Harrison addresses DOXOLOGY conference attendees re: same-sex attraction

 

“We have to be here, and we have to be talking about this topic,” the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the Office of National Mission told attendees at this morning’s DOXOLOGY conference. The topic, “Speaking the Truth in Love: A Compassionate Response to Same Sex Attraction and Same Sex Marriage.”

“This is where the Lord Jesus has called us to be,” he noted.  “The Lord Jesus has truly baptized us for this moment to bring the Gospel of Christ to a world wrecked by sin, swimming in a sea of sin, under the assault of the devil.”

“I’m encouraged, excited, thrilled . . . to talk about such an important issue and how the Church will respond in love and compassion, bringing the forgiveness and love of Christ that we ourselves have received. The Church is a hospital for the sick and dying, and we have been given the medicine of immortality in the gift of Christ. ”

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Giving special thanks to DOXOLOGY, Day said, ” Thank you to Doxology and to Hal [Senkbeil] and Bev [Yahnke] for their wonderful, wonderful work, their relentless work to strengthen the task of pastoral care in our church. The entire Synod owes them a debt of gratitude for their dedication to this more important task.”

LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison, unable to attend in person, Skyped in with the conference attendees, telling them that same-sex attraction is “obviously a very significant issue, and we know, in the church, this area will continue to provide challenging for us. On the one hand is DOMA and legal, civil issues.  But my biggest concern is that we get this out to those who struggle with this issue. In my own family, we have our own experience. Two friends from confirmation class of my two sons have come out in the last year; they have been in my house over many years. We know their parents and the challenges they are facing.”

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“In our hyper-sexualized culture,” he said, “particularly young people fall into sexual sins and it gives them a bad conscience and thus turns them away from church because they don’t want to deal with a bad conscience and so they see the church as something keeping them away from a lifestyle they want to live.  It drives them away.  How we key into these issues is a real struggle.”

“We have not taken the time to get in touch with these issues and that’s why this conference is so significant. We are at the point where people like yourselves with a lot of experience are beginning to work together and share your knowledge.  My dream is that we see a Recognized Service Organization arise to help the church deal with these issues and to help across the church to deal with these issues.”

“We have real challenges before  us,” he said in conclusion, offering as an example, “the recent legislation in California, where individuals can determine their sexual preference for sport teams and restrooms. We can’t make these things disappear, but we have the balm of the Gospel that forgives us. Jesus comes only for sinners, those who are struggling, those who are in need. And the beauty of Jesus is that He never turns down anyone who comes to Him for help.”

Speakers later today include Dr. Beverly Yahnke and Robert George of Princeton. Stay tuned to more updates by liking DOXOLOGY on Facebook.

 

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