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Full of Grace and Truth

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
August 26, 2020 2:00 am

Full of Grace and Truth

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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August 26, 2020 2:00 am

Is a person "born gay"? How should parents approach this topic with their kids? Rachel Gilson, author of the book "Born Again This Way," discusses issues of sexuality, gender, and culture. Rachel experienced same-sex attraction from an early age, but when she became a Christ-follower as an adult, God began to bring her views about sexuality under the authority of the cross.

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Rachel Gilson started experiencing same-sex attraction when she was a teenager and was trying to process what that meant for the rest of her life. I was pretty eager to get out of my Cowtown literally my high school had a working farm on the campus is pretty eager to get to Yale to the East Coast to be at a place where I could explore my sexuality more freely where I could kinda dive into both that part of my life and big ideas and I think it was a huge grace of the Lord to me that he saved me so early in my experience the college said that actually didn't have much time to plant my feet.

There, this is family life to the hosts are David and Wilson on Bob Lapine find us on my family life to the.com. What was it that caused Rachel Gilson early in her college career to reconsider the purpose for her life and her sexuality will talk with Rachel about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us three of us have an opportunity while back to be with a group of moms and dads and we were talking about relationships between parents and adult kids so that way it was a great interaction that we had and it got to Q&A time at the end.

That was how are you going to guy was a I said yeah I agree that boom the Mike opened any time talking with parents of adult kids or parents of teen kids today and you say okay who's got a question, the subject of sexuality, gender same-sex attraction. If that's not the first question. It's because the person was too afraid to ask at first right almost always comes up because parents are looking for answers and help them that it was actually a great conversation. The questions were wrong. They were real.

There were tears you know from parents said really are grappling with what the society is grappling with what I think what I believe how I respond. What should be my posture, how I love my child and Bob had all the right answer. So over the years on family life today. As we talked with different people about this. It's been clear to us that Jesus John describes in this way, and John 114, he was full of grace and truth and some people come at this issue and say I got a full truth in the closet. The grace and some I got before.

Grace in the closet the truth.

Jesus would not have done that, he would've been full of grace and truth. And that's hard for us to figure out because most of us are going to lean in one of those two directions rated a lien grace or lien truth and we gotta figure out how do I be full of that part that I'm not typically going in that direction toward we got a guess joining us today who is who I'm glad to have as a part of this conversation with us.

Rachel Gilson is with us on family life today. Rachel welcome. I'm glad to be here, not just one.

Amen. Everything in the intro right sided here with Rachel helps give theological direction to all of us who are a part of the staff of crew and you been on a cruise staff. How long will I joined in 2011 which is right when the name change from campus Crusade for Christ to crew so all the swag we got was immediately vintage.

Rachel has just written a book that is part memoir and part coaching manual. I mean I really think it it provides both of these findings and it's a book called born again. This way, I'm imagining some of our listeners don't catch the hip pop culture reference that she makes in the title but we should start their tell everybody who doesn't get it while you pick that name while partially it's because I was born with a strong sarcastic streak wildly popular performer.

Lady Gaga released a song I don't know how many years ago born this way. It's kind of an anthem celebrating that. Hey, however, you were born, and particularly in fewer LGBT attractions is what you should celebrate.

That is what you should lead into to my experience has been someone who experiences same-sex attraction, but is a disciple of Christ. So my whole life in Jesus has been figuring out what is the relationship between my desires, and the God who loves me primary. My life is being born again. Rachel you can grow up in a Christian home share with us a little bit about your stories going.

I grew up in Southern California, in a very not religious household, actually.

So even though the people around me were very churchgoing my family. We weren't even Christmas and Easter people.

We just did whatever and so by the time he got to high school. I was really interested in big ideas as I tried to talk to the kids around me who identified as Christian, about big ideas.

They just didn't seem to have the kind of answers I was looking for so I kind of brushed Christianity off by the end of high school as a place people went to when they do know how to think for themselves. Some somewhat of a crutch and I've since discovered that Christianity is actually the greatest intellectual tradition that's ever hit the planet but I didn't quite have a view of that as a teenage girl so I was pretty hardened in my atheism. By the time I was going off to college. Also in high school I realized that my sexuality felt so much more at home with other young women as opposed to young men I had some sexual relationships with young men. I've always enjoyed the company of men. So I thought this is where I'm supposed to go but it and we spent a little off in a little awkwardness. Sometimes I joke well maybe it's because I was just hooking up with teenage boys and their little bit awkward, which is which isn't totally overhung but my other understanding of Christianity was what this is full of people who don't like people with my sexuality and found this even though I had never been mistreated by the church or by any Christians. It was just sort of an attitude. I picked up from the air around me so by the time I was going to college I thought Christians are stupid and Christians are bigots and like goodness who wants to be associated with stupid bigots.

