Bridge Building in Love - Reflections from January 2023 Synod Youth Talking Point
Below is a reflection article written by participant Brennon Choo, a young adult worshipping at ARPC, from his experience at the Synod Youth Talking Point ("How to Speak with Love When They Think We Hate") on 23th January 2023.
Say the phrase and many Christians would hesitate and even shy away from discussing their biblical stance, even if the opportunity is right. A phrase passionately discussed, and a phrase which causes discord and great divide - “LGBTQ+”. This is why I appreciated the Synod Youth Talking Point by “TrueLove.is” greatly. The talk allowed me to gain greater clarity and understanding of this topic and informed me of how I should practically approach it in daily living.
The talk began with an introduction to key terms, and how terms such as “gay” may have multiple meanings and should be clarified with whoever we are speaking to. The topic of “LGBTQ+” was then split into 3 major portions - individuals, identities, and ideology. In summary, there will be many types of people, assumptions, and questions about morality that we will face. It is vital to be aware of not only what we say in response but also how we say it. After all, people do struggle with this issue, as we do with our daily sin which means,
Shame + Loneliness = Pain
Understanding + Community = Healing
For the more theoretical aspects, the talk questioned the biological hypothesis of being “born this way” (an inclination to LGBTQ+) which had no conclusive evidence and the assumption that sexual orientation is immutable. The talk also addressed a new argument of gender fluidity being “natural” and “not wrong”, however, this is based on what is observed and subjective feelings which contrasts natural law and design. These arguments also do not answer the question of morality. The talk then further addressed the low persistence rate of
gender dysphoria and the far-reaching consequences of LGBTQ+ ideals being propagated and taking root in society. Finally, despite Christians having a clashing worldview, we must love. This means having the courage to tell them something different with the biblical truth that we know and doing this while filled with grace.
The talk ended with a Q&A session which further stressed the importance of good
communication. To share our views in a way that acknowledges each other’s biases and daring to ask and respond to questions when appropriate. We should build common ground and show that we genuinely care and love them, and avoid whatever might be misleading. To reiterate, oftentimes it is not what we say, but how we say it and what they hear.
In conclusion, we must hear their stories, we must hear their pain. We can apologize for the hurt caused, but in love, we must never apologize for our beliefs. By God’s grace and strength, we must not be afraid to take the tough stance, even if the world seems to be against us. I’ll end off with a quote allegedly by Martin Luther which spoke to me about the importance of standing firm,
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”