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Thread: Friend Just Came Out as Homosexual

  1. #1
    Junior Member Sarah H.'s Avatar
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    Friend Just Came Out as Homosexual

    I have a friend who has recently come out as gay. He is a dear friend and I care for him deeply. I'm stuck between doctrine and practice as I believe what the bible says about homosexuality, but at the same time believe grace and love win out over shaming and shunning. Otherwise, I'm no better than the Pharisees and Sadducees. I'm tempted to acknowledge the tension to my friend and just leave it where it is and tell him I still love him and value his friendship and if he ever wants to talk about the doctrine piece that I am open to it. I don't think, however, that I could go to his wedding (if they have one). This is the first time this has really hit this close to home. I'm looking for prayer and would take some feedback, as well.

  2. #2
    I share in your feelings, where I have a longtime friend whom I stay in touch with on Facebook who is homosexual. While he is acutely aware of the biblical commentary about the reproach and judgment of such a lifestyle, he continues to surrender himself entirely to a liberal ideology, to substantiate his preferred lifestyle, while attending a pro-homosexual church.

    While we almost daily lob conservative-liberal conflicts back and forth, we have the utmost respect and patience with each other. Compassion is the foundation of our relationship, resulting in personal respect, nothing short of what the Lord would have us live out. I have never had a head on conversation with him about his choice against the teachings of Scripture, where in this day of instant information, no one is ignorant about the details of such a matter. I do, when opportunity avails itself, clarify what Scripture reveals about certain details in life, when he shares a preposterous liberal notion. At least he does not react with rejection, scoffing, denial or hurt, where he cannot deny the truth.

    In your friend’s case, Sarah, you might be his only lifeline back to moral sanity against his journey into darkness of the soul. Situations are always different, therefore results vary. No, I would not attend a homosexual wedding either, where such an appearance would be as a blessing of the consummation. The Holy Spirit instructed us through Paul to "Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thess. 5:22. Or, don't participate in what the ungodly pursue. We need not become legalistic regarding what others may perceive to be evil. But we do need to remain cognizant of our witness to the world and of our duty to support fellow believers.

    The great dilemma for Christians is to share the truth of God's Word, which includes the passages against homosexuality while simultaneously expressing God's love for homosexuals and all humanity. Liberals demand this, but unfortunately it can't be done without compromising the Word of God. No matter how loving God-fearing Christians try to be, homosexuals will never be content until Christians are totally silenced and supportive of their perverse lifestyles. The truth is, we cannot genuinely love God without hating evil (Psalm 97:10). God’s hate is a perfect hate that should well up from within, without discrimination or bias.

    Jude 1:22–23 further states, “Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” This tells us, our evangelism should be characterized by mercy for the sinner and a biblical hatred of sin and its effects.

    Publicans and sinners came to Jesus because they knew the Lord loved them and didn't condemn them for their sins. John 3:20 reveals that those who loved their sin didn't come to the Lord, lest their deeds should be reproved. It was broken sinners who came to Jesus, who knew they were on the wrong path. As Christians we should ultimately love everyone, while keeping in mind that our battle is not against human flesh and blood; but rather, against spiritual principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).

    It is undeniable that a battle rages, where we can read about the polarity of opposing forces in Proverb 29:27, “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.”

  3. #3
    Christ's Bride Johanna's Avatar
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    I like your question Sarah because it shows mercy and compassion towards unbelievers. We sometimes forget our call from the Lord was to preach the Gospel, preach Christ, who came to the world not to condemn or judge the world but to save it What a loving God we have! I've seen many Christians breaking relationships with unbelievers but in reality we are called to be a light to the world, not to hide that light... so I'll be praying for you, so that the Lord may guide you in every decision you make, for His glory!

  4. #4
    Junior Member Sarah H.'s Avatar
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    Thank you very much for your thoughtful responses. I appreciate the wisdom, godly insight, and prayerful consideration. I truly value this group.

