Sex, Sexuality, and Gender - Q&A

Examining Tough Questions About The Christian Faith and Sexuality

Tim Lundy
Mar 6, 2022    48m
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Following a difficult series examining what the bible says about sex, sexuality, and gender, Pastor Tim answers some tough questions about The Christian faith and sexuality. We turn to Scripture to learn how to respond to our friends and family that have come out as homosexual or transgender with truth and grace. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:03] Well, Venture, it is good to be together today. Let me just say, it's good to actually see what you look like. And we recognize we're still in a transition season with this, and so, you know, many of us are unmasked, some have chosen to mask with that, some have health concerns. I would encourage as a church family, our goal all along is, how do we stay together? How do we stay united in the journey? How do we love each other well in it? And so just because the mandate has been lifted, that mandate to love each other well is never lifted. And so as a church, we're committed to that together. And I just encourage you, if you see someone and they're doing it differently than you, show them respect, and show them love out of this, you may not know where they are or what their story is in it. But as followers of Christ, we come together in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:00] It is good to see you, it is good to see these steps, but more than anything, it's good to see the numbers going down. And hopefully as a country and worldwide, we can see an end to the pandemic, and move to the endemic stage, because of the impact it's had on so many people.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:17] I would encourage you next week, I've got a copy of Stephen Meyer's book, The Return of the God Hypothesis, I'm really excited about it, I love this stuff. And here's why I love it, as a pastor, I love when you can partner with experts who come alongside, and they do what I can't do. See, I think God's revealed himself in the world, he said this, through special revelation, through Jesus Christ, and through the Bible. And so that's my area, that's where I went to school, that's where my expertise is, how do I teach that special revelation? He's also said, and we taught in Romans 1, he's revealed himself in the world through general revelation, through the creation itself. And to have an expert, you know, Dr. Meyer got his Ph.D. at Cambridge, he interacts at the top universities with the top scientist in the world and can run in those circles. And what he's doing is, how does science match what God says? And for a lot of you, and I courage, especially in the Bay Area, and especially younger people, and if you come from a scientific background, we've been told kind of you need to have your faith and then you have science, and the two worlds can't meet. And so I love any time you have an expert that goes, hey, let's start from the science, what is the science saying, and can speak to it in a way that many of us can't. So I'd encourage you, to come next week. I know you can see a book like this, or you go, whoa, he knows how to speak to a general audience. He also can tell you what's happening in the world, because it's not what you're hearing, the conversations that are happening at major universities with scientists, he's having those and he can tell you about it, and so I'd encourage you. And then we'll have a question-and-answer time next Sunday evening from 6:00 to 7:30, and I'd encourage you to come back, you can ask him any question, and so this is a great opportunity. You know, we're in a series where we're talking about the real issues of our day, this is a real issue, especially the next generation faces. Especially as they go to university, and they go off with it, and if we aren't willing to talk about these things here, then I think we'd leave them ill equipped for what they're facing in the future.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:26] Today, we're doing questions and answers based on things that you've sent into me. And I'll just say at the outset with it, at some point as we answer these questions, you're probably going to be a little uncomfortable, I know I will be. And some of it is, it's uncomfortable, especially talking about sexual issues in church with it, but we need to talk about it. Some of you may be uncomfortable a little bit because it's almost like you're not allowed to say anything different than the prevailing opinions today, and some have almost had an attitude, are we allowed to talk about these things? We have to, everybody else is, and so we should. At some point, as we walk through these questions, you're probably going to disagree with something, and that's OK, that's OK, especially as we're moving into how do you apply it in specific ways? Christians who love the Bible, study the Bible, who agree with the Bible, disagree on some points in it, and we'll point that out with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:35] At some point, you might be a little bit frustrated, and I'll just go ahead and let you know you're probably going to be frustrated because we're not going to answer them all today, I'm going to add one more week. And here's the reason I'm doing that is, you keep emailing me. Here's my stack so far, I mean, there are probably several that came in in the last few days. And so as I've looked at it, I've realized one of the reasons is we don't talk about it. And because we don't talk about it, now that we are, there are a lot of questions around it. The second reason, and hear me on this, it would be easy for me to just blitz through questions and give you answers. And so should we do this? No. Should we do this? Yes. Here's what I don't want, I don't want you just to walk out of here and go, well, my pastor said that. that's it. For all these questions, as much as I can, I want to back up a little bit and go, why do we think this way? What should you wrestle with? How does God's word inform our decisions in that? And so to do that, we have to go a little bit slower than we would.

