June 2021 – “Isn’t it ironic,” mused AFA vice president Ed Vitagliano, “that LGBTQ activists would choose the rainbow, one of God’s most stunning symbols, to represent their total rejection of His plan for sexuality?”
“Yes, God owns the rainbow,” agreed Austin Brooks, director of American Family Studios (AFS). “It symbolizes one of God’s covenant promises to His people – that He would never flood the earth again as He did with Noah.”
Brooks and his AFA team have experienced a heightened awareness of that irony as they wrote, produced, and released AFA’s milestone documentary In His Image: Delighting in God’s Plan for Gender and Sexuality (IHI).
Since its release last October, IHI has generated a volume of feedback unlike any other AFA resource in years past. Of course, a few have been negative. Some have posted hostile remarks on social media, and Big Tech has reacted predictably, e.g., Amazon Prime refused to carry IHI on its platform.
However, the anticipated negative outcries pale in comparison to the positive responses.
Most encouraging has been the avalanche of messages from parents requesting prayer for prodigal sons and daughters and for other heart-rending family issues.
“And we’ve been blessed to hear from victims of the gay and transgender community,” said Kendra White, writer and producer of IHI. “In fact, I’ve established a dialogue with a couple of women who were living in a lesbian partnership, and they’ve separated and are seeking to find their way back to God’s design for their lives.”
A pastor responded with gratitude saying his heart had been softened toward those trapped in sexual bondage, and he is resolved to be more intentional in sharing the gospel with grace and truth.
White has experienced various connections to other ministries in which leaders see promising ways they can minister with AFS on the same subjects. For example, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations recently released Bridging the Gap, a curriculum series for use in churches, small groups, or personal study on various moral issues of the day.
“Their two units on gender and sexuality are fantastic!” said White. (Watch for more about this series in the July issue.)
She has also found common ground with the Legacy Institute (LI), a ministry that advocates a scriptural view of sexuality, declaring that male or female alone is the gender that reflects God’s image in every person’s sexual wholeness.
Carrie Abbott – teacher, author, and founder of LI – told White, “We want to help get IHI into the hands of pastors.” LI provides a wealth of resources on teaching biblical morality and sexuality for schools and churches.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician featured on IHI, suggested White get in touch with Audrey Werner, a nurse and mom who had experience teaching sex ed in U.S. schools and grew alarmed at its dangers.
“What we are teaching isn’t helping,” Werner told White. “It’s making it worse!” Subsequently, Werner has become a noted expert on related issues. She is now dean of the Life Issues Department at Master’s International University of Divinity.
“She’s great to address transgender issues being taught in schools,” said White, “and she’s an expert on Alfred Kinsey’s discredited studies on sexuality.”
“We’re excited at all of the connections we’re making,” said Brooks. “They’re like-minded and biblically based, and we can support each other as we share the gospel with both truth and grace.”
▶ Watch In His Image free – inhisimage.movie
Purchase DVDs – afastore.net
Learn more – americanfamilystudios.net
▶ Master’s International University of Divinity
Audrey Werner – firstname.lastname@example.org
▶ The Legacy Institute – thelegacyinstitute.com
▶ Christian Medical and Dental Associations – cmda.org