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  • Writer's pictureBrad Bright

LGBTQ, the Culture and God

I was holding a God Is the Issue workshop for about 200 people in California when, during the Q&A time, a man stood up in the back of the room.

“I’m the president of the local gay/lesbian alliance and I have a question for you.” The steel edge of his voice warned of impending battle.

“That’s great,” I responded, “but before we can move forward we have to agree on one thing. If we can’t agree, we can’t really have a conversation.”

“Okay…” he responded skeptically.

We have to agree that God loves you just as much as He loves me. If we can’t agree on that, we can’t have a conversation.”

“Okay. I agree,” he said, both with a bit of warmth and a hint of surprise.

He asked his question. I responded and then he asked several more. At the end of a lengthy and cordial discourse he announced, “You know, I don’t think we’re that far apart.”

“That is where you’re wrong.” I replied straightforwardly. “Let me explain. You begin with your behavior and try to conform God to your behavior. I begin with who God is and try to conform my behavior to Him. Because we have such radically divergent starting points we will always end up far apart.”

“Oh. Okay,” he said with a blend of recognition and mild surprise. Probably for the first time in his life he now understood the real issue. After the workshop he thanked me for taking the time to answer his questions.

What is your starting point? God or culture? Your starting point will always determine the outcome—for good or for ill.

Am I over-simplifying complex and often heart-wrenching issues? No. The starting point is just that—the starting point. Unfortunately, in our desire to address the symptoms of a broken culture we often neglect the root cause—a broken view of our holy, loving, faithful, all-powerful, merciful, sovereign, unchanging Creator God.

Knowing who God is and why it matters is always the watershed issue of life for the ardent follower of Jesus; it is our starting point. When we view culture and ourselves through the lens of God’s character we can’t ignore the flaws, but we also see the hope, joy and freedom only He can give. That is why my dad said, “The most important thing to teach another believer is the attributes of God.”

GOD is the Issue!

©2020 Brad Bright

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