How can Christians reach our LGBTQ+ neighbors? In today’s Bible Study podcast, Wes McAdams visits with Guy Hammond, the Executive Director and Founder of Strength in Weakness Ministries.

Guy founded Strength in Weakness Ministries in 2006 in order to help same-sex attracted Christians like him. Since that time, he has taught over 100,000 people in churches, universities, and faith-based groups globally. He has written six books and has had a documentary movie made about my life and this ministry called “Finding Guy.”

Before becoming a Christian, Guy lived an active gay life until he was 24 years old. After becoming a Christian, he left that life behind forever and God has blessed him tremendously. In 1991 he married Cathy and they have 4 amazing adult children. Sadly, Cathy passed away in 2018 of cancer. By God’s blessing, Guy fell in love again and he married Laura.

In this conversation, Wes and Guy discuss Guy’s positive experiences in the church that initially helped him decide to follow Jesus. Guy explains why, in spite of being same-gender attracted, he does not identify as gay. They also discuss the growing number of affirming churches, what arguments are used to support pro-gay theology, and why those arguments ultimately fall short.

Most importantly, Wes and Guy discuss how Christians and churches can hold to a biblical sexual ethic while also demonstrating love for our LGBTQ+ neighbors. Guy closes by sharing an encouraging word for those struggling with their own sexuality or those who have family members who are struggling.

Guy has an amazing story and an amazing ministry. We believe this conversation and Bible study will help us all to love like Jesus.

Links and Resources:

Transcript (Credit Beth Tabor):

WES:  Welcome to the Radically Christian Bible Study podcast. I’m your host, Wes McAdams. Here, we have one goal: Learn to love like Jesus. I want to begin today by reading 2 Corinthians 12:7‑10, which says, “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Today we have a very special Bible study and conversation with Guy Hammond, the executive director and founder of Strength in Weakness Ministries. I think his story is going to inspire you, encourage you, and teach you. I hope that, as always, this conversation helps us all to learn to love like Jesus. 

Guy Hammond, welcome to our podcast. Thank you so much for being with us, Brother.

GUY: Hey, Wes, thanks so much. So glad I could be here. I really appreciate the invitation.

WES: I was telling you before I hit record that I feel like I’ve already talked with you. I feel like I already know you, even though this is our first time to visit, because I’ve watched so many of your videos, including your documentary “Finding Guy,” and so I’m very familiar with your story. But for those that aren’t yet familiar with your story, I hope they will watch the documentary because it’s incredible, and I would just invite you to share a little bit about yourself and your ministry with us.

GUY: Yeah, for sure. I grew up going to church, but around the age of 12, 13 years old, discovered that I was attracted to the same gender. Don’t know where that came from. I certainly didn’t choose it, but it was a capability I now had, and very confusing years for me as a young man growing up in a church culture that taught that homosexuality was sinful, and yet having these feelings and emotions that, again, I did not choose, but that I was living with. And, you know, I certainly made some terrible choices during those years and actively started participating in homosexuality at a young age and had a boyfriend for a period of years. I finally got to a point where I decided that the church had no place for me, no room for me. It’s not that I didn’t believe in God; I just didn’t think that God believed in me, and decided to embrace a full gay life and moved to Toronto, Canada’s largest city, in my early 20s, and just there crossed a lot of dangerous lines, lived a very promiscuous life, a very reckless life embracing homosexuality and participating in the gay community there. 

By the time I was in my ‑‑ let’s see, I was about 22, 23 years old, my life was a train wreck and I knew I needed intervention. I knew I needed help. By then, I would have acted out hundreds of times with different men, and so I was in real trouble. In God’s perfect timing, He sent somebody who invited me to a church, and I was very skeptical. Thought, oh, I know all about church. You know, all those people are all homophobic and there’s no place for me in the church. And I decided, though, eventually, to go, just because I realized I had no other options. So I went to this church and was so impressed by what I saw and heard ‑‑ it was not like the church I grew up in ‑‑ and decided to keep going. But it took two years, two years of going to church, two years of building relationships with Christians, two years of hearing the gospel message before I finally decided that I wanted Jesus more than I wanted homosexuality. And so I studied the Bible in earnest and was baptized in August of 1987.  That’s a long time ago.  And that was 36 years ago, and I left my gay life behind forever and can tell you that I’ve not participated in any kind of homosexual activity since my conversion three and a half decades ago. 

