I am only too aware of the painful experiences many TFT members have endured from fellow believers because of their sexuality. TFT has done much in its 40 years to decrease stigma in the church, but we would all agree that there is further to go. Here I share some positive experiences of being included by the church, hopefully to show what can be done when we aspire to inclusion.
It is almost inevitable that a day will come when an invitation of this nature will drop on your doormat. It’s most likely that you will have been expecting this announcement and now the day has arrived. In anticipation, you have been wondering, how should a person who holds strongly to the view biblically defined marriage is monogamous and heterosexual should RSVP?
Questions to reflect upon
The circumstances of the wedding are the crucial factors in coming to a decision. So some important questions come to mind:
I’ve always been pretty open about my struggles with sexuality, so I was up front from the start when I arrived at my church 9 years ago. In those days, there were only a few of us and we met in the minister’s house, so it was very easy to get to know people and build positive relationships.
God knits each of us together in a unique and individual way. Praise God, we are each ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ by our perfect Creator! (Psalm 139:13-14). In a fallen world, this means of course that a person’s experience of same-sex temptations will be – at least to some degree – unique to them. Inevitably, then, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to supporting people.
This book covers a range of issues, including what God thinks of homosexuality, sexual identity and changing orientation.
A well-meaning Christian friend put this question to me and I confess that it made me quite angry. I was surprised by the strength of my reaction and have spent some time subsequently reflecting both on the question and my response to it.