JDFM FORUM: Is God Anti-Gay? -- By: Sam Allberry
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Is God Anti-Gay?
Sam Allberry is a pastor at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Maidenhead, UK. He is the author of Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life, Connected: Living in the Light of the Trinity, Is God Anti-Gay?, and the forthcoming James For You. Allberry speaks widely on the issue of homosexuality and the church.
The following is an adaptation of a presentation from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s National Conference 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Let me thank you for coming along to our session this afternoon. I want to thank you not just for coming along to this session, but I want to thank you for caring about this issue, as we’ve been made very aware of the course of this conference, this is not an issue about politics, or abstract things; what we’re dealing with is people. Maybe some of us are dealing with issues in our own life, or for people that are very close to us.
I am from the United Kingdom, and I am a bit of a contradiction. I’m an Englishman who is an American-phile. I live in the United Kingdom, but I love coming over to the States. I’m also a contradiction because I’m a conservative Reformed evangelical and yet I have experienced same-sex attraction for pretty much my entire adult life. Being a rather slow person, it took me a long time to be able to figure out what was going
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on, and it took me longer to admit it to other people.
I remember one particular day in school, I must have been fifteen or sixteen, and a very good friend of mine was bragging about getting with a girl over the previous weekend (this was somebody who I was a close friend with). Most everybody was high-fiving and back slapping him, but I remember feeling devastated. It just suddenly cut me very deeply that this guy, whom I loved so much as a friend, had been intimate with somebody else. I guess that was the first little sign to me that there was something going on, and it took me awhile before I figured out what that something was.
My battle with same-sex attraction has been something that I’ve loved sharing over the past couple years, and I enjoy sharing because I want to say that the word God has for people in my situation is a good word. I see God’s Word on this issue as an expression of his kindness, and therefore I hope I can convince us that we can have confidence in that word. We mustn’t feel as if we’re giving somebody a bad deal when we teach what the Bible teaches on sex and marriage. Although it’s good, it doesn’t mean it’s an easy word. Very often it is a frustrating word that God has for us.
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