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.

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