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The Gospel for a Gay Friend
The Gospel Coalition ^ | November-December 2013 | Garrett Kell

Posted on 01/25/2014 7:23:17 AM PST by Gamecock

Josh had always known he was different. From his earliest memories, he looked at some boys as more than just peers. His parents knew he was "special," but they loved him for it. He learned to wear a mask and play the part of a "normal" kid until he graduated high school.

In college, Josh decided it was time to be who he really was. He made friends with other gay people and embarked on sexual explorations. Josh found a refuge in his gay community and developed bonds that ran far deeper than sexual flings. Though his parents distanced themselves and old friends turned a cold shoulder, Josh felt he was finally free in his new identity as a gay man.

Josh is no caricature. His experiences and story are true, and they are common.

What if Josh were your neighbor or your co-worker or your son? How would you communicate the gospel to him? How would you tell him about the forgiveness of sins, the community of believers, and true identity in Jesus?

In one sense, there's no real difference in the way we'd give Josh the good news compared to any other person. Just because Josh is sexually attracted to people of the same gender doesn't make him foundationally different from anyone else.

For many of my Christian friends who love Jesus and struggle with same-sex attraction, the beauty of the gospel is that it addresses every area of their life, not just one expression of the fall. All believers know this truth. Whether we were once atheists, liars, Muslims, or self-righteous church attenders, there's no magical gospel just for "our sin." At the foot of the cross we are all equally in need of God's amazing grace.

At the same time, Josh has real questions that need to be answered. In the same way an atheist, Muslim, or self-righteous person would need the gospel to address them personally, we should learn to love Josh in his particular consideration of Jesus' claims. We should seek to help him find sound answers. Ideas to Keep in Mind

To share the gospel with Josh, or with anyone who may have questions like his, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

1. Hope in Jesus' power to help you.

It can be intimidating for people who have never struggled with same-sex attraction to share the gospel with a gay man or woman. As with anyone we share the gospel with, we fear how they may perceive us, and we may be tempted to think they'd never listen. The fear of man is a snare (Prov. 29:25). So rather than getting entangled in it, we must hope in Jesus' strength in us—not in our adequacy to bring the message (John 15:5; 2 Cor. 3:5). We must drink deeply of the gospel as we share it, for in it we find the power needed to be Jesus' witnesses (Acts 1:8). Hope in Jesus' power to help you.

2. Hold Jesus as supreme.

Friends like Josh will often want to bring the question of sexuality to the foreground in your conversation. But keep Jesus and his gospel central.

I encourage you to ask your friend to share his story with you. Ask him to help you understand how being gay became a central part of his identity. Or, if that's not his experience, inquire about where he does find his identity. Ask if there have been any hard times with his journey. Part of loving people is getting to know them.

As you do this, ask if you can tell him why you view your identity in Christ as supreme. In the end, we aren't trying to make people straight; we want people to be saved. While we never want to minimize sins that keep us from God, we want to magnify the one who brings us to God. Jesus came for sinners of all kinds, and we must keep that message central.

It's also good to keep in mind that all persons are sexual sinners—some in small ways, some in greater ways. This perspective helps us to reframe the conversation from "You're sexually broken and need to be like us" to "We're all sexual sinners who equally need Jesus." Jesus is the hope for all of us, no matter how the fall shows itself in our lives.

3. Have Jesus-like compassion and conviction.

Christians have sinned in at least two major ways when it comes to reaching those in the gay community. On the one hand, some have laid aside God's clear teaching that homosexuality is a sin in a misguided attempt to show God's love. Love stripped of truth is not love but deceit. This is a grave sin against both God and man.

Have Jesus-like conviction and speak the truth in love. Share what the Bible teaches about homosexual activity (Mark 7:21; Rom. 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:10). Warn about the terrible judgment for those who reject Christ (Rev. 20:11-15). Explain the great cost in following Christ as well as the great hope of forgiveness and freedom for those who do (Mk. 10:28-30).

On the other hand, some have neglected compassion and harbored a condescending attitude toward people who practice homosexual sin. Love stripped of compassion is not love but hypocrisy. This too is a grave sin and unlike Christ's love toward us.

