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Front Page Reflections

September-October 2015

Engaging the LGBT Conversation

“God is love. In walking with God, we seek to love God and our neighbor. Such love compels us in engaging this conversation. It is a journey of discovery for all Christians living out an identity of humble integrity and loving purpose after the mind of Christ.”

So begins the latest declaration from the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium in providing a framework for Christian leaders in engaging the LGBT conversation.  The document is entitled: “Gracefully Engaging the LGBT Conversation” and has already become a unifying statement expressing the heart of the Wesleyan Holiness stream of the church. 

You may ask, “What does this say to the young co-ed who is exploring deep questions of gender and sexuality on a Christian college campus?” After all, that’s where the rubber meets the road.  What I hope that student hears from this statement is this:

  1. You are loved.
  2. Your exploration is important.
  3. Others struggle with their own brokenness.
  4. God’s vision for you is for wholeness.
  5. Grace is plentiful – for you and everyone who lives with the effects of sin.

Is it possible for people who are LGBT to be Christ followers? Absolutely. Would the church deploy into leadership one who is humbly appropriating God’s grace in not living out the practices of that broken condition? Yes. Would the church raise to leadership one who is practicing those behaviors as an expression of that condition? No. This is also true of any who willfully practice behaviors that naturally flow from conditions that tilt our hearts from God’s vision for us to represent the image of God faithfully.

Sin has affected us all without exception. It creates in us many forms of struggle in reflecting God’s holiness in our own lives.  It may be a propensity to lie, addictive behavior, arrogance, over indulgence, pornography, adultery, pride. We all fall short of God’s vision for us. Thank God for grace that is sufficient for our inadequacies, proclivities, and tendencies. We do not redefine God’s wholeness for us to suit our selfish desires.  Rather we humbly acknowledge our broken condition and allow God’s grace to compensate for our inadequacies. Living in that grace while yearning for God’s wholeness is the daily journey of walking with Christ in humility. That brings wholeness; that brings joy. That is God’s desire for all of us.

--Kevin W. Mannoia

(visit for the document “Gracefully Engaging the LGBT Conversation”)

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