Wes, I don’t know why God works the way he does. If I was God, I would certainly do things very differently, but in spite of three and a half decades of faithful Christian living and denying this thing that feels very natural and normal to me, I’m still homosexually attracted. It hasn’t even altered. I’m just as attracted to men today as the day I became a Christian 36 years ago. But time and time again, when that has caused me shame or discomfort or just questioning, you know, God has said to me, Guy, my grace is sufficient for you and my power is made perfect in weakness. So I live with this reality, but I’m more than happy to submit it to Christ and live a faithful life based on his plan for my life rather than following my plan for my life. So that’s who I am, and that’s why I lead the ministry that I lead today.

WES: That’s awesome. That’s fantastic. And if you don’t mind, tell us ‑‑ because I think one of the things that might surprise people because of the way the conversation typically happens is ‑‑ tell us about marriage, tell us about your family, if you don’t mind.

GUY: Yeah, great question. Thanks for asking. You know, I never anticipated that I’d ever marry a woman. Certainly, becoming a Christian, I saw very clearly in scripture that sexual intimacy was to be reserved between that of a man and a woman bound together only in marriage. When I was getting baptized, I just couldn’t imagine ever being in a romantic relationship with a woman. I’d never been attracted to a girl before, never kissed a girl before. I was like, what on earth would you do with a girl? I’m not sure. I just thought, when I was becoming a Christian, I would live a celibate life, honoring God that way, but never marrying a woman. However, a few years after becoming a Christian, I did meet and fall in love with a beautiful, godly Christian woman. She loved the Lord and loved me, and she certainly was aware of who I was and the challenges I brought to the table. I fell in love with her. I wasn’t attracted to her physically the way a heterosexually attracted man would be, but I loved her in so many other ways and we had so much in common and I just couldn’t imagine living life without her, and so I asked her to marry me. Her name was Cathy. So Cathy and I married in 1991 and were married for 28 amazing years. Raised a family with four kids, and she was just the love of my life and we experienced life together. It was just a magical thing, and we just decided to refuse to allow my homosexual attractions to be a defining part of our relationship. I figured Jesus is my identity. He’s the one I’ve decided to follow. We were going to let that be the defining part of our marriage, not the fact that I was homosexually attracted. Sadly, and shockingly, my wife Cathy passed away in 2018 of brain cancer, and that shook my world in a terrible way. But Cathy was a very pragmatic woman and very insistent that I get married again, and so about a week before she died, she pleaded with me, “Honey, please get married again.” And I was like, come on, I mean, how is that gonna happen? Isn’t it a miracle enough that I found one wife that was willing to live with this? How on earth would I find another wife? But Cathy actually wrote out a list of pre‑approved names of women in the church that she thought I could marry, you know, other women who are now widows or had never married. 

So the short story is, Wes, about six months after my wife died, I started feeling pretty lonely and thought if I lived the average lifespan of a Canadian male, I got another 20, 25 years left in me, and I don’t wanna do this alone. So I got out that list and started at the top. I went to the very first woman on that list that my wife chose for me and approached her. She had been married to a wonderful Christian man who had also died of cancer, and I reached out to her and she was interested in building a relationship. So her name is Laura, and Laura and I have since married, so I consider myself to be a walking, living, breathing miracle. I’m not even attracted to women and I’m on my second wife, but, you know, I just feel like, Wes, this is my way of honoring God with my life and it’s one of the greatest pleasures and joys of my life is to honor these women before the Lord as we strive to follow Him. So yes, I’m on my second marriage.

WES: That’s wonderful. Well, praise God. I’m sorry for your loss, but praise God for the way that he’s worked in your life.  And I think that your story can bring so much hope, and it really speaks to that sort of false binary that people think that they have to choose or that the only way to live is either live celibately, live alone ‑‑ and that loneliness, I can’t even imagine how unbearable that would be for some people. Some people choose that celibate life and that works for them. Jesus was a celibate man; Paul was a celibate man, so that’s something we don’t talk enough about, I think, in the church of that singleness and that that can be an avenue through which people can serve and bring glory to God. But just because someone experiences same‑sex attraction doesn’t mean that that has to be the avenue that they have to go down, and so I think that your story can bring so much hope to people. 

Tell us about your ministry, Strength in Weakness Ministries, and, particularly ‑‑ you’ve already sort of hinted at that, but I assume the name comes from 2 Corinthians 12. So what is it about that idea of strength in weakness that resonated with you and made you want to make that part of your ministry?

