A Fresh Approach: A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality

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Preface: This post (like my entire blog) is intended for Christ-following people who believe the God of the Bible. If you don’t place yourself in that category, you’re welcome to continue reading. [How could I stop you, after all? :)] But my goal is to approach this matter from the perspective of one who wants to follow Jesus Christ in this and every aspect of life, relying on the source of truth He gave us: the Bible. 

Must-read post offering a Christian perspective on homosexuality. A fresh approach that is gospel-centered & love-saturated without compromising the truth.

Before proceeding, if you haven’t already done so, please read the first post in this mini-series about homosexuality: What Would Jesus Say to a Homosexual? It provides a critical foundation for today’s post.

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“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

That pretty much sums up the perspective of many Christians toward homosexuality.

While I agree with the bare bones of these words, I’ve come to see that the topic of homosexuality is so much deeper than this.

Oh, so much deeper and so much more complex.

I suspect that reducing it to just six words cheapens the issue. It cheapens it for those hearing the words…

and it cheapens it for me.

It reveals a heart that might be too casual toward precious souls God loves. It reveals a shallow understanding of the issues and the people involved. Perhaps most of all, it keeps a barrier between “us” and “them.”

Because really, I suspect the “love the sinner” part is no more than an afterthought – a string of words that slides off my tongue and assuages my conscience for not actually showing them love at all.

I’ve determined that I cannot in good conscience utter this phrase again without fulfilling these caveats. I hope you’ll prayerfully consider them with me.

I won’t say I hate their sin until I’m actively hating my own. Ouch. Yes, I stepped on my own toes; so if yours are sore, too, know that you’re not alone. But let’s not mince words here: it’s easy to boast a hatred for the sin of others while secretly harboring complete satisfaction with my own.

And that bears nothing of the gospel.

Pointing out the sins of others while failing to realize the depth of our own sin and its depraved nature before a holy God reeks of the Pharisee-ism Jesus rebuked so very harshly. And I don’t want any part of that. I don’t think you do, either.

I won’t say I love the sinner unless I’m truly loving them. “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (I John 3:18). This verse, shared in the context of taking care of the physical needs of those within the Church, is no less God’s heart for our love of all people He made and loves.

And I have to say, too often, the love I profess falls so far short of action. It falls so fall short of sympathy. It falls so far short of looking into someone’s eyes and listening like I care, and being willing to be vulnerable with someone who isn’t just like me.

I don’t know about you, but I see the issue of homosexuality as one that is growing and growing and growing in our land. And I just really want to know how God wants me to view it. I’m desperate to seek His face in this, and desperate for the Church to seek His face in it, too.

Jesus told the adulterous woman to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Should Christ-followers demand that homosexuals give up their homosexual practice, shouting from the rooftops that they ought to “go and sin no more”?

It stands to reason that a Christ-follower would want to…well, follow Christ, so it seems the answer must be “yes.” And that’s basically what we’ve been doing.

But I’m not sure it’s working very well.

And I suspect it’s because we ourselves are not without sin, as our Savior was.

Must-read post offering a Christian perspective on homosexuality. A fresh approach that is gospel-centered & love-saturated without compromising the truth.

A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality

So what should we say? How should we respond? I’m not sure, but I think these nine points are a good start.

1.)Have a proper view of my own sin, and an ever humble awareness of it. We’re just broken-made-whole people ourselves. In his book, Counter Culture, David Platt does an excellent job discussing the point that we’re all predisposed to sexual sin to some degree, in some way, shape, or form.

“But homosexuality is so disgusting! It’s unnatural and just…wrong!” Oh, but here’s the thing, beloved friend: perversion isn’t defined by what’s disgusting to me. It’s defined by what’s disgusting to God. Perversion is anything that defies and distorts God’s created design.

It’s easy for heterosexuals to piously label homosexuality a perversion. It’s the truth, but only a partial one; the full truth is that anything sexual that takes place outside of a husband-wife relationship is a perversion. This includes harboring sexual desires for another, encouraging sexual desires in another, and even crude and coarse speech about sex. It includes the beach reads on our e-readers and the repeated stolen glances and the flirty text messages.

I suspect that even many cases of divorce might be labeled a perversion. For don’t divorces that fall outside the parameters established in the Bible defy God’s created design?

Oh, my friends, we’ll only have compassion on other “sinners” as we remember how very often we ourselves fall short.

2.)Claim Christ’s forgiveness of my sin, and His power in walking uprightly. The Gospel means I can confess my sin before God, receiving His forgiveness and being cleansed from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) Hallelujah!

The Gospel means I can and must walk in self-control. Paul tells us so clearly that we can expect our testimony to be meaningless if we’re not exhibiting self-control in our lives (I Corinthians 9:27).

The Gospel means I can and must walk by the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). And as I walk in the Spirit, free from known sin in my own life, it is then that I can see clearly to have proper discernment about the sins of others (Matthew 7:1-5).

