How to Share Your Faith Using Brokeback Mountain
With the Academy Awards in the news, it's hard to miss the impact of the "gay cowboy love story" movie, Brokeback Mountain. Nominated for eight Academy Awards, Brokeback Mountain has put the gay lifestyle front and center in the culture.
Although the movie is rated R and many teens have not viewed the movie first-hand, it can still provide an effective springboard for conversation with your friends regarding values, morals and lifestyle choices. Be forewarned that conversations about gay lifestyle choices can become polarizing and hostile if not approached with God's love and mercy. So spend some time in prayer and check your motives, attitude and word choice if you choose to head down this conversational path with your friends.
The lens of values you approach this movie with dramatically affects your response to it. Check out the diversity of these 'professional' responses to viewing Brokeback Mountain! Caleb H. Price, a social research analyst on homosexuality and gender commented in an interview with Plugged In Online, that the film sometimes provides a glimpse into the dangers of homosexuality.
"... in Brokeback Mountain the [homosexual] lifestyle is neither glamorous nor normal and healthy. We see that each character had root causes to his same-sex attraction. And then we see their God-given desires to be affirmed by members of the same sex met in sinful, ungodly ways. We see the soul ties that come along with carnal relations and the ensuing devastation to wives and marriages when the forbidden fruit is eaten. Also, the film clearly depicts the homosexuality of the characters as bondage. In one scene Jack exclaims profound exasperation that he and Ennis are not able to 'quit' each other. One can't help but wonder what their respective lives might have been like had they poured their energy and attention into their wives, families and careers instead of homosexuality."
From the other end of the spectrum, Newsweek 's Sean Smith writes,
Brokeback feels like a landmark film. No American film before has portrayed love between two men as something this pure and sacred. As such, it has the potential to change the national conversation and to challenge people's ideas about the value and validity of same-sex relationships."
See what I mean about how your values color your response!?!
As you approach this topic of conversation with your friends keep in mind the following truths:
- God loves gay people. He cherishes them and they are as incredibly special to Him as any of His other children.
- The Bible teaches that a homosexual lifestyle conflicts with God's blueprint for human sexuality just as premarital sex, adultery, lustful thoughts, and many other dimensions of sexuality that are widely-accepted in our present culture do. The fact that these other sinful distortions of God's blueprint for sexuality are widely-accepted does not change the truth of God's Word and teaching. (See Romans 1:20-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1Timothy 1:9-10.)
- Whatever the sexual sin, the justification that it 'feels so right' does not change the truth of God's Word. Virtually all sexual sin 'feels right' at the time it is entered into - that's why humans head down those wrong paths - the present pleasure outweighs the reality of God's truth.
- God is not a killjoy when it comes to sexuality. The reason God gives us guidelines for sexual behavior is that sex outside of a heterosexual marriage has destructive consequences, and it breaks His heart to see us willfully damage or destroy our lives and relationships.
- God hates all sinful behavior. Our sin, whatever it is, breaks his heart because all sinful behaviors distance us in our relationship to Him and yield pain and hurt in our lives. The Bible identifies only ONE unforgivable sin and that is the choice of permanently rejecting Christ.
God's centrality in the sexual dimension of life should drive us into a closer walk with Him and find us clinging to Him as our guide and strength, relying on the teachings in His Word as our moral compass, and putting Him above our human relationships. Because apart from Jesus, we humans will not find the strength or guidance we need to navigate our way through the challenges of life. Jesus looks upon us with compassion, love, forgiveness and grace, but he also desires what is best for us, and that is why he has given us the guidelines for living that are contained in the Bible.
If you find opportunities to discuss the gay lifestyle issue with your friends-dialogue, don't preach. We're all broken people in need of a redeeming relationship with our God through Jesus. Christians should be the first to reach out toward gays. After all, we have Jesus as our model and He was often criticized for hanging out with the wrong people.