GUY: Yeah, thank you. You know, I spent probably the first 15 years of my Christian journey feeling very alone, very isolated.  There was really no pragmatic help in the church. Very ‑‑ a lot of empathetic, sympathetic ears, but, really, I think most of the Christian people around me had no idea what to do with me, and so I spent a lot of years feeling very lonely, isolated, and like there was really no help out there. And then, after about 15 years of my Christian walk, I thought, you know, I’ve matured now to a place where I feel like I could start helping other people, and there’s gotta be other homosexually attracted Christian men and women who love Jesus, who are denying those feelings and emotions but have felt as lonely as I did, and I thought, I don’t want them to do that. So I thought, I wanna let them know that I’m here, and I can now share strategies that I’ve employed to live a faithful Christian life and honor God even though I’m homosexually attracted. 

So I just started a website, called it “Strength in Weakness” for obvious reasons, as you said, 2 Corinthians 12, when I am weak, then I am strong. And, you know, I wasn’t really planning on it becoming very much, Wes. My goal was kind of to try and find 30. I thought if I could find 30 Christians who are homosexually attracted, that I could help. That would be amazing. I had no idea that the ministry would become what it’s become, where we’re now helping thousands of Christians in 96 countries in three languages. It’s exploded far beyond anything I could have imagined, but that’s what the ministry is doing now, so I’m so grateful to God for him being able to allow me to use this mess to be able to bless some other people.

WES: That’s wonderful. As I was preparing for our conversation, I was just reading some of the biographies of the board, and it’s just so incredibly inspiring to see how God is working in so many lives and then how that is being used to minister to other people, people’s lives and faith.  It’s just blessing so many people, and so I would really encourage people, whether they themselves are struggling with sexual issues or sexual questions, to go to your website, but especially those that have family members that are dealing with that. And we’ll sort of come back to that because I’m sure that there are people listening right now that are dealing with their own struggles, but also parents that are dealing with kids that are ‑‑ they’re trying to love and help their kids that are dealing with their own struggles. 

Let’s kind of touch on the idea of identity.  And you’ve already mentioned the word “identity,” and that’s really so pivotal to this conversation in our culture today. I’ve read and heard you speak about this before, but you don’t identify as a gay Christian. I hear people that do identify that way, as a gay Christian, but that’s not a label, an identity that you own. So could you speak to that? Why have you not chosen to use that identity and call yourself a gay man or a gay Christian?  

GUY: You know, there would be a lot of people who disagree with me, and I know many who will call themselves a gay Christian. I respect their right to use whatever terminology they want. I’ll tell you the reason I personally don’t is because I fear that it would convey a message that isn’t true. I don’t want anybody to be under the assumption that if I say the word “gay Christian,” that that would mean that somehow I’m embracing and celebrating homosexuality while being a follower of Christ. There are many people in the world who do that, who belong to what we call gay‑affirming churches, and they embrace and celebrate homosexuality while being a follower of Jesus. Certainly, my understanding of scripture is that it’s not possible for a follower of Christ to participate in homosexuality at any level, and so if I was to say that I was a gay Christian, people could make assumptions of something that just isn’t reality. However, I have to use some kind of terminology to be able to express what it is that I’m experiencing, so I have chosen to use terms like same‑gender attracted or same‑sex‑attracted Christian just so that people understand what I’m going through, but I don’t want to say a gay Christian. 

Also, I kind of feel like, you know, if I was to call myself a gay Christian, I would also be saying to the Holy Spirit, I will follow you, and you have access to all areas of my life except this one because I am a gay Christian. So you can, Holy Spirit, work and move in my life however you want, but not this one, because this is now a part of my identity. I’m saying I’m a gay Christian, so you can’t touch this, and I certainly don’t want to convey that to the Lord, either. So those reasons together are why I’ve come out saying that I’m a same‑gender, same‑sex, or a homosexually attracted Christian, but I will not say gay Christian.

WES: Yeah. And that really speaks to the idea ‑‑ I think a term that kind of gets thrown around a lot is authenticity, and I would say that that tends to be something that, in our current culture, is seen as the highest value, of being your true self or your real self or finding out who you are and then living out that reality, and that tends to be the way that, especially young people, but not just young people, but so many people in our culture think that the highest virtue, the highest value is to be authentic, to be your real self. And so I imagine a lot of people would hear this conversation or see your ministry, hear your story, and say, “Well, Guy, you’re not being authentic. You’re not living your true self.” So what would you say to people that sort of value that idea of living out whatever desires they have and living those things out and embracing that as their true self and might look at your life and say you’re not being authentic?  

GUY: Wow, great question. Well, first of all, I’ll start at a place that maybe a lot of your listeners will not expect me to start at in answering this. You know, I respect, certainly acknowledge, the rights of LGBTQ people to live however they want. You know, 1 Corinthians 5, the Apostle Paul tells us that we’re not to judge those outside the church. There is a place for judgment within the church, but outside, I think there is a judge and we’re not Him. And, you know, I think God is such a gentleman. He doesn’t force people to follow him. He hopes they will, but God certainly respects free choice, and I do likewise. So if people feel like being their true, authentic self would mean to embrace and celebrate homosexuality, I think that’s their business. I won’t argue with that. 