Tim Lundy: [00:05:45] So we're going to cover part of it today and say that at the beginning because some of you, I know how you work, you look at the sermon notes, you look at the clock, and based on where I am on the notes with the clock, you start panicking. Because you go, man, there's not much more clock, but he's got a lot of notes, ok. We're not going to cover all of them today, we'll do it today, next week we've got Dr. Meyer, who's coming, and then in two weeks, we'll finish it out, and I promise we'll finish it out. We won't extend forever, but I think it's important that we take some time on this. So as we address these questions, I've kind of put them in different categories, summarized some of the same ones that came, some of them are specific with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:06:24] Here's the first one, it came in a number of different ways, can you be LGBT and be a Christian? Or put it this way, does being LGBT send you to hell? Now, some of you are going, did anybody write it that way with it? And most people don't state it this harshly, but can I say this to you? This second form of the question, is how many in that community hear it? And if you tell them I'm an Evangelical Christian, many of them immediately go to that posture, oh, you think I'm going to hell because I'm gay? Now part of it, they've seen it on the news, and they've seen different groups stand up with their signs and all that, and unfortunately, we get associated with all of that. But as you look at this, and this question around it is, can somebody be gay and be a Christian? Can somebody be trans and be a Christian in it. Does that ongoing lifestyle send them to hell? Now, let me reverse it, of course, it doesn't send them to hell because being straight doesn't send you to heaven, Ok, just know that, and those categories. And part of this, and. I think it's important why we wrestle with these issues, especially sexual issues, because this is where you really have to wrestle, what do you believe about the Gospel? What do you believe about faith, as it applies to some of the hardest areas in our life?

Tim Lundy: [00:08:05] As we look at it, here's the first thing I would say, Christ did not wait for us to clean up our lives in order to be worthy of salvation. Christ didn't wait, and honestly, this is what makes the Gospel, this is what makes Christianity so different than any other religion. Every other religion is telling you how to clean up your life in order to be worthy of God, or worthy of nirvana, or worthy of whatever else is out there, it is a plan of how to get there. Christianity is this radical plan that says you won't get there, but Christ got there. And there's not any category of people that he's looking at that he goes, Ok, they're a little bit closer than they are, oh, they're a little less dirty than they are.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:57] In fact, all of our sins, I love what Paul says in Romans 5. He says, "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." And so a fundamental part, whether it doesn't matter what the issue is, no matter the sexual issue, any issue in life, we've got to start, if we're people of the Gospel, that we start with the fact that Christ died for us while we were still a sinner in any form.

Tim Lundy: [00:09:41] Then you add to that, we are made righteous because of the work of Christ on the cross. So it's not behavior modification, it's not OK if I could just teach you to reform your behavior a little bit and you'll get that much better. No, we've got to start with this radical need that I have, but also the radical work of it. And we've looked at this verse several times, but I want to dive in again because this is one of those ones, I think Paul's laying out the categories, and it includes some of the issues we're talking about. He says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." That's a pretty long list of things that he says, this is unrighteous behavior, this is unrighteous people whose lives are defined by this.

Tim Lundy: [00:10:45] Now, it's interesting when you read through the list, our eyes quickly kind of go to the sexual ones. Adulterers, oh, homosexuality, we kind of go to those places. One, because it's pretty easy to define, you know when somebody crossed that line. We probably don't go real quick to like greedy, does anybody here struggle with being greedy. Nobody ever admits to being greedy, greedy is always like that category, you know, those people with it. And yet, as Paul looks at it, he goes, man, how about idolatry? Have you ever placed anything in your life as more important than God? That's idolatry, that marks unrighteousness in this.

