Few things are more effective than people who learn how to be “a friend (who) loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17) while not being afraid to uphold God’s truth that “better is open rebuke than hidden love.” (Proverbs 27:5)
Pure, true, undefiled love seeks nothing higher than the welfare of people – all people. Today, Christians with gay-identified loved ones are often eager to share the Good News of Christ, but they wonder how they can do so without sounding judgmental. Churches too, want to be involved with ministry to homosexuals, but they are often hesitant being too unsure of how to proceed.
Personally, I remain convinced more men and women would find freedom from sexual and relational brokenness if they would stop being told what they want to hear, instead of what they need to know. God is more than able to bring good out of trouble and no matter what the issue may be regarding a person’s sexuality, God can heal it!
When considered objectively, the Scriptures are not silent concerning homosexuality. Within the totality of Scripture, the practice of homosexuality is always mentioned as a violation of God’s divine intent for human sexuality. The major references to homosexuality in Scripture are:
Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10; Genesis 19′ 2 Peter 2:7 and Jude 1:7.
There is no way Biblically to arrive at any other conclusion than the practice of homosexuality is a perversion of divine order. Furthermore, to stand and condemn homosexual practice in all its forms is not a symptom of homophobia or narrow-minded bigotry. It is to stand on the side of righteousness and truth and to be obedient to the One who said, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) For The Body of Christ, God the Father is the only One we should seek to please.
Sometimes, I believe we Christians over spiritualize things when what really needs to take place is a willingness and follow-through of taking practical steps. Therefore, permit me to offer a few illustrations and ministry guidelines when seeking to reach and reason with an individual in the throws of a battle with same-sex attraction.
Question: I have a hunch someone I know is struggling with homosexuality. How do I approach him?
Answer: When approaching anyone based upon a “hunch,” the potential for doing more harm than good is considerable. Your goal is not to expose someone’s homosexuality but to unearth and minister to the underlying problems. First and foremost, educate yourself on the factors that contribute to same-sex attraction. This will enable you to look beyond someone’s behavior and see a person.
Question: How do I introduce a gay person to Christ?
Answer: Why should ministry to a gay person be approached differently from ministry to anyone else? Evangelism should never be considered or conditioned on an individual’s difference. Also, introducing someone to Christ isn’t the end. The Lord directs us to “go and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19)
Question: Should we or how do we bring up the subject of homosexuality in our family?
Answer: Absolutely! There is nothing healthy about avoidance or denial. Freedom comes to those who choose to live in the light. (Ephesians 5:8) Call a family meeting with all the family knowing in advance the topic of discussion.
Question: Should we tell our friends and church family about our son coming out or remain silent?
Answer: Most families (Christian families in particular) become riddled with guilt and shame when becoming aware of a child’s homosexuality. However, remaining silent is unproductive and not healthy. If your church is not a safe place to seek caring support, find it elsewhere. Also, should you discuss your child’s homosexuality with others, extend to your child the courtesy of knowing whom you’ve told.
Question: Should I call or mail information to someone that isn’t interest in change?
Answer: Be careful. First, lay aside your need to prove to him the error of his ways. Pray the Holy Spirit will convict him. Ultimately, if your motives are not pure you just might have an opposite effect.
Question: How so we respond to our daughter wanting to bring her partner to our home?
Answer: First and foremost, clearly define the moral standards of your home while remembering your child’s gay friends are not going to encourage righteousness, so where will they see authenticity? Tolerance is a two-way street, and it’s perfectly fine to ask your daughter to extend to you the same tolerance she expects from you. In many cases, to arrive at a godly decision with many concerns that will surface – take homosexuality out of the equation.
Question: Should we force our child to go to counseling?
Answer: While letting your child know there is an option to same-sex attraction, forced counseling rarely works. Encourage your child to speak with an ex-gay man or woman.
Ideally, if one wanted to know how God feels and thinks about homosexuality and homosexual people, one should only have to look at the response of the Christian community. Our calling and mandate then, is to be His visible expression of both His heart and His mind towards homosexual people and homosexuality itself. Our challenge is to be full of grace balanced with truth.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network