Is it possible to present a point of view contrary to some others, and to explain why that view is held - without being called a derogatory name? Is there a way to respectfully and lovingly try to reach out to those who identify as LGBTQ with the message that these lifestyle choices are contrary to God’s creative design - without being thought of as a hateful homophobe? I’m going to try.

First, I make reference to God because I believe that he is also the Creator and the Designer of sexuality and gender. When asked about such things Jesus responded clearly by stating: "Haven't you read, (he replied,) that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, (and said), for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?”

Secondly, I purposefully used the word lifestyle choices because regardless of what our feelings and desires may be, we make conscious decisions and choices regarding how to act on them.

Yes, I also believe that our fallen sinful nature introduces desires contrary to God’s revealed design and will. But deciding to act on them and/or to celebrate and encourage others to do so is clearly a choice.

Some people recognize that they have desires for another person’s wife or husband. Others have desires for sexual activity with children, and so on. But do we then simply say that this is the way they must have been born - and so in order to be “loving” we need to support them in their desires and actions whatever they may be? Of course not.

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I’ve been told that “love” is the most important of God’s commandments, and I agree. God loves all and directs us to do the same. But genuine love seeks to help restore by pointing out misguided desires and actions rather than supporting or even over-looking them. Activities such as the “Youth Pride All Ages Drag Show” recently held in Fargo take on an even more serious nature as they intentionally introduce and pridefully promote sexual and gender confusion to children and youth. This brings us back again to the words from the greatest example of genuine love of all time. These words need to be repeated: God created us “male and female,” not with the most recently claimed 112 genders that appeared when I googled “how many genders are there?”

And so it is love, not hate, that prompts these attempted words of reminder and restoration, regardless of labels or one’s past or present desires or choices. And it is my hope that those reading this who have lived or thought otherwise will be led to understand and agree with the one who created us in the first place. Surely he knows what is best for us and brings us blessing, and what will bring us harm. Thank you for listening.