As the God-man, Jesus was unstained by sin, yet he had remarkable compassion on sinners (Matt. 9:36). As we reach out to those in gay community, we must strive to do so with a similar heart. What could be more heartbreaking than for a person made in God's image to remain lost in her sin and forever separated from the love of God? Ask God to help you to see those in the gay community as he does so you can minister with Christlike conviction and compassion.

4. Keep Jesus' church central.

As it was for Josh, the gay community is a refuge from the rejection and inner turmoil many gay people experience. They find a place where they're accepted in their sin and embraced for "who they are."

I suspect one of the great antidotes to this powerful tool of the evil one is the community of the church. This may seem odd in light of the way many demonize the church for its "bigotry." But I trust that as we build relationships with gay friends and invite them into our homes and into our lives, they will see the true community of which they have only dreamed.

This blessing is only enhanced when we as the church grow in giving grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle with same-sex attraction. One of my most instructive times in the past decade was seeing a new believer get baptized and share openly about coming out of a gay lifestyle. He described how the church had not only shared the gospel compassionately, but was also helping him now to live as a new man battling old struggles. He said that in the church he'd found a refuge that challenged him not to embrace his sin, but to embrace the Savior.

Jesus said people will know we're his disciples by our love for one another (John 13:34-35). As you build relationships with gay friends, invite them into your life that they may hear the gospel, but also let them see it portrayed through the life of your local church.

5. Help answer their questions.

There are always objections to the gospel that few of us ever feel "fully ready" to answer. But God calls us to give a defense for our hope in Jesus (1 Pet. 3:15). Here are a few questions Josh has asked:

-Why do you believe some verses in the Old Testament and ignore others?

-Why did God make me gay if he condemns it as a sin?

-Why is it wrong for two loving people to be in a committed relationship?

-Do I have to become straight to become a Christian?

-Why didn't Jesus say anything about homosexuality?

-Can I become a gay Christian?

Part of our calling as Jesus' ambassadors is to help people work through questions like these and show that God's Word has answers. If you're unsure of how to respond, don't be afraid to humbly say, "That's a really important question; can we find the answer together?"

6. Have patience.

Have patience with them. Take the long view in evangelism. It's rare to share the gospel with someone and see him repent right away.

Impatience can tempt us to give up quickly when we don't see results. But people are people, not projects. We often won't see what God is doing in their lives. View yourself as part of God's means to help them see and hear the gospel of Jesus. Love is patient (1 Cor. 13:4). Show love by entering the relationship for the long haul.

7. Hope in Jesus' power to save.

The gospel is God's power for salvation (Rom. 1:16-17). The good news for a gay man or woman is the same good news for a straight man or woman. Homosexuality isn't the chief sin; unbelief is. The Lord Jesus died for all types of sins for all types of sinners.

So don't doubt the power of Christ. Pray fervently for soft hearts, open doors, and lasting fruit. Trust in God's wisdom and God's power, not your own. Remember that every Christian is a living miracle. If Jesus can save you, he can save anyone—including Josh.


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: gospel; homosexuality; redemption; sin

1 posted on 01/25/2014 7:23:17 AM PST by Gamecock
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To: Gamecock

Here in Romans 1 is the gospel truth of the end of sin and sinners who refuse to acknowledge the Word of God as truth and Jesus as Saviour,

Romans 1:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.


2 posted on 01/25/2014 7:30:21 AM PST by kindred (Conservative third party or America is dead, the golden goose has been stabbed to many times)
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To: Gamecock

This is a very good article. Thanks...


3 posted on 01/25/2014 7:31:22 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: Gamecock
My natural instinct is to try to get into bed with every woman I meet. However, as a man in Christ I try to use all my instincts to serve others. I'm not perfect at it, but I think it is a more noble calling than self-centered hedonism and pleasure-seeking.
4 posted on 01/25/2014 7:36:25 AM PST by Fido969 (What's sad is most)
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To: Gamecock
-Do I have to become straight to become a Christian?

WWRBS? (I should read that again.)

5 posted on 01/25/2014 7:46:25 AM PST by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means.")
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To: Gamecock

It’s a sick deviant self-chosen lifestyle. I couldn’t and wouldn’t support it even if it was family and I won’t change my beliefs.

My tolerance level for societies ills has peaked.


6 posted on 01/25/2014 7:49:49 AM PST by maddog55
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To: maddog55

It’s not about tolerating.

It’s about saving lost souls.


