CNLP 057: Aaron Harris: A Gay Man’s Perspective on What He Wishes Was Different in the Church

Aaron Harris knew from the time he was young that he was attracted to other men.

After running from the church as a teen he ran back into the church in his twenties, deeply convinced that Jesus is the only way.

Aaron shares what he wishes was different in the way the church talks about same sex issues and why he still loves Jesus and the church.

Welcome to Episode 57 of the Podcast!

aaron_harris

Guest Links

Aaron Lee Harris

AaronHarrisArt.com

Aaron Harris on Twitter

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Can Help Your Church Grow by Carey Nieuwhof

The Orange Tour

Alan Chambers

Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian

Episode 49; Scott Sauls

Episode 33; Caleb Kaltenbach

Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction

Secrets of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield

Out of a Far Country by Christopher Yuan

A People to Be Loved by Preston Sprinkle

The Bible & Homosexual Practice by Robert Gagnon

Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill

Torn by Justin Lee

Bible Gender & Sexuality by James Brownson

Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek

Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin

Things You Can Do Right Away

Aaron Harris opens up about being gay and the vulnerabilities he faced during his painful journey to find faith. Here are a few things he learned along the way:

  1. Start with common ground. You don’t want to be quick to point out the sins of another person. It won’t get you anywhere, and everyone involved will have their guard up. Remember this: Anyone you connect with is a child of God sitting in the balance of love and judgment, and in that moment, you can push them toward or away from Jesus. Start with a neutral subject, something you can both agree on, and build trust. There is a polarization of so many issues tearing apart the church and its people, but keep in mind that Jesus put ministry before theology. He started with grace, relationship and love.
  2. Read a book with an opposing view. Don’t be afraid of the information that might counter the information you perceive to be true. Pray to see a wisdom of what’s true and no true so you can see the actual value of the information and not have to make a decision. Don’t look at is as a way to change your perspective, but give yourself the opportunity to see what someone else sees.
  3. Build a relationship with someone who doesn’t have your sexual orientation. Most people know someone who’s gay, but to actually get to know them is an entirely different thing. God doesn’t need you to judge them; he does want you to love them.  This is a person with a story, with heartache, with pain. Seek to find the unanswered prayers that person is experiencing.

Quotes from Aaron

Available online now! Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

My latest book is available now. It’s designed especially of church leaders and their teams.

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subject like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer change in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com!

 A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from great leaders such as  Jon Acuff, Mark Batterson, Pete Wilson, David Kinnaman, Caleb Kaltenbach, Kara Powell, Casey Graham, Perry Noble, and Andy Stanley.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast in iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your rating and review helps gets the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Beth Marshall

Some church leaders love pastoral care, others don’t. But everyone needs it. Author, speaker and former New Spring Pastoral Care Coordinator Beth Marshall explains how handling pastoral care well can make or break the growth of your church and your health as a leader.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 58.

In the meantime, got a question?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

11 Comments

  1. Foogan on April 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    You cannot be a practicing homosexual and be a Christian at the same time. It would do society good to confirm to Christ than thinking Christ should conform to you. It does not work that way no matter who much you want to make it true. It is not true but false. God has it is an abomination and death. God the creator never has been shown to change his mind not even once.

  2. […] is the site CNLP 057: Aaron Harris: A Gay Man's Perspective on What He Wishes Was Different in the Church – Care… I finally had time to finish it. It was better than I expected. Very insightful. It made me not […]

  3. Scott Bedard on October 16, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    THANK YOU!!!! I found myself struggling with this subject and honestly was feeling like I was heading in a direction I didn’t feel was right. This got me back on the Love side of the fence.

  4. Christian Vang on October 14, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    As a Christian who is gay I very much appreciated this podcast. Aaron and I have come to similar conclusions in our faith journeys… It’s so wonderful to hear a similar perspective.

    • Foogan on April 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      You cannot be a Christian and be gay. It is false and if you read the Bible you would know this. Sorry, you need to get right with God..

  5. Roger Hutto on October 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Great interview! What an important subject. I appreciate being challenged to be motivated and guided and informed by love in ministry to all people, and especially to those who have been marginalized by society as well as the church. It breaks my heart to see the mistreatment of those who are evidently already hurting.