Tim Lundy: [00:11:34] As you look at this category, I love again, look how Paul defines that, he says such were some of you. Now, he's not saying this just because, oh, they're all perfect, that everybody in the church in Corinth never struggles with greed again, that everybody in the church in Corinth never struggles with placing anything as an idol in their life. I mean, any of these things, what he's saying is this is why you're not that person anymore, "You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.". This is what changed you, the work of Christ, not because you've now cleaned up your act enough that you'd be considered that.

Tim Lundy: [00:12:22] Guys, if we don't get this right, we don't get the Gospel right. I'll be honest. And honestly, it's easy as church, we can teach a moralism more than we really teach the Gospel. The radical change that happened in our life, the radical change that happened in our identity, the radical change that makes a difference before eternity, is that if you, before Christ, have embraced Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have literally been justified, God declared your righteous. And you're being sanctified, you're washed, and in his eyes, you are clean before him because of what Christ did.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:01] And it's interesting to me, it's easy for us kind of to give some people a little more grace than others. And I think part of the radical embrace that we have to have is, one recognizing there's not people that are worse than others, and recognizing I'm not better than others, all of us needed this in Christ. And now you hear that, and you go, well, Tim, are you just saying then, you know, we're washed and then anybody can live anywhere they want? No, the Gospel always goes on, we have a responsibility to grow in our righteousness in Christ.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:37] And that's why when we get back in the Book of Romans, it's why I'm teaching through Romans this year, because it teaches the full Gospel, not just what it means to be washed and to be justified, but it also teaches, what does that journey look like? How do I walk in this way that that I'm embracing that? In fact, Paul, we just looked at First Corinthians 6, where he made that declaration. Just a few verses later, look what Paul says, he says, hey, you've got a responsibility here, "Flee from sexual immorality." Yes, Christ has washed you, yes, you've been changed, yes, that's your identity, now here's your responsibility in light of that. Man, in any form you flee from it, "Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, He bought you." So it's not your decision anymore, "So glorify God in your body." And so at a fundamental level, and again, you go, Tim, this seems pretty basic, it's so basic, we often miss it. And I think the places we miss at the most, are in sexual brokenness, the place we know we need grace most, the place the grace needs to be extended most, is often in these areas, and the place that we've got to put that in place most is in these areas as well. And so as you look at that and you think about it, I would just encourage you that we've got to be honest with people about what Christ calls them to, while at the same time not setting up barriers in front of them that, frankly, God didn't set up in front of us. God didn't look at you, whatever your struggle is and say, when you stop X, then you can have a relationship with Christ. No, while you were sinner, while I was a sinner, Christ met us there. Now as a result of what Christ did, how do I live this out and how do we call you to live it out? You go, boy, that feels like a tension. It is, but it's the full message that Christ calls to.

Tim Lundy: [00:15:48] Now, as we say this, a number of people asked this, and part of it is because you're interacting, maybe with the child or someone you know in it. And so they say, what do you say to the person who asks, "Why did God make me this way?"? And again, many people, and if you read stories, and I'd encourage you as you read resources and you talk, many people as they struggle with these issues, they would say I didn't choose this, I never wanted this, I've asked God to remove this. But if this is my orientation, this is my attraction, this is who I am, why did God make me this way? And it's probably one of the hardest questions around it.

Tim Lundy: [00:16:38] Let me just walk you through, and I've had these conversations in pastoral council, I'll just walk you through the key points that I hold onto in it. I'd say the first one is, as image-bearers of God, you're wonderfully made. Every person is an image, every person was created in the image of God, and starting with the fact that I don't care who they are, they're wonderfully made. I love how David puts it, he says, "You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth." David recognizes, God, you are forming me, you uniquely made me. And so there's part of it I don't want to just like totally go, oh, well, God really wasn't responsible for that, God loves you, God loves who you are, God loves every part of you, even the parts that need to be redeemed.

