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Logo of GYC Southwest 2016: One Soul Audience

Reaching those You Disagree With

Virna Santos Lisa Santos

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • September 4, 2016
    9:30 AM
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So before we get into the scenarios and the questions that we want how do we how do we deal with OK what does a parent do when their child comes out to them and what do you do if you have a coworker who's gay or. What if your child comes out to you as transgender What do you do. What do you do when you. Get invited to a gay wedding. How do you respond to that. And if you guys have any other questions these are the the main questions that we get a lot but if there's other questions out there that you may have things that us know and we could. We could role play that out and see what happens yeah. OK. Because one of my my my my sister's desire for you guys here especially today is for you to search God's Word for yourself. In response to what's happening in society. And. And to come with that assurance right that though the world is changing around us compassion and love does not mean compromise and so just like yesterday morning as I was sharing with everyone that God did not give us a spirit of fear. You met there's nothing to be afraid of you know what you know you know what you believe in there's no reason for you to be a free. A man. Now the one thing I do want to stress is when we're confronted with these issues sometimes the enemy will cause us to feel anxious pressured to have to defend our faith and that's not from God. When you feel anxiety. Shreyas pressure to to answer or to. To defend your faith that doesn't. There's ways interpersonal communication ways to answer somebody. And and not some coming to those types of feelings you get what I'm saying I think that will become more clear as we go on. Now. Remember how it was saying that when we go out to reach souls we have to study. Right we have to understand what's going on in their community why are they so resistant to religion overall religion right and some of them gravitate to other religions like Buddhism. Pantheism. The popular religious beliefs they do have Christian churches in. Castro Castro is the gay district in San Francisco. You know don't be too stirred this is what we're doing or we're trying to also eliminate the still types that we might have developed in our minds about the gay community. They're not all about a sex orgy. They do have families. More and more gay couples and lesbian couples are having children. Some of them to go to church. Some of them do have values in her life. You know and these are the things that we could tap on we could you know Sister White tells us that we need to look for the common now. To whomever we are witnessing to. Him and. Look for the commonalities where you can find agreement and Sister White also. Avoid points of contention. That you know or are we are not to treat the evil doer with evil. Men. So let's study a little bit about the gay community. Everybody knows what this is. That's the rainbow flag it's also known as the. Freedom Flag. Did you guys know it's the freedom. OK in the colors were to represent. I have a lot of history and another thing also as you can see here our e-mail address is here info at B.B. dot org We are willing to share P.D.F. version. If you email me. I will send it to you. OK. Read was for life. Orange was for healing. Yellow was for sun light. Green was for nature. For harmony. And purple and Violet was for the we are. Any commonality here. Right. These were the initial intentions of the colors later on as as the political movement the equal rights movement for the gay community progressed it became more of a symbolism of diversity. Race Sex and an identity in people but these the color symbolization that I guess just gave you that was the initial color. Definitions that they they had intended. Does anybody know what Stone. OK this is this is this. This is. Her June twenty ninth and sixteen R. and apparently police had a mission to go to a certain establishment so the Stonewall. It was a night of police raids and the police justified it as they were targeting certain establishment that didn't have the right license licenses to operate however it later came on that it was a police raid to target establishment catering to the L.G.B. T.Q. community. And a riot broke out. And it happened it occurred at a place called the Stonewall Inn. And this was the event that propelled the gay rights organizations to develop. So every year. At the end of June either the second or the last week it second to the last or the last weekend of June every year what is celebrated. As anybody know. Gay pride. Gay pride. So they celebrate this this is the reason why gay pride happens all over the world in major cities across the world from Europe to the United States San Francisco's usually around the last. Last weekend of June and it's the one of the biggest ones they have a parade they have boots they sell food and. There's a lot of partying going on and and all of that. And I've been to many of them myself before. And I was actually in the parade before. And that's just giving you a little idea of how out. There I was I was I was a political activist for the gay community. And. And actually the central California conference just funded several ministries and developed several ministries