A letter from Dr. Jonathan G. Smith
Human sexuality has become a highly politicized issue. And so as a society, we have lost sight of the fact that people are involved. As an Evangelical pastor, I am a person trying to make sense of a profoundly complicated area. As a theologian, I’m trying to reconcile what I understand to be God’s Word and God’s Love. As a Christian, I believe the gospel is “good news” for all.
In 2012, at the encouragement of a faculty member at Knox Theological Seminary, I began my research with this question.
How do churches who desire to remain faithful to the historic evangelical faith cultivate ministry for individuals with same-gender attractions?
This research question was birthed out of my experiences while living near a gay neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale. Recognizing the significant sociological and spiritual barrier between my neighbors and my church, I asked, “how do I share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ?” This question would transform my understanding of gay people by transforming my heart. Since asking this question, I’ve learned to love deeply those who need it most and have discovered the heart of God in new ways.
Since then, I have actively served in various ministries to LGBT+ persons, family members or parents, in and outside the church.
Today I’m deeply concerned about future generations and the effect of wrestling with our culture’s presentation of gender and identity removed from frameworks of the Christian faith. I’m also frustrated by how the church has responded in the past and hope we can be humble enough to learn from our mistakes and grow in wisdom.
Today, I provide workshops and seminars for groups interested in learning more about the subject of same-gender attraction, publish periodic blog articles, and have given talks at clergy conferences. I also offer coaching and care for LGBTQ+ people and families working through the challenges of same gender attraction and non-binary gender identity.
My desire is to introduce you to the compassion and love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr. Jonathan G. Smith