Tim Lundy: [00:17:41] And because every person is an image-bearer, again, this is a responsibility, remember, we're doing some repair work as a church with the community at large. This is why it should never be uttered out of the mouth of a Christian, derogatory terms, derogatory language, hateful bullying, of any community, anybody you're talking to is an image-bearer of God, and just remember that when you're attacking it, and when we use words with it. Man, we should be the community, God's always called us to be the protectors, not the attackers, the protectors in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:18:29] And so the first thing I'd say to any person, yes, you're an image-bearer of Christ. Now, the second thing, the impact of sin from the fall is devastating across all creation. And so when you think of the fall, it's not just this nice story in Genesis 3, and they ate a piece of fruit, and oops, wish they wouldn't have. It literally is talking about, how did the world get the way? How do you look at a world, and this isn't the way it was supposed to be, this is a world that every part of it was impacted by sin?

Tim Lundy: [00:19:01] Look how Paul puts it in Romans 5, he says, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned." And so when you start looking at the manifold impact of that, guys, it impacted us physically, it impacted us mentally, it impacted us spiritually. When God looked at Adam and Eve and says the day you eat is the day you start dying. That death that was spread, it spread to the whole planet in a way that Romans 8 tells us, "Even the creation itself groans to be redeemed.". Even the world knows that this isn't how it's supposed to be. And the impact of it, it impacted us physically in our bodies, it impacts our brains, it impacts impairment, it impacts addiction. I mean, you start going through all these categories in that, that if I wanted to go to one category that I go, how did this happen in the world? It all goes back to sin. And you go, well, OK, that might be a nice little...I'm just telling you, that's what explains why we wrestle with what we wrestle with.

Tim Lundy: [00:20:14] A third thing I'd say in this, though, is God has allowed this in your life to display His good work in you. God has allowed this in your life, so I don't want to, because we're living a little bit in the mystery between sovereignty and human free will, between God's in control of everything, but at the same part of it, we've been impacted by our choices and not just our choices, the choices of our forebearer, Adam. But in that, for any individual person, you look at it and you go, oh, maybe that's why, but man, why am I still wrestling with this, especially when I don't want this in my life?

Tim Lundy: [00:20:56] There's a hard passage, we kind of skip over because it's such a long story. But if you go to John Chapter 9, there was a blind man. Notice the disciples, "As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”. It's a telling question, isn't it? He's blind, this isn't the way it's supposed to be, there's an impairment here. But in their culture, because it's not the way it's supposed to be, one of them did something wrong. And there was actually a thought that this baby, this soul, did something wrong and that's why it was born blind. Or, and this was usually the case that most people would say if they saw someone that had an impairment, the culture of that day was, well, their parents did something wrong, their parents sinned, and this is how God's punishing them for their parents’ sin, wouldn't that be hard to live under?

Tim Lundy: [00:22:00] And yet, I would say when it comes to this issue, there's a lot of parents, if their child is gay, if their child is trans, if they're Christians in the church, man, the parents immediately feel, and in a lot of it the church placed on them as well, man, what did we do wrong? In fact, a lot of parents, that's their first question, sometimes with me is, man, we thought we were doing everything we knew to do; they were raised here, they knew this. And for a while, the church kind of had one narrative, that OK, if a child is gay, then it must be the father's fault if it's a son, it's the mother's fault in that. Guys, there can be contributing factors, remember, I told you a couple of weeks ago, there's not one story, and so any time we try to oversimplify it in that way, we usually cause more damage.

