May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1 Thess 3:13, NIV)
I want to tell you this week about our Thessalonians group. This is for men at church who experience sexual attraction to other men, but who want to help each other live the Bible’s way. They have put their trust in Christ, and have come to know the wonder of his grace and love. They want to affirm just how marvellous friendships between people of the same sex can be, but they also trust the Bible’s teaching that the only right place for sexual intimacy is within marriage between a man and a woman.
This group of friends meets once a term and the purpose is to encourage one another to live pure lives. Over the years it has been hugely appreciated. Membership is open only to those who are already part of a church small group, because our identity is in Christ, not our sexuality. Please contact me confidentially if you think this could be for you. (We don’t yet have such a group for women, but do contact our women’s worker, Sarah Robinson, if you would find this helpful.)
Thessalonians is just one group out of many that could exist to help one another live counter-culturally with Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. In a church based on the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to do all we can to help one another live for Him.
Meanwhile, I must also mention that some bishops in the Church of England are heading in the opposite direction. They are considering a service of blessing for same-sex couples which would have the practical effect of affirming sexual intimacy between people of the same gender. What God’s Word encourages us to flee from, they wish to affirm. Here’s an article I’ve written which explains what is happening:
Subscribe to receive St Andrew the Great blog alerts by email.