  5. #5
    Jennifer and I have family members and family friends who are openly gay. We have never talked about the issue with them, but they are completely aware of what we do, and by whom we are employed (Cru, a global missions organization). And my sincerest prayer is that they continue to experience love and grace in their interactions with us. They are our friends and family, and we love them, despite not necessarily agreeing with all their choices, some of which are sinful.

    You know. Like everyone else who we call friends and family.

    S. E. Ray (as always) makes some great points about being careful not to affirm their consummation by attending the wedding. But, to be honest, I'd have to think/pray about that one a bit more.

    As S. E. Ray rightly notes, we don't want to become legalistic or obsess about what other people think. But in this case, my biggest concern with anyone is not how soon I can talk about their sin, but how quickly we can talk about Jesus. Getting to the gospel is solution for all sins - the ones I know about and the ones I don't.

    Attending their wedding might on the surface may seem to affirm the wrong thing, in the same way that people thought it scandalous that Jesus hung out with prostitutes. But it may be the very thing that buys you enough personal equity with them to have a deeper conversation later about the gospel.

    The worst case is people will think you affirm the wrong things. The best case scenario is that they will you know you love THEM, even if you have to explain later that you were there to affirm them, and not necessarily to affirm their union.

    I see a number of examples where Jesus loved people (despite judgment from others) before addressing their sin.

    By Jewish law, for Him to even have a conversation with a Samaritan woman at the well, let alone ask her for water, was scandalous. But he did that before he called out her sin or outed himself as the Messiah. (Of course, that pun was intended).

    To the woman caught in adultery, he disarms and dismisses her accusers (who had her dead to rights according to the law) before he tells her to sin no more.

    So I don't know. I'm sort of in process on the "Would I attend the wedding" issue. The balance of loving the people and having the relational capital it takes to have a gospel conversation is difficult.

    I'm not trying to stir the pot - I'm glad there are forums like this to discuss things and hear others' thoughts.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Sarah H.'s Avatar
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    ScottN, I am glad there are forums like this, as well, and I know we are capable of these conversations as mature (or maturing) Christians. I welcome your thoughts, as I always do, and you give me food for thought. In my initial post, I stated that I didn't think I could go to the (at this point hypothetical) wedding. The inference there being that I didn't think it would be appropriate for the reasons people have named, but yet not at 100% confidence.

    As I stated, tension.

    I loved what you had to say about building relational capital. Again, ambivalence arises as I feel I have all ready done that with him, and at the same time acknowledge that needs to be rebuilt to some extent in the context of this new discovery.

    He considers me one of his closest friends, and while I'm not responsible for his salvation, I know God may want to use me to point him to Jesus. I don't want to mess that up. I don't take this lightly.

    And then I must hold this together with what I see happening in our culture with not just the "gay agenda", but with sin, in general, being openly embraced. I see how we have become anesthetized to it and some of the impacts of liberal theology. It makes my head spin.

  7. #7
    ScottN, I had deliberated on the paragraph you discussed, but normally have to ferret down my comments due to space limitations tongue emoticon The reason I expressed my understanding about participating in a homosexual consummation is in fact when Jesus was found in the house of Matthew the Tax Collector among the winebibbers, prostitutes and other social outcasts. He was not attending an event to celebrate the unification of a sinful relationship, the launch of ungodly business, or some other misgivings of the world, but instead availed himself to a man who had deep remorse growing from within his heart. Yes, Jesus would have crossed into Hell itself as to deliver even one soul. PTL!

    I would quickly reference the question of, “Should I date a non-believer hoping that my being involved in their life will possible entice them, and motivate them to be become a Christian?” I think most of us know that “missionary dating” is essentially not permissible, where there is no sound biblical warrant to justify it. 2 Corinthians 6:17 is a passage that typically champions that consideration, “Therefore, "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." Accompanied by, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?" (2 Cor. 6:14-15). When it comes to relationships with those not abiding in Christ, we are to love and care for them, but not “abide” with them, where we will eventually weaken and become partakers in their folly.

