Hi Jack, my burden is around reaching the transgender community. I feel the church does not know how to deal with these unreached people. My son just went and joined their ranks last year. I myself am still going thru the process of learning -- how to express compassion without compromise, how to speak the truth in love, how to love the sinner while refusing to buy into the world view that rationalizes the sin. How do I keep my motives pure ? How do I translate my burden into action ?I have 5 years left before retirement, and I would like to know if God would have me use my later years (or sooner) around some form of organized outreach to the largely hostile transgender culture. So many young people are falling into it. I am not sure campus Christian groups know how to deal with them either. Any advice, and your prayers, are appreciated.
Thanks, "Anonymous," for your memo.
You are right: the majority of churches do not know how to deal with the transgender community. The whole subject is a thorny issue, theologically, sociologically, and psychologically.
The description of your process of learning ("how to express compassion without compromise, how to speak the truth in love, how to love the sinner while refusing to buy into the world view that rationalizes the sin") sums up the issues.
I am unable to give you specific answers to your questions except to say that I support and applaud your interest and concern. Keeping your motives pure is helped by constantly bringing before the Lord your burden, desires, and longings for your son and his companions. God's parent heart aches for those in their condition, as well as all who are trapped in sin of one kind or another.
As for translating your burden into action, I would seek help from those who are working in this field. There are two websites I would recommend:
- http://www.exodus-international.org/ I notice that they have a section for family and friends of those who are involved in this lifestyle.
I have confidence in these two organizations, and I'm sure they can be a help to you. I'm sure they can recommend printed materials and books, and let you know about conferences being held near where you live. In my experience, it is para-ecclesiastic organizations like these that can do more to help individuals than those of us on the "outside."
I would encourage you to develop a small group of Christian friends who can keep confidences and who would be willing to go through this journey with you, to listen to you, share your burden, share Scripture, and pray with you.
As for your son, I would guess that he needs more love and acceptance of himself (not his lifestyle) than advice. He knows what you think. He needs to know that there is nothing he could ever do that would close the door of your love to him. God is like this.
God is also able - able to do beyond what we ask or even think.
Blessings on you. If you would like to, feel free to write me personally.