Book Review: Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones

I think I will find a home for this book in my heart. Already I like the sounds of love and support. After all, that’s what Jesus does. And so shall we. “Follow me”, I seem to hear Him say. “Follow my example in all I say, all I do and in how I love”.

Though problems arise when we SDA’s push up against the walls of our box(es), we have yet an answer. And that answer is, “Yes Lord, I follow thee”. And on that path of discipleship He shows us the essentials. That is, the essentiality of learning to love and learning to surrender to Him all at which He so splendidly excels. Namely, to deal with the rest.

And then finally rest will come to the SDA conundrum of just what to do with the homosexual. Simply love. Just as He did and just as He does. And then leave the balance of our frustrated inabilities safely contained in the precious sacrifice, infinite wisdom and mysterious redemption of His so scarred and such loving hands.


I can only say that I am sorry for the way you were treated and sadly not surprised. Christians, not just SDAs, give Jesus such a bad rap.

I’ve been able to make amends to those that lie in the wreckage of my past spiritual and theological journey. Never have I been anti-LGBT+, but I’ve dropped some heinous judgments along the way. So I have no stones to throw at those that are rejecting.

I once gave a sermon using a clip of Westboro Baptist protest to show the spirit of rejection and condemnation, asking if that is not the still spirit we demonstrate when we reject any person in the least? I also reviewed Romans 1 and asked them to consider that even if they consider homosexuality as a sin, that is equal to any sins that we are wrestling with in our own lives. So how can we justify treating anyone as a lesser person,

I’ve not been asked to speak again since. I’ve been disappointed that no one practiced Matthew 18 and advised me of my error(s). They just stopped asking.
I suspect that this is not unique to “my” church.

I’m sorry and sad for anyone that has experienced rejection at the hands of our churches.


Oy, they lost me at the $18+ postage/$22+ UPS.

How sad. Love and truth must go together. As a Christian, you can not have one without the other. If we are honest, we can not ignore what the Bible has to say about the fate of those who practice homosexuality.

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So right you are. Honesty, truth and love. Hallmarks of the character of the One we call Master. Of these three there can be no divide. He is the guide to lead us in loving one another, and finding truth. Honestly.

Through Him we may join hands in redemption. And one day each be made new. Just like Him. But only through Him. I am not willing to see myself or others separated from that for anything.

I do think that His love is truly the answer to the questions we might have regarding life and lifestyle. And when His love permeates our hearts, we cannot resist but be transformed. How? Simply look into His hands, His feet and His face.

No it isn’t unique to the SDA church. Most likely you were not asked to speak again because you touched a really raw nerve with a lot of church members, who believe that giving any quarter to gays is absolutely forbidden.

I never even mentioned homosexuality from the pulpit, but I was abruptly banned from the pulpit when I finally came out, and decided to stop living a lie. After several months, I inquired about speaking, but was told I was too vocal about being a homosexual, that it wouldn’t look good if the church let me speak as they had done on a regular basis in the past. I hadn’t gone a crusade of any kind, I just decided to be honest.

Even if one is celebate, a gay person is automatically suspect in a lot of church members mind. I don’t strut around with pride like the gay activists do, but I refuse to feel shame any longer for something I never chose to be. I spent 50 years with my head hanging low over it, until I reached a new level of understanding and truth about what the Bible says and doesn’t say about homosexuality.


I ask you @bvj_01, How deeply and broadly have thy studied the subject? There are serious scholars that find very different things than what tradition has found in 6 very short passages/scriptures that are used to beat LGBTQI people over the head. The church (the SDA church for our purposes here) has been far happier to judge than love. The first commandment as set forth by Christ himself is to love God with all our heart, the second, Love your neighbor as yourself.

I believe that what this new book is calling us all to do is what Christ commanded…


Then how does the world come to know and embrace the Son?

The dual power of prayer and the Holy Spirit seem to get little air time when we are stirred by our problems relating to our gay brothers and sisters among us. Hearts are rarely turned to Him by doctrine. It is more often an affair of love in one’s heart that draws each toward Him.

Let’s partner to spend time searching scripture and invoking divine wisdom to reach those who seem naturally repelled to each other the and the gospel of saving love that only He can give.

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I hope you know that there is a huge difference between BEING homosexual and PRACTICING homosexuality.
Hopefully you do.


Love isn’t nearly as abstract as some would have us to believe. Christ in Matthew 25:31 to 45 makes clear what love, as viewed through the lens of the judgement as set out in this passage by Christ.

Christ in his time on earth was a true social reformer. More than anything his “ministry” was a social justice ministry that radically confronted the “church” rules as viewed by the various factions of the religious elite in the Jewish society and Roman state. The phrase “the least of these”, is a radical call by Christ to a radical love that reaches out to the loathsome and burdensome of society. It doesn’t call on loathsome to reform, it calls on His followers to embrace them and meet the need for community in addition to physical.


Jesus loved the woman caught in adultery, but He didn’t condone her sin. He forgave her and then told her to go and sin no more.

