Fall is just around the corner. It’s time for school supplies. But for one segment of the student population the item they will need most won’t readily be available at their local office supply store.
I am a Christian parent. To my knowledge none of my children are currently practicing homosexuals. So, to some degree I write more from an understanding culled via study, revelation, and biblical conviction rather than from insights gained in the bowels of experience.
My parents were also Christians parents. And one of their children was, and still is, a practicing homosexual. So, to some degree I do write from insights gained while in the bowels of experience.
What I have seen in my own childhood, and what I see happening in the Church today, as well as some of our schools, is a painful demonization and wounding of homosexual children rejected by their Christian parents. I don’t challenge the authenticity of these rejecting parents’ Christianity anymore than I challenge the authenticity of the homosexuality of their children. What I challenge is the hurt, the harm, and the horror of the rejection; and I view the healing of these wounds and wrongs as a significant part of my life mission.
I am a Christian minister. A Christian theologian. A Christian author. A former Christian pastor. And a current Christian champion of healing for prejects, including homosexual prejects. A preject, as I explain in my workbook When My Mother & Father Forsake Me…, is a person who has been emotionally rejected by and physically disconnected from a parent. We are increasingly becoming a nation of fractured families. It is estimated that 100 million Americans experience some level of rejection and disconnection from a parent by the time they reach age 21. Research has shown this kind of rejection to have significant impact on academic performance and school socialization. A growing segment of this preject population is LGBT teens and young adults coming out to their parents as a result of the rise in available support groups and more sympathetic legislation.
My biblical convictions are that homosexuality is a sin and misses the mark of God’s basic and best design for our lives. My biblical convictions also are that Jesus would have and does embrace the homosexual, or anyone deemed by the law to be in a place or lifestyle of sin. Therein lies the tension of redemptive faith. Those seemingly polar convictions beg the question: How does a bible-believing Christian, be it an educator, classmate, or parent, embrace someone who is behaving in a way that God disapproves of and rejects?
Well, I have come to believe that the very question is really a product of bad theology.
Sin matters. Love matters more. The law of love supersedes the law of sin.
God is love. God loves ALL of the creation. Loves it so much that God sent Jesus to model in a corporal and costly way God’s love for all of the creation (Jn 3:16). So, the God of the bible embraces everyone. And that love teaches us to embrace our own kids even when they misbehave. Biblical love demands that we love everyone, not only as a point of legality; but from the heart. Because biblical love is transforming. When a person has a true encounter with the God of love one cannot help but to become love as well, from the inside out, from the heart; because love supersedes the law, and is in fact the only law. As Paul said, owe no man anything but to love; for he that loves has fulfilled the law (Rom 13:8). And if my faith is going to work it must be anchored in and activated by love, for the same Apostle Paul also said that faith works by love (Gal 5:6).
So, I am not called or sent to condemn the homosexual. I am called and sent to love the homosexual. And the pain of homosexual children rejected by their Christian parents demands a response. LGBT young people who are highly rejected by their families are likely to attempt suicide as many as 9 times in their lifetime. I cannot turn my head and walk on, like the priest and Levite in Jesus’ parable about the Good Samaritan. The love of God constrains me to be a good neighbor. The pain of homosexual children rejected by their Christian parents is my pain, and I believe God has a word of help and healing for them that will transform their pain into power. For years I’ve watched my sister suffer this pain. In my heart I believe that by ministering healing to homosexual children rejected by their Christian parents through my books, workshops, and seminars, I am also ministering healing to her…and ultimately, to myself.
As LGBT young people head back to school this fall, I want to equip them with the tools they will need to endure their rejection experiences, overcome the hate, and transform their pain into power. I want to put a copy of When My Mother & Father Forsake Me… in the hands of every LGBT student who needs it, and in so doing, tangibly demonstrate the love of God.