Tim Lundy: [00:22:53] And I've known a lot of families, man, the kid looks you the eye and goes, I couldn't have had better parents, I couldn't have had godlier parents, I couldn't have had more investment in my life, and I still struggle with this, so, before we just guilt-trip parents in it. Now, if you're here and you go, yeah, my child is struggling in this, or my child has come out to me, there may be a part that you have to look at it, and we have to do this as parents, no matter what the issue is. That we have to own our part, that we go, you know, I probably could have done X better, and there may be a place where you have to go own that before God and ask for his forgiveness. But hear me on this, if you allow your shame over this to drive you, you're not going to parent well now. And I've seen parents, they get so ashamed over it, they kind of do one of two things. I've seen some they get ashamed, and so they almost start jettisoning everything they believed about the Bible because they so want to connect with their kid now. And you just watch them on this journey that you go, whoa, I mean, this was somebody that I thought you would have agreed with me on all these truths and now totally walked away. I've seen the other side of it, too, I've seen parents who they hold on to the truth, but kind of in their shame over it, they end up rejecting the kid, and they create a wedge there, and it does real damage out of it. And so here's what I just encourage you at this point, if you're living in that, there's a place where you feel the guilt of it. Man, this is the beauty of Christianity, anything we feel guilty over, we have a place to actually take it. And he says if you confess your sins, he loves forgiving, he loves healing, and then it allows you to walk in the strength of that healing and forgiveness instead of overreacting to your guilt out of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:25:00] So as we do this, notice, they said, who did this? And Jesus said, it was not that the man sinned, or his parents, it's neither one of them, stop trying to blame. But then he makes this really hard statement, guys, "But that the works of God might be displayed in him.". That God wants to do something in his life that is really unique, that's going to bring God glory, that God is in control of, and so God has allowed this in his life because God wants to do something through that. Now if you read the rest of the story, we know what the something is, God heals him of his blindness. But if you just stop it at that point, that's still a hard statement, you go, geez, that's a lot of years of blindness, and pain, and hard. And Jesus said, yes, but God's going to use even this in their life, he'll do his good work in it. As a result of it, for many, God has chosen not to remove this area of suffering from you. And so you've prayed about it, you've sought him in it, you've asked for healing in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:16] Now, as I told you over the last few weeks, for some people, God heals this, and I absolutely believe in God's healing in it. And so for those that will tell you, no one's ever walked away from it. Guys, I've got story after story of persons, and resource, and people, I can point you to that said, don't buy that, don't buy that narrative that God can’t, or he won't. But here's the other side of the narrative, he doesn't always. And it's not because the person didn't want it enough or didn't pray enough, I'd never put that on the person. It's the same thing with healing, man, I've seen God heal people from cancer, I've seen God heal people from unbelievable things, and I've also seen other people that God has chosen not to heal them. And it's not based on the faith of the person, so let's stop beating up suffering people and trust, as we step back and go, OK, God, what are you doing in this?

Tim Lundy: [00:27:20] Paul describes it in his life, he says, "So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations." He got to see these higher heaven revelations, "A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Paul has this thorn in the flesh, we don't know what it is, some thought it was demonic oppression, some think he had trouble with his eyes, it was a physical thing, some think it's a personal struggle in his life. He doesn't tell us what it is, and he prays three times, he says, God, remove it. God, remove it. God, remove it. And if anybody should have the hotline to God, it should be Paul, shouldn't it? I mean, literally, he's planting churches all over the planet, he's written more of the New Testament than anybody else, and yet when he went to God, God said, actually, no, I'm not taking this away. Because I'm going to do something in the weakness, that I couldn't have done otherwise.

Tim Lundy: [00:28:34] And I think this is important as we look at this, as God who's chosen not to do this. You know, one of the authors I've read is a guy named Wesley Hill, he's written a book, Washed and Waiting, because he describes himself like that First Corinthians6 passage. And he would say, I'm celibate, I've chosen a celibate lifestyle because God has not changed my same-sex attraction, he's not changed those things. Listen, to what he writes in it, he said, "I think we need to have an approach to ministry that allows for a long-term sense of waiting and enduring something that we wish were otherwise. For me, for example, there are many ways which I don't feel that I made for celibacy. I mean, it often leads to loneliness, to difficulty, the natural impulse of a pastor is to want to say to that person who is suffering, let me make this better, let's fix this condition of celibacy so that it's not painful anymore. He said I think it comes from good motivation, but the most helpful pastors and people in my life have recognized that there are some situations that people find themselves in that you can't fix. So the pastoral or personal strategy then becomes, not how do we rescue this person out of this terrible condition, but how do we help this person flourish and find love in the way that God's made them? I mean, that is a powerful truth, and do you know why it's powerful? It's one thing for me to speak that truth, it's another thing for Wesley to speak it, living it and what God's called him to.

