A Living Out event in partnership with Del Ray Baptist Church
Living Out wants to help churches understand how to better help those who experience same-sex attraction to stay faithful to Biblical teaching on sexual ethics and flourish at the same time.
The course will offer biblical instruction and practical steps that model both grace and truth in our Christ-like love for all those who struggle with same-sex attraction.
The Living Out team will share their insight and testimonies as believers who hold to traditional Bible teaching on sexual ethics and who have spoken and written on this subject widely.
TO REGISTER, click here.
Del Ray Baptist Church, 2405 Russell Road, Alexandria, VA 22301, USA
Wednesday 14 November 2018
Doors open at 9:30, Sessions run from 10AM-4:30PM
$20 per person. Includes refreshments. Lunch is not provided, so you can bring your own, or visit any of the local options during the lunch break.
» Understanding the Cultural Challenge
» A Biblical Vision for Human Sexuality
» A Biblical Vision for the Church
» Interview and Questions
» Next Steps and Prayer
A Few Words About DRBC’s Partnership with Living Out
Del Ray Baptist Church is committed to sharing the good news of Jesus with all people in our community, and in enabling all believers to grow and flourish in Christ. To this end we are hosting a workshop put on by Living Out, a UK-based ministry that specializes in helping Christians engage biblically with issues of human sexuality.
Given the number of different ministries and positions that exist on these issues – not all of them good and helpful – we thought it would help to answer some of the questions you may have about Living Out, given it is not well known in the US. We’re looking forward to this event and want you to have confidence in coming along.
What is Living Out?
Living out is a ministry based in the UK that aims to help followers of Christ learn how to live out their devotion to Christ from their identity in Christ rather than their sexuality.
Why are you hosting this event?
This workshop is designed to assist church leaders as they minister to Christians who struggle with same sex attraction and/or have questions regarding transgender issues. As a church we want to minister wisely, faithfully, and biblically to those struggling with same-sex desires, and hope our churches can be places where sinners can find biblically informed counsel to fight sin and follow Jesus.
Does Living Out teach that you can be a gay Christian?
No. They do not see that phrase as a legitimate category, but they do see it as a common starting point for the conversation. Scripture never defines believers by their sin, but rather by their identity as new creations in Christ, rooted in their union with Christ. Yet many Christians have not learned to think in this way. Some who have searched for Living Out on the Internet have found “Gay and Christian” in the search results. This is because this ministry is designed to help people who are exploring what the Bible says about being gay and following Jesus. It is an attempt to meet sinners where they are and point them to Christ, not an endorsement of an errant view of biblical anthropology.
Does Living Out view same-sex sexual desire as an unnatural and sinful?
Yes. Desire for sin is a sin. Same-sex desires are a manifestation of our fallen nature. They are not good, or even neutral. It is not ok to simply refrain from physical acts of homosexuality; the very desire needs to be fought against. That being said, we must keep in mind that the Biblical worldview of the heart and orientation of heart is what is most fundamentally wrong with us. We are all attracted to things we ought not be and repelled by things we ought be attracted to. All our attractions are in process of being sanctified. All believers have the hope of being utterly free from sinful desire in the age to come.
Does Living Out believe Christians should ask God to change their desires?
Yes. All our desires are in need of transformation. But we must always remember that the change that is promised is that we shall become more like Jesus. We should ask God to increase our holiness and to help us see the sinfulness of sin in increasing measure. God doesn’t promise to remove our temptations but does promise to give us what we need to stand up under them.
Does Living Out hold the same views as the Revoice conference?
No. Neither we, nor Living Out believe that our sexual desires define us. Neither do we believe that passions of homosexual desire or “orientation” are fixed entities. While Revoice may mean well, we believe they are attempting to uphold Christian ethics from an unchristian anthropology. We believe this is unbiblical and will have long-term drastic effects. It has been noted that Living Out posted an endorsement of Revoice prior to the conference, but removed that endorsement following the discovery of the conference’s theology. May he who has not posted something on social media they wish they hadn’t cast the first stone.
Why does the ministry of Living Out seem to encourage men and women struggling with same-sex desires to “be happy in sexuality?” What do they mean?
We think Living Out wants young professing Christians struggling with same-sex desires to know that God loves them fully, and that their struggle does not diminish God’s love for them, or the power of the gospel working in them. They do not want shame, guilt, and confusion to drive them away from the Lord. Here is how Sam Allberry once explained the reasoning of Living Out in a letter:
Our main target audience is the struggling young believer who is despairing of their same-sex attraction. I have met this sort of individual numerous times. Someone tender to the things of God, aware of same-sex desires, and utterly convinced they are beyond hope of the love God, irredeemably broken, a unique species of sinner that must be beyond the scope of the gospel. This is the ‘bruised reed’ Jesus will not break. They know their sinfulness. They need to know there is hope.
What we mean by ‘being happy in sexuality’ is what Paul means by ‘rejoicing in suffering;’ not that the suffering itself is the object of rejoicing but that it is the occasion for it given the work of the Lord through it and in the midst of it. We want the despairing Christian to know that even in the context of long-term battles with same-sex attraction there is great joy and peace to be found in Christ through ongoing repentance and faith. I don’t want to be misunderstood by anyone on anything I say or write. But I fear being misunderstood by that young believer more than I fear being misunderstood by anyone else.
Does Living Out believe sexual desires can change?
The ministry of Living Out, based upon hours of personal conversation, fully believes in the transforming power of the gospel in every area of life. People’s sexual desires can change. But God doesn’t promise that all sexual temptation will be removed, or that it will change from homosexual temptation to heterosexual temptation. The change that matters most, which is promised in the gospel, is that we will all become more like Jesus Christ over time, from one degree of glory to another. They believe that holiness, as opposed to heterosexuality, is the opposite of homosexuality.
Does Living Out believe churches should receive sexually active homosexuals into membership?
No. Living Out and DRBC agree that membership and admittance to the Lord’s Supper are reserved for repentant believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Del Ray Baptist considers the tenth affirmation in the Evangelical Alliance statement on Biblical and Pastoral Responses to Homosexuality confusing and unclear. After discussions with Living Out, we understand this affirmation to be aimed at encouraging churches to welcome sinners of all sorts as visitors, not in any way suggesting that active people active in unrepentant sexual sin should be welcomed into membership or the Lord’s Supper.