You know, so let me back up to the first time you had some sense that may be your way of perceiving attraction was different than your peer group happened to meet a girl in high school she was a senior. I was a sophomore. We were in the same AP European history class and really she just wanted to use me to help study for a test because I was a nerd. I was focused. She was a senior easy PC so she invited me over to her house. I knew it was opportunistic right an issue Monday, my friend. She just want to study with me but you know when you're a sophomore, you want to hang out with the seniors. That's pretty cool. So when I was spending time with her helping prepare for that test has to sort of this moment I was with her. We ended up mostly talking all night instead of studying who surprised I'm is also the little click in my heart I thought we imminent really like her minute. Do I like like her very technical terms. Of course I couldn't quite shake it. Maybe this feeling matched how my peers actually describe feeling about ways sliced about a week kind of processing is disallowed. Is this okay like I do think that's how I feel but it doesn't seem like it's right and you know this was back when Will and Grace was still edgy, not nostalgic, you know, so this is 2001 by member started digging through my junk drawer of morality available.

I couldn't find any possible reason why this wouldn't be okay right way before the phrase love is love became culturally popular. It was where I landed I thought what hurting anybody. So I decided to just go all in and as I gained romantic and sexual experiences with other young women. I thought, oh yeah, this is definitely my home and that's in the context of having been romantically and even sexually involved with guys at the same time right yeah I mean basically was running like scientific experiments talk to anyone about that. Rachel like he discuss any of that with your parents or peers or siblings a little bit with some of my friends. My only sibling in the house was a younger brother who is 3 1/2 years yet. I was again to be talking to him about this kind of stuff and my parents were going through a divorce.

At the time my dad wasn't in the house.

My mom was going through her own sorted difficult things so that wasn't something I brought to her to process. I'd really kind of been out on my own. Luckily it wasn't going to the Internet to measure those questions. I think that would let me down a rabbit hole. It just seemed it felt right. You know and everything around me had taught me that what feels right is right so is your assessment. I was born this way. I certainly don't have anything in my life that I can point to that I would consider a cause of my same-sex attraction.

However, I don't think that that automatically makes those desires. Something that I need to obey right, who owns me to my desires only do I own me or does Jesus Christ own me. To me that's a fundamental question that has to be asked more than whether or not something in particular caused these temptations. So when you go back now and try to deconstruct what was going on in Rachel's heart and life as a high school student were you culturally influenced were you hormonally influence was that biology was a great nature-nurture. What's your sense of what was going on them. On some level so much of my focus and discipleship hasn't been on interrogating where the feelings have come from, but rather what my faithful response to them should be that I don't know that I didn't consider that it matters very much. Maybe was cultural maybe was biological, but the end of the day. Either way, I have a responsibility to say no to temptation to sin and to say yes to Christ. The reason I ask is I am talking to moms and dads these days who are here's what they're hearing their kids the conversation the kids are having our and I think maybe I'm I'm like 70% hetero but maybe 30% gay sure and then there in a classroom situation where a teacher will say now we've got a new student, and this new student. Maybe this has to be explained in some way the student is different or something going on all the sudden attention is drawn to the student for their sexual whatever it is right and the students are like, oh, so that's how you get to be special these days. So what were seeing this increase in people who are self reporting on I'm gay and were wondering how much of that is because it's prematurely good in our culture today and I do think it's important for us to consider the fact that these kinds of social realities are happening in high schools and middle schools, sometimes even in lower grades. I live outside of Boston. So we see this a lot at the time when I was discovering this about myself it wasn't yet culturally cool in the way that is now. It's actually amazing to me how much this is turned the corner in 20 years, 15 years, but I do think it's something we strongly need to consider as we disciple our children but the ones that lit our household and just the children with us in church to think really critically with a biblical worldview that 10 looks at some of the things they're seeing in the outside world with an eye of skepticism right like well what does make someone special. How do I tell right from wrong and crucially, where are we supposed to go to understand our own feelings and whether or not we should listen to them. I think that believers that are walking the Jesus that are raising young kids are sometimes confused about how to communicate these kind of things to their kids what you think. As you walk this path here Mary now like how would you instruct them and what would you say I think it's a really important question.

