What the Church Needs to Understand about Sexual Identity

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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.

Maintaining purity of heart in a sex-saturated world is a challenge for all believers. Sensuality has always grabbed our attention, but with the Internet, explicit and highly addictive material is jus ta click away. A glance becomes a gaze, a gaze can become an obsession, and obsession unchecked can bring the chains of addiction. Getting free can be maddening. But freedom is possible! Studies reveal that abstinence from addictive behavior for ninety days can place you on a new plateau of victory. But you can’t do it alone. Gritting your teeth and making more promises leads only to disillusionment and despair. Banding together with a few trusted friends, however, is a key to liberation. Get the guidebook Pure Hearted: Banding Together for Sexual Wholeness to begin your journey toward sexual wholeness.

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 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.

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Dr. Mark Ongley has over 30 years of pastoral ministry and holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Formational Counseling. He has counseled hundreds of people with varying issues of sexual brokenness. Currently he pastors Ashes to Life Ministries, a United Methodist church in Beaver Falls, PA, reaching people in recovery, and is author of Into the Light: Healing Sexuality in Today’s Church (Seedbed Publishing, 2016).

3 COMMENTS

  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.

  3. One option you fail to consider at the end of your video: what if I choose to identify as a Christian who is gay, but also chooses to live in obedience to a traditional sexual ethic?

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