However, for the follower of Jesus, for the Christian, being our true, authentic self is following Christ. I applaud and agree with the statement that we want to be authentic, we want to be real.  I would be in agreement with that. But for the follower of Jesus, I just don’t know how you could do that outside of Christ. So if Jesus is my identity, if Guy Hammond died with Christ in baptism and now I’m alive in Christ, the old Guy Hammond is gone. Who I am now is striving to be Jesus in everything that I say, do, act, think. So if I’m going to be my true, authentic self, I don’t know how I could possibly do that without striving to have Jesus and God at the very core of that. 

So for me today, being my true, authentic self is being a Christian, is putting Jesus’ priorities ahead of my own, scripture above my own priorities. So I think I am being my true, authentic self, striving to be a Christian because that is my true identity. Before I became a Christian, I was also my true authentic self, and let me tell you, my life was a train wreck. I know what it’s like to live my life based on my feelings, my emotions, based on my own inclinations, and let me tell you where that got me ‑‑ into a lot of trouble. So I have no trouble now being ‑‑ at this season of my life, saying I don’t want to give in to my feelings and emotions and live my life based on that because that’s nothing but a lot of problems.  Following, however, God’s plan for my life, consistently submitting to that, has actually been the thing that has saved me.

WES: Yeah. Wow, that’s such a great answer, such a great thought. I want to kind of go back ‑‑ before we take a break, I kind of want to go back to something that you said in your story about taking two years to really make this decision to follow Jesus, to choose Jesus over this other life that you were living. I think that there’s probably a lot of Christians that would say, yes, we need to give people the option. We need to give people the opportunity to make that decision. But I think that there’s probably a lot of Christians that aren’t willing to exercise that sort of patience with people while they decide. And I love that you pointed out Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 5 about how it’s not our place to judge those outside of Christ, those that have not decided to follow Jesus. 

But would you speak to that, even just from your own experience or from what you’ve seen, just that idea of exercising patience while people decide? I’ve told people before I would love if thousands of LGBTQ people came to church and we exercised that patience while we allowed them the time. Jesus talks about counting the cost of discipleship, and so you had to spend some time, apparently, counting the cost of discipleship, whether or not this was the life that you wanted to choose. So what role do you think that patience plays in that for the church as we help people make that decision?

GUY: Yeah. One thing that I appeal to people ‑‑ I travel around doing teaching workshops in churches and Christian universities all the time. When I am in front of audiences ‑‑ Christian audiences, my appeal to them is to recognize that the Holy Spirit often moves at a different pace than we would like Him to, and a lot of times Christians navigate the conversions of others based on arbitrary timelines that we set up, and yet again, the Holy Spirit sometimes just moves at a pace than we would like him to. There are going to be some people from the LGBTQ community who are going to hear about the cross and the resurrection and they’re going to repent within a matter of days or weeks. There will be some.  But there are going to be others where it’s going to take months or years. My question to the church is, can we be secure enough in our own faith to allow there to be a place in Jesus’ church where people who are different than us can come and learn about what it means to follow Jesus? So it’s our own insecurity. Listen, what we want is to create an environment within the church where people who think differently, talk differently, act differently, dress differently can come to our worship services to hear the gospel, but how can we possibly expect them to do that if they feel like they’re just going to come to a place of judgment and a place where we say to them, you have to get everything figured out in this period of time or you’re no longer welcome here?

I think Christians need to realize that the church is a spiritual hospital for spiritually sick people, and Jesus is the Great Physician. And, you know, when you’re in a hospital, there are gonna be different people in there with different illnesses, and people are going to be dealing with their illnesses for different lengths of time. The doctor doesn’t say, hey, listen, if you don’t get your cancer cleared up or, you know, your emphysema cleared up, or your broken bones cleared up in a matter of two weeks, you’re just out of here.  No, the doctor recognizes that people heal at different stages and different speeds, so, you know, likewise in Jesus’ church, we’ve got to allow time for healing. 

