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Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

In This Issue

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Featured: Readers Responses to Homosexuality Article

by Jonathan McKee
April 13, 2004

In the last two weeks we have received some interesting responses to our last EZINE's article "Homosexuality: Dividing the Issues." (CLICK HERE FOR THAT ARTICLE) Below is a sampling of responses:

About a year ago I wrestled with my attitude toward homosexuals. Then something happened. At the annual National Southern Baptist Convention last year I was on my way to dinner with my students when we came upon some homosexuals that were protesting the Southern Baptist stance on the issue. One of my students started to become a bit hostile and I told him to calm down and just listen to what they have to say. We listened and then discussed it over dinner. On the way back another one of my students said that maybe we should ask the young homosexual protestor how our youth ministry could appropriately help homosexuals feel accepted and loved inside the walls of our church. He offered some good suggestions and thanked us for being willing to talk. Two weeks later one of my students who was there came to my office and said that they were a homosexual. This person said that the only reason they felt like they could talk to me is because they saw how I responded to the protestors. WOW! What a lesson I learned that day. Homosexual students are a reality and how we approach homosexuals and the issue in general will determine how effective our ministries are at bringing homosexuals closer to Jesus. -a Youth minister-



This is in regards to the article on "is Gay o.k." I find it pretty funny that you actually feel that loving someone is a sin. You cannot chose who you love. So if you have no controle over who you will fall in love with than how could that be a sin? and I know what you are thinking this poor soul is on the side of the gay sinners, I should pray for him. well thats fine pray for me, and in the meantime I will be wishing cancer on you......in the head.....yes head cancer. -Alex-



Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciated what you had to say in your article. I have been trying to teach my youth that I don't hate them because they choose to live this type of lifestyle, that I only hate the lifestyle. I am finding it hard to get them to believe me when I am telling them this though because of other Christians who have hated them because of their lifestyle. I am really interested in reading the book you recommended, "What's so Amazing About Grace". It sounds like a really good book to pick up. So thanks. -Christy-



Have you ever tried to reason with people in the "activist homosexual" community? Have you ever been involved in testifying in a City Council meeting or State Representative's or Senate hearing room trying to present Biblical truth, Biblical principles or just basic healthcare principles to the secular mind on this issue? Based on your article, I think you should try it sometime if you haven't. That's where your "love" for sinners and dependence on God's Holy Spirit will be tested in a crucible hotter than you can imagine.

I'm involved in outreach via legislation to folks here in the Pacific Northwest and have been for 14 years. We live here in the County seat and the State Capital as well. I'm a veteran youthworker of 24 years and I've been around the block. The homosexual agenda is far reaching in its scope and has attracted many participants who have alterior motives and strategies as well. Some are using this movement and issue to further their destructive plans against the freedoms we have as Americans. Our freedom and Constitutional right to speak out against the homosexual activity (or any other form of sexual deviancy) is in jeopardy... I appreciate your article, its very timely. I would add some further insights from me and others who've gone the extra mile on this issue if possible. -Scott-



I just wanted to drop a thought in regards to your online article about homosexuality.You answered the question about "Is gay OK?" by referring to the biblical condemnations of same-sex sexual intimacy, without recognizing the distinction between sexual orientation and sexual behavior, and editorial choice that I believe could be potentially harmful for your readers and those they minister to. For many in our society, the term "gay" refers not so much to a behavior, but to an orientation, what some would call same-sex attraction. Too often as evangelicals we fail to draw the distinction between same-sex attraction, lust, and same-sex romantic or sexual intimacy. This is an important disctinction to draw. The scientific community is divided about the causes of same-sex attraction, the tendency to find individuals of the same sex as sexually attractive. Individuals with same-sex attraction have, by definition, an orientation that is homosexual and thus, under some definitions, are gay or lesbian. This is an important and overlooked distinction in your article, because the Bible clearly condemns "active" homosexuality (both in the sense of active, same-sex romantic and sexual intimacy and in the sense of lusting after individuals of the same sex) throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. Yet, nowhere does the Scripture clearly condemn individuals for a basic attraction to individuals of the same sex, which by definition, is what the homosexual or gay orientation is. Thus it fails to condemn people for being gay or homosexual in the sense of orientation, if they do not allow their orientation to lead them into sins of lust or sexual intimacy. It is commonly recognized in evangelical circles that there is a clear distinction between attraction and lust in heterosexuals, and the same ought to be true for same-sex attraction. I am writing this just to challenge you to recognize the distinctions here, as well as the error in loosely throwing around terms like "gay" and "homosexual" without clarifying terminology. -Micah-



Good article addressing homosexuality, especial at a time with the gay marriage issue is in the forefront of American news. Glad you also addressed the issue of heterosexual sin. I have belived that the church at large has come down hard on homosexual sin and largely ignored heterosexual sin, which is more prevalent in today's society that homosexual sin. The church at large gives a big stamp of approval by marrying couples who live together without repentance and a time of separation. It is much easier to ignore the sin in ones own camp than that of another's. Why doesn't the church complain as loudly about the blatant heterosexual scenes on TV & movies as it does homosexuality? Thanks for your newsletter. You're doing a great job and appreciate you touching on the sensitive issues in our children's lives. -Sherry-



Your article couldn't have been better timed. We got into a discussion on homosexuality at our youth group last week. The kids had very strong opinions about whether it was right or wrong and wanted to know what the Bible said. And, there was the expected debate about whether people are born with a genetic disposition to be gay or whether it's a choice based on environment. We hadn't seen your article yet, but fortunately our instincts were right. We said that homosexuality was not the type of relationship that God intended for his creation, but we didn't belabor the point. We mostly talked about your point #2- love and accept everyone, as Jesus would have done. -Kristin-



