Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sending the wrong message

Kevin DeYoung describes one of the reasons the Church has difficulty communicating about homosexuality. The problem has to do with the delivery of (or the propensity to hear) only a part of the message.
.... There are various groups that may be listening when we speak about homosexuality, and the group we think we are addressing usually dictates how we speak.
  • If we are speaking to cultural elites who despise us and our beliefs, we want to be bold and courageous.
  • If we are speaking to strugglers who fight against same sex attraction, we want to be patient and sympathetic.
  • If we are speaking to sufferers who have been mistreated by the church, we want to be apologetic and humble.
  • If we are speaking to shaky Christians who seem ready to compromise the faith for society’s approval, we want to be persuasive and persistent.
  • If we are speaking to liberal Christians who have deviated from the truth once delivered for the saints, we want to be serious and hortatory.
  • If we are speaking to gays and lesbians who live as the Scriptures would not have them live, we want to be winsome and straightforward.
  • If we are speaking to beligerent Christians who hate or fear homosexuals, we want to be upset and disappointed.
So how ought we to speak about homosexuality? Should we be defiant and defensive or gentle and entreating? Yes and yes. It depends on who is listening. All seven scenarios above are real and not uncommon. And while some Christians may be called to speak to one group in particular, we must keep in mind that in this technological day and age anyone from any group may be listening in. This means that we will often be misunderstood. ....
DeYoung then goes on to recommend "ten commitments I hope Christians and churches will consider making in their heads and hearts, before God and before a watching world."

The Church and Homosexuality: Ten Commitments – Kevin DeYoung