Peter Hubbard is the teaching pastor at North Hills Community Church in Taylors, SC. Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with Peter about his new book, Love into Light: The Gospel, the Homosexual, and the Church, and how he approached discussing one of today’s most controversial issues.
What inspired you to write this book?
Faces, eyes, and ears. When I began thinking deeply about homosexuality, I was looking at the faces of friends who struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction. I saw the hopelessness in their eyes and the emptiness of their ears. Very few people in the church were talking to them in a helpful way, and almost everyone outside the church denied their existence.
This is a challenging topic to discuss; what did you struggle with during the writing process?
Writing on homosexuality is like walking through a minefield. I desperately wanted to stay near Jesus, who is full of both grace and truth. It’s really easy to slip toward one or the other (grace or truth).
What sort of audience is this book intended for?
I wrote this to help Christian leaders talk about homosexuality with biblical clarity and compassion. Also, I desired to give hope and help to the same-sex-attraction struggler. Ironically, I’ve had many Christians who have never struggled with same-sex attraction describe specific ways God has used the book in their lives.
What sort of experience do you have dealing with homosexuality and the church?
I’ve met with many people who have battled with same-sex attraction alone. I’ve been privileged to see them emerge from the shadows, share their struggles with their brothers and sisters, and begin flourishing in the community of faith. A college student recently told me, “I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t told you and then my parents about my struggle.” Watching Jesus change lives is more fun than playing church!
What are the biggest misconceptions about the Christian community’s view of homosexuality?
Most of our misconceptions fit into one extreme or the other: “You were born that way,” or “You chose to be gay.” Both extremes lead to hopelessness; they deny our total depravity and minimize our need for grace.
What’s your best advice for the church when it comes to homosexuality?
Stop viewing it as a special sin. When Christians normalize without affirming homosexuality, our self-righteousness dies and the Bible’s teaching on justification and sanctification come alive. “They” becomes “we” and the Spirit moves in power.
What are Christians doing wrong when it comes to homosexuality?
I’m sure there are many answers to this question. Here’s one: for too long we have viewed homosexuality through the lens of the gay-pride activist. So we address the issue of same-sex attraction politically. I’m not saying this is always wrong, but we need to start closer to home. Let’s address the sin in our own hearts and marriages. And let’s begin to think about same-sex attraction through the lens of the businessman who sits next to you in church and who has struggled with same-sex attraction for 20 years.
Do you think the media accurately portrays the Christian community’s view of homosexuality? Why?
No. I don’t know many churches that hold the view of Westboro Baptist Church! A church that genuinely loves homosexuals without condoning their sin will never sell airtime.
Why should we read your book?
I hope you will read it for your own soul. I think Jesus wants to change us as we love the people in the shadows into his light.
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Peter Hubbard’s new book Love into Light: The Gospel, the Homosexual, and the Church is on sale for $3.99—get it today!