June 24, 2013
Discuss this major event with your small group.
Last week, the president of Exodus International, Alan Chambers, made a huge announcement about the world's leading organization seeking to help people with same-sex attraction through reparative therapy. Chambers apologized for the hurt Exodus has caused over the years and explained that it will shut down with a new, separate ministry launching soon.
In case you missed it, the announcement got a lot of Christians worked up—both for and against Chambers' apology. In his interview with The Atlantic, Chambers comes across apologetic and seeking to extend love to those with same-sex attraction and in same-sex relationships. Yet his apology has hit people in different ways. Some still seeking healing from their same-sex attraction feel hopeless and wonder where to turn. Other people are happy Chambers has decided that sexuality can't be changed this side of heaven.
Regardless of where you stand, this hot topic will likely come up in your small group. Read more about the story on the Gleanings blog of our sister site Christianity Today, and read Chambers' interview with The Atlantic to prepare for questions your group members may have. Think about your church's stance on same-sex attraction, and consider speaking with a pastor if you have questions. Then talk through some of these questions with your group:
1. Why might some people be happy about Chambers' apology while others are angry? How does it strike you?
2. Chambers says in his interview with The Atlantic that God would never treat sinners the way many Christians treat people in gay or lesbian relationships. He says, "[God] sent Jesus. He loves us. He wants amazing things for us, and he wouldn't treat us in the ways that religion has taught us to treat people." So, how does God treat sinners? What stories of Jesus interacting with sinners can we look to?
3. Chambers also says in the interview, "We are a church that has mostly been about waging war and battle. But I believe God has called us to be a people of peace. I've realized [God] can love a gay person or a lesbian person the same as anyone. For me as a Christian, those aren't boundaries or barriers, and I don't believe they are barriers for God." Is it possible to love a person who is gay or lesbian even if we feel the Bible speaks against same-sex sexual relationships? If so, what does that look like? If not, why not?
4. Who have you seen engaging the LGBTQ community in a winsome, biblical way? What is he or she specifically doing?
5. Do you have any relationships with people in the LGBTQ community? If so, how has a relationship with this person (or people) helped you gain more understanding?
To discuss this topic further with your group, use our Bible study Homosexuality and God's Household.
Photo credit: AP/Alan Marler
posted by Amy Jackson on June 24, 2013 3:00 PM