for San Francisco. One of which I'm leading and it's called open arms and it's providing free H.L.V. testing to the gay community so the goal is to be at gay pride next year. And offer free HIV testing to whoever wants it they could itself testing kits they could take it with them and go away or we can conduct it with them because it takes a matter of twenty minutes to get the results so it's a means of making a connection. But it's also a means saying that we care. There are so many issues in the gay community that we can really find some common ground in service towards them amen. Does anyone know who Harvey Milk is. OK they made a they made a movie several years ago about him. Harvey Milk became one of the first openly gay officials in the United States in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Anyone know who Dan White is. Dan White was a San Francisco supervisor also. But often argued with Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone on the overt Thomas sexuality. Tolerance that was going on in San Francisco. Dan why shot Harvey Milk and Mayor Georgia. Discone and kill them on Nov twenty seven thousand nine hundred seventy eight. Now. The fun this is not funny of course but the defense lawyers. The defense lawyers for Dan White argued that he was not having. An adequate diet. Because he his main staple in his diet was Twinkies. You know Twinkies are the little yellow hostess things that can last a nuclear blast. That and so this came this came to have known as as the Twinkie defense. Yeah. Soon after the shooting he turned himself in at the police station where he used to work there are reports that his old colleagues cheered and applauded what he did. Dan White ended up killing himself in one thousand nine hundred five. Are we familiar with HIV and AIDS. You guys know the numbers. We all know HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. In California alone nearly two hundred thousand Californians have contracted HIV or AIDS. Nationwide one point one million Americans are living with HIV. Globally as of two thousand and twelve thirty five point three million people are living with HIV. Now this. Was the map. Depicting where same sex marriage was legal. All over the world the dark blue signifying that. This is where same sex marriage is legal. And laws have been put into place. The light blue were the areas where they were working on it and getting close to it. The dark red basically is the death penalty if you were caught in the act. Or found out to be engaging in a same sex relationship. Now as we know as of last June of two thousand and fifteen same sex marriage is now legal throughout the nation. So basically that will afford same sex couples to not only marry but will be able to file state and federal taxes as joint. So there is benefits that they get. Now in the church. An organization called Seventh Day Adventists kinship. As they can ship who has been a supporting and advocating and advocating for L G B T I add Venice and those who love them for over thirty five years they've been around for a while. And has regional chapters all over the world and many private Facebook groups for talking to people who understand exactly what it's like to be both Adventists and L. G.B.T.. This was actually one of the organizations I found when I myself in the process when God was calling me. Was getting my attention. I did some research online and I was trying to find Seventh Day Adventist Church as that would accept me. And this was. But the thing was I couldn't find a place to go to because they're mainly located in Orange County in the Glendale area that's where their main meeting places and most of the other meeting places are at their own private homes they have small groups. Now that I A.G.C. is the intercollegiate Adventist Yes a coalition that exists to support gay and straight alliance. Groups at Adventist colleges across North America I A.G.C. is an unofficial student led organization that does not recognize or affiliated with any Adventist institution. Now has anybody heard of the seven cavernous film. Has anyone seen it. OK. Well. It'll be good to see I think. However if you yourself a struggling with this issue personally struggling with same sex attraction or homosexuality don't watch it. Please don't watch it. But this film basically depicts three couples two male couples and one female couple and they talk about how they've been Adventist and in the church. One this gentleman here used to be a pastor. This lady and her partner this is their choice one of the child they have I think three. Her and her her partner actually are very active in in their seven their honest church. Very involved love the message and there was actually in the film she's being interviewed and she actually hints to the idea well if the. Shows me the way to change I might be open to it. And then this young couple here this young male couple here actually someone you know one of these. Oh OK. This shell company here is planning to get married and in their part of the story they show one of them I believe this young gentleman here talking to his brother and his brother telling him how much he loves them but doesn't agree with. What he's doing so that's the only. Point that we get from. Actually when this film was being. Just started in being produced in the film makers were traveling all over the country doing interviews. I actually found out and I e-mailed them I told testimony