Another huge mistake that people make all the time, Wes, is that they think that this is always going to be a microwave experience, the conversion to Christ, and a lot of times it’s just not. In fact, I would tell Christians, listen, aren’t we all still dealing with areas of struggle, brokenness, and weakness, even years, or maybe even decades after our conversion, where we’re still dealing with our broken, fallen human nature? So listen, then let’s give people time, room, and space to figure this stuff out. Again, the question I ask in my workshops is, how do you unscramble an egg? Unscrambling an egg would not be very easy, would it? Well, people come into the church and their lives are scrambled. Listen, we need to walk alongside these people, giving them the time, room, and space they need to do the unscrambling. That’s not, again, gonna be a microwave experience. It could take people months, or, like Guy Hammond, could take two years before they finally are saying, okay, you know what?  I want Jesus now. But can we be secure enough to allow people to go through that process without putting arbitrary timelines on people? This is key if we’re going to reach out to people who are different than us in following Jesus. 

And I’ll say this, because I know you want to go to a break, Wes, but you got me going here. You know, Christians are really good at being in relationship with people with whom they agree with. Most Christians are not very good at being in relationship with people with whom they disagree. Oh, you agree with me? Oh, great, come on over to my house for dinner. Let’s hang out.  Let’s ‑‑ we agree with each other. Let’s be ‑‑ oh, we disagree? We’re not very ‑‑ we don’t do well at being in relationship with people with whom we disagree. This has got to change if we’re going to have a lasting impact for Christ in our lost and dying world today.

WES: Yeah, amen.  Well, it reminds me of what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount. Everybody is friends with people that like them, that are friendly towards them. 

GUY: Right, yes.

WES: Jesus calls us to even love our enemies.  Not that people in the LGBTQ community should be our enemies, but even if they were our enemies, then Jesus calls us to love our enemies. He calls us to love people that are not like us.  So it’s easy and it’s worldly to love people that are just like you and that think like you, but it’s like Jesus to love people that don’t. So yes, so important. 

GUY: So true.

WES: Let’s take a short break and we’ll be right back.

GUY: Great.

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WES: Okay. Well, I am so enjoying this conversation, Guy. So far, we’ve really kind of put things in terms that would have made sense for 2,000 years, in that people have to decide if they’re going to follow Jesus or to continue to live in not just same‑sex relationships, but in all manner of sin, or what scripture calls sexual immorality, and if we’re going to follow Jesus, then we have to give up, we have to repent, we have to change. But now we’re kind of living and transitioning into an era that is very unique in Christian history, where there are a lot of ministers, theologians, Christians, churches that have said, oh, you don’t have to decide between those two. You can continue to live this lifestyle. You can continue to be in these relationships and follow Jesus. And so there are a lot of churches and ministers and theologians that have begun to shift and have become affirming in their theology and have affirmed same‑sex relationships. So I’m sure, in your ministry, you run across this quite a bit, so what are some of the arguments that affirming churches or affirming theologians are using?  What’s maybe an argument that you hear most often? And then how do you respond to those who say that you can continue to live in a same‑sex relationship and follow Jesus?

GUY: If you don’t mind, I’ll go backwards from your questions. I think Christians need to ask themselves this. The notion that you could, as a Christian, embrace and celebrate homosexuality is a relatively new one, as you mentioned, to the debate of sexual ethics in Christianity. If you went back only 70 years, 80 years, max, you wouldn’t even be able to find the concept out there that somebody can embrace and celebrate homosexuality while being a follower of Christ. That notion didn’t really start taking root until about 1960, actually, in Great Britain, and made its way across into North America and didn’t really start taking off until about 1980, and has really flourished since then. My question is this: Is it possible that the Biblical scholars and translators we’ve relied on for the last 2,000 years just missed it? That, for 2,000 years, the Bible scholars we’ve relied on just didn’t see it in there, but all of a sudden in about 1960 some guy in Great Britain, who belonged to the Quaker denomination, discovered it? And, oh, my gosh, it’s been there all along, deeply buried within the pages of the scriptures, but, again, the biblical scholars missed it. Is that possible, or is something else going on? And I would put before you something else is going on. 

The notion that homosexuality is outside the confines of what God intended for human sexuality is all throughout scripture. We’ve got five main passages that teach us this. And, you know, is it possible that the Bible scholars and translators we’ve relied on got it wrong five times in two different testaments written to two highly different cultures? No, I don’t think so. Something else is going on here. There’s a whole cast of characters who have put together a theology, and they’ve called it pro‑gay theology. And this cast of characters have propagated this notion now very successfully for the last 50 or 60 years, and it has taken off like wildfire. These are basically Bible‑believing men who also wanted to be able to have homosexuality at the same time, and so in order to be able to do that, they had to come up with their own theology to be able to do it because there’s simply no room for this within scripture itself. So the theology that says that you can be gay and a Christian has put forward contingencies, making us question the authority of scripture in this area, and the arguments now are that we’ve misinterpreted the Bible, we misunderstood the Bible, we haven’t understood the Bible in its original context and its original language. 

