Bethany House, 2017. 171pp.
While flourishing in this life is possible for same sex attracted (SSA) humans, there are avenues that need to be observed and rejected. The first is the idea that you can identify as gay without inclining your pathway strongly towards the LGBTQ lifestyle. The second is the idea that you can have gay marriage without bypassing God’s original intent for marriage. The third is that spiritual friendship is sufficient without the pavement of the incarnated church for guidance, correction, and discipline.
While homosexuality is seen as a sin in the Bible and as such is to be treated as with any sin—recognition of sin/idolatry, mortification and transformation (a concise formulation that Citlau uses)—the same sex attracted are given great gifts as they journey: the Church, healing communities, Christian therapy, singleness, marriage and prayerful lament.
Citlau completes the book with appendix style courses of direction to the pastor and hope to the same sex attracted persons. His chapter called “A Note to Church Leaders” gives advice with the following headlines: Remember the Goal, Do not be Silent, Lead by Example, Repent of Homophobia, Build Friendships, Create Healing Spaces, Do not Minimize what God can Do, Make Testimonies into Leaders, God is Sovereign and Have Joy.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Ron Citlau is same sex attracted. He is also a husband, father, pastor, counselor, friend, and front line observer of our current day conundrum—how to respond to the LGBTQ forces confronting the church. A same sex attraction is not a sentence to despair, nor a stop sign in the road to human flourishing – says Citlau. Citlau seeks to find the middle road.
Words matter and the wise pastor will pay attention. Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted is an easy-to-read book that exposes three current trends you will hear while counseling SSA people. Read this to understand the present swirl of voices—whether you agree with the consequent approach Citlau takes or not. His chapters on the gifts that SSA can receive are practical points of hope that can be used in counseling same sex strugglers! The chapter for pastors is a gift to those in ministry, giving very practical preparatory steps for a successful ministry to SSA people.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
This LifeWay Pastors review is by Ron Baker.