I probably shouldn't have done that but I got so excited because I thought it was something else so I sent the my entire testimony wrote to them and I never heard from them again and then I personally met them at San Francisco central church. And introduced myself and they were like oh you're the one who e-mailed us I'm like yeah. Yeah but the film had already come out they didn't want to include any story of. Redemption. In the film. Now here's the crux of our problem. And what people need to understand. Is that this is what the gay people have known for generations after generations. For years since the. Early in one thousand nine hundred sixty or maybe even earlier. And we know biblically this homosexuality has existed even before Jesus is time. Came but our hearts should really be pained at this picture because what's happening here. They're displaying the character of God. They're using Seaton's character do to depict God's character. You see this is not about us this is not about the L G B T community this is about God's character for others and sisters and we have such extreme polarization out there in even in the church there's this very very accepting it's OK you're good to go it's OK whatever you are and then there's this really extreme legal istic get out of here you're going to hell I don't want to be near you kind of attitude right. But it is God's character that was at stake here. And this is what they know about God. And I get a lot from my friends why am I going to serve a God that hates me why am I going to love a God that doesn't love me. Right and a lot of the questions when we get confronted with this what does your church believe right away they'll be political right off the bat in front of your face of like well what does your church believe about same sex marriage they don't even say homosexuality the I'll say same sex marriage because it's the political front of it now right that's the political front of homosexuality is same sex marriage it's about equality. But see brothers and sisters as God's Church. As our remnant as God's remnant church. We are responsible for this. What have we been doing. We're responsible and how Jesus patrol to the world. We were commission to share the Gospel to preach and teach and baptize. We are accountable for this. And this is where we can start. By apologizing to these people. Whenever we're confronted you know we're And I've done this with someone and it's and it's somewhat worked and it probably planted a seed. And I have to say to them you know I'm really sorry that someone has portrayed God to you that way because I don't believe in serving a God that He either. You see how that comes across you see how that interpersonal communication comes across you've you've touched them on a personal level you've resounded what they're experiencing you are. Saying you are confused affirming. What has been portrayed to them. Homosexuality and same sex marriage how do how do we respond and love without compromising and the first thing that we need to understand is what does the Bible say about judgment. Judgment. In Matthew seven two to four four with what judgment you judge you will be judged. And with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's. I. But you don't consider the plank in your own. How can you say to your brother let me remove the spectrum your eye and look there's a plank in your own. Brothers and Sisters what Jesus was was what Jesus was really highlighting here was perception. What is. What has caused you to perceive someone a certain way. What has caused you to perceive someone that you have the right to address their issue. Doesn't make sense. And he was also addressing wait a minute what about your sins. You've got a huge plank in your eye and you want to address your brother's sin. This is Jesus's own words Sister White says. Thoughts from the mount of blessing not until you feel that you could sacrifice your own self dignity or even lay down your life in order to save an erring brother have you cast the beam out of your own eye so that you are prepared to help your brother. Then you can approach him and touch his heart no one has ever been reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach. By many but many have thus been driven from Christ and lead to seal their hearts against conviction. I get this here's the key. Here's a method of Jesus a tender spirit a gentle winning Department may save the erring and high. A multitude of sins. I want someone to search the Bible right now and look for the term love covers a multitude of sins. And find that verse. And I'm going to go on and whoever finds it first just raise your hand here it says the revelation of Christ in your what. All character. Does it say in your words. It says in your character will have a transforming power upon all with whom you come in contact. Let Christ be daily made manifest in you and he will reveal through you the creative energy of his word a gentle persuasive yet my the influence to recruit eight other souls in the beauty of the Lord our God. Now I know this was a long cope but there's a lot here pointing us in the direction of what are the methods of Jesus. In dealing with this guy brother read the verse What's the verse. Here. Is not a beautiful statement. Don't underestimate the power of unconditional love. It covers. Now this is for all of us he who looks often upon the cross of Calvary remembering that his sins placed. Savior