What the Church Needs to Understand about Sexual Identity


What has the church and culture gotten wrong in the discussion about sexuality? In today’s Seven Minute Seminary video, Dr. Mark Ongley suggests that understanding sexual identity as a fluid spectrum will both challenge and affirm the way the church typically approaches the topic, and provide fresh resources for living in community with LGBTQ people.

View the book by Mark A. Yarhouse, Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends. See also Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture.

Mark Ongley’s book, Into the Light: Redeeming the Church’s Discussion of Sexuality is available in our store, along with video segments that can be watched or study by individuals and/or groups. He wrote it to begin a biblically grounded and theologically informed discussion of this beautiful gift of sexuality. Whether the context is a Sunday school class, Bible study, women’s group, or men’s breakfast, don’t be surprised if deep brokenness begins to surface—that’s the whole idea. Embrace one another with open arms, just as the Father would. The journey to healing begins when we feel safe to take the first step.

View our growing playlist of Seven Minute Seminary.

Download the audio for this Seven Minute Seminary & subscribe via iTunes.


Dr. Mark Ongley has more than twenty-five years of pastoral ministry experience. He currently serves part-time as pastor of Ashes to Life in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania—a United Methodist congregation reaching out to people in recovery. He has helped many people find healing and greater wholeness in the area of sexuality. Since 2006, he has been part of a team of counselors for the “Come Away with Me” retreats sponsored by HCM International. Through Restored Image Ministries he offers counseling, seminars, and a monthly blog, which can be found at restoredimage.org. His wife, Lauri, and their two daughters bring him joy and remind him not to take himself too seriously.


  1. Oh WOW! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have given me depth and some understanding, along with tools to use in my counseling practice. Can’t wait to read the book!

  2. Beliefs like this made me hate myself as a child. I didn’t belong in this “clique” of so called Children of god and knew I never would. I grew up in a very Christian home and heard so many “christians” who were repulsed by my sexuality and I knew if they knew who I was they would be disgusted by me. This made all of Christianity look so shallow to me, all they cared about was what you put on the outside and didn’t care about who you were.