Five Truths to Teach Teens About Homosexuality - John Perritt

John Perritt - Youth Pastor
Pear Orchard Presbyterian (Ridgeland, MS)

The topic of homosexuality is a deeply controversial one.  It has many complexities and calls Christians to do a lot of reading, a lot of studying, and a lot of praying.  As youth workers, full-time or volunteer, we are called to disciple students, and a major part of this discipleship process will be dealing with this topic.  To say it another way, if you avoid the topic of homosexuality with your students, you are shirking your responsibility.  I myself am intimidated by this topic.  I realize I don’t have all the answers and I’m not the smartest person to be teaching on this topic, but I must.
That being said, here are five things to keep in mind:

The Bible Calls it Sin

This might be the most significant reason to me.  To call ourselves Christians and dismiss what the Bible says is a contradiction.  If we are truly followers of the Living Word, we must know his Word.  As Christians we must study the book that is all about Jesus.  It is the book we base our entire lives on and we believe it is without error.  Therefore, to compromise on this issue is to call into question the validity of Scripture.  While the Bible doesn’t talk about homosexuality from cover-to-cover, it does call it sin (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:8-11).  Therefore, the Bible is calling you to call it a sin.[i]

The Bible Calls You to Love Sinners

While the Bible calls homosexuality a sin, the Bible also calls a lot of things sin.  We do need to keep in mind that there are some sins that are more grievous to God than others, but every sin can send us to hell.  And while you may not struggle with the sin of homosexuality, you do struggle with sin.  You are a sinner deserving of God’s just wrath.  But, just as God graciously provided his Son to you and loved you while you were his enemy, he calls his followers to show love to all, even those struggling with same-sex attraction.  There are complexities on how this love is shown, but start off knowing you need to love those who are dealing with this issue.

The Bible Calls us to Be Hated

One way to love those struggling with this issue is to tell them what the Bible says about it.  However, this will almost surely get you into some sort of a confrontation.  Speaking from experience, I have spoken with those struggling with this sin, and it was uncomfortable.  There are plenty who will get angry with you for even calling this a sin.  Take heart, God said this would happen.  God’s Word promises that you will be persecuted for standing up for righteousness (Matt. 5:10). Be prepared to be hated over this topic.

The Bible Calls This Issue Important

In DeYoung’s book on homosexuality, he is clear that the Bible’s focus isn’t on homosexuality in one sense.[ii]  However, in essence he says that the major story of Scripture is God reconciling a people unto himself.  Along this line of thinking, Scripture also tells us that the sexually immoral will spend eternity in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).  Since this is true, it’s vitally important to define sexual immorality.  As we see in Scripture, homosexuality is an aspect of sexual immorality.  Therefore, this is a very important issue.  Christians believe that people will go to hell over this issue unless they share the gospel with them.  This tells us that the issue is not insignificant.

The Bible Calls Man & Woman Marriage

In our day, marriage is being redefined.  What your students need to know is that God defines marriage as one man and one woman.  The most significant evidence of this is found in the New Testament’s interpretation of the Old.  What I mean is this, whenever Jesus and Paul teach on marriage, they always point to Adam and Eve.  They never use any other OT figures as examples.  “[Paul] never appeals to polygamist kings such as David or Solomon or to polygamist patriarchs such as Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob…Jesus and Paul do not look to any of them as the paradigm for understanding marriage.”[iii] There is so much more that could be said and needs to be said on this subject, but this is a start.  Our students need to be confident on this subject and they need people they trust speaking to them on this topic.  Stand firm on the Word of the Lord and don’t shy away.                     

[i] Sam  Allberry’s Is God Anti-Gay and Kevin DeYoung’s What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? Are the two most helpful resources I’ve read on this. [ii] Kevin DeYoung, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? pg. 10 [iii] Denny Burk, What is the Meaning of Sex? Pg. 54.
Posted by Joey Stewart at 9:56 AM