there will never try to estimate the degree of his guilt in comparison with that of others. He will not climb upon the judgment seat to bring accusation against another. There can be no spirit of criticism or self exaltation on the part of those who walk in the shadow of Calgary's cross. From the mount of blessings powerful book. It was one of my favorites. You know when when Jesus dealt with a woman caught in adultery it was pretty it was an amazing interaction. It was a miraculous interaction. Because at the very moment though the woman was being used by the Sadducees in the first season all these people to to put Jesus in a corner and find out what he will do with this woman. Mind you how did these people know where to find this woman. How do these men know where to find this home and. Think about it. Right you get it OK so they get this woman because they know where she is. They get this woman and they they follow her basically at the foot of the feet of Jesus and say Here Jesus what are you going to do with this what are going to do with her. What do you say she's a woman who sleeps around right. And he just focuses on her. He focuses on her and he goes down and he starts writing in the sand. The sins of all these men. And each one. Saw their own sin. In The Sand is it wonderful that Jesus wrote it in the sand. And so that each dropped the stone. And went away and then his focus is on this woman and this woman is looking up to Jesus. And Jesus just simply asks her Where are those who condemn you. She looks around and. They're not here. But in her tone was a question. They're not here but you are. Do you condemn me. And you could tell that was her question on her heart because the way Jesus answered her neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more we'd like to remember the Go and sin no more. But you know what Jesus was doing here brothers and sisters he was putting faith in her Jesus was telling her I believe in you. You can go and sin no more because I believe in you. This was the mere miraculous interaction here brothers and sisters that Jesus put faith in us though yet while we were sinners he died for us because he has faith. In. Law us. Isn't man beautiful. Now do we have faith in one another like the. MERS see. Right we are so confounded would doubt when we're confronted with people who are different from us and we conclude that they're not going to be saved. Right. Up to what time. Eleven OK OK. All right. So we'll end the section in the next session we're going to go into our little scenarios but let me finish this thought here. Imagine that brothers and sisters if we could have that kind of faith in one another. If we could have that kind of faith in our children. In our coworkers and have faith that Jesus in us it's not us. Him and it's Jesus in us. We have faith in that. And if we're questioning our faith about Jesus in us. Then there's something we need to do right. Men undertake the job of tinkering up the defective characters of others and only succeed in making the defects much worse. They would better leave God to do his own work. For he does not regard. Them as capable of character. God will hold us. Accountable. For even a word spoken in contempt of one soul from whom Christ laid down his life when we are brought in conflict with the enemies of Christ Here's another method. Take note of this this is another method we should say nothing in the spirit of retaliation or that would bear even the appearance of a railing accusation. He who stands as a mouthpiece for God should not utter words which even the majesty of heaven would not use when contending with Satan. We are to leave with God the work of judging and condemning. I've talked with many pastors. And a couple of them. It was hard to hear that they believe that condemnation is necessary to bring one to Christ. In the mount of blessings page one twenty five I don't have this quote for you to see but it says whoever presumes to judge the motives of others are placing themselves on the side of anti-Christ. The mount of blessings page one twenty five. You know in James four it says Do not speak evil against one another. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother speaks evil against along the judges of the law. But if you judge the law you are not a doer of them all but a judge. There is only one law giver. And Judge. He is he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor. That's James four eleven and twelve. What can you do to support those who are struggling. Brothers and sisters no different method. To minister to someone who's a drug a drug user who may be permissive and prostitutes go to San Francisco you see prostitutes everywhere. And a lot of them are transgender prostitutes or you know the saddest thing is they they get beaten and hurt and killed. There is no different method in approaching one who is struggling with homosexuality or same sex attraction there is no specialness about it but there are certain considering there are certain things to take into consideration. Right. Unfortunately in our Christian minds we have concluded for some of us we have concluded that the gay community is unreachable untouchable and in curable. But as my sister shared yesterday with regarding the leper Jesus touched the untouchable and received no defilement. Do we have that faith. Do we have enough faith to be able to touch in hug someone and know that you won't be defiled because Jesus in