- Ordinances being passed which grant homosexuals and lesbians equal rights to practice and promote their “lifestyle”
- The formation of gay churches, even the ordination of gay priests and ministers in mainstream Protestant denominations
- Cities like San Francisco and Key West which appear to cater to the open display of homosexual behavior
How shall Christians react to all this? I believe it is our responsibility to openly and willingly face this problem in several ways.
WE NEED TO SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE
First, we need to present the truth of God on the subject of homosexuality, but in the proper way. I fear that many Christians betray a true “homophobia” in their reaction against homosexuality, and often come close to “gay bashing” in their efforts to stem the tide of increasing acceptance of homosexuality in our society.
Though we need to present what God’s Word teaches on the subject, let us do so by “speaking the truth in love” (Ep 4:15 ). We who profess to be Christians should remember the admonition of the apostle Paul when it comes to sharing God’s Word with those with whom we differ:
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (2 Ti 2:24-26 )
There is no place for a self-righteous, arrogant attitude on the part of those who but for the grace of God would be just as guilty of sins as those we are trying to reach! Otherwise, we sin at the same time we are trying to lead others out of sin…
UNDERSTAND WHAT CAUSES HOMOSEXUALITY
Before we can properly teach the truth in love to others, we need to have a understanding of how one becomes a homosexual. I realize that many would take issue with the statement that one “becomes” a homosexual. In the “nature or nurture” debate currently going on, most people would say that the cause of homosexuality is either genetic or environmental. As we’ll discussed later, I believe it is more complex than simply either/or. Though I don’t believe people are “born homosexual,” there are genetic factors that can make some individuals more likely to develop a “predisposition” towards homosexuality (more on this later).
But until we do understand the complexity of what causes homosexuality, it is unlikely that we will appreciate how deeply ingrained homosexuality can become in some people, and the extreme difficulty one faces if they choose to abandon it. The longsuffering and love required on the part of those who would help homosexuals demands this understanding.
BE READY TO ASSIST THOSE WHO DESIRE TO OVERCOME HOMOSEXUALITY
Even as Jesus was quick to receive sinners and to lead them to the way of righteousness and life everlasting, so should those who claim to be His disciples. Again, the challenge will be to do it in the proper way.
Paul’s instructions to the Galatians can serve as a good beginning:
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Ga 6:1-2 )
In a spirit of gentleness we need to be able to show them how, and to provide the encouragement they will need along the way.
It is my prayer that the material presented in this study can be a positive step toward helping Christians to accomplish these three things.