person, a youth pastor, or even a leader in your church, you cannot close your eyes to this issue. You must break the taboo because the world has already broken it.
The television and the movies treat this subject openly. Politics is considering many rights, which includes marriage and heritage. Children, young people and adults see couples of the same sex between their colleagues, friends and strangers on the street.
Additionally, hear me out: kid’s shows on TV are also starting to approach the subject. If even children are being bombarded about this topic, think about the young ones! Asian cartoons have been showing this content for some time, and now the western ones are also doing it. Below, some news about this:
- 10 Modern Kids Shows with Awesome Queer Characters
- From Nickelodeon to Disney: children’s TV leads the way for LGBT characters
- Arthur teacher comes out in children’s cartoon series
In other words, if you are young one or if you somehow have the position to influence young people, you must not be like the three monkeys that do not see, nor speak or listen about the evil, for not to suffer of it.
I encourage you to start reading about this topic to understand it better, to speak more about it with the young people you know and to hear what they have to say.
As I don’t want to change the way you behave completely, I believe that a good start is to use this book to be prepared to orient someone on the subject when the need presents itself. And believe me, this will come.
Besides, I wish that this book had arrived in my hands about 8 years ago, when I first heard about the subject, and when I saw people embracing their homoaffective relations to the world. For sure, I would have known better how to behave and what to do and say to them.
At this point, you may ask me: “Vitor, why are you being so emphatic?”.
And my answer is: I am being emphatic not only because there is the need to think over our approach to the subject, but mainly because the content of the book is extremely good! No doubt, this is the best book about this topic that I know at the present time: it is objective, profound, real and biblical.
It is objective because the writer does not linger. It is profound because its approach prepares us to many and most different scenarios. It is real because the author describes his own drama between being a Christian and having the experience of being attracted to people from the same sex. Surprising, is it not?. And it is biblical because it cares about explaining the holy text.
Thus, this book is a humane and spiritual orientation about the subject. It is very complete!
All that said, you have enough reasons to buy this book. But I want to go further, so I will share some aspects that helped me. I hope this inspires you even more.
Homosexuality x same-sex attraction
Right at the beginning of the book, the author gives us a spectacular distinction between these two terms. Read the extract below:
” I use the term “same-sex attraction” just then because the immediate challenge is how to describe myself. In western culture today, the obvious term to someone with homosexual feelings is “gay”. But in my experience, this often refers to far more than someone’s sexual orientation. It is come to describe identity and a lifestyle.
When someone says they’re gay, or, for that matter, lesbian or bisexual, they normally mean that one is being attracted to someone of the same gender, their sexual preference is one of the fundamental ways in which they see themselves. And it is for this reason that I tend to avoid using the term. It sounds clunky to describe myself as “someone who experiences same-sex attraction”. But describing myself like this is a way for me to recognize that the kind of sexual attractions I experience are not fundamental to my identity. They are part of what I feel, but they are not who I am, in a fundamental sense. I am far more than my sexuality. ” (p. 14).
Is God anti-gay?
Obviously, I have to answer this question, right? That is why I selected the extract below, and I’ll let the author himself answer it to you:
“Is God anti-gay? No
But He is against who all of us are by nature, as those living apart from Him and for ourselves. He is anti that guy, whatever that guy looks like in each of our lives. But because He is bigger than us, better than us, and able to do things in ways we would struggle to, God loves that guy too. Loves him enough to carry his burden, take his place, clean him up, make him whole, and unite him forever to Himself.”
The content of the book “Is God anti-gay?”
Now, if you liked what you read in the two subtitles above, know that these two extracts are part of the book’s introduction. In other words, the best is yet to come!
So, I will describe a bit of each chapter so that you have a general idea of the book and its content.
Chapter 1 – Getting started: The Bible, marriage and sex
This chapter gives the reader an overview of God’s vision of sex and marriage. This lays good references about how God planned the intimate sexual relationship. In other words, the author transmits the leading vision that must prevail in the life of a Christian, to later also show biblically how homosexuality is disapproved.
Chapter 2 – The Bible and homosexuality
This chapter shows the primary biblical references about the disapproval of homosexual practices.