And so some of the arguments that have been put forward are things like ‑‑ some of them are pretty simple. Like I hear this one all the time.  It’s pretty simple to dismantle, but the argument is, well, Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality so it must be okay. That’s a ridiculous argument. Listen, first of all, there’s nowhere in the Bible that says that Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John should be elevated above the Torah or any of the writings that were yet to come. That’s problem number one. Problem number two, there’s any number of things that Jesus didn’t talk about. We’re not going to, for that reason, rush to the assumption that it’s okay to embrace homosexuality just because Jesus didn’t talk about it. He didn’t talk about wife‑beating, either, but I don’t go home and beat up my wife because Jesus didn’t mention it. Silly argument. 

But then there are some other arguments that become a little bit more complicated, a little bit more complex. For instance, an argument would be that the Apostle Paul, for instance, in Romans 1, wasn’t talking about a monogamous, loving, gay relationship between two individuals. He was more talking about homosexuality in the context of it being centered around idol worship, prostitution, or orgies. Well, you know, first of all, there’s nowhere in the language of what Paul says in Romans 1 that would lend itself to any of that. There’s nothing in Paul’s language that speaks to prostitution, idol worship, pedophilia, or even, for instance, rape, where, for instance, a slave owner would rape a slave. There’s nothing in Paul’s language that lends itself to that. These are contingencies that were put into ‑‑ qualifiers that were put into these arguments to get us to question. 

Besides that, the Romans 1 argument is very interesting because, as we know, if you read Romans 1:26‑27, it talks about homosexuality, but if you just go into verses 28 to 31, there’s a long list of sins there, and if you’re going to argue that homosexuality is only wrong if associated with idol worship, or only wrong if associated with excess, like an orgy, then consistency would demand that you use the same argument for all the other sins that are mentioned just in the next three verses, which would mean things like disobeying your parents, murder, lying, deceit ‑‑ the list goes on and on ‑‑ would only be wrong if associated with idol worship or only be wrong if associated with pedophilia.  It’s a ridiculous argument.  So then you’d be saying, well, yes, you know what? I did murder somebody, but it was associated with idol worship. Oh, in that case, it’s okay. No, it doesn’t make sense. The argument starts to fall apart at that point. 

Another argument would be, for instance, that the two passages that we see in Leviticus where Moses says that homosexuality is sinful ‑‑ you know, the argument then becomes, well, there’s a lot of stuff in the holiness code in Leviticus that Christians no longer follow, like, for instance, Christians are not ‑‑ or the Jewish people were not to wear clothes made of different fabrics or plant crops side by side or touch the skin of a dead pig. How is it, then, that Christians just focus on the homosexual part but no longer follow these other injunctions? So then we become accused of cafeteria‑style hermeneutics, picking and choosing the parts we want to follow. I guess, you know, that’s partially true. We are responsible for picking and choosing, but that’s not based on our own feelings and emotions of what we want to choose, but rather we are taking the Bible in its entirety, looking at things that are also repeated in the New Testament confirming what is in the Old Testament. The reason why we think it’s okay to touch the skin of a dead pig or to plant crops side by side is because these things are not repeated in the New Testament, but the sexual injunctions against homosexuality or idolatry or adultery, these things are repeated in the New Testament, so we say, then, it’s not possible for a Christian to follow these things. 

These are the kinds of questions that are brought up ‑‑ or claims that are brought up in pro‑gay theology. There’s a whole bunch of them. I actually wrote my latest book on this. It’s called “Gay and Christian,” if people are interested, where I take apart the arguments of pro‑gay apologists and Bible revisionists to show that what the traditional conservative Biblical sexual ethic is on this issue is indeed fact and true. But Christians need to educate themselves and get ready for these kinds of arguments. Prepare yourself for them, or you’re gonna be left lost, wondering what to say next.

WES: Yeah. And, you know, again, I feel like there’s ‑‑ we have this Biblical conversation ‑‑ this conversation about scripture, and even conversation that’s within the church, but then we also have this wider cultural conversation, and I’m sure that the same sort of situation, and probably much more so, in Canada is happening as it is in the United States, but we have this cultural divide where we just see one another as enemies, and this hostility and this defensiveness, and even this false binary that has been presented, and I think all too often believed, that you either have to choose between loving people or speaking the truth. And it’s become this kind of thing that I think so many Christians have sort of thrown up their hands and they’ve sort of believed that, that they have to treat people as their enemy if they’re going to hold to scripture, if they’re going to be, quote‑unquote, sound ‑‑ sound churches and sound Christians. 