you. Now we get this a lot what if they're born that way they say that they're born that way and she would tell them that they're not mourn that way Oh please don't do that. You know it's a it's a. What's the word I'm looking for it's. It's a fruitless argument to have. Brothers and Sisters seriously come on now we are far from where we used to be as far as our physique our health our genetics. There's all bunch of twists and turns now in our genetics there's all the many children are born with diseases now we are far from it. What man what man we used to be what man how God created man so the converting power of God can transform inherited and cultivated tendencies look at that Ellen White says. Cult inherited what does that mean born with it. Generation to generation and you know it coincided with God's word when it says. Sin follows us through the fourth and third fourth generations. So it. I'm born this way. OK. And we're going to argue that. And just as Jesus was having a conversation when the Kadima see goes yeah I could see why you're born that way. But all I'm asking is to be born again. Jesus just ask us to be born again. But you know what brothers and sisters not that's not just about. Claiming Christ and getting baptized being born again is a is a journey of healing. Jesus is be born again in me grow up in me. Now. And I will take you full circle I'll take you full circle in all areas of your life where you need healing. That's why you need to be born again. It's not about reclaiming Christianity it's not about reclaiming Christ as your savior it's not only about that it's about your healing and growing up in Jesus. These young tempted souls who have to contend with inherited and cultivated tendency. To evil need your sympathy and patience. Do we have patients brothers and sisters. And love. Who should speak words of encouragement to them they are members of crisis family they should be bound to your heart by the silken court of law of. They must be instructed to come to Christ in find rest in all their temptations and burdens. Here's another method that Sister White points out another method of Jesus. Heaven is waiting and yearning for the return of the prodigal's. Who have wandered far from the fold. Many of those who have strayed away may be brought back by the. Loving service of God's children. You know instead of spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to contend with these souls. That same amount of time should be spent figuring out how can we serve them. It would work out a lot of humility in us when it. Real love doesn't demand anything in return. We must show love to homosexuals regardless whether they want to change or not. And that's a thing we do a lot brothers and sisters me it's human nature we all have done it. We try to determine who's more worthy of our love and attention and patience. We measure the worthiness of someone. We measure if they're worthy of our time. We also measure the worthy. They they are worthy enough to deserve our respect. You know when Jesus dealt. With the Dimona. Jesus was very respectful. Jesus was very tender. Respectful even towards the people of that town. Jesus granted their wish for him to leave. But you know what he did with the man who wanted to go with him. When the man said Can I go with you Jesus said no. You know why you know what Jesus was telling him because I left you me. I mean you now. And I have faith. That when you go share with them what I've done for you and the compassion that God has shown you. I have faith. That's why Jesus came back around to that town again. Jesus puts faith in us brothers and sisters. I'm going to leave it here. Actually. I'm going to leave it here. I want to read this it's hard to read on the screen more and more the desire grows in me simply to walk around greet people enter their homes sit on their doorsteps play ball throw water and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice the simple ministry of presence still it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful to do something significant. Or be part of song impressive huge project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings conference study groups and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans not to organize people around an urgent cause and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn't be to know people by name. To eat drink with them. To listen to their stories and tell your own. And to let them know with words and handshakes and hugs that you do not simply like them but surely love them. And this was written by a Catholic priest. Henri Nouwen. God has His people everywhere right. So we'll take a break. Or ten minute break and then we'll continue. And were Be prepared to come back and we're going to do scenarios I'm going to need a couple volunteers. And we're going to be up here in front and yeah so let's close with a word of prayer and let's take a ten minute break. Our heads. Your Father in Heaven Lord I thank you so much for the time I thank you Lord for the grace that you've held me up here in front of your people. And for the healing Lord that you've given me. Father I thank you for bringing more healing to our brothers and sisters here. Father and opening our eyes and our hearts were to help our for your love is. Bring us all back here and work with prepared to participate I thank you more on this in Jesus' name. 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