One topic that sets free and that deserves a highlight is that here the author unveils the lie behind the expression “God made me like that”. From the reference of Romains 1:26-27, it is made clear that the homosexual relationship is against the nature created by God. In other words, God does not make people be this way.
Another interesting point is the approach of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, that lists those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. There, homosexuality is side by side to many other sins, which are equally severe to God. In this way, it is made clear that homosexual practice is not in a worse category of sins.
This session finishes showing that the homosexual sin is not inescapable, as it is described at verse 11: “And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”.
At the end of this chapter, two very good questions are answered:
- Is it correct the partnership of two people of the same sex who love each other, who have commitment and faithfulness and that do no harm to anyone?
- Jesus has never mentioned homosexuality, so how could it be wrong?
Wanna know the answers? You will have to wait for another text on the blog or get the book and read it!
Chapter 3 – Christianity and homosexuality
In this chapter, the author teaches how Christians should deal with same-sex attraction.
The premise is that we all experience fallen sexual desires, regardless of our sexual choice. It is not impossible that one Christian feels same-sex attraction, just as it is not impossible that he becomes sick. What distinguishes us as Christians it is not that we will never experience these things, but how we will respond to them.
No doubt, this chapter will provide an arsenal that will make you well prepared to advise about the subject. You will learn about:
- how to think about the topic correctly, knowing that experiencing same-sex attraction does not disqualify nor defines a christian
- How can God change sexual desires
- The main battles of the Christian that struggles with gay feelings (this section will help you to empathize with those who come to you for help)
Once more, this chapter ends by answering two questions about the subject. One of them is: “is it sinful to feel attraction to someone of the same sex?“. According to the author, to say that experiencing attraction for people of the same gender is, in itself, sinful suggests that the possibility of being tempted is, by itself, a sin. Nevertheless, this contradicts the scripture. To hear that the existence of this temptation is in itself a sin, independently of how much you have suffered to maintain your faithfulness to God, can easily crush a believer who is already very injured. That is, it is not a sin. It is a temptation, and thus it needs divine deliverance.
What a valuable insight to help all those who were affected by that! You see, the way you speak can either make someone be gained and drawn closer to Christ, or be lost and turn away from Him.
Chapter 4 – Homosexuality and the church
This chapter will speak about:
- How to deal with a Gay couple who start going to the church meetings. This part changed the way I thought about the subject. In short, the author thinks the following: as soon as this person arrives at church, her/his first need is Christ, the gospel as the power of God to save her/him. As time goes by, and with the openness one may show, some subjects, like sexual life, can the approached. During the first talk, one must never point the finger and condemn this aspect of someone’s life, because, in the end, this is not the most critical point. One must, actually, welcome this person.
- How can the church provide support to people in this situation
The chapter closes by answering two doubts. The first is: Shouldn’t we simply tolerate the subject?. And the second is: “Isn’t the Christian sexual vision dangerous in the sense that it allows teenagers to grow repressed?
Chapter 5 – Homosexuality and the world
This chapter will help you to know:
- how to answer non-Christian friends when those turn out to be homosexuals
- How to share Christ to a homosexual friend
- How to be an effective testimony of this matter to the world,
- Should Christian go to gay marriages
The final chapter of the book ends answering the question: “What should I do if a Christian tells me he/she is gay?“
This answer is spectacular, and I’ll let it to another blog post, or you can read it in the book.
As my last words on this blog post, I would like to encourage you again to read this book.
Moreover, if at the end of your reading you don’t feel ready to approach the subject with the young people under your leadership, you can use this book in a group reading.
And, if a Christian reveals to you that he or she feels same-sex attraction, and you don’t know how to react, just tell him: I’ll give you a book as a gift!
Give him this book! And, if possible, read it together. Also, volunteer to hear him and pray with him. Show him you love and don’t condemn him, and that you want to help him learn how to overcome this situation. Bring this person closer to Christ!
As I said at the beginning, the words of this book are enlightening for Christian, and they set free those who feel same-sex attraction.
Thus, don’t wait any longer! Empower yourself today, gain more vision about the subject and get a stable and biblical positioning through the pleasant and exciting reading of “Is God anti-gay?”, written by Sam Allberry.