Tim Lundy: [00:30:26] And so, as we say that, the next point I would say is, you have to trust his goodness and his plan for you. If this is your struggle, I've got to believe that as a good God, he has a good plan for your life, it would not be the plan I would have chosen. In fact, if I were God, I probably would want to intervene very quickly, not just on this issue, but any suffering I see. But I'm not God, I don't have the ability, as Paul says, "We know that for those who love God all things work together for good.". All things, every area of your life works together for good, "For those who are called according to his purpose."

Tim Lundy: [00:31:07] And this again comes back to, fundamentally, what do we believe faith was? Do we believe what Christ calls people to do, is truly the best life? And think when it comes to an issue, when somebody goes, yeah, but if you're saying that I've got to embrace that, that I can't get married, that I can't take those steps, honestly, a part of me is like, oh man, can't we figure out a way around it?

Tim Lundy: [00:31:35] I love the words of Sam Albury, again, he's a pastor, a man that struggled with same-sex attraction all his life and has embraced to celebrate life as a result of it. Listen to Sam's words, Sam's one of the best writers on this, by the way, because he speaks so much out of his life. He says, "Homosexuality is an issue I've grappled with my entire Christian life. There have been all sorts of ups and downs, this battle has not been 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 God's grace, rather than less. But over the last couple of years, I've felt increasingly concerned when it comes to our gay friends and family members, many of us Bible-believing Christians are losing confidence in the Gospel. We're not always convinced that it really is the good news for gay people. We're not always sure that 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, God's word is, in fact, clear, the Bible consistently prohibits any sexual activity outside of marriage." Then he turns it personal, he says, "As someone who experiences homosexual feelings, this is not always an easy word to hear. There have been times of acute temptation and longing, times when I've been in love, but I've learned that what we give up for Jesus does not compare to what he gives back. For me, these include a wonderful depth of friendship God has given me with many brothers and sisters, the opportunity of singleness, the privilege of wide-ranging ministry, the community of a wonderful church family. But greater than any of these things, is the opportunity..." And here are these words he said, "...to learn the all-sufficiency of Christ. He said, my main point is this, the moment you think following Jesus will be a poor deal for someone, you've called Jesus a liar. Discipleship is not always easy, leaving anything cherished behind is profoundly hard, but Jesus is always worth it." Now again, those are powerful words, and it's one thing for me to say them, it's another thing to hear them from him. But you need to hear from these voices in the community in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:33:59] I think the final thing is, you have to believe in eternity, and God's plan to reward sacrifice greatly. You've got to believe in eternity. Part of our problem is, we don't have a good theology of eternity, we don't recognize the rewards, we don't live for it as much as we say we live for it. And so when I look at somebody that I know this is going to produce a harder path to discipleship, a harder path of sacrifice, that, frankly, I'm not facing. You know, one of the things that I rest back in, though, is God knows and God rewards. And they have an opportunity both to know Jesus in a way I don't know, because they get to know him in the same way that Jesus is a single man who sacrificed as well in this, they can identify with Christ in a way that I have not had that opportunity too, and they will be rewarded.

Tim Lundy: [00:34:51] You know, when it talks about that day when the first shall be last, and the last shall be first, I think many of the last on that day are going to be people out of these categories who have faithfully followed Jesus Christ in their life, and they've not been celebrated enough on this side of eternity. Because we've been so scared of the issue, we don't talk about it, and we don't embrace, and we don't come alongside brothers and sisters in Christ who are living a radical sacrifice. And I'm talking to both homosexual and heterosexual, single adults, who've lived this out.

Tim Lundy: [00:35:27] I love how Paul puts it, he says, "For I consider the sufferings of this present time.". It is suffering in this present time, but it doesn't compare to the glory that's going to be revealed. That every time it's hard, I recognize, oh, it's going to be that much better, it's going to be that much more.