But the way that you approach your ministry, the way that you approach people, the way that you talk and have this conversation, I think there’s so much that we can learn from you, Brother. So what would you say to both individual Christians, but also to churches, and leaders within churches, that are trying to figure out how do we, in practical terms, love people well, love people that are struggling with their sexuality or struggling with their gender, while also holding to the scriptural sexual ethic?  How do we hold to a Christian sexual ethic and be honest with people about where we stand, but also, at the same time, treat people with love and kindness?  What are some practical ways that we can really navigate this conversation well?

GUY: Well, it is certainly true we live in a world today that is based on, you know, ideological fascism, and we’re a culture that says, you know, agree with everything that we say or we will crush you, and this is putting Christians in quite a predicament. I guess I would want your listeners to know that LGBTQ people are not our enemy. LGBTQ ideology, that is the enemy. The ideology is the enemy, but LGBTQ people are just regular people. I think it would be important for Christians to know that while there is a segment of the LGBTQ community that is very activist and want to fight and argue and push an agenda ‑‑ while that is there, the truth is most LGBTQ people are just regular people. They’ve got jobs to go to, bills to pay, exams to write. They’ve got mums and dads and brothers and sisters. They want to contribute to their communities and they want to be left alone. Most LGBTQ people are not activists. They don’t want to be on a gay‑pride parade float. They don’t want to fight and argue with you. They just want to live their life and be left alone. That’s most gay people. So it would be wrong for us to put everybody into this activist wing that is alive and active.  They’re well‑funded, they’re well‑organized, and they’re having an amazing impact, but most gay people are just regular folks, right? That’s number one. 

Number two, I think we need to recognize that ‑‑ well, I’ll tell you what worked for me to leave my gay life, was during the two years that I was going to that church, Christians were very kind to me. They were hospitable with me. They invited me into their homes. I ate meals with them. We went to movies together. We hung out. They just became my best friends. So I think this, Wes, is the key to reaching out to people who are living lives vastly different than what we would agree with. Hospitality is the key. It creates time, room, and space, building relationships with people for people to figure things out while they’re doing this, but hospitality is the key. So if you have somebody you work with that is gay or you’ve got next door neighbors or whatever, listen, have them into your home. Let them see what your life is like. Serve them. Care for these people. You know, if people end up disagreeing with you on your stance on sexual ethics, that’s fine.  A lot of people will end up disagreeing with you.  But at least let them disagree with you saying, you know what? I don’t agree with that guy at work, or I don’t agree with those Christians at that church, but holy smokes, I’ll tell you what, I never met a kinder, more loving group of people than the people at that church or my next door neighbor. Like, let them at least say that. They may not agree with you, but some will. Some will be so impressed and so moved by your kindness, your generosity, and your hospitality that they’ll be like, you know, I wanna know more about your life. I wanna know more about this Jesus that you’re following. I mean, it’s the exact same kind of situation we see in Acts 17 when the Apostle Paul is in Athens, and, you know, he’s talking to people there who don’t believe in his Jesus, but they’re so impressed by what they’re seeing and hearing, they’re saying, I want to hear a little bit more. That’s what we’re working towards as we build relationships with people. So I think relationship is the key, but that’s going to take time and it’s going to take us being able to be in relationship with people with whom we disagree. Back to my previous point before our break, you know, can you be comfortable doing that? You got to be, or we’re not going to be able to reach these people.

WES: Yeah. In fact, it reminds me ‑‑ I said I’ve been spending too much time watching videos on your website, but you had a great video, and it was something about ‑‑ I’ll try to link it in the show notes, but can a Christian be friends with a gay man? And you had your gay friend on there who brought you food, I believe, during your wife’s hospice stay, and you both talked about some of the things you’ve touched on here, about how not every gay person is an activist or wants to be in a gay‑pride parade. But also what really struck me was that he watched your video, he watched your movie, and he knows your story and he knows your stance, but he loves you, you’re friends. I don’t know where he is now, but what really struck me was at the end of that video, he said, I may change my mind. This is where I am. He said, at that time, he had been with his partner for 26 years, and he said, I may continue that, but I may change my mind at some point. And I love the fact that his mind was still open to the possibility of changing because of the love and the kindness that you showed him. Even though you both very much disagreed with each other’s lifestyle, you respected one another and loved one another and were there for one another.  Incredibly inspiring.

