by Elizabeth Prata
Kids in high school and especially college co-eds are having a hard time withstanding the tsunami of cultural change with regard to the issues of gender dysphoria, homosexuality, trans-issues, and gender roles. I can’t imagine the deep level of concern that parents of kids these days deal with.
The mama bear wants to protect and guard the kids…the Christian woman in us wants to honor Jesus, and the flesh in us is probably scared to death… The special worry is that kids will become desensitized to these particular sins, because they are being promoted and tolerated so heavily. The Christian life, particularly for parents these days, seems to be one of continual worry and vigilance.
It’s always about sin “out there” – until it rears its head and comes close! What to do when your child’s friend comes out as gay…when a trans person becomes the roommate, when the dorm’s bathroom is unisex, issue isn’t just ‘out there’ any more but touches you or your child’s intimate life? I’m reminded of Jude,
17But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. 20But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in the love of God, looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
How not to become desensitized to these sins? It would seem to me that when youths are involved via friendship with a person involved in homosexuality (in any form) we look to the end of the verse, ‘having mercy on him with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.’ Jamieson Fausset commentary says of that part of the verse,
"those who are objects of compassion, whom accordingly you should compassionate (and help if occasion should offer), but at the same time not let pity degenerate into connivance at their error. Your compassion is to be accompanied "with fear" of being at all defiled by them."
Do not let pity degenerate into complicity or acceptance at their error… It’s right to have a concern that youths will become desensitized to sin. They are young enough to have been born post-sexual revolution, where the notion of gay marriage, drag queens, tranvestism and other sexual dysfunctions are common. It always happens, the more a person is around any sin the more their conscience is hardened and it starts to seem normal. That is definitely a legitimate concern.
I often refer to the Jude verse about snatching some from the fire, hating even the garment stained by the flesh, but I’m equally often at a loss as to HOW to do this.
I offer several resources along this vein, which I felt gave advice by example on how to deal with these troubling issues of the day sexual dysphoria, transvestism, homosexuality, transsexuals, etc.
First, I remember Todd Friel of Wretched some years ago making a video contrasting two different reactions to a boy who came out as gay to his dad. One was an actual letter from a Dad responding to his son’s coming out, and the other was from counselor David Murray who was saddened over the Dad’s letter, which had become public. Murray wrote a hypothetical reply as he pondered the actual Dad’s reply, which was harsh. Friel updated the video to include a back and forth email exchange from Emeal Zwayne (“EZ”) who is President of Ray Comfort’s Living Waters ministry, which I loved.
The Zwayne exchange shows HOW to have compassion on a person who is gay and who is combative about it at first, and how EZ extended love- with boundaries and humility- that helped to reach the poor soul.
The next part of Friel’s video goes through the two dads scenario, again I feel it’s instructive by example both in what not to do and what to do, about how to set limits with love, as Jude says, having compassion without being polluted even by the garment. Maybe parents can have explicit talks revolving around these issues, i.e. how to have compassion and be a godly influence without desensitizing toward sin after viewing the limits set in compassion as we hear in Murray’s hypothetical letter.
I also think it helps, as Friel alluded to at the end, that homosexuals know they are in the wrong, Romans 1:18 says they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. I think, keep reminding your kids of that internally and personally but without sermonizing all the time… (as the combative gay person said in his message to EZ, “I don’t need a sermon…”). Love, earnest listening without openly accepting, and not being a hypocrite ourselves goes a long way to strike a chord with someone who is actively suppressing the truth. Sometimes it doesn’t take much for their exhaustion in suppressing it to collapse as truth explodes into their conscience and bursts out.
I encourage you to watch the video below and see if it suits what you may be dealing with. Cached video below. I don’t know what happened to the actual video on Wretched.org in the two days since I’d seen it and when I went to link it now, it has disappeared from Wretched’s site. Here is the cached version. I hope it keeps working, because it’s a good video. Friel begins the meat of it at 1:04 and ends at 22:48.
Here are the segment breaks and topics:
Segment 1 (0:00) – Are we like Jesus, seeing the lost, the homosexual, the fornicator, and the porn addict with compassion? Todd introduces a clip from Emeal “E.Z.” Zwayne’s message “EZ Conversation with a Homosexual Man.” E.Z. shares his compassionate response to a homosexual critical of E.Z.’s preaching.
Segment 2 (10:00) – The conclusion of E.Z.’s message calling for compassion. Todd introduces clips from a message he shared at Answers in Genesis titled “Letter from Dad,” which contrasts two responses from father’s to their sons who have come out as homosexual.
Segment 3 (17:58) – Todd’s message continues with a compelling question: “Do we respond as conservatives or Christians?” Todd reads Jerry Bridges’ “Sins We Tend to Overlook,” and closes with a call to engage the lost with compassion.
Next resource: Our Church has Thursday night ‘Table Talks’. Elders present scriptures and issues and we compare to the Bible. The first two weeks was looking at Critical Race Theory and comparing to what the Bible says. The next two weeks was LGBTQ+ issues, sexual issues, gender, and the like. This past week’s video was so good, so illuminating, and so sensitively presented, I link it below. Three of the four elders teach youths in High School or Middle School, and one of them was a college/youth pastor before starting at our church. A great many college kids and young adults represent our church demographic. These men are highly tuned in to the issues of homosexuality and the problem it has become for many of our youths today. The video is an hour. One of our elders speaks rather rapidly, but you can always play with the settings on the video to slow it down. 😉
Lastly, I offer this sermon from John MacArthur. God’s View of Homosexuality, part 1. MacArthur says of why single out homosexuality as a particular spotlight when there are so many sins God hates-
"I suppose there should be some justification for isolating a sin like this and preaching on it when there are so many sins which are equally heinous to God. The answer to those who might wonder why we would isolate this one should be apparent, but just in case it isn’t, this sin has taken on unique properties in our culture. It has been declassified as a sin and turned into a sort of civil rights group. It is at this particular point a political issue and not a moral one, an issue of freedom and not a moral one or a spiritual one."
America is about to become or already is a post-Christian nation. Even the thin veneer of morality that shallow Christianity had covered our nation with is melting away faster than ice cubes on a July sidewalk. Sins of all types are being normalized, homosexuality among them. Stay in the word of God, pray ceaselessly, and look up for the return of Jesus. After all, today we are one day closer than we’ve ever been before!
Jesus saves, He forgives all sin- there IS life post-gay…post trans…post any sin. Grace abounds.