The intuitive thinking that drives many parents to over-control LGBT+ young adults is fed – in part – by voices within evangelical Christianity. I am not referring to those few who spew forth verbal violence against the gay community; rather, I am speaking of really kind and loving evangelicals who are well-intentioned.

You see, many evangelicals handle homosexuality exclusively within a one-dimensional framework of theology. The goal of this approach is to reiterate what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Some add a second dimension – called pastoral care, healing or recovery – that we append to moral theology. In my view, this is helpful – but also insufficient in light of the abounding biases against this particular sin.

We need to add a critical third dimension: church leaders who will take direct responsibility for the ways we unintentionally provoke parents to drive away LGBT+ young adults. Without this third dimension, LGBT+ young adults will continue to be pushed into a spiritual confusion that I refer to as lateral distraction. We need to radically diffuse lateral distraction when at all possible so that these young adults in the Front-End Surrender stage of faith can own their journey before God. I will cover lateral distraction in my next post.

This third dimension never asks pastors to stop teaching biblical truth on homosexuality. It simply adds to the theology key biblical insights that better equip parents – and congregations – to practically engage LGBT+ young adults where they are today. Christ’s embodiment of absolute or theological truth never stops him from personally seeking sinners in a whisper: “come to me.” If we fail to capture this posture and tone among those who feel judged and excluded, we will fail to extend Jesus to LGBT+ people. Indeed, we have failed.

In my next several posts, I will share about the dangers of lateral distraction and the one thing that I ask every pastor to do. I will entice you by saying that few pastors ever actually do this one thing. Join me.

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