GUY: Yeah, his name is Clyde. He lives in my community, still, where I live. I just had breakfast with him a few days ago. Great guy. You’re right, he’s been with the same man, the same partner now for 28 years now. And, yeah, Clyde and I basically disagree on everything, but ‑‑ you know, he’s an atheist, I’m a Christian. He’s a gay man, I’m not. You know, we disagree on politics. I mean, I don’t know what we hold in common except for the fact that when my wife was dying, this man, who’s a chef by trade, served and loved my family, made meals for my family, would bring meals out to the hospice to feed the doctors, the nurses, the Christians, my family. He’s ‑‑ I’ve rarely met in my life a kinder, more loving man who has served me more than Clyde. Do I care that he’s gay? Do I care that he’s been with the same partner for 26 years? His name is Todd, great guy, by the way. Listen, all I know is this man was kind and generous to my family, continues to be, and he’s my friend, and, you know, he stands up for me and I stand up for him. And of course my goal is I want Clyde and his partner, Todd, to be in a saving relationship with Jesus, and Clyde knows this.  I haven’t beaten around the bush at all. I mean, I’ve told Clyde, you’re gonna become a Christian someday, you know? Like, I’m working on you, man. I’m praying for you all the time. And he laughs and he thinks that’s funny and everything else, you know? But you know what? The Holy Spirit is doing what the Holy Spirit does, and whether Clyde becomes a Christian or not, again, he’ll, I know, at least be able to leave saying, I’ll tell you what, I didn’t agree with Guy Hammond, but man, I never had a better friend in life. And isn’t that what we want people to say who are followers of Christ? So, yeah, I think that, Wes, is the key to winning these people over for Jesus.

WES: Amen. Well, as we close, I know for a fact, given the prevalence of the situation, given the prevalence of these struggles, that there’s someone who’s listening to this, that they themselves are struggling with their sexuality, or their child or someone that they love is struggling with their sexuality, and maybe they’re on the cusp of making some life‑altering decisions. What encouragement, what word of hope might you share with anyone who’s struggling or knows someone who is?

GUY: Oh, what a great question. Okay, well let me speak to you then, listener, who’s struggling and wondering. The first thing I want you to know is that God loves you. He’s not ashamed of you. He’s not embarrassed of you. He loves you. No matter what choices you make in your life, that will never change. God will always love you. That’s number one. 

Number two, you are free to live however you want. Again, God is a gentleman. He won’t force you to follow him. He hopes you will, but you’re free to live however you want. But know this, you are not free to choose your own consequences, and if you decide to embrace a gay identity and turn Christ aside, there will be consequences to this. You’re free to live however you want. You are not free to choose your own consequences. 

Number three, I would want you to know that the cost of following Jesus is high. I’ve experienced it. The cost of following Jesus is high, but the cost of not following Jesus, that’s higher. Being a Christian will not be easy. It’s not been easy for me to deny this thing, this capability, this desire I have for my same gender. It’s not been easy for me to deny this for 36 years. It’s taken a lot of work, a lot of prayer, a lot of self‑denial, living my life with a lot of boundaries. This has not been an easy life, but it’s been worth it. Jesus has been worth it. The cost of following Jesus, for me, has been very high, but the cost of not following Jesus, I know that’s higher. So I would want you to know that there is a place for you in the church. God loves you. Don’t think that if you’re homosexually attracted or dealing with transgender feelings and emotions that there’s not a place for you in the church. There is a place for you in the church. You would need to submit your sexuality to Jesus like everybody else, but you can do it and God would give you the strength to do it. That would be my message.

WES: Amen, amen. Well, Guy, thank you so much for this conversation, but more importantly, thank you for your ministry. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am that there is someone like you that is preaching the truth about Jesus and telling people how wonderful and awesome Jesus is and inviting people to submit their whole self to Jesus and doing it with such love and compassion like you are. So thank you, Brother, for what you’re doing.

GUY: Hey, thank you.  And yes, please check out our ministry, And if you want to see the movie, “Finding Guy,” it’s not the best movie in the world, but, you know, it’s a good tool to have in your toolbox. I think you can learn a lot, and it’s just available on YouTube right now. Just type in “Finding Guy,” the movie’s there. I think it could be a blessing to your life, so thank you.  And Wes, thanks so much for all that you’re doing. Thanks for this amazing podcast. Thanks for inviting me to be a part of it. I’m very grateful.

WES: Thanks, Brother.

Thank you so much for listening to the Radically Christian Bible study podcast.  If you have just a moment, we would love for you to rate and review the podcast on iTunes, or wherever you’re listening.  It really does help people find this content.  I also want to thank the guests who join me each week; Travis Pauley, who edits this podcast; Beth Tabor, who often volunteers her time to transcribe it; and our whole McDermott Road church family, who make it possible for us to provide this Bible study for you.  Now let’s go out and love like Jesus.

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