I have a six-year-old right now so clear there. I'm there, but it also means I'm also not there right I've never tried to parent a 14-year-old appear to 24-year-old I've only parented up to a six-year-old, but it is very much on my mind. I think one of the reasons that parents are feeling so unprepared is that the church for the past 50 years has almost been accidentally in agreement with God's doctrine.

It's been very much instinctual that marriage is male and female, so we haven't had to dig into our own texts our own Scriptures to find why is it male-female. It's just seemed obvious and so now that were getting a lot of pressure to explain why we think what we think. If the parents hadn't been catechized in a positive view of God's vision for sexuality and how in the world, or they can be able to pass it on to their children right because Disney movies in the church have both told us that marriage is really about marrying your best friend having great sex and maybe kids if you can afford them right so two men can do all those things to women can do all those things if that's all, marriage is no wonder we felt flat-footed when trying to explain to our children.

Why people to same-sex can't have that.

But when Nico back to the Scriptures we actually find a more robust picture of why marriage exists, and what the elements need to be to fulfill that vision that God's created for. So as you go back to you know you as a high school girl walking through this journey. I'm guessing the Scriptures were something you're looking at that time. Write your post certainly not your love in your life are you at a point in as you reflect back was this something is like walking to celebrate this this is wonderful. Was there the opposite Oryza somewhere in between like I need to hide this yet was was word get mad around campus that Rachel can know your heart out Rachel's. She's one of them. Well, so I was in a really small high school and fairly conservative so was like my high school had Gay straight student alliance or anything like that. Mostly had to convince illustrate girls to hook up with me. It was not there was not like a robust community of LGBT people, so I never lived in the closet would be the phrase I was never hit it, but I was pretty eager to get out of my cow town literally. My high school had a working farm on the campus.

I was pretty eager to get to Yale to the East Coast to be at a place where I could explore my sexuality more freely where I could kinda dive into both that part of my life and big ideas and I think it was a huge grace of the Lord to me that he saved me so early in my experience the college said that actually didn't have much time to plant my feet. There so talk about that you get the Yale how did that happen what happened.

Well, it turns out one Southern Californian wasn't very prepared for winter. So tell you right now and I feel like I got hoodwinked on that visit.

One the one hand, I thought very highly of my intellectual prowess and then I showed up at Yale and realized oh I'm not the smartest person in the world. Actually I might not even be in the top 50% is that kind of scent one pillar of my identity crumbling and another thing that happened early on it.

Yale was that the girl I was dating at the time, broke up with me slanted up in the little bit of a pit of an identity crisis was kind of tossing around for who am I don't have her fight don't have my academic excellence, like who am I and it wasn't like all I'm going to turn to Jesus and believe in Jesus you know I thought maybe I should write for the newspaper except I wasn't smart enough for you. Now go to the gym or except I was very lazy so I happened to be in a lecture I was taking a course of study through the Western canon is a philosophy class early in the quote unquote spring semester must be honest was winter the whole time, but early that semester we were having a lecture on Ren Descartes. You know the old dead European who invented the phrase I think therefore I am.

And from that phrase he announces whole proof of the existence of God number sitting in the audience thinking that's a really stupid proof for the existence of which I still think but while I was sitting in the audience. I remember thinking what if there are better proofs for the existence of God like this is not very compelling but there might be something better, but I serve immediately tensed up like no no that's not what we think about. That's for stupid bigots you know is just like were knocking to go there but once they can have been opened in my mind I kinda couldn't shake it so member, good millennial. So I went back to my room and I would just Google religious search terms over and over again because he had a deep question, why not ask the Internet assessing the most solid way you could possibly go about something so I wish I had a log of all the different websites I went to, but again and again. I kept coming back to reading about the person of Jesus. He was so much more interesting than I had thought had you ever read the Bible before I occasionally read some sections of Bible like when I was in hotel rooms. I would love the Gideons Bibles like I would open them up and read the KJV language sometimes and there and actually in high school. There was a small period of time where I would sometimes go to the Presbyterian youth group because there was nothing else to do and I would go there to play basketball and eat snacks. Our members one time sitting in the back of the room. When these youth groups thinking or say what you need.

Jesus and God. So even if the poor you know youth pastor was preaching the gospel.

