Ministering in LGBGTQ Contexts

This newsletter provides more real-life examples of ministry to LGBTQ in the day to day life of my ministry, including my former Bible Study that all came out as gay: “Ministry to LGBTQ friends” (this link is for you ONLY and not to be forwarded without my permission. You’ll see a link asking for permission within that link.

Text of sermon: Heb 12:1-2; Luke 10:1-11

What is the good news for those who identify as LGBTQ?

  • Good news depends on what paradigm we read the Bible through. The most common paradigm is this. The ‘guilt ➔ innocence’ paradigm. The Good News in this narrative structure is to return transgressors to the original state of innocence.”
  • But the Good News is also that our shame has been reversed, that we are now beloved sons and daughters, honored ones. One way to call this Gospel is the “Shame-reversal” Gospel.  The sin issue here is shame. Consider this quote from the  latest Gospel Coalition Journal: “Shame is the cause and consequence of sin. Simultaneously, shame is both sin’s root and its fruit.” – Jackson Wu, “Have Theologians No Sense of Shame? How the Bible Reconciles Objective and Subjective Shame,” Themelios 43, no. 2 (2018): 212.

“For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2 (NET)

See this post called “The Gospel: The Ultimate Covering for our Shame” for a fuller explanation.

A traditional Gospel presentation I wrote in 2006 using an honor-shame paradigm. (And this is the link for the Chinese version)

In the honor-shame paradigm, the Gospel, or Good News is NOT just that there’s righteousness for what you’ve done wrong, but there’s honor for those shamed. The Gospel brings a shame-reversal.

This idea can be easily traced throughout the entire Scriptures. But apart from the cruxifiction, the Christmas story is also dripping with shame-reversal elements. Read this creative illustration: “What if Jesus was born in my ancestral village in China?”

How should I share to classmates, co-workers that identify as LGBTQ?

  1. Break your comfortable inertia
  2. Vulnerably Bring Peace (Click here for an example of “bringing peace, the Gospel, at someone’s funeral)
  3. Look for the people God has already prepared
  4. Bring the kingdom of God near to them

Examples of bringing the Kingdom of God near:

Sharing love with San Francisco’s interfaith worshipping communities

Toasts led one atheist to say “That was the best Christian witness ever.” 

I wrote a chapter for a book called “Honor, Shame, and the Gospel” that expands each of these four points. The book will include articles from the top authors in this field. The book is not out yet and it’s copyrighted. But I can send it to you if you email me at steve.hong@kingdomrice.org.

Questions to think about:

  1. What is one shame-reversal testimony I can share with friends?
  2. Billy Graham said “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.” – How does this fit into my biblical view of who Jesus gives the most grace to?
  3. What are questions I have that prevent me to loving people who identify as LGBTQ as Jesus would?

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I also invite you to subscribe to my newsletters, which are targeted for believers.

Much grace and peace to you,

Pastor Steve Hong