Tim Lundy: [00:35:49] I'll do one more question here real quick. So, how do I respond as a parent if my child says they identify? And I would say, especially, I'm hearing from many of you, you have elementary kids, and unfortunately, this is so getting indoctrinated in the schools, there's a radical push within the schools to indoctrinate, not just on this issue, but all issues sexually, that we're introducing these issues to kids at an age when they don't even have the complexity to process it, but it's being forced on them. And as parents, you're living in that in many cases. And here's the hard part about it, there's an agenda to remove parents out of the equation. So it's how do we get to the kids so that the parents can't be a part of the equation?

Tim Lundy: [00:36:34] And one of the things I love, though, is, I love to see how the church responds. There's a movement happening in our church right now, there are different parents coming forward, going, OK, how do we resource with each other? How do we connect with that? And part of my commitment as your pastor in this is, this isn't just a sermon series, this is a movement of how do we, together, resource you? And so over the next weeks, you're going to hear, hey, here are groups that are coming together. We've got different experts that we can bring in to help you as a parent to walk through different parts of that, especially if you've got those younger kids, who are, frankly, they're just confused, they're just confused. And they've been confused by a culture determined to confuse them because then they want to move in the space on it.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:20] Now, what if you have like an adult child, this isn't just a little child, this is a child that's come to this or teenager that's come to this with this, I would just say, first of all, listen, listen, listen, be quick to hear and slow to speak. Just listen to them, listen to what they're thinking, listen to their story. Your words in those moments, you probably don't have words yet, so silence will always aid you if you don't know what to say. And so this part of it, just create a place where they can be heard. That doesn't mean you agree, but you hear them.

Tim Lundy: [00:38:07] The second thing I'd say is this, express your love and your support as God's grace bearer and truth-teller in their life. Every parent, you are a grace bearer and you're a truth-teller, that's fundamental to your role. You're establishing a culture in your home of, does grace mark this place, and am I bringing that grace? While at the same time, do we align our lives to truth? And that's always, that's the tension you feel in that moment of, OK, I want to speak the truth immediately. here's what I encourage you, lead with grace. Because that's what God does. God always leads with grace, he never undercuts truth, he never shies away from truth, but he's always quick to lead with grace.

Tim Lundy: [00:38:54] And not on this issue, but any issue as a parent when you have a child who is struggling, a child, that I mean, you're wrestling with the issue. Here's a question that we often ask ourselves, and I'll ask myself in this, OK, God, will you give me the ability to love this child in this moment the way you love me? Will you give me the ability to lead in this, the way you've done this in my life? And you'll recognize that he leads with grace toward us, and so I'd encourage you in that as much as possible as you think about how do I extend grace in this moment, how are we establish a culture of grace, while at the same time, man, I am supposed to stand and speak for truth?

Tim Lundy: [00:39:39] As you do this, recognize there's going to be a tension between how you each define your identity and your belief. So, so here's the hard part, if you, as a Christian, you go, hey, Tim, I agree with every sermon you've said, I agree with what the Bible says, I'm basing my stand off of this, and then they come forward in this, you're at a tension point with your child and this is what makes it so hard and parenting. None of us want to be in tension like this with our children, especially over core issues of identity and belief. Now for them, especially, here's how the culture defines it, the culture has said, hey, if you have this attraction, if you have this desire, this is who you are, their identity is built off of it. This is why, by the way, often the church over the years has said, you know, hate the sin, love the sinner. Do you know what they hear when you say that? Hate the sinner. Because they're not identifying their behavior as sin, they're identifying their behavior as their identity, I am gay, this is who I am. Now, you probably don't identify yourself as that way, that's probably not your governing thought if I said, hey, tell me a little bit about yourself, probably the first thing you don't say is, well, I'm heterosexual. And so this is part of the rub in this of a core thing, and so as they come, and this is where the tension often comes, is unless you accept this, unless you agree with this, we can't have a relationship.

