Few topics today divide people (especially Christians) as quickly as our views on gay relationships. I continue to wade through this one as my heart longs for a stance that my understanding of Scripture doesn’t support. So I keep reading, and processing, and listening to gay people share their stories and perspectives with me. All the while trying to hear from God as clearly as possible. In that light, I was very grateful for Preston Sprinkle’s book, People to Be Loved. In it Preston goes point by point through the six passages in the Bible that address homosexuality and how to best understand them today. Preston does a great job exploring this through an objective lens with a heart for both sides. More importantly, he keeps his heart (and you as the reader) focused on people instead of an abstract issue. I would highly recommend this to anyone seeking to understand the Biblical perspective on this better.
Below are some of the more thought-provoking ideas I took away from his book. These are the ones that easily stand alone, as much of what I highlighted only makes sense in the context of the larger arguments he develops.
I stand on truth and I stand on love. Figuring out how to stand on both is hard work.
An old Baptist pastor recently told me, “People will always gravitate to where they are loved. And if they don’t find love in the church, they’ll go elsewhere.
The debate is not about what the Bible says. That much is clear. The debate is over what the Bible means.
What would happen if Christians were known more by their radical, otherworldly love for gay people than their stance against gay sex?
Like Jonah, some people are more addicted to judgment than they are to grace.
The term homosexuality is a modern sociological construct invented in the nineteenth century, and gay and lesbian refer to people whose identity is based on their sexual attraction. But ancient people didn’t think in terms of sexual identity; they thought in terms of gender identity. There is no ancient term or concept for homosexuality, gay, or lesbian.
Jesus desires obedience, but to get that obedience he fronts love.
If the world out-loves the church, then we have implicitly nudged our children away from the loving arms of Christ.
The gospel never promises happiness to married folk. It does promise joy for those who pick up their crosses and die with Jesus.