by Lynne Baab, a former Bethany associate pastor, currently a writer and teacher
Have you ever wondered how a gay Christian would discuss the biblical passages about homosexuality? Have you ever wondered what other issues from the Bible gay Christians think are important? Matthew Vines, a young gay Christian activist, answers those questions in his readable and helpful book, God and the Gay Christian. Vines’s You-Tube video from 2012, “The Bible and Homosexuality,” has had more than a million views, and it laid the foundation for the book.
Bethany’s Isaiah 43:1 group invites you to join us beginning on Sunday, January 20 as we discuss the book. We’ll discuss chapters 1 and 2 on that day, and then two more chapters each time we meet on February 3 and 17 and March 3 and 17. All are welcome.
The Isaiah 43:1 group provides support for people who identify as LGBTQ+ and for people who want to support loved ones who identify as LGBTQ+. We have been meeting the first and third Sundays of the month from 12:20 to 1:30 in the parlor. We’ve had a range of 7-15 people at the group each time.
We began in October, and for the first few meetings we mostly shared our stories. Then in late November we began to discuss this question: What sorts of responses to a person with an opposing viewpoint help keep communication open while not sacrificing one’s own stance? This question obviously relates to many issues in life, and the discussions have been rich.
Margui Rutherford, Sprague Minger and I co-lead the group, and we have experienced our group meetings as a huge privilege. The stories are powerful. Almost all of the participants have a background in evangelical Christianity and have expressed deep commitment to being faithful to God and obedient to scripture. Yet they have wrestled with their own experience as LGBTQ+ people within the church or their experience of caring about someone identifies as LGBTQ+.
Margui talked about her brother who died of AIDS, Sprague talked about being gay, and I talked about our gay son. Our stories are pretty typical of the stories shared in the group.
To all who have prayed for this group, thank you. Consider checking out the book God and the Gay Christian and joining us.