How do we respond with love to sexual sin?
What I would love to ask you to do now is to graciously respond to three desperate issues of today. I’m thinking nearly everyone has a family member or loved one who struggles with homosexuality, transgenderism, or pornography. My umbrella question over all three is: are they a form of love, or sin? And what would you say to someone who’s being told that if you can’t wholeheartedly accept these issues, then you are unloving? How can we reframe, for Christians, that truth is love? And how do we respond to “hey, if it feels good, it must be love, and that’s right...right?”
David Kyle Foster:
That’s a wordly definition of what love is. And it’s tied to what faith is. Love is practical demonstration, not just emotion and feeling.
What you have for example in the gay community is people saying they love each other but what they’re really doing is having a sexual, pleasurable experience that’s trendy or they’re having a romantic experience. That kind of conditional love is really saying: if you give me what I want and like, then I’ll love you. It’s self-centered.
And that’s often why people divorce, because if their spouse isn’t serving them like they used to, or according to what they think they should be...it’s all performance-based.
Well, that cleans the whole window. So let’s start with homosexuality as one of three powerful sexual sins that God actually can heal. What can a believer do or say to support someone who might be battling this sin pattern of homosexuality...in a truly loving way. What practical steps can we take?
David Kyle Foster:
Start by asking: tell me your story. Most people fixate on the aberrant behavior, which is a mistake. The behavior is a manifestation of the real problem. So asking their story opens up our eyes to where their real deficiencies lie.
Do they have anger and unforgiveness?
Have they believed a lot of lies that the enemy’s told them?
Have they been sexually abused?
Has something happened that has skewed their views of the opposite sex?
Are they addicted to emotion rather than truth?
Are they confused that their emotion is a reflection of truth?
These are all sorts of roots you’re looking for.
The first thing you look for is someone who really does want to change. For example, I was running a telephone counseling center and we were told to reduce the duration of calls. So I asked God: what do I do? And He said to me: ask everyone who calls two questions. And the first question is this: are you willing to do whatever it takes to be set free?
What I discovered was many were calling for only sympathy but they didn't want to deal with the frightening internal issues that were fueling their anger.
The second question was: what exactly do you want God to do for you right now? That challenged people to come up with a goal, so that when the goal was met, they could know God did it and give Him glory. When I'm sitting with somebody the first thing I want to know is are they repentant…are they sorry…do they see what they've been doing as sin? Because without that, God's power will not come in.
I loved your visual in your book of things in nature that are split being drawn back together, and that’s how God created Adam and Eve -- from each other. So they’re naturally drawn to each other to become one flesh. Does this speak to whether homosexuality is a sin or not, and why?
David Kyle Foster:
Well, I don't come up with “it’s a sin.” I wait for them to come up with it, so I know they believe it. So the first thing I do if I go in the direction you brought up, is I ignore the homosexual confusion and I talk about the expression of God's love for us and how they can have it. How they can experience a love that goes way beyond anything you experience on this earth. In a sense, I make them jealous of what they don't have. I'm trying to help them to see that what they do have is not really love. And that by praising God and seeing my story as an example, they'll start to want that kind of love.
What about transgenderism? That is such a complex issue for society today. Hearts go out to folks who struggle with this, but we don’t know what to say. What’s different about what you may say to someone who doesn't even believe they belong in their own God-given body?
David Kyle Foster:
I might talk about my own battle with identity although mine is not as constantly-there as theirs may be. I will talk about how identity comes from God. He names us, He created us, He's the one who tells us who we are.
I don't necessarily say this at first, but I will eventually get to the chromosomes and the DNA…and how that reflects God's intent no matter what you're feeling. No matter what you’re thinking about, God has already declared what He made you to be. And He can take you there if you want. And He can heal the traumas that you've had.
And they all likely have massive trauma in their background. I haven't met a transgender yet that wasn't sexually abused; and for that matter, most homosexuals have been sexually abused.
So I will talk about the goal rather than the problem in all of these situations. Here’s a fundamental problem, and I had this as well: if we are trapped in bondage to sin, we have a wrong view of God. He's not attractive to us.
So this praising God and talking about him, and jumping up and down about him, shows them that their view of God is very different than my view of God, and this new view is attractive and desirable.
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