‘Homosexuality, Christianity and the Church – resolving the conflicts’ is a seminar that helps people find answers to one of the most controversial topics in the church.History tells us the Christian church has not always shown God’s unconditional love and at times was the last to accept that all human beings should be treated equally. For example, some Christians, using selective texts of scripture, opposed the abolition of slavery, equal rights for people of colour, two people from different races being allowed to marry and equality for women. This resistance caused great suffering.
The church has been grappling with the issue of homosexuality for several decades now along with welcoming LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people into congregations, understanding their relationships and allowing them to use their gifts to serve God and the church. Some are just beginning the journey.
This seminar is designed to assist individuals and churches on their journey to reconcile faith/sexuality issues by looking at underlying cultural influences, real and perceived barriers and practical models for change.
People who benefited from this seminar are: 1. LGBT people from Christian backgrounds 2. Heterosexual friends and family 3. Churches who want to be more informed and create a space of acceptance for LGBT people 4. Church leadership teams who want a safe space to explore LGBT issues
PROGRAM • Homosexuality and the Church – Why we got it SO wrong. 10 reasons why Christ-loving Christians have come to wrong conclusions about sexual orientation. Once looked at logically it’s obvious the enemy is not people but ignorance. The specific issues faced by LGBT people from faith backgrounds and how to resolve them. LGBT people from faith backgrounds experience the usual issues of resolution, coming out and learning what it means to be gay or lesbian in a straight world. They often experience these things with greater intensity however and deal with additional issues. What are they and how to get unstuck? • Sodom, Leviticus, Romans 1 and I Corinthians 6:9. What are they really saying? Often referred to as the ‘clobber passages’, only six passages in the Bible speak about same-sex activity. Does the historical and cultural contexts and consideration of the original languages change the meaning or have we come to conclusions from misinformation and interpreting through our own 20th century biases? • The times they are a changin’ There is a developing climate of questioning in many Pentecostal and Evangelical circles. You’ll be encouraged and amazed to know what extent this is happening. Creating a Space for Change is a model that facilitates this process. People are moving from hatred of same-sex-oriented people to a place of acceptance and advocacy. How?
Each topic is covered in one hour in an informed and respectful environment with an opportunity for questions.
PRESENTER Anthony Venn-Brown is highly qualified to speak on these issues. Anthony was a leader in the Assemblies of God and a popular preacher in the mega-churches of Australia. After 22 years of counselling, exorcisms, 40 day fasts, ‘ex-gay’ programs and marriage he was forced to face reality. Nothing had changed: he was still gay. After his resignation from the ministry and public confession, he struggled to come to terms with the loss of his friends, faith and purpose.