Q&A with a same-sex attracted pastor—Sam Allberry.

I recently moderated a Q&A with Sam Allberry where he fielded questions from me and from students (see above). Sam is a same-sex attracted Christian, and a faithful brother. I cannot overstate how grateful I am for his life and testimony. The Lord has raised him up for our time. If you haven’t yet read Sam’s book, you need to. It’s titled Is God Anti-Gay? (Questions Christians Ask).

Sam delivered three messages to our students before the Q&A:

  • “Sam’s Story”
  • “What the Bible Teaches about Homosexuality”
  • “Gospel-Ministry to the Same-Sex Attracted”

You can listen to all three of these at the website of The Center for Gospel and Culture.  I think they are all fantastic, but I really appreciated the first one (“Sam’s Story”) which is a mixture of personal testimony and biblical exhortation. Don’t miss it.

I’ve listed below the questions that Sam answers in the Q&A and where they occur in the video above.

Q&A with Sam Allberry

0:00 – What do you think about reparative therapy?

5:40 – How can we be more persuasive with what the Bible teaches about sexuality?

9:23 – Should gay people avoid same-sex friendships?

12:13 – What is the difference between temptation and sin?

15:20 – Is same-sex attraction sinful?

21:21 – What do we minister to transgender youth?

29:33 – How do opposite sex friendships work with people who are same-sex attracted?

32:20 – How can churches be less reluctant about ministry to same-sex attracted folks?

35:04 – What do you say to someone who claims to be gay and Christian? (like Matthew Vines)

38:48 – Is homosexuality a gospel issue?

40:33 – How do we speak the truth to a transgender friend?

43:34 – What do we say to a gay person who has been hurt by Christians in the past?

16 Responses to Q&A with a same-sex attracted pastor—Sam Allberry.

  1. Jay Hall March 26, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    That’s a rather cynical comment. This man has a powerful testimony. It’s a shame that you think Denny is sharing this to simply be P.C. This is the gospel. This is what sanctification and regeneration look like. This is not something to be mocked.

    • Denny Burk March 26, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

      Jay, I agree.

    • buddyglass March 26, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

      Comment was deleted I take it?

      • Denny Burk March 26, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

        Yes. I let a lot of crazy stuff go by, but this one was too over-the-top, even for me.

        • Nathan Cesal March 27, 2015 at 11:14 am #

          If I remember right, I agree with the deleted post, but I thought the crude way it was stated would have gotten it zapped almost immediately.

          The truth is, 20 years ago the church was not entertaining anything beyond swift hell-fire for LGBT. I think that is a more comfortable and natural reaction for Denny. Over the years, I’ve gotten a sense that Denny’s gut reaction is repulsion of LGBT. Kudos to Denny for sitting on the stage with Sam.

          I find the sudden swing that the church has regarding LGBT interesting. I even count Denny’s and other conservative’s engagement of LGBT as a sudden swing even though theirs is a smaller movement.

          I guess everyone is admitting that the church got *something* wrong over the last 2000 years regarding LGBT. What that was is the question, I guess. The best answer I would suggest is found where there are happy, vibrant, & thriving people, including LGBT. (aka fruit!)

          • Bob Wilson March 27, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

            Yes exactly. Allberry and others like Rosaria Butterfield is forcing even very strict Christians to see “same sex attracted” people as human when for so long they were seen as nothing more than abominations with no place among decent people. His “chief of all sinners” moment during the Q&A is wonderfully understated and still amazing.

          • Bob Shaffer March 27, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

            Nathan: “The truth is, 20 years ago the church was not entertaining anything beyond swift hell-fire for LGBT…”

            Two things… 20 years ago society at-large considered homosexuality an abomination and although it happened, it happened in secret and it was not a topic of public discussion. Today it is not only public but also advocated and is increasingly becoming a threat to religious freedom (i.e. caterers, florists, etc. who do not want to participate in same sex “weddings”). For those reasons, it forces a public response from the church.

            Second, in many “fundamentalist” circles “hell fire” was and still is today the response to any sin. I would suggest that it is in more reformed circles that one hears a message of grace.

            • Nathan Cesal March 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

              re religious liberty

              “[A business owner’s] decision to refuse to do business with someone — especially for reasons such as race or sexual orientation — can fundamentally demean that individual and deny them their own right to participate equally in society.”

            • James Bradshaw March 29, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

              Bob writes: “20 years ago society at-large considered homosexuality an abomination”

              Perhaps, but American culture has always been a bit squeamish about all things sexual (or even bodily function oriented) in a way that looks quaint today. Look at sitcoms from the 50s and 60s. Married couples were portrayed as sleeping in separate beds, and it was considered “obscene” to allow the sound of a flushing toilet on television (a barrier broken by the forward-thinking “All In the Family”).

              Despite all this apparent sexual Puritanism, these were also the days of widespread racism and militant segregation.

              Of course, the pendulum has swung in the entirely opposite direction. I recently saw on television a pair of bare breasts in the same film where the word “retard” was censored.

              Ours is a strange culture.

  2. Bob Wilson March 27, 2015 at 12:12 am #

    I listened to all 4 videos. As a non-believer, I though Allberry did very well. He’s an elegant speaker. Allowing for the very strict framework he is working in on the gay issue, he managed to deliver a humane and intelligent perspective. That’s no easy task. I’m glad those young people heard him.

  3. Esther O'Reilly March 27, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    I did not see the above comment before it was deleted. But I can say that I have grave doubts about the wisdom of encouraging same-sex attracted brothers, even orthodox ones, to enter the ministry. I have no doubt that Allberry is sharing lots of biblically sound stuff in this video, I just disagree with his choice from a practical perspective.

  4. Lynn B. March 28, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    Denny, thank you! I just listened to all four recordings and they were both a blessing and an encouragement to me. Sam’s messages will help me immensely as I seek to witness to same-sex attracted people.

    I would offer only that I found the Q&A a bit slow and I fear that some who listen to that first may not be inclined to listen to the other sessions… so I would encourage them to go to the link and begin at the top of the list. Blessings!

  5. Christiane Smith March 29, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    I believe that the Church is asking ‘what need does Our Lord have of us now’ in regard to bringing Him to the world. I was reading a Palm Sunday meditation about the little donkey that Our Lord ‘had need of’ to bring Him into Jerusalem,
    and we know that the humble little donkey was unassuming, did not call attention to himself, and did not seek to aggrandize his own ego with his performance;
    but instead, he became a ‘Christ-bearer’, serving in response to Our Lord’s need of him.

    For the Church to be open to this kind of service in a way that responds more humbly to Our Lord’s needs and more humbly to the world’s need of Him,
    that tells me that it is the work of the Holy Spirit’s doing, and that in God’s good time, we will see the fruit of this patient, humble service of Christ-bearing to the world
    . . . although there may be difficult days ahead as there were on that Palm Sunday long ago, good will come from the Church’s providing a far more humble service to Christ in a way that the world was not expecting.

  6. Jay Ryder April 1, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    Denny, I tried posting a comment on the day that you published this article, but the comment never went live.
    Essentially, my comment is that I greatly appreciate your partnership with Sam. As a result of your engagement with him (and several other men), his theology and clarity has strengthened quite a bit. I especially like how you brought up the fact that we all deal with desire and that folks who struggle with same sex attraction should not be considered an anomoly. In fact, Paul wrote that no temptation has befallen us but that which is common to man — a key point for both sides of this issue to grasp.

    I especially love how Sam’s compassion and understanding are helping to shape the church’s view of those who struggle with this sin.
    Thank you very much for your ministry!

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