Reasoning with a gay/lesbian

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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 2:45 PM

Super.Tramp:

MJ. Smith:
I find it sad that a mainline Protestant seminarian was taught to gear their sermons at a 5th grade level of understanding. It a society where the majority of people have a high school education, I think that the aim ought to be to grow your congregation up to at least a 10th grade level of understanding ... adjusting up or down for a particular congregation.

My daughter was interviewing a high school student for employment and discovered the prospect could not read the job application nor tell time on an analog clock. 

If I remember correctly, the New Century Version was written on a 5th grade level.

If preachers are only preaching to educated people a lot will be forgotten.

There is without a doubt a lot of "dumbing down" going on today. But I recently ran into a journal article that suggests another aspect to this discussion.

Daniel M. Oppenheimer, "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly," Appl. Cognit. Psychol. 20:139-156 (2006)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 3:20 PM

Super.Tramp:
If preachers are only preaching to educated people a lot will be forgotten.

I agree which is why I suggest adjustment to a particular congregation. But the flip side is that if Christians are only educated to a 5th grade standard, that faith is easily lost when their other education exceeds it. I prefer preachers who are teachers with high expectations.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 3:21 PM

EastTN:

Yes

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 4:46 PM

James Taylor:

Try a Heading OR Largetext search for... (homosexual,gay,lesbian) AND (scripture,bible) in all resources

you can further refine this in an "apologetics" collection if you've made one

This was very helpful.  So very many resources.

Thanks.

Susan

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 4:49 PM

Ronald Quick:

I haven't read it, but it might have some good information in it.

https://www.logos.com/product/9288/biblical-counseling-keys-on-homosexuality 


I ordered this Biblical Counseling book and it is very good.

Thanks.

Susan Murphy

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 4:55 PM

MJ. Smith:

Some of the best material on this subject has been done for position papers for denominations - something that despite my pleas are rarely available in Logos. The site http://www.religioustolerance.org/ generally has links to them and identifies the pro/con positions they take on a very detailed level. The Lutheran once are particularly strong on a Biblical basis.

The position papers were very informative.  I'll be using this reference.

Thanks,

Susan Murphy

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 4:57 PM

Dan Francis:

Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay CommunityAndrew Marin, Brian McLaren

Published by IVP might be one of your best resources... Helping you understand where they are and how to best reach them.

-Dan

I've read a good bit of this but some of it I don't care for.  I mean this man really gets involved in the Gay Community.  He must really have a calling to do this.  

Thanks.

Susan Murphy

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 5:01 PM

JoshInRI:

Hello Ms. Murphy

I have found some of the best reasoning for anyone comes from standard Biblical apologetic texts and books.  Considering what it means for any one of us (sinners all) to be holy and to pursue God's righteousness may be helpful to.

In my opinion, applying a Biblical standard to everyone universally should prove fruitful.

Most people are  caught up in some besetting sin, trial, or struggle whether they like to admit it or not.
My advice is to reason from this vantage point if you can.

I think these resources might be of use to you:

https://www.logos.com/product/9288/biblical-counseling-keys-on-homosexuality

https://www.logos.com/product/16121/leviticus-holy-god-holy-people (yup...Leviticus is great to go to for verses on what it means to "be holy" especially as some may use the Book in quite a different way distancing themselves quickly from the very people they hope In Christ to reason with. The traditional don't lie with another man verses are there but my advice - focus on the more universal truth of God's standard of Holiness and the lifestyle He expects us all to live).  

Books by Joe Dallas (easily found on Amazon but regrettably not offered in Logos) geared for the same sex attracted overcomer in Christ may be especially useful as well.

May The Holy Spirit assist you as you tell the truth lovingly and boldly without compromise.

Amen

(addendum: engaging very active compassionate listening skills and asking engaging questions https://www.logos.com/product/33103/all-that-jesus-asks-how-his-questions-can-teach-and-transform-us so that another person begins to question their own unBiblical thinking - similar to what Jesus did - may be helpful.  Perhaps "Who do you say that I am?" Mark 8.29 asked by Jesus Himself is be a good question to begin with.  Also - "Who do you belong to?" and "Who or what do you take direction and guidance from?" may be good followup questions.

I quite liked Gao's advice below too.  Thanks for engaging all of us in your quest for help.  God bless you and those you/we reason with for His sake. 

Glory to God...Jesus Lead On.

Joshua in Rhode Island

I really like the Biblical Counseling book.  Yes, we have to be careful in the material we select.  We're always safe with the Bible.  One book I had thought about using I decided not to because I could tell it would easily be hard for a person that was weak in the faith.  

And thanks to everyone for helping me.  I love this forum.  It has been a huge help to me.

Blessings,

Susan Murphy

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 5:02 PM

Gao Lu:

I would add:

1. Pray - God will surely guide you

2. Get counsel from real people around you who have been successful

Thanks.  Praying and getting the right counsel is so important.

