Even as a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling declared that same-sex couples have the right to marry in any state in the country, the LCMS continues to instead speak in favor of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman.
To help congregations, pastors and individuals care for those struggling with same-sex attraction, the God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force was created in 2013. The primary goal of the task force has been to develop materials and resources to ultimately provide hope and healing for those struggling with same-sex attraction, and to offer support for their families.
“The world is confused, and so are our people,” said the Rev. Dr. Peter Scaer, a member of the task force. “As a people, we want to act in ways that are loving and charitable, but we want to do so in a way that is God-pleasing and shows true love. Our prayer is that these resources will help people think through difficult and sensitive issues from a biblical perspective, that together we might have the mind of Christ.”
Included in the resources available now from the God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force are articles, audio clips and Q&A documents. More resources — such as devotions, videos and Bible studies — are planned for release in the next three to six months.
One of the available resources, “God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force Answers Frequently Asked Questions,” addresses a number of theological questions and practical concerns relating to same-sex attraction.
For example, one of the Q&A entries reads:
What do Genesis 1-2 teach us about same-sex behavior?
Even though Genesis 1–2 do not mention same-sex behavior, these chapters of Scripture clearly teach that God created sex for male and female and that male and female should engage in the sex act only within God’s institution of marriage. In Matt. 19:1-12, Jesus quotes from Genesis 1-2 to show that the only option to sex between one man and one woman within marriage is celibacy. Therefore, Genesis 1–2 simply assume that same-sex behavior (even when it takes place between consenting adults within a committed relationship) is never God’s will and is always sinful.
Other current resources include:
- “What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?” (audio recording)
- “Cross Defense — The Apologetics to A New Generation and Same-Sex Marriage” (audio recording)
- “BookTalk — The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics” (audio recording)
- “Faith’n’Family — God’s Gifts of Marriage and Sexuality” (audio recording)
- “Gender Identity Disorder or Gender Dysphoria in Christian Perspective” (article)
- “Response to Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” (report)
- “The Creator’s Tapestry” (report)
In addition, the articles listed below were originally published in the October 2013 issue of The Lutheran Witness — most were written by members of the God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force. These also are available online.
- “10 Questions with Daniel Puls”
- “The Birds and the Bees”
- “Confessing Marriage, Confessing Christ”
- “The Gift of Sexuality”
- “Is There Any Hope for Me?”
- “It’s Broken: Hope and Healing for the Struggle”
- “Jesus Welcomes Sinners”
- “Marriage Matters”
- “Marriage Toolkit”
- “My Heart Overflows”
- “Princeton Professor to LCMS: Support Biblical Marriage”
- “The Silence of Jesus”
- “Searching Scripture: Words of Forgiveness and Love”
“As Lutheran Christians, our goal is to speak about human sexuality in the way of the Gospel,” said the Rev. Bart Day, chair of the God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force and executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission. “We want to keep those who are struggling with same-sex attraction in the Church, to keep them connected with Word and Sacrament ministry. The resources that the task force has made available and the resources that will be released in the next year are meant to help and support individuals and families, pointing them to Christ and helping to shape dialogue around issues of sexuality, and especially same-sex attraction.”
Posted July 23, 2015