Tim Lundy: [00:41:13] Now, can I say that's a two-way street, by the way, though? Because as well, we are people, who our identity is based on Jesus Christ, and it's based on what God's word says about us. And so in the same way that someone says, hey, unless you agree with this, we could make the same claim and say, well, unless you agree with the Bible, you can't accept me because my whole identity is based on the Bible and you don't accept the Bible, see, here's the clash, and in that tension of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:41:48] And I think as we recognize that, you're going to have to decide together, can we love each other and even accept each other without agreeing with each other? And the reason this is so hard today is, our culture is determined that you can't do this unless you agree on everything, by the way, unless you agree about COVID, unless you agree about politics, unless you agree about, unless you agree, we can't have a relationship. That's the teaching of the culture, by the way, that's the last point in Romans 1 when a culture breaks down, that you treat each other this way. And so at a fundamental place, what you've got to determine as a family is we're going to have this fundamental disagreement, you define life this way, we define life this way. You're defining it based on an identity you've embraced in it, we're defining it based on what we see Scripture teaching, that's not going to change, we're going to live in this tension. So, how do we love each other in that tension? And how do we live in that? And I would just challenge you if you're a parent, I believe you're called to love them and to live in that tension, you are the unique grace bearer and truth-teller in their life that God's placed over them. And it will be sacrificial, and it will be hard, I'll just say my years of pastoral ministry, I've never seen it just turn out well when a parent just shuts them off based on this issue. And so I just, I would say, how do you move in, into the messiness of the grace, while at the same time, not sacrificing the truth? And it doesn't always work out that way because it's a two-way street, remember? They may look at you and say, unless you embrace this truth that I'm saying, we can't have a relationship, and I understand that. The flip side of it, is you need to look at them and go, well, you're asking me to change my identity now, you're asking me to change who I am because my life is built on this. So can we come to this at least and recognize we both are building our lives on something? How do we build a relationship while disagreeing over this fundamental truth? I wish I had a one size fits all prescription, like, I could go, man, if you just do this...Every story is a little bit different.

Tim Lundy: [00:44:32] And while we're at this, could we do this for each other? Could we extend each other a little grace on how people are handling it? That you look at it and you go, well, I wouldn't have done that. You don't know, you're not in it. It's a part of the grace of being a church family is coming alongside, in fact, I would say with this, find support from the church and other parents who are walking this journey together. One of the things I've so appreciated, different ones of you have come forward and you say, man, we are walking through this right now, I'd love to meet with any other parents who are struggling with this, I'd love to be a resource for anybody. And so you need to know you're not alone in this, and so I'd encourage you if you have questions, ideas, or you want to find some of those names of parents and support groups around it, just send it into Info@venture.cc. If you've got a question around it, if you need somebody to come alongside, you're with that, or if you want to look on our help page on a number of the things that are there as well.

Tim Lundy: [00:45:32] Now, here's the next big set of questions, and I've got a bunch of these. Do I use pronouns for someone who transitions? Should I attend a gay wedding? Should I allow a gay couple to stay in my home overnight? And we'll address these in two weeks, I know, like a little hook to make you come back here, do you like that? I know some of you are going, oh, that's the question I want answered. Well, of course it is. Hey, guys, as much as I want to dive into these things, it is so fundamental that we get the Gospel right first, if we don't have a Gospel foundation, we have nothing to work off of, all it becomes is opinion in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:46:17] I'm going to take a moment and I'm going to close us in prayer, and then the worship team will come out, we'll finish with one more song. Father, we do thank you for your grace, we thank you for your goodness, we thank you that your word speaks to these things. I'll just confess some of those verses, even when I read them again, they're hard in places. You didn't design this to make us feel good, you designed this to set us free, you designed this for eternity, you designed this according to who you are and your character. God, there's a mystery of this that is beyond us, but there's a clarity in this that should guide us. Lord, I pray, would you use words today that if they were misspoken or they didn't represent you, well, would you erase them from people's minds? And Lord, where your word is speaking, where your Spirit is convicting, I pray that we wouldn't just walk out of here and shake it off, but we would listen well to what you're doing in our lives and what you're doing in our church. And we pray this in Christ's name. Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600