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Preaching to the Washed and Waiting

How can pastors speak to the complex issue of homosexuality? An Interview with Dr. Wesley Hill

Dr. Wesley Hill is the Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at the Trinity School for Ministry in Pittsburgh. He's also the author of Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. We recently asked Dr. Hill about how preachers can faithfully convey the Bible's message on sexuality while remaining sensitive to people who are dealing with same-sex attraction. Preaching on homosexuality is a very personal issue for you. Will you tell us your story?

Wesley Hill: My earliest childhood memories are of hearing Bible stories from my parents. I was steeped in the faith from a very young age, and like a lot of kids who grow up in that environment I prayed the Sinner's Prayer with my parents when I was very young. I was the oldest of three kids, and a stereotypical firstborn. I responded well to authority, I was very involved at church, and never really went through a period of rebellion or walking away from my faith. But around the time I started ...

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Displaying 1–4 of 4 comments

Eric Bucci

September 25, 2014  9:43pm

Great article and very insightful and helpful as I craft and pray through a sermon on homosexuality. I think we must never give up hope and the pursuing of healing of all of our unwanted and sinful propensities. We serve the same God that delivered millions with miracles out of the slavery of Egypt and the same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead indwells in us as believers. Like the Hebrew young men who were about to be thrown in the furnace, they said we will serve God is He delivers us and we will serve God if he does not. That should be our attitude, "His grace is sufficient" in healing and holding on the hope of healing.

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Susan Elkow

September 02, 2013  8:31pm

Excellent! I was just pondering and praying about how to address this topic. I have gay teenagers and their parents in my church. I truly appreciate Professor Hill's open discussion and the reminder that it's not just about sex. Thank you for your very intimate sharing.

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September 02, 2013  11:59am

This is the best article I have ever read on the subject. In a few short answers Prof. Hill has helped me understand the struggles people experience in a much broader and much more grace-based context. He has deepened my commitment to what the Bible says yet also deepened my compassion for people who struggle. I am deeply grateful

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September 02, 2013  9:33am

I am very thankful for Prof. Hill's thoughts. I have often thought that heterosexual chastity within marriage requires rigorous discipline - a decision to "cleave unto" one's wife (in a man's case) day by day, to forsake the other impulses that drive men toward adultery and pornography. Men seemed to be "wired" that way, and marriage is God's way to help us overcome that aspect of the human condition. So, that said, both heterosexual and homosexual chastity require discipline and sacrifice and as Prof. Hill points out, only a tiny fraction of a relationship is about sexual physical intimacy. Most is about friendship, companionship, tenderness, community. I also appreciate his recognition that a compassionate approach to talking, teaching, and preaching about homosexuality - rather than a condemning, judgmental tone - is so important in the life of the church today. Thank you for publishing this thoughtful and thought-provoking interview.

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