How to answer tough questions

I Can't Believe in a Religion That Condemns My Gay Friends

Conversation Stopper

In 2002 I was talking with a student who wanted to join our student leadership team for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Nevada, Reno. As the conversation came to an end I asked him if there was anything he felt that I should know as he moved forward into this position of leadership. He slowly hung his head and he began to shake and cry and he whispered that he was gay. I thanked him for his honesty and affirmed my commitment to him as a friend and mentor. I knew that for years this had been for him a shameful secret and something that he quietly struggled with alone. I wanted him to know the love that God had for him out of Romans 8 that says “Nothing can separate you from the love of God, neither height nor depth nor any other created thing.” I felt that the most important thing for my friend at that moment was not that he hear Bible verses about homosexuality but that he hear God’s voice of love and sense God’s heart for him.

Assumptions

  • If you reject the homosexual lifestyle you are unloving.
  • Our sexuality defines our identity.
  • You are part of a religion that condemns homosexuals if you don’t accept the homosexual lifestyle.
  • I have gay friends and you don’t.

Talking Points

  • How have you experienced rejection and condemnation from religious people? I am so sorry that you had that experience and I want to tell you that what you experienced breaks God’s heart. It’s not right that you experienced that and it is not.
  • Many people believe that the Bible singles out homosexuality as the worst sin but the truth is that when the Bible talks about homosexuality there is almost always a list of other sins sexual and otherwise listed with it. Homosexuality is a sin but it is no greater a sin then selfishness, gossip, stealing or pride! In fact a case could be made that the greatest sin was spiritual pride as Jesus was always the most upset with religious people who judged people and placed heavy burdens on “sinners” who seemed far from God. If Jesus was around today he would most likely be hanging around drug addicts, street people and homosexuals…those that society has abandoned.
  • Are you unloving if you reject any type of lifestyle? As Christians we don’t have the option to pick and choose what we believe out of the bible. So for me it is a matter of integrity and keeping my belief intact. Can you see how it is intolerant to expect me to compromise in this area when it goes against what is clear in the bible? It doesn’t make me unloving to reject this lifestyle as healthy it actually makes me consistent. And while I disagree with the lifestyle I actually have many friendships with those that identify themselves as homosexual. I am able to maintain friendships with people that I have differing opinions with are you able to maintain your friendship with me?
  • If you believe in one thing you are always rejecting something else. Too often when people reject a lifestyle they reject people that have adopted that lifestyle. I have seen many that say they follow Jesus do this exact thing and it is ironic because Jesus seemed to be able to deeply love people even though he disagreed with their lifestyle. Jesus challenged people that were living apart from the Kingdom of God to reject an empty lifestyle of sin and embrace abundant and full life that you can only find in relationship with him. My hope for you is that you would accept the life that Jesus is offering to you.
  • Is your sexuality your identity? At some point all of us will lose that ability to be sexually active and our identity will hopefully contain much more than our sexuality. This is the problem with identifying ourselves by something that will not last. So the question is what part of your identity will last beyond this life and as a follower of Jesus I believe that it is our relationship with God.
  • For your friends that are struggling with homosexuality and are Christians I would suggest helping them to process that by figuring out their identity…”Are you a Christian that is struggling with homosexuality or are you a homosexual struggling with Christianity?”

Additional Resources:

Describe some ways in which you could be more loving to someone in your life. Please don't use names.

Place your thoughts in a comment below.

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Comments

2/3 of homeless gay and

2/3 of homeless gay and lesbian minors come from Evangelical families. Isn't it time to address the Evangelical lifestyle of getting married, having kids, and throwing them out on the street because of how they were born?

If conservative Christians

If conservative Christians want to love gays even while they condemn same-sex romantic or sexual relationships, they need to actually show it. Why are they the last to condemn to hate crimes? Why are the most religious states more likely to be the ones where people can lose their jobs for merely being attracted to the same sex? Why are they the ones claiming that they need the legal right to refuse to serve customers merely for being gay?

Lose their jobs for sexual

Lose their jobs for sexual orientation? Where? I think the opposite is true. Look at the CEO of Mozilla who lost his job for supporting his belief in traditional marriage. The reason homosexuality gets so much attention from Christians is because its one of the only condemnable sins that groups march in support of and pass legislation for acceptance. There are no marches on Washington for adulter's rights or Alcholics of America. We all have choices. Not everyone is going to Heaven and that's the hard truth no one wants to accept.

I appreciate that your

I appreciate that your comment may be sincere, but you are poorly informed. In my state, Pennsylvania, a person can be fired for being gay, with no other reason required. I believe that the current number of states which allow this is 18. You can also be evicted from your housing for being gay. Can you name one state where you legally can be fired from your job or lose your housing because of being Christian? The CEO of Mozilla was not fired for supporting traditional marriage but rather for supporting discrimination against some of the Mozilla employees.

Comparing gay people to adultery or alcoholism is an easy argument to make. I could compare Chrisitanity to the Taliban or ISIS, but that doesn't make it right. Clearly Christians do pick and choose what they practice from the Bible and I don't see anything wrong with that, but don't pretend that you must condemn homosexuality because it is a minor reference in the Bible. On judgment day, I think Christians who have decided to sit in judgment on others will be in for big surprise. It won't give me any satisfaction and I feel sorry for them, just as you now seem to feel sorry for gay people and the fate they await.

Sexuality is sacred. As a

Sexuality is sacred. As a christian, Jesus is lord over everything including sexuality. Would Jesus approve of inappropriate sexual behavior of we don't repent?

Yes the ceo of mozilla had to resign because he has supported prop 8 (gave some money).

Is it loving to keep

Is it loving to keep reinforcing negative stereotypes of LGBT?

http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/post/27909731175/no-im-not-in-the-gay-lifest...

So yes, it’s a lifestyle, but it’s not “the gay lifestyle." It’s a stereotype.

Like most stereotypes, of course, there is a nugget of truth to it; I do know gay men who live that way. In fact, a number of the most prominent “ex-gay" leaders say they used to live that kind of lifestyle. In their minds, that really is “the gay lifestyle," which is how they justify telling people that they’re no longer “gay" just because they stopped living that way—even though they’re still attracted to the same sex.

But see, there are also many straight people who live promiscuous lives based on sex and pleasure-seeking, and yet we would never call theirs a “straight lifestyle." Why? Because we know that they don’t represent all straight people. They are a subset of straight people.