7 posted on 01/25/2014 7:55:21 AM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: Gamecock

I think a big problem is the word “gay” as it is understood in the community. When it is split from feelings versus activity, as the Church does in “homosexuality” versus “gay”, then the Gospel can be better understood, their questions can be better answered and understood.

We have the sinful crosses we have to carry, bear, and everyone’s are different and everyone is called to carry them joined to Christ, but understanding ours is the key.

If this community, individually, can see what Jesus and the Church is really asking of them, they can they argue the points with reason and not hurt and fear and see where the chips really stand for their true joy in life.

The hardest part will be to show the rest of us that they are struggling, like us, and so equal in dignity, like us. It’s not by passing laws but by trying hard, just like women and minorities getting their respect. Everyone respects a person who picks up his cross and drags it daily for Christ.


8 posted on 01/25/2014 8:18:44 AM PST by If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
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To: Gamecock
"Why didn't Jesus say anything about homosexuality?"

Jesus didn't speak about a lot of things that we know are sinful, and folks try to use that to justify their actions.

9 posted on 01/25/2014 8:22:41 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

I would say it was because as far as I know, there is no evidence than any 1st century Jew living in Palestine advocated homosexuality. Nobody in that part of the world Jesus lived in during his earthly ministry probably brought up the issue and it was already prohibited.

What we do know is that Jesus advocated 1 man-1 woman marriage(Matthew 19:4-6) and condemned sexual behavior outside of that(Mark 7:21) with the word fornications( translated from the Greek word porneia) which includes but is not limited to homosexual activity.


10 posted on 01/25/2014 8:35:42 AM PST by ReformationFan
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To: kindred

As biblical Christians we all here believe Romans 1 and the whole bible in condemning homosexual behavior. But just as Jesus didn’t quote Exodus 20:14 and shout, shaking His fist: “THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY!” when He was speaking to the woman at the well, in John 4, it’s usually not the best strategy to go to passages condemning a sin when sharing the good news to people. Most all people are aware—deep down—if they are involved in an ungodly, sinful lifestyle...that it is wrong, even if they say otherwise. One can be uncompromising on sin, without being in-their-face offensive about it.

Even if someone homosexual asks you to “prove” that the bible condemns homosexual behavior—I’d go for Leviticus 18:22 before Romans 1. Why? Paul’s main topic in Romans 1 is condemning COLLECTIVELY all of pagan society—using their acceptance of sexual perversion and idolatry as proof of its total corruption.

Leviticus 18, as part of the holiness code, is where very specifically homosexual behavior, along with incest, along with bestiality, along with adultery...is all specifically forbidden for God’s people. All of Western civilization’s sexual morality—stems from that passage, and it’s purpose is to instruct people, not, like Romans 1, to prove how bad a whole society is.

Even then, you had better know how to handle the Old Testament—and have solid answers why we don’t worry about blood (sex during menstruation), or eating shellfish, or executing someone who curses his parents.... Things WAY too many Christians are clueless about.

And as the article said, we must keep Jesus central—as non-believers automatically assume ethics—that is “being good”—is the point of faith, which is why they get so offended if they think Christians (as they inevitably assume) are saying “we’re more ethical/good than you are!”

No. We must come across as one beggar to another telling him where we have found a feast. The only “good” we have that is better than them....is Jesus Himself, our infinite good.


11 posted on 01/25/2014 8:36:42 AM PST by AnalogReigns (Real life is ANALOG!)
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To: Gamecock

Problem is, gay men tend to kick off earlier than most straight people which is why they maybe need to speed up their act to get right with God. I’m not particularly religious so it doesn’t really matter to me one way or the other.

Also, there are many gay “churches.” For years I had a lesbian neighbor who belonged to one in NYC. She showed me a picture of it - she was laying on top of the altar and her friends were prancing about, clowning and pointing towards the camera. She honestly thought this was somehow a religious experience. At that point I gave up trying to understand gay people.


12 posted on 01/25/2014 8:46:03 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: SuziQ
""Why didn't Jesus say anything about homosexuality?"

"Jesus didn't speak about a lot of things that we know are sinful, and folks try to use that to justify their actions."

Also, Jesus was God in the flesh. The entire Bible was His word, which naturally He was not going to contradict.