Susan Murphy

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 5:09 PM

EastTN:

Susan,

I never meant to suggest that apologetics isn't a useful endeavor, or that it can't be done well - and I certainly didn't mean to imply that your group isn't doing it well. And I completely agree that a Christian spirit is essential, which includes approaching others with an attitude of love and goodwill.

I do think that, as the discussion in this thread illustrates, there are Christians whose faith has been challenged by poor apologetics. That's not to deny that others have had their faith strengthened, or even been brought to the Lord by effective apologetics. 

It may be useful to remember that what we broadly call "apologetics" can be used for different purposes. These include:

  • To deepen the faith of those who already believe;
  • To answer the questions believers have when they encounter different points of view;
  • As an evangelistic tool when proclaiming the gospel to those who do not believe, but are open to the faith;
  • As a tool to persuade those who are willing to listen, but who have serious intellectual doubts or objections;
  • As a defense against the attacks of those who are actively hostile to the faith and who are trying to undermine the faith of those who do believe.

And, of course, people make decisions in different ways.  Some of us come to the faith through our hearts, and others of us through our heads.

I obviously can't know all the circumstances behind the frustration that's been expressed.  But I've seen it occur when, for example, an approach that's best suited for reinforcing the faith of someone who already believes is used with someone who has serious intellectual doubts. 

East TN,

Thanks for the encouraging words.

Susan Murphy

Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 1 2016 7:20 PM

Hello in Christ - Ms. Murphy (and others)

I was eager to hear how Sunday went.  

I like the idea about the conversation coming to an end if someone gets mad....good rule of thumb.

I recalled that from my training as well...the book training I did on my own and a good resource I enjoyed in seminary called TELL THE TRUTH by Metzger (which I loved and will return to time and time in my hardcopy and Amazon copy...sadly NOT in Logos).

Having a sense of humor is always helpful and, of course, being winsome (which I believe Jesus had to have been).

In Seminary, we used the excellent Tactics book and the author has some wonderful resources online too.

You sound imho like you are right on track and I think Jesus is very pleased...and smiling Smile

Glory to God....Jesus Lead On!

by the way, back when I was quite lost myself (before The Holy Spirit turned my life toward Jesus again some 25 years ago), it took someone close to me personally saying "There are easier ways to kill yourself" which for me was one of several cold slaps to the face (figuratively speaking) I needed at the time to recognize I was not seeing reason and that I was actually headed away from Jesus and forsaking the call God had made on my life. I believe that hearing and reading The Bible (particularly as I carefully scrutinized The Gospel of John), I began to recognize I am not my own, I was bought with a price and I've been set aside for God's purposes.

To some this might all seem preposterous maybe even unreasonable - but at the time I owned the early precursor to Logos software and never once made use of it or opened it.  If you could have told me back then that years later I would own Logos 6.x Baptist Silver, use it often, be married for 5 years to a woman I would love very much as any man loves a woman, be a (step)grandfather to 2 and write such a post in this forum, I would have thought you lost your reason or had none.  This is how God in Jesus the Christ works...miraculously awakening reason in the spiritually dead, which I foolishly was.  So many sleep and choose not to listen to or abide in Christ (truly remaining unreasonable).  I'm grateful to be alive in Christ again and maturing albeit too slowly at times but 100% His now.  All glory, power and honor be unto Him, forever, the One who died for a reason - stooping low to save one like me - to reconcile us all (In Christ) to God in Heaven. Amen

Posts 1355
Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 1 2016 8:35 PM

There is another book on the subject that I highly recommend. Kevin DeYoung, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality. Excellent book written by a pastor for his congregation to be able to deal with questions about homosexuality.

It was available as a Vyrso title and I have it in my Logos library, but is being converted into a Logos title as part of a Crossway collection still gathering interest.

https://www.logos.com/product/55583/crossway-christian-life-collection#013

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 1 2016 10:18 PM

Josh in RI,

What a great testimony how the Lord got ahold of your life and turned you around.  Someone took the time to speak words to you that got you to thinking that there's a better way.  I think it's so important for us to constantly look for opportunities to say a word of encouragement or a challenge to someone.

Sunday turned out really good with our discussion about the gay issues and reaching out. First of all I gave a lot of scriptures about what the Bible says about homosexuality and then gave the scenario about the neighborhood lady saying gay marriage was okay.  We went back and forth discussing this and planning how to reach out and help those that are so different from us.  There was a lot of discussion on this topic.  It's really a difficult topic to talk about because everyone looks at things differently.  One of the ladies in the class is around a number of people that are gay so she was eager to talk about this.  It was definitely an interesting class.

At times I felt like I was treading on thin ice.  It was good to see how others engaged in the conversation and they had good answers to difficult questions.

This coming Sunday will be a different topic.

Blessings,

Susan Murphy

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 1 2016 10:47 PM

Susan W. Murphy:
help those that are so different from us.

This statement really struck me having worked in an environment with several gay co-workers ... which some co-workers from other regions of the country never realized.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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