CBN has a news report here on "Same-Sex Ministry in an Age of Gay Marriage".
Since the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage, many churches are re-thinking their ministry to those with same-sex attraction.
What they're finding is it's not enough to merely support biblical views on sexuality. They must also develop practical ways to minister to those in the midst of long-term battles around sexuality and orientation.
... Across the country church leaders are waking up to the reality that millions struggle with feelings like Austin's.
This awakening has many leaders asking for help. Southern Baptists say they receive the most requests for resources on sexuality and racial reconciliation right now, compared to any other issue.
.... Pastor Dan Backens leads New Life Church in Virginia Beach, which has grappled with the issue for years.
"I think we're in a prophetic moment. The strategy of the church in 1950 does not work today," he told CBN News. "We're not in Mayberry, and walking around with placards screaming on a television program, talking over each other on a news program -- those days are gone."
"We have to have a strategy, a prophetic strategy as a Church that listens," he said. "And we lead with love and then follow with the law."
... For Austin as an adult, the church eventually became her lifeline.
"What I found with the church is safe people within the church, a community within the church," she said.
She said her small group members shared their struggles and showed respect for hers.
"They loved me with the truth of God," she said. "They didn't water down truth; they loved me and just kept saying, 'There's a better way, there's a better way.'"
Creating hope and a vision for that better way is key, Moore says. For many gays, there's no guarantee that their sexual feelings will go away so the question becomes how to pursue Christ in the midst of their battle.
"I think the most important question that any of us have to answer in our churches is what vision of the future are we giving to that gay or lesbian or transgender person who comes into the church and says, 'I really want to live in submission to Jesus. I want to repent of my sin. But what does it look like for me to follow Jesus? What is my future?" Moore said.
I believe this problem is going to skyrocket for the church as homosexuality now explodes across our culture for these reasons. There is a world of difference between a repentant homosexual who is struggling with same-sex attraction and wants to live in submission to Christ - and a homosexual who is not only proud of his/her lifestyle but seeks affirmation from the church in their sin. The former should be welcome into church membership. The latter should be welcome (as should be anybody) into church to hear the gospel, but lovingly denied membership and communion until repentance occurs.
As the graphic says at the top - this cultural issue represents a challenge for the evangelical church to remain faithful to Biblical truth, no matter the cost. At the same time, it also is an opportunity to shine the light of truth into the culture and minister in the love of Christ. Yet it's crucial that we don't fall into a misguided understanding of love as explained here.