13 posted on 01/25/2014 8:51:03 AM PST by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males----the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization.))
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To: Gamecock
It can be intimidating for people who have never struggled with same-sex attraction to share the gospel with a gay man or woman.

We all deal with inappropriate sexual desires, the difference being the object of our attractions. We're in the same boat whether gay or straight. Without Christ in our lives we are all powerless to deal with inappropriate sexual desires. God's Word makes it clear that there is only one acceptable sexual union.

In our community recently, there were proposed city council mandates which under the guise of civil liberties promoted an aggressive homosexual agenda. In the political firestorm which ensued, some evangelism took place despite the heated debate. Some of the young men in our church made some real progress with some of the people in the gay community. People in the gay community are indoctrinated to believe that all Christians are self-righteous and uncaring. Because our young men were willing to admit that they too deal with sexual temptation (of course, of a different nature) and were willing to interact with them in a non-combative way, they did a great job of undermining the misconceptions of the gay community about Christians.

14 posted on 01/25/2014 8:58:50 AM PST by CommerceComet (Ignore the GOP-e. Cruz to victory in 2016.)
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To: Gamecock
The problem is on the one point of being gay..the world tells him he needs ask no forgiveness or healing ..no matter how gentle you share the gospel's you will be called a bigot a hater, not sharing love if you not say gay and straight relationship are equal in there ability to be blessed...you are telling him to abandon the world that give him refuge.

God is love and God is truth but in love and truth there is pain ..in healing and forgiveness there is pain...but the world wants no pain from their gods..the expect god to be their slave to provide for their whim and will else he has no place in “their world”

15 posted on 01/25/2014 9:31:09 AM PST by tophat9000 (Are we headed to a Cracker Slacker War?)
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To: If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
I think a big problem is the word “gay” as it is understood in the community. When it is split from feelings versus activity, as the Church does in “homosexuality” versus “gay”, then the Gospel can be better understood, their questions can be better answered and understood.

...

If this community, individually, can see what Jesus and the Church is really asking of them, they can they argue the points with reason and not hurt and fear and see where the chips really stand for their true joy in life.

Would you mind elaborating? I'm having trouble reading between the lines today. (True, not sarcasm) I think what you're saying would be helpful to me. Thanks.


16 posted on 01/25/2014 10:03:27 AM PST by gitmo (If your theology doesn't become your biography, what good is it?)
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To: Gamecock

This is a very god article, Gamecock. Thanks for posting it.


17 posted on 01/25/2014 10:23:06 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (What does the LORD require of you, but to act justly, to love tenderly, to walk humbly with your God)
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To: Gamecock

I mean a very “good” article. But God’s in there, too!


18 posted on 01/25/2014 10:23:42 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (What does the LORD require of you, but to act justly, to love tenderly, to walk humbly with your God)
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To: maddog55

As in Roman’s I don’t think it’s so much a choice for some as a symptom of wrong relationship with God; Homosexuality is caused by an idolatry of self (and more specifically a sexual idolatry) that causes one to replace God with themselves and their sexual nature.

Jesus naturally repairs this relationship when one receives Him in the Biblical way (born again).

This is a good article that speaks the truth.


19 posted on 01/25/2014 10:45:49 AM PST by JSDude1 (Defeat Hagan, elect a Constutional Conservative: Dr. Greg Brannon!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

LOL!


20 posted on 01/25/2014 10:50:15 AM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: Gamecock
""Why didn't Jesus say anything about homosexuality?"

He did. He condemned "pornea" which is the Greek word for all unlawful and ungodly sexual practices. This would have certainly included homosexual behavior in first century Israel.

21 posted on 01/25/2014 10:52:46 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity

He did throughout all Scripture.


22 posted on 01/25/2014 11:20:52 AM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: AnalogReigns
Even then, you had better know how to handle the Old Testament—and have solid answers why we don’t worry about blood (sex during menstruation), or eating shellfish, or executing someone who curses his parents.... Things WAY too many Christians are clueless about.

I would be interested in seeing an explanation of that.


23 posted on 01/25/2014 12:40:53 PM PST by gitmo (If your theology doesn't become your biography, what good is it?)
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To: Gamecock

Wow, this article couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me.


24 posted on 01/25/2014 12:42:14 PM PST by ShasheMac
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To: Gamecock

Amen.


25 posted on 01/25/2014 12:44:38 PM PST by ShasheMac
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