Thanks for your article about homosexuality. I have been a Christian for about 30 years now. (I'm really not that old....I was saved at age 8.) But over the years, I have found many of my "Christian" friends have a great hatred for gay people. They talk about them as though they are the "condemned to hell people", as if they are not worth saving. I get my hair done at a salon owned by two gay men that are partners. When other Christians found this out they were like, "How can you go there? They're gay!" But I go to that salon because he does a good job cutting my hair and I want to show him that I care about where he goes when he dies. I agree picketing should stop and loving should start. We need to break out of our comfort zone and be real examples of Christ to everyone, there are no exceptions. -Jane-



Thanks for writting this article. I have noticed that very few youth leaders are talking about it. We have to face the issue on a regular basis because our school system is now ADVOCATING and CELEBRTING same sex relationships. I agree with your statement about the poor behavior and reaction from Christians, however I don't think you understand where and how fast things are progressing. 6 yrs ago - Students must be TOLERANT. 5 yrs ago - Students must PERSONALLY ACCEPT HOMOSEXUALS. This is still called tolerance but the "new definition" implies that allowing someone the freedom to act out what is right for them is not enough, now you have to personally commend and approve of their behavior. Anyone not supportive is a hateful biggot, homophobe. 3 yrs ago - "our" School district hires a staff member who's sole job is "GAY ADVOCATE". This member goes from school to school teaching that being gay is noble and good. Her responsibility is to quickly punish anyone who would dare suggest that this lifestyle is un-healthy. I have students who stand up for their faith and get shred to peices - Where are their state funded advocates? 2 yrs ago - mandatory school assemblys went through our district. They came under the heading of "Celebrate Diversity Day". It should of been intitled "gay recruitment day" as there were homosexual speakers who encouraged homosexual behavior, sharred their stories, and shammed anyone who would differ.



My spirit is not hateful but rather redemptive. See sometimes "love" is pointing out sin. Imagine if you told a student to stop using drugs, and he accused you of being hateful and bigoted. I would assume your intentions we're just the opposite - you love him to much to see him hurt himself like that. Same reason I spank my 3 year old when she dissobeys. I love her to much to see her grow up to be a fool. Facilitating sin never brings fulfillment, but rather a downward spiral toward heartache, perversion, disease, destruction, and death. -Jess-



Thank you so much for finally giving me some practical examples to use when trying to minister to our teens about homosexuality other than the same old "God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve"!! This article and the resources you recommended have made the issue so much clearer to me personally and have given me an easier explanation for why homosexuality is not intended by God. -Carolyn-



What a great response to the question of Homosexuality. You have obviously put a lot of thought and prayer into your answer, thank you for speaking a Godly voice into this culturally relevant issue. A year and a half ago I left a wonderful youth pastor position to work for Exodus International. www.exodus-international.org Our mission statement is "proclaiming to, educating and impacting the world with the biblical truth that freedom from homosexuality is possible when Jesus is Lord of one's life". We offer resources for parents, pastors, homosexual strugglers and their friends and family in addition to a network of over 130 ministries, therapists and counselors throughout the U.S. & Canada that deal solely with the topic of homosexuality. -Tim-

Our Annual Hideous Heap Contest: Rewarding You for Being a Poor Youth Worker

Hideous Heap Contest Only a couple weeks left of our annual HIDEOUS HEAP CONTEST, A FREE contest where you can earn some great prizes just for being a youth worker and driving a hideous heap!

This year Youth Specialties has kicked in the grand-daddy of cool prizes ... paid admission to their national youth workers convention in one of three U.S. cities. (A $350 value!) I'll be speaking at all three conventions this year, so I'll be looking forward to meeting the winner in person!

Second place will win YS IDEAS CD-ROM 2.0, and third place will win the YS Worship Image Gallery. We'll also be giving away a few honorable mention prizes. Cool stuff!

It's simple. You just submit a picture of your car with a description of what a heap it is, and we'll be choosing the winner April 15th.

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS

Jonathan's "Understanding & Reaching The Unchurched" Training

Reaching the Unchurched Jonathan's new book "Reaching Unchurched Kids," published by YS, is coming out late this year. Don't wait for the book, get this training now!

This training workshop will be coming to Tampa FL on April 24th, and Southern CA on May 1st. See below for registration information for each city:


TAMPA, FL

April 24, Jonathan is doing a Saturday workshop (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) for youth workers in the greater Tampa area. If you're a youth worker, barely paid or a volunteer, this is for you!

Here's the details:

WHEN:
    Saturday April 24th , 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
WHERE:
    University Church of God
    10948 Central Avenue
    Tampa, Fl. 33612
COST:
    Two choices:
      $20 at the door (includes lunch)
      ONLY $15 if you pre-register by April 19th (includes lunch)
TO REGISTER:

VENTURA, CA

May 1st, Jonathan is doing a Saturday workshop (9AM to 3PM) for youth workers in the greater Ventura County area. If you're a youth worker, barely paid or a volunteer, this is for you!

Here's the details:

WHEN:
    Saturday May 1st, 9AM to 3PM
WHERE:
COST:
    Two choices:
      $15 after April 24th or at the door (includes lunch)
      ONLY $10 if you pre-register by April 24th (includes lunch)
TO REGISTER:
    CONTACT Jeff Kempton at (805) 484-0530
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS TRAINING CLICK HERE




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