    As far as affording an opportunity to witness, it is not ours to be ambitious as to look for an opportunity. While there are countless Christian books, teachers, and purported Christian life coaches today that encourage believers to develop their personal ambition, fortitude and methods to scour for opportunities to share the Gospel. I find the biblical criteria is to instead be Holy Spirit filled servants, as to be ready for that hour comes unexpectedly. The Lord will usher people into our paths when we walk in Him, we never have to plot or plan, rehearse scripts or methods to develop opportunities, which is the wisdom of men, but instead, "...do not worry about how or what you are to speak, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Luke 12:11-12

    I realize that many would contend that a Christian should have no qualms about attending a gay wedding and that one’s presence at a gay wedding does not necessarily indicate support for the homosexual lifestyle. Rather, they view it as extending Christ's love toward a friend. The thought is that one’s presence at a wedding ceremony is an act of love and friendship toward the person—not toward the lifestyle or spiritual choices. We do not hesitate to support friends and loved ones who struggle with other sins. Showing support and unconditional love could open doors of opportunity in the future. Sounds like a good argument in support of doing so.

    The problem is that a gay wedding is a celebration of two people who are living a lifestyle that God declares to be immoral and unnatural (Romans 1:26-27). A gay wedding dishonors marriage by perverting its meaning. Unlike weddings of those in other faiths, a gay wedding does not qualify as a marriage, according to what God declares marriage to be. There is no way around the fact that a gay wedding ceremony is a celebration of sin. We support an alcoholic friend by helping him refrain from drinking, not by going to a bar with him. We support a friend addicted to pornography by making him accountable and gaining help, not by giving him an external hard drive for more space. We do not help our misguided friends by attending an event where their sin is applauded, or by signing a guest book at a celebration of homosexuality.

    It is admirable to show love to a friend, not matter their persuasion. It is good to available our lives as a witness to and show kindness and love to our gay friends. However, it is my conviction that such motivations are misguided when it comes to attending a gay wedding. Christians have a responsibility to stand up for righteousness, even if it results in pain, division, or hatred (Luke 12:51-53; John 15:18). This is a challenge point that Christian often cave in, where they want to be liked, not despised as a religious zealot. But remember this well, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you." John 15:18-19

    If invited to a gay wedding, it is certainly my conviction that a believer in Jesus Christ should respectfully decline. If after much prayer, study of God’s Word, thought, and discussion, you are led to a different conviction, I would not disparage anyone’s faith or question their commitment to Christ.

  8. #8
    Under Christ Roger's Avatar
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    This is a subject that I have had plenty of exposer to. Living in Charleston SC for 40 years (the San Francisco of the east coast) I have had coworkers, friends and my late wife’s brother who were sexually deviant. Before I was regenerated it was not an issue. I myself was chief among sinners but, my sins were not with a same sex attraction. After being baptized in the Holy Spirit an amazing thing happened. They decided they didn’t want to be around me. I never preached to them, told them what they were doing was wrong or condemned them in anyway. They just felt uncomfortable around me.

    I did buy Bibles, give the gospel message and shared Bible verses as led by the Holy Spirit and asked by them for encouragement but I never addressed their specific sin. I knew through my own experience that Jesus is the one that will bring about that conviction of change in their lives when He redeems them. Their sins are the same as the other sins listed in 1 Cor 6 and it is specific “as some of you were”
    We are given very good guide lines about not approving of their sin since it makes us equally guilty-Romans 1:32, but having causal interaction is of personal conviction. I have used the following verses in my personal struggle in relationships:

    1 Cor 5.9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

    Romans 12 the full chapter but emphasis on 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God." Matt 18:15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[e] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[f] loosed in heaven. 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

    Galatians 5& 6 –both chapters. So the take away I have form these verses is, if someone claims to be a brother or sister in Christ I am to treat them with higher standards than those in the world. My primary job is to be a faithful witness and remember that if my lifestyle is not bringing convection on others I need to check my walk. I know from personal experience that when I am walking closer to the Lord His Spirit causes discomfort to those in sin since, the job of the Holy Spirit listed in John 16:8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 About sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

    Hope you will find this helpful as we try to live in this world but not be of it.

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