It was not infiltrating my headset's obscure connection to Bible and things like that but this is the first time I was really reading it for myself with interest. I we felt a type of barrier is like will marry a woman someday like that even if I wanted Jesus like this is categorically not for me and the only two people I knew at Yale who identified as Christians were these two women who were dating each other and one of them is training to be a Lutheran minister so I thought well you may be taken shed some light on this, or maybe they can explain something scene I went to them as if by night kind of trembling like how do you reconcile these things and their sweet girls I met with the same like a big misunderstanding and that's not actually what the Bible really says the Bible actually supports monogamous, same-sex relationships, and I thought well if that's true that's very interesting, and so they gave me a packet of information explaining what the real interpretations were and I love packets right so I took that thing back to my room. I member written through it and it made a lot of sense like what they gave me made a lot of sense. It had it in internal logic that I could follow. But I also thought well maybe I should look up for myself some of the Bible verses. These interpretations are claiming to explain. Seems like good due diligence. So I pull up on my computer and I would compare what I found on my computer to what I saw in the packet, back and forth and eventually I was like well oh I don't think this packet is doing is kind of a job with this ancient Scripture is its claiming to do and it was difficult for me because I actually really did want to believe what they gave me but I just couldn't see it in the texts so member throwing the packet away, feeling stupid for having held out belief that it could be real sometime soon after that happened to be in the room of one of my friends who was a nonpracticing Catholic. She was getting something out of her room like putting things in a bag or whatever and I was standing in her doorway and one of my favorite hobbies is to look at people's bookshelves and judge them so she had a really nice bookshelf right by her door frame.

I was checking out the titles on that and I saw a book with the title. Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. Now I had been raised on Narnia's. I didn't fully realize the significance of this book with the title alone made me want to read it, but I was also too embarrassed to let my friend know that I was interested so I just stole the book you know it's not that big. You can put it easily into your bag so I happen to be reading this book. One day in between classes because it was easier and more interesting than my homework and I was like where I was report chapter or paragraph or anything like that but while I was reading it one day. I suddenly was overwhelmed with all my goodness.

Not only does God exist like in it. Generic storebrand way but like the God exists.

The God who made me the God who is transcendent, who is perfect. In fact, actually, the God to whom I'm going to owe an account of my life, and at that moment all he felt was fear because I knew I was arrogant. I was a liar. I was a cheater. I was sexually immoral. I was cruel as reading a stolen book, like all the evidence right was pushed firmly into the guilty category and I really felt afraid but at the same time. I also realized I think the spirit revealed to me that part of the reason Jesus had come was to place himself as a barrier between God's wrath and me, and that the only way to be safe was to run towards him, not away from him.

So member sitting there thinking become a Christian. It's really lame but I was like, will pretend that this isn't true. Just because it's inconvenient for my life like that strikes me is the height of stupidity.

I didn't know. Have a nice campus minister sitting with me, but I kinda understood that I needed to praise. I just sort of shut my eyes and said fine I'll be a Christian and I went to class my my introduction.

Just wondering if we if we should go change or literature to include as the prayer for Bryce five LB occurs well it works for you. I love your story. I love that Jesus grabbed you and down. He wound you himself and you're smart you are intelligent and it was a process that you discovered on your own through your own search and for me that says God loves you. I think of all of us as parents that are so petrified for kids and if we don't say the right thing. If we do say the right thing and she react like this or say this and go to this church and go to this camp and if so many things and yet when I listen to your story.

I think there is a God who loves your child more than you do, and he will go to all costs to find them, to woo them and to bring them to them himself. Even if it's a prayer like find how become a Christian and I would even add this I think someone listening is filled pursued by God like Rachel did and finally gave in. You know, everywhere laughing at the fine but at some point. It's like you know what not going to run away anymore going to follow you and see where that leads. Because it's interesting it was and I'm going to give up my sexuality was I'm gonna follow you and then let's see what happens in will have the rest of the story will only just a listers you may right now.

Need to pray a prayer that says fine like that. Yeah it it's a prayer of surrender, which is exactly the posture that we need to take when we are surrendering to Jesus and saying I'm going to accept what you have made so clear that there is no escaping it.

And I'm going to accept it. Whatever the cost and whatever the implications of, as will hear they they wind up being significant for Rachel and Wanda being significant really for all of us.

Rachel has chronicled her story in a book she's written called born again this way coming out, coming to faith in what comes next.

We got copies of Rachel's book in our family life today resource Center you can order it from us online@familylifetoa.com or call one 800 FL today to get your copy again. The title of the book is born again. This way, by Rachel Gilson order online@familylifetoa.com or call one 800 FL today to get your copy.

One 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today.

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Hope you can tune in for that I will think our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Wilson on Bob Lapine will see you back next time for another edition of family life today.

Family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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