A number of people have asked how our forum went this year which was on the subject of homosexuality. I would normally have done a post earlier but have been very busy with other events. We had about 200 people turn out for what was one of our best events. The intent of the forum was not to change minds or to advocate for one position over another. It was more modest than that. The forum focused on what a dialogue can look like between two people who disagree with each other. How can we talk to each other with grace and dignity while still strongly holding to our convictions? Surely there is a place for this kind of conversation. There are plenty of people who have family members or friends who are gay and they say they have a hard time talking to them about the issue. Numerous people told us that that is precisely what they hoped to learn from the event and they were not disappointed. Justin Lee and Wesley Hill both spoke for about 20 minutes and then answered questions from the audience. Afterward they signed books and answered questions one-on-one. They were delighted with the response they received. Justin said he noticed most people bought both his book and Wesley’s. Those who didn’t buy both books said they already had the other. This surprised him because he said at most events he does the audience will gravitate to one title or the other. I learned the importance of listening to those who are struggling with same-sex attraction. There are far too many who are ready to preach without first really listening to hear about the genuine struggle and pain many are going through. Is it too much to ask that we stop and listen? The issues are complex and the struggle is real. Questions ranged from personal to pastoral and Justin and Wesley were pleased with the sensitivity that our audience had. Here are just a few pictures from the night.
Our sincere thanks go to Justin (pictured here on the left) and Wesley (pictured on the right) and all those who attended. We hope you found the event as helpful as we planned. We’d also like to extend a big thank you to the Colossian Forum for partnering with us on the event. The bottom picture is me.