A Biblical Theological Framework
We believe that God created humanity in his image, male and female, and this creation represented two distinct genders that God declared to be very good. We do not believe the creation of male and female represents the opposite ends of a continuum for understanding gender. We believe that both male and female, created in his image, includes a design and purpose for human sexuality that represents God and foreshadows the gospel.
We believe that the fall has marred the perfect image but not destroyed it. The fall represents Adam and Eve’s decision to decide what is right and wrong, and therefore the fall was ultimately about becoming God. We believe the fall has extended to the entire human race, and all humanity is broken and displays evidence of the distorted image. This brokenness is seen in the sexual disordering of human life and is expressed in a variety of ways. Any use, display, or desire of sex and sexuality outside of the covenant between a man and a woman in marriage is a representation of the fall and a representation of humanity’s need for redemption. It is often noted that the Bible only addresses homosexuality six times and, therefore, these verses are taken out of context. We believe these texts are prescriptive teachings. Together, with the entire male/female sexual narrative and purpose seen throughout the scriptures they form a clear picture of God’s good design.
One major theme that runs throughout the Bible is that of redemption. God, as a plan before time, made a decision to save through the redemptive work of his son, Jesus Christ. Christ offers redemption to all that is broken and to everyone who, through faith, would receive his death, burial and resurrection as a propitiation for sin. This is the Gospel! Everything we do and believe as a network begins and ends with the good news of redemption through Christ. God has provided redemption for all forms of sexual brokenness and gender confusion. This redemption is not evidence that God does not love us as we are. Rather, God, in love, has chosen to reconcile us to the best version of our image even while we stand against him in nature and action. Redemption through Christ begins the lifelong process of sanctification and the full restoration of God’s image in all creation and us.
We believe that the coming of Christ and the purchase of redemption have inaugurated the restoration of all things. This restoration is for all creation and all aspects of God’s original, good design. The restoration of humanity is a process that will ultimately reach completion in the age to come when Christ returns and redemption and restoration result in the new creation. We believe that the process of redemption and restoration of the image of God is a lifelong process in the life of the believer, and therefore this would extend to those who experience sexual brokenness. The Church is the primary place God has ordained for redemption and restoration to occur. We believe the church is the hope of the world and restoration happens best in the context of this community. We understand that because restoration is a process, we are to walk, shepherd, counsel, and disciple with patience, humility, and the conviction that God is making all things new. Gospel redemption inaugurates a process, one that is sure but messy and it involves the need for openness and grace in the process of conforming to his image.
We believe in the church. In fact, we love the church! Even when the church fails to be all that she can be, she is still the bride of Christ and the foundation of biblical community. The church is not the walls of our buildings but best seen in local expressions of believers living in a biblical community and on mission for the purpose of God’s kingdom. We believe that those walking with same-sex attraction and gender identity struggles discover their greatest freedom and peace in the midst of a relationship with Jesus Christ lived out in Biblical community. When the church lives up to her potential, safe places are created in which sin and struggle are confessed early, and grace is always extended. The Church is the best place for offering counseling and discipleship that are walked out with those who desire it.
It is our conviction that sanctification and all true discipleship take place in the context of the believing community and, most specifically, the local church. Therefore, everything we do is through the lens of this body, a part of it, and in no way a replacement for it.
Because we believe in the Gospel and the reconciliation that it brings to humanity and the world, being changed into his image from one degree of glory to another is expected. We believe that change in sexual lives is not only possible but also expected. Since each of us live in a fallen world, and ourselves fail to achieve God’s holiness on our own, every aspect of us should change in degrees. This change includes our sexual lives and temptations. We do not promote “orientation” change or other forms of therapy proven to be damaging. Rather, we believe in applying the lens of the Gospel and the narrative of Scripture to every area of our lives to promote biblical change.
The Church should be a place of genuine inclusivity. We should foster environments in which individuals feel the real freedom to share what is most problematic about them. By allowing and encouraging openness, as a path to freedom, the body of Christ becomes the inclusive, grace and mercy driven body it is meant to be.
Our heart is to come alongside and partner with the local church or group of churches to offer forums for pastors, seminars for ministries within their church, and teaching to their body. Our equipping is unique because we offer a personal relationship and the ability to partner with our network. Our equipping roots itself in the deep personal experience of walking with same-sex attraction and those impacted by it. Our methods are based on Scripture, research, and years of walking with individuals and ministry leaders.
Counseling and Discipleship:
We believe all Biblical change takes place in the process of discipleship. Those who accept the Gospel take part in the process of salvation and sanctification which progressively shapes them increasingly into the image of God. Our counseling is discipleship, in which we intentionally apply the gospel of Jesus Christ to sexual brokenness. We also believe that discipleship happens prior to accepting the truths of the Gospel and the biblical claims regarding sexuality. Therefore, we offer counseling to those who have not put their faith in Christ but are open to and interested the biblical paradigm for their lives.