The Gospel & Sexual Orientation. By Michael Lefebvre, ed. Pittsburgh: Crown & Covenant, 2012.
The Gospel & Sexual Orientation is a statement set forth by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America addressing the issue of homosexuality. It is a welcomed and much needed document. With the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage increasingly becoming visible in our society, there is an urgent need for the church to sound forth the truth and the grace of the Gospel, as found in Scripture. This short volume does just that.
In terms of content, in under 75 pages, this helpful position statement covers the essential points of discussion. Terminology, biology, gender, the doctrine of man, the hermeneutical issues involved, the relevant biblical texts, and most helpful, some pastoral guidance are all directly addressed and explained. The greatest strength is how the writers demonstrate through careful exegesis that the Scriptures do in fact characterize homosexual behavior as sin, and at the same time, offer redemption, not only for the homosexual, but for every sinner by faith in Jesus Christ. I simply can’t think of a more accessible, helpful volume for any pastor, who should be addressing this issue head-on and announcing the grace and truth of Gospel concerning it!
The tone and balance of this volume is very commendable. The book acknowledges the presence of same-sex orientation and attraction, without condoning it. However, it seeks to equip Christians with the biblical tools to address those living in homosexual relations or struggling with those desires by means of grace. It is very pastoral in tone and application.
I believe the issue of homosexuality is the issue of our day. With the rising cultural tide of demanding the acceptance and normalcy of same sex relations, the church absolutely must affirm and voice the truth. However, she must do so in a biblical manner, not compromising the truth under the weight of cultural influence. She must not do so merely as a voice of condemnation and judgment alone, as if there is no room in the Gospel, in grace, or in Christ for the homosexual or as if this sin is far worse than any other. She must not ignore this issue and be gravely silent while lives are being destroyed and she alone has the only answer.
The church has made all of those mistakes when it comes to this issue. We’ve tried to excuse inexcusable behavior and temptations. We’ve labeled without offering grace and hope. And worse, we’ve been silent when we should have spoken.
The only hope for the homosexual is the only hope for any of us, Jesus Christ. The satisfaction, completeness, love, and longing that the one dealing with same-sex attraction is seeking will only be realized in the light of the glory of the Son of God. Give them the biblical truth about man, fallen and sick with sin. Give them grace! Give them Christ! A changed life will follow a changed heart! This little book will equip you to offer the Gospel, the only hope and help, for the homosexual.