This sermon is part of the sermon series "Project Hazmat: Handling Today's Tough Topics". See series.
The story behind the sermon (by Rick McKinley)
I hesitate using this sermon as the ultimate model for how to preach on this topic. I suppose it is because the topic of homosexuality is such a hot button issue in the church and in our culture, and no one sermon can say all that is needed or should be said on this topic. However, I am convinced that we need to be talking about it a great deal more than we do, and with that said, I hope this contribution can add to a much needed dialogue around how churches address people who find themselves attracted to the same sex.
I want to give a backdrop into the context that this message was preached. There are no generic contexts and mine is no different. I am in Portland, Oregon, which is a highly progressive city and continues to be ranked the least churched city in the country. Homosexual marriage is not legal in our state at the time of my writing this, and within our congregation there are people on all spectrums of the issue: those who would define themselves as homosexual but who see acting out sexually as a sin, those who believe they can be healed, those who believe that God made them this way and don't see it as a sin to act out, and many who fall somewhere in between. Additionally, the reality is most people within our community have gay and lesbian friends whom they genuinely love and care about.
Our church enjoyed a strong working relationship with our previous mayor who was openly gay, and I was invited into a small circle of his friends who are leaders in the LGBTQ community. I, along with several other pastors, were warmly received by that community and are grateful for the relationships that we have made; they have helped me tremendously in developing my perspective ...
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