Second Reformed Church

Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: "Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted"



Having heard of thee author and become “friends” on Facebook, I looked forward to reading Ron Citlau’s Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted.
Citlau, who has SSA, but is in a joy-filled life with his wife and their children, wrote this book, not to show that the Scripture calls homosexual acts sin (see his book, Compassion without Compromise, for that discussion), but to help those who minister to those with SSA and those who have SSA, by showing them there is hope in Jesus (13ff).
First, he explains three obstacles for those with SSA.
Gay Christian Identity (21ff) – this is an obstacle in identifying the person with the temptation, rather than there life in Christ.  For that reason, calling oneself, a “gay Christian,” is self-defeating.
Gay marriage (37ff) – this is an obstacle because the sexual differentiation and its unity and outcomes cannot occur between two persons of the same gender.
Spiritual Friendship Movement (55ff) – this is an obstacle I want to read more about –   Citlau explains that SSA Christian leaders, such as Wesley Hill, have argued for SSA person to live together in celibate friendships.  While the idea of intentional and knowing support is a good one, it can lead to sinful relationships and the affirming them as good.  (I look forward to reading Hill’s book on this subject myself.)
Then, Citlau explains several gifts.
The Church (73ff) – through gathering together as the body of Christ, we meet and are ministered to by Christ in the Word and through the sacraments, being grown into the Image of Christ by God the Holy Spirit.
Therapy (89ff) – Citlau explains that persons who have SSA have a fractured sexual identity (101).  Hope and healing can come through pastoral and Christian counseling.  I do wonder about those who live in fear of being “found out” by other Christians.  How would Citlau address this issue?
Singleness (103) – it may be that God gives the SSA person the gift of singleness for a time or a lifetime.  In this way, one may also find hope.
Marriage (117) – for some, like Citlau, God works in them such to bring them to a heterosexual – biblical – marriage – though that does not mean one will never experience SSA again, as he candidly explains.
Prayerful Lament (133) – we find in the Psalms prayer laments – cryings out to God for healing, change, forgiveness, etc.  It is appropriate and hope giving to be able to call out to God in this way and see how God will respond.
Citlau ends with some suggestions for the church leaders and those with SSA.
Citlau does not give easy answers.  He does not promise that one will never be tempted again.  He does not promise that one will not sin again.  What he does – and does powerfully and biblically – is to show to all Christians – and especially those with SSA – that God is a God of hope and He gives us hope, both in this life and in the Kingdom that is coming.  The SSA person may struggle greatly for all of his life, but God’s grace is sufficient, and the hope is for full restoration in the Kingdom.  Still, there is hope today, even after the greatest struggle, that God may deliver and heal now.
This is a book the church and people with SSA need.
Thank you, Ron.
  #Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted
[This review appears on my blog and on Amazon.com.  I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.]

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