Tuesday, December 11 2018
Writing Christian cultural commentary, there is no question that the topic of sexuality is always the most highly-trafficked of any issue I discuss. I’m almost guaranteed that every time I bring up the Christian sexual ethic, complementarianism of the two sexes, issues of gender identity, or immoral sexual conduct, I’m going to get a bevy of hostile, supportive, and sincerely inquisitive email responses. Though I’m mostly thankful for all the feedback, it’s that last group that I pay special attention to.
Sometimes it will be people living an LGBT lifestyle wanting to understand my perspective better, but mostly those asking questions are those who hold to a Christian worldview and who are feeling bombarded, silenced, threatened, or genuinely confused how to best articulate their beliefs in a way that isn’t perceived as hostile, harsh, judgmental, or un-Christlike. To a certain extent it’s fair to say that’s largely a lost cause. The world will never appreciate the Christian view of sexuality because it has its own view. The morality of the world is disparate and hostile to the morality of God. So there will always be those in the world that regard anything but utter acceptance, promotion, and celebration of their ideas as bigoted or mean – no matter who is espousing the view or the spirit in which they do so.
But the desire to articulate the superiority of the Christian sexual ethic, and more importantly to articulate the Gospel clearly and winsomely, is a noble and important one. That’s why I gravitate towards anything written by former lesbian professor turned devout Christian, Rosaria Butterfield. She is a fountain of wisdom on this issue, having lived it, and simultaneously exhibits an unmistakable Spirit-filled grace in the way she speaks to it.
Her most recent contribution to the conversation entitled, “How to Evangelize Friends Identifying as LGBTQ,” began tantalizingly:
Personally I’ve received so many communications from people asking these very questions. And in this piece Butterfield writes to those who feel ashamed to admit that they are torn between their faith and their child.
She writes to those who don’t want to ask elders or pastors how to deal with their struggle because they don’t want to be isolated within their church.
She writes to those who see the battle of those within their congregation who are same-sex attracted but trying to live celibate and in the culture of the church rather than the world.
She writes to those who are tired hearing people make weak, strawman arguments against homosexuality instead of arguments for Jesus.
She writes to those who themselves are same-sex attracted.
If you fit into any of these categories or know someone who does, this article is a must-read. In a powerful, convicting way, Butterfield argues for this core Christian response to our LGBTQ friends:
She makes an amazing case – simplistic but profound. If you want to evangelize LGBTQ neighbors, realize that Christ “puts the lonely in families” and we’ve been called to be that family.