Sam Allberry, author of Â the excellent Lifted and Connected is out.
Homosexuality is an issue I have grappled with my entire Christian life. It took a long time to admit to myself, longer to admit to others, and even longer to see something of Godâ€™s good purposes through it all. There have been all sorts of ups and downs. But this battle is not devoid of blessings, as Paul discovered with his own unyielding thorn in the flesh. Struggling with sexuality has been an opportunity to experience more of Godâ€™s grace, rather than less.
It is only in recent months I have felt compelled to be more open on this issue. For many years I had no intention of being public about it â€“ it is very much a personal matter. I am conscious that raising it here may lead to any number of responses â€“ some welcome, some perhaps less so. But over the last couple of years I have felt increasingly concerned that, when it comes to our gay friends and family members, many of us Bible-believing Christians are losing confidence in the gospel. We are not always convinced it really is good news for gay people. We are not always sure we can really expect them to live by what the Bible says.
It is simply not possible to argue for gay relationships from the Bible. Attempts by some church leaders to do so inevitably involve twisting some texts and ignoring others. Godâ€™s word is, in fact, clear. The Bible consistently prohibits any sexual activity outside of marriage.
As someone who experiences homosexual feelings this is not always an easy word to hear. It has sometimes been very painful to come to terms with what the Bible says. There have been times of acute temptation and longing â€“ times when I have been â€˜in loveâ€™. And yet Scripture shows that these longings are distortions of what God has created me for.
But however much we have to leave behind we are never left out of pocket. Whatever is given up Jesus replaces, in godly kind and greater measure. No one who leaves will fail to receive, and the returns are extraordinary â€“ a hundredfold. What we give up for Jesus does not compare to what he gives back. If the costs are great, the rewards are even greater, even in this life. For myself these include a wonderful depth of friendship God has given me with many brothers and sisters; the opportunities of singleness; the privilege of a wide-ranging ministry; and the community of a wonderful church family. But greater than any of these things is the opportunity that any complex and difficult situation presents us with: to learn the all-sufficiency of Christ â€“ learning that fullness of life and joy is in him and his service, and nowhere else.
There is a huge amount to say on this issue, but the main point is this: the moment you think following Jesus will be a poor deal for someone, you call Jesus a liar. Discipleship is not always easy. Leaving anything cherished behind is profoundly hard. But Jesus is always worth it.
Dear Mr. Sam, Homosexuality and the feelings that go along with it is sin, temptations from the devil and our flesh. Just like a man may be tempted their whole lives by “longings”(temptations of sin) for other women other than their own wives. Or women tempted their whole lives by “longings” for other men other than their husbands. It is a sin you have let consume your thoughts. The devil has tempted you with it and you are thinking on it. There are many people who have the same “longings” towards food, they think about it, they know they shouldn’t be glutenous, but it’s always on their minds. It’s all sin, it’s all against God’s perfect plan, it all has consequences because it is sin. I heard a testimony of a man that read and meditated on the verses of Romans 6-8 for 2 weeks. He struggled with lust towards women, by going through this and meditating on it verse by verse for 2 weeks, he was miraculously free! Give it a try. Also read and meditate on Philippians 4:8. The Word of God is powerful, the Truth will set you free! With love, Carmen
I think I’m cautious of any approach around homosexuality which claims “If you do A you will experience B”. It is my experience and that of many others that that is simply not the case, however exciting and true someone’s individual testimony is.
Massive respect for Sam. As a somewhat fresh-faced undergrad he was one of the first Christians I met and the first to engage me in discussion on all things eternal and interesting. Before I left Oxford for work elsewhere I was blessed by his growing ministry and that of Vaughan Roberts. Their respective revelations has only increased my respect for these two Godly and humbly excellent men.
Before I left Oxford for work elsewhere I was blessed by his growing
ministry and that of Vaughan Roberts. Their respective revelations has
only increased my respect for these two Godly and humbly excellent men.
This is exactly my experience, too.
I hope he will in time arrive at a more positive and healthy attitude to his natural sexuality.
Strikes me he has a VERY healthy attitude.