Senior writer Tim Stafford has been studying sex for over 15 years. As the author of CAMPUS LIFE’s “Love, Sex, and the Whole Person” column, he has become a hybrid of Dear Abby and Dr. Ruth for evangelical teens. Thus he has received a “flood of letters from strangers pouring out their hearts,” terrified of their homoerotic feelings. That gave him an interest in Christian organizations devoted to helping homosexuals change sexual orientation. The seeds planted by those letters bear fruit in the article that begins on page 16.
Some years ago, when writing a review of Letha Scanzoni and Virginia Mollenkott’s book Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, Stafford realized that Christians were well prepared to discuss homosexuality from the Bible. But they lacked any sense of what to recommend pastorally for those who wanted change. Most would condemn them outright, or tell them simply to pray.
Stafford’s research on ex-gays has helped him to “think of sexuality in the broader framework where we deal with many other desires we can’t seem to stop, but which we can’t affirm. Sexuality is not the only circumstance in which that arises. We don’t find such compulsion strange in other aspects of life,” Stafford says. He has also found it helpful to see the normality of the people involved. “Understanding their day-to-day struggles as part of Christian discipleship,” says Stafford, “has helped me place their struggles on the map not far from my own.”
DAVID NEFF, Senior Associate Editor1
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