News Articles

First season of relaunched ERLC podcast focuses on sexuality, gender  

NASHVILLE (BP) – The first season of the Ethics & Religious Liberty’s relaunched podcast primarily focuses on a highly requested topic, gender and sexuality.

Before launching the retooled podcast in the fall of 2023, the ERLC spent months conducting research and surveying Southern Baptists to learn which issues or questions were at the forefront for pastors and churches.

Lindsay Nicolet, ERLC editorial director and podcast host, said among the feedback received, “this set of issues (gender and sexuality) rises to the top.”

“In a culture that has redefined marriage, thinks being male or female is something that can be changed and has no boundaries regarding sexuality, we want to equip you to be confident about what the Bible says and how to live that out,” Nicolet said during the first episode of this new season.

Topics discussed during the season include:

  • What it means to be made in the image of God
  • How to live countercultural beliefs about gender and sexuality
  • The history of the sexual revolution and the role it played in where we are today as a society
  • How to respond when someone you know struggles with sexual sin or gender confusion
  • Talking with children and youth about gender and sexuality
  • How pastors can address gender and sexuality

The podcast guests speaking into these questions include Jason Thacker, assistant professor of philosophy and ethics at Boyce College and director of the ERLC’s research institute; Katie McCoy, author and director of women’s ministry for Texas Baptists (Baptist General Convention of Texas); Christopher Yuan, writer, speaker and creator of The Holy Sexuality Project; and Bart Barber, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas.

In the first episode of the season, Thacker explained the topics of gender and sexuality often involve even deeper questions about humanity and worldview.

“At the core of most of the questions that we ask in society today, specifically about gender and sexuality, is really at the core of this question: What does it mean to be human?” Thacker said.

“And the Bible has a very clear answer of what it means to be human, which is an image bearer of the almighty God. I think one of the things about a lot of contemporary culture and the way we think about gender and sexuality comes down to this idea that we are self-defined beings, that we are to express what we feel inside. But a Christian interpretation … and specifically a biblical understanding of what does it mean to be human is that we don’t look inside ourselves to define ourselves, we look outside of ourselves.”

In a later episode, McCoy explained that Generation Z in particular has fallen prey to modern society’s changing worldviews and philosophies, including gender ideology.

“Generation Z, they’re in their late teens, early 20s by now, and this is really the first generation that has grown up in a post-Christian culture,” McCoy said. “This is the first generation that has come into adulthood without the influence of Christianity in society.

“It’s no coincidence that Generation Z is also horribly confused about gender, and suffers from an epidemic of mental health crises. They are trying to answer very transcendent questions about their identity … with nothing more to guide them than their feelings.”

Yuan, a former self-identifying homosexual, is now an author, speaker and creator of The Holy Sexuality Project, which provides discipleship resources on sexuality for teens and children.

Yuan shared his testimony on the podcast, which includes selling drugs, identifying as a homosexual, being kicked out of dental school, throwing away a Bible his parents gave him, to finally turning to Christ in a jail cell.

He acknowledges there are many parents and grandparents struggling to disciple their children who are being hit with a “tsunami of misinformation” by the culture when it comes to gender and sexuality.  

“I think we are still trying to play catch-up and parents don’t know what to say and also grandparents don’t know what to say, so essentially we’re almost saying nothing,” Yuan said.

“There are some older resources that have been out there that focused a lot on abstinence and what not to do. That’s a very important thing we need to teach our kids, but then we stop there. The reality is we cannot build a Christian life just on God’s no. What is God’s yes?

“When it comes to sexuality, I’ve coined this term called holy sexuality. The term is new, but the concepts are not, quite succinctly it’s chastity in singleness or faithfulness in marriage. We need to give this whole truth of what God is calling us to when it comes to biblical sexuality.”

Barber spoke of the importance for pastors to both hold fast to preaching biblical truth, and emphasize personal discipleship.

“It’s the nature of Christianity across 2,000 years that you have to hold courageously to truths that the world around you doesn’t understand, and so a steadfastness is required whenever we encounter issues that are controversial in the world around us,” Barber said.

“We’re just learning that’s there’s no replacement for deep discipleship of believers. You can no longer receive just sort of a skimming off the top of Christian theology and be OK. You are going to be driven to deep questions and you have to be prepared to answer those.”

All episodes of the podcast are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify. New episodes release every two weeks. Listeners are encouraged to email questions to [email protected].