(This is the 13th dialogue in this series. It’s an edited and reconstructed version of the actual talk, but it accurately represents the essence of what was said. This is done with his permission, provided all personal references are omitted. I pick it up as usual after the opening chit-chat.)
Me: So what’s happening?
Him: I told you my dad was thinking of talking to the church about me and about his change in thinking about same-sex attraction.
Me: So did he?
Him: Well, not exactly. But he did call for a meeting with the deacons to let them know about things and to see how they would react.
Me: So how’d that go?
Him: Better than he thought it would. At first they were not taking it too well, but as he kept talking and quoting from those books you recommended, they started to soften up. Then there was quite a lot of discussion, and when it was all over they hugged my dad and then cried and prayed. I guess they have agreed that it should be brought before the whole church in a meeting. They’re a little nervous about how it will go, but they will support my dad as pastor of the church.
Me: That’s really wonderful to hear. Things are really moving along there! HA!
Him: Yes, but people will probably have a lot of questions, and my dad is really not sure he will be able to answer them all.
Me: Are you going to be there?
Him: Yes, and I offered to help explain things from my perspective and help with any questions. Many of those people have known me since I was born, so I think I need to say something.
Me: This is something I’ve never heard of before — a church business meeting to discuss the ‘gay’ question. Wow!
Him: I was wondering something.
Me: What’s that?
Him: Maybe you could talk to my dad before the meeting and help prepare him for any questions that might come up.
Me: Oh, that’s a big undertaking. It would be trying to anticipate what might be asked, and that’s never easy to do.
Him: Well, maybe you could just talk to him and help him with any of his own questions.
Me: Now that’s a better approach. If he wants to talk, sure, I’d be glad to.
Him: I think that would be good. Can I give him your number?
Me: Absolutely. He could call in the evening or on Saturday.
Him: It has been so good to hear your thoughts on this. If I had been counselled from the typical approach with the standard advice about what to do, I’m sure I would have gone over to the gay Christians. It’s nice to know there is a way to think about this issue in a Christian way.
Me: Well, not everyone thinks this is a Christian way to think about it. HA! But it’s in definition and analysis where I move away from the usual Christian counselling approach to homosexuality. I’m not so atypical when it comes to Christian practice in dealing with it. There I come from a very Reformed perspective on the process of sanctification…with a big dose of Lutheranism thrown in. In fact my whole objective is to develop a Reformed approach to the gay issue. And I’m still working on that.
Him: Reformed and Lutheran? Now there’s a strange combination.
Me: Ah, so you are not a theological novice, I see. I mean Reformed in theology and method, but Lutheran in emphasis and focus. They have been historically antagonistic, but I see them as complementary.
Him: I’d like to talk about that sometime.
Me: Any time.
Him: But for now…I’ll encourage my dad to talk to you. I really hope he will.
Me: So do I. I’ll be looking for his call.