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Time had elapsed from the time Jesus told Mary to “go and sin no more” and the time
just prior to the death and burial of Jesus, when in one moment of time she showered
Jesus with a number of years of Life’s Savings on His head and body, and washed His
feet with her tears.
Yes! Even though it was a beautiful thing – Mary got a number of hard raps on her
knuckles for being out of “her place”.
And MORE knuckle rapping for “not” giving all that money to the poor instead of "wasting"
it on Jesus.

Christians – YES – Seventh day Adventist Christians are TOO MUCH like those sitting
around at that banquet.
When the “unworthy” show up and want to shower Jesus with expensive Love Gifts, the
Love Gift of their lives, they are rapped hard on the knuckles and asked to leave, and
told their Love Gift is Unwanted, Unappreciated.
GO! Leave Jesus alone!!
CAN’T YOU SEE? Jesus is here with US!! NOT! you!

The shunned, discarded woman by the banqueters BECAME the FIRST PERSON to be
COMMISSIONED–Ordained to announce the Risen Christ to the World!!


What else could he have said. He certainly wasn’t going to tell her, “Now you can back to work now.” Many people think that gays are sinful just for having the God given emotion to love someone. Those Bible prohabitions against homosexuality are clearly talking about pagan hedonistic sexual practices, and unbridaled lust, not same sex love. I know several gay christians who in no way represent what Paul describes in Romans 1.


Homosexual acts in the context of a loving relationship are unnatural. We just have to look at the way our bodies are designed.

The actions of Lot clearly demonstrate that, as a righteous man, he believed sex between 2 men was not in harmony with the will of God. He was willing to give his own daughters to those men of Sodom to prevent them from engaging in a homosexual act.

As Christians, we should avoid reading into the Scriptures what the writer never intended. Jesus warned us in the book of Matthew that we need to be careful of being deceived in the last days.


Received my copy of the SDA EDITION of Guiding Families. Guiding Families is produced by Bill Henson of “” He has offered training to 55,000 persons in the last decade in addition to his original radio program.
It is 8x11, heavy paper, 4-color, 72 pages. Bill sells his for $25. He has a number of other training materials for sale.
Its main focus, of course, is the family. Helping them to understand what it means to have a son or daughter announce their “coming out.” The process of helpful conversation, and maintaining a loving relationship. It also focuses on accepting their child’s friends, welcoming them into the home, help them understand it is a safe place, and encourages becoming acquainted with their parents.
Provides assistance in accepting a Partner into the home, and, if married, making that person a part of the family. If the couple plan a wedding, DO!! attend!
Regarding the Church – it encourages youth to participate in youth activities. Leaders to watch for bullying, especially in verbal conversation.
Once a person gets beyond “Youth Group” age, it does NOT address opportunities to SERVE beyond “pew warming”, or “S.S. attendance”. The ability to be elected greeter, deacon, elder, assist with music, assist with Sabbath School is not addressed.
The END PAGE is Doctrine 23, Marriage and The Family. "Marriage…man and a woman…the family of God, which embraces both single and married persons."
It is well written, easy to focus in on the issues of family acceptance, helpful conversation, and continued long-term healthy relationships. Very positive for families.

It DOES NOT really address whether the son or daughter will remain Seventh day Adventist after “Youth Age”, or have to find relationship with God and Spiritual Growth in other religious communities.


FYI I do not condone anal sex whether hetero or homo. There are other ways for same sex couples to express love than engaging in such. So why is it that in most conservative religious people’s mind gay people are reduced to a sex act, while straight couples are looked at quite the opposite? Even those of us who are not partnered are put under greater scrutiny than straight singles. In a lot of people’s minds we are damned for even being born.


Tom –
what most SDA members [and Christians] do not understand is that there are GL partnered
relationships which are long lasting.
I know of some which are 15, 25, 55 years in length.
The 55 year couple I know met when one was 19, the other 21. Both still alive and enjoying
their companionship.
Like Married Heterosexuals, SEXUAL RELEASE is NOT the reason for the attractions.


This is great, Steve. What do these naysayers have to say about God saying man was not made to be alone. What options do they offer to a young gay person?


Actually, probably 99% is NOT SDA.
Is more general principles of creating a loving, accepting atmosphere to the son or
daughter who has “come out”. Understanding that this has taken a long time for one’s
child to verbalize this to the family. Accepting his/her friends. Accepting a “partner”.
If marriage, attend the wedding.
Recognize the serious possibility of Suicide and be aware of signs.
It does encourage participation in church “youth groups” and for the leaders to
maintain awareness of any bullying, esp. verbal type. [this is generic for any religion.]
It does say SDA pastor CANNOT marry same-sex persons.
Does NOT give any pictures of the SDA merging into Adulthood. Does not address
what happens “after Youth”. Does not address the “Partner” of the SDA person in
relation to the Church.
It is noticeably SILENT on a number of Questions particular to SDAs.
Again, this is a GENERIC TYPE material for any religious group.

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Tom, you are right. And this situation is very unfortunate. I can’t understand how some religious people can be so cruel and ignorant. But it is what it is. I am glad you learned to deal with it and was able to detach from stone-age people.