    Still, this interview left one question unanswered (at least explicitly): Is homosexual behavior a sin which needs confession and repentance? I’ve heard it compared to other sins, such as divorce, gossip, or gluttony (which are not nearly as frowned upon as this); but in all these cases, no one is ever questioning whether they are actual sins or not (only how they are reacted to). I am not confused about whether God can forgive any sin, be it gossip, adultery, theft, or murder; his grace by the blood of Christ can wash it all away. I am confused at how to teach confession and repentance to someone when the question of is this a sin or not is left unanswered.

    Sure, there are many Christians who struggle and fail with many sexual heterosexual sins, but are they ever saying to God, “You made me promiscuous or adulterous or lustful, so I don’t believe these are truly sinful and so I have nothing to confess in this regards”?

    I see no difficulty in welcoming my homosexual brothers and sisters into the family to join together as a family of yet to be completely perfected siblings struggling with temptations with varying degrees of success. I just don’t know how to teach if some are suggesting that one of their temptations isn’t really a sin.

    I don’t want to be guilty of negligence as one responsible if I ever said in a great act of sympathy, “Don’t worry about repenting of that, it might not be that big of a deal anyway.” It would be like a Dr. having diagnosed a patient with cancer, out of an act of love and sympathy saying, “You are completely healthy. No worries.”

    Help me answer this one question.

    • Jimmy Acree on October 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Carey, I assume you read these comments so let me add my voice to Roger’s. Roger speaks precisely for myself, and I believe many other believers who want to respond lovingly to people, and brothers and sisters in particular, who are struggling with the sin of homosexuality but so often it seems like Christians are now unwilling to call it sin. If homosexuality is a sin, how are we as believers to lovingly respond to those who are struggling with it? (But honestly, for so many of us evangelicals what seems to be more divisive is the very nature of homosexuality itself– is it sin or not?) I’d be grateful for some thoughts on this as well. PS. Thank you for the gracious way you deal with all things– I’m very appreciative of that.

      • JC on October 19, 2015 at 11:18 am

        Approach it with humility. At the heart of the problem is sexual brokenness which we can all relate with. Share your own struggles with sexual purity first and create a safe space for dialogue before talking about their sin. Like Aaron said in the interview, sharing beliefs can be divisive and puts people on the defence. Start with common ground. Be vulnerable.

        But still at some point you will have to address ‘Is it a sin?’ I think the problem with calling it a sin is that sin has become a ‘bad’ word in that it’s misused and misunderstood. So in talking about this with someone, I would clarify what I mean when I say sin. Being a homosexual means you’re going to hell as much as it means being heterosexual means I’m going to hell. I have thoughts and chose actions that are not in line with God’s heart and I am only saved by his grace.

        So does that mean I am saying homosexuality is a sin? I believe there are many parts in the bible both in the Old Testament and New Testament that consistently paints “acts” of homosexuality in a negative light. And ultimately, I believe in God’s design of marriage as being between male and female, and sex as being reserved for marriage. But even as a heterosexual I deviate from God’s design when it comes to sexual purity so there is no judgement here.

        • Jimmy Acree on October 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm

          Thanks JC. In these conversations I definitely want to be “one broken sinner in need of Jesus to another broken sinner.” The gospel leaves no ground for self-righteousness on any of our parts. But nonetheless, the Bible does call certain actions sinful and even certain desires of the heart as sinful. What’s hard for me is I believe the Bible is pretty unequivocal about this– homosexuality acted out and consequently homosexual marriage, is sin. Our culture, to me, seems to be saying, “We want you to accept homosexuality, and in particular homosexual marriage, as morally sinless and equivalent to heterosexual marriage.” As someone committed to the authority of the Bible I want to be seen as loving and caring, because I believe I truly am, but if I believe homosexuality acted out, along with all other forms of broken sexuality, is sin, don’t I need call it sin? What is often unclear to me as I listen to interviews such as this, and what many well-known Christian leaders say and write, is a clear answer to Roger’s questions above– is homosexuality immoral and a sin? As I said already, I realize culture doesn’t see it that way so should we be fuzzy or unclear about sin that people might like us and think better of us? It seems to me that it is always our brokenness and sinfulness that drives us to see our need of Jesus as the one who took my brokenness and gives me grace to walk out His will for my life– as hard as that might be.

  6. Joe Robideaux on October 13, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Really appreciated this interview. I’ve always loved the concept that theology should never get in the way of ministry.

    • Cheryl on September 3, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Yes, Jesus never let theology get in the way of ministry (sheesh)

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.