Books Ethics Pastoral Theology

Relating to people who identify as LGBT+, with grace and truth

There are not many issues confronting Christian churches, in western post-Christian cultures these days, which are more troubling and difficult than how the church should relate to people who identify as LGBT+. The sexual revolution has gotten more diverse in recent decades, and it has become a political force which frequently threatens both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Within this context, Christian churches and individuals are struggling to figure out how to relate to these people and this movement in Christ honoring ways. Like him, we want to be people full of grace and truth, but we do not always agree, either about what is true or what constitutes the appropriate gracious attitude and policies.  Recently, I have listened to a couple of podcasts which address this matter and I share them with you, to stimulate your own thinking and behavior in this regard.   

Justin Brierley’s most recent podcast, on “Unbelievable?,” was not in his usual debate format, but it presented highlights from the apologetics conference they had organized in London, UK., about a month before. Among the highlights selected was one episode in the Q&A time. At about 1:06:00, Brierley opens up for questions, and a Christian woman describes an experience she had had in a conversation with a lesbian woman at the race track. It illustrates very well the tension we immediately face when we try to relate to LGB+ people with both grace and truth. Two panelists responded to her and both were excellent, but I particularly liked how the second guy describes the approach which he has developed, growing out of a rather awkward conversation he had with a group of gays who were at his brother’s house for a party after a gay parade in California. I think you’ll find that Q&A an interesting and helpful 20 minutes of listening.

The second item is an interview with Bruce Miller, in an unSeminary podcast. He recently authored a book published by Nelson: Leading a Church in a Time of Sexual Questioning: Grace-Filled Wisdom for Day-to-Day Ministry. I have not read the book but it sounds very worthwhile, from what Miller has to say about the subject in this podcast. It looks like an excellent book to stimulate very productive conversation among leaders in a church which is wrestling with this highly important issue. The podcast might whet your appetite, as it has done mine.


By Terrance Tiessen

I am Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Providence Theological Seminary, Canada.

One reply on “Relating to people who identify as LGBT+, with grace and truth”

The podcast link didn’t work but here is one that does:

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