Laurie Krieg is founder and executive director of Hole in my Heart Ministries, “a compassionate teaching, writing, and podcasting ministry focused on equipping Jesus-followers with a gospel-centered approach to sexuality.” She’s same-sex attracted but married to a man, and the ministry aims to “equip Jesus-followers with a gospel-centered approach to sexuality.”
I found Krieg while preparing to preach a series on sexuality. She’s faced protests while teaching Christians who hold a historic Christian view of marriage and sexuality to care well for LGBT+ people. She met with the protestors, and found that they believe that the historic Christian view of marriage is intrinsically damaging and causes harm, including isolation, homelessness, and even suicide.
“How do you respond to this argument?” an interviewer asked.
“You are the twentieth injurer,” she replied. “You’re number twenty. You don’t know the first nineteen who came before you.”
People don’t just respond to us and what we’re saying. They respond to everyone like us who’s come before. They have histories and hurts.
I’ve found Krieg’s words helpful, not just in terms of sexuality, but also in terms of relating to people who haven’t responded to the gospel.
I pastor in downtown Toronto. Everything we believe as a church sounds strange to secular ears: the resurrection of Jesus, the authority of Scripture, the return of Christ, a Christian sexual ethic, and more.
Our job as churches is to cling to the truth of Scripture, to allow it to reshape our minds, and to call others to respond to what God has done through Jesus.
As I preach through Scripture and talk to people, I want the truth of Scripture to shape everything I say.
Talking and Listening to People
We need to speak truth, but we need to do more.
If Krieg had focused only on the truth about LGBT+ issues, she would have missed that the protester wasn’t only responding what Krieg believed. The protester was responding to people who weren’t even there who had hurt her in the past, as well as layers of hurt and shame.
I’m amazed at how Jesus interacted with people. Nobody had a better grasp on truth than Jesus.
And yet when he encountered people, he always seemed to look beyond the argument to the person. He asked questions. He showed compassion. He prodded. He didn’t just download truth. He went deeper.
I’m not arguing that we should sacrifice truth. Some may go too far and only show compassion, sacrificing doctrinal and ethical truth. I am arguing that we would do well to offer more than truth. I want to see the people God has put in front of me, understand them, love them, listen to them, and then try to get to the real issues.
The more secular our society becomes, and the more hurt we see around us, the more important this skill will become.
I want to keep speaking truth. But as I do, I want to remember that we’re not just dealing with issues and propositions. We’re dealing with people too.