Yes, we must be aware of our sin. But that awareness shouldn’t silence us. It should drive us to the cross for cleansing, and it should drive us to compassion for those who haven’t yet met a Savior there.

Must-read post offering a Christian perspective on homosexuality. A fresh approach that is gospel-centered & love-saturated without compromising the truth.

3.)Remember that homosexuals are people. Broken, bruised, battle-worn souls just like me. Souls that have already been deeply wounded. Souls that Jesus gave His very life for. Souls that He loves with no less passion than He loves you and me.

Friends, don’t breeze past that statement. I fear that in our disgust with a sin we can’t understand and frankly find repulsive, we’ve come dangerously close to dehumanizing homosexuals altogether. Jesus loves them passionately; He pursues them just as hard and fast as He pursues you.

The truth I must claim back is that homosexuals are not my enemies. No matter what debates and debacles are taking place politically in this country. It’s time that we stop falling for the lie that homosexuality is an argument to be won. Those involved in it will not be swayed by our logic. They’ve heard it all before, and they would probably use the words ad nauseam to describe it.

They will only be won by encountering God and by having a heart changed through the power of the Holy Spirit.

4.)Pray for myself as I engage this issue. Beg God for His unconditional love to flow through me, and ask Him to give me the proper mindset toward it. “God, please change my heart” is a prayer God delights in hearing, and one He delights in answering. I need God’s protection over my mind and my heart, that I might not be lured into sin myself. I need God’s wisdom to know when to speak and when to remain silent. I need God’s grace as He allows me to cooperate with Him in His work in the world.

5.)Pray for those I know personally who are practicing homosexuality. Pray for their families and for their friends. Pray that other Christians in their lives would show love to them. Pray that they would encounter the Gospel. Pray that the Holy Spirit would draw them toward Himself. With God, nothing is impossible. Nothing too difficult. No one beyond His reach.

6.)Embrace those I know personally and those I meet who are practicing homosexuality. Greet them warmly. Interact with them kindly. Spend time with them, getting to know them as the people they are. Find out what you have in common with them. Invite them into your life, and anticipate an invitation into theirs.

One lie that’s wreaking havoc in our culture is that sexuality is one of our primary identifiers. I believe it’s part of the worship of romantic love and sex that’s so prevalent. We would do well to reject this lie, which will better enable us to connect with people involved in homosexual practice. They are first and foremost people, not homosexuals.

7.)Trust God’s leading in my relationship with them. I need to be content to stay silent about homosexuality unless God opens a door for me to speak. Homosexuals are not projects. They’re not eagerly anticipating my arrival in their lives, searching the horizon for my flying form soaring in the sky as I approach and then swoop in to save them. Oh, but we long for them to be saved, don’t we? And that can cause us to take matters into our own hands.

Lest you mistake my intent, let me be clear that I’m not advocating passivity or apathy, but discernment. As we grow closer to those involved in homosexuality and they begin to understand that we are Christians, they will likely already know how we feel about the issue. Tell God that you’ll walk through any open doors He shows you, but that you won’t force an issue without His clear leading. Be willing to tread lightly – they’ve likely already experienced plenty of the “bull in a china shop” approach.

Must-read post offering a Christian perspective on homosexuality. A fresh approach that is gospel-centered & love-saturated without compromising the truth.

8.)Point them toward Jesus at every opportunity. And here it is – the most important thing. The only thing that will change someone’s heart is the Gospel. You see, I really think we’re horribly ill-suited for the role of sinless One beckoning the homosexual to “Go and sin no more.”

The “go and sin no more,” after all, came only after an encounter with Jesus.

Our rightful place is that of the adulterous woman running back to town, beckoning the people to “Come and see a Man who told me all that I ever did” (John 4:29). And so we must implore them to come and see a Man! “Let me tell you about the wounds I bore. Let me tell you about the chains I wore. Let me tell you about the healing and the freedom I now have. Let me tell you about this Jesus who loves you so.”

9.)Pray for the effects of the homosexual agenda in our nation. While I’ve considered at length how God wants us to interact personally with people who are involved in homosexuality, I’m aware that a whole other facet to this issue is the political implication of the “gay rights” movement.

I’m not a politician, but I am a citizen, and I do have strong beliefs about these issues in our culture and in our nation. These are matters Christ-followers ought to be passionate about. For example, I vote in favor of preserving God’s created design for marriage between one man and one woman. I also believe businesses should be free to do business or not do business with whomever they choose.

But as Christ-followers, it is imperative that we not allow the “gay rights movement” to control our thinking. We must not let it sway our unconditional love for individuals God brings across our paths. We must not let it convince us that people are our enemy, when they are in fact captives of the true enemy of all mankind. Captives just like I was before I met Jesus.

Oh, how we desperately need grace! To stand strong against a movement with soft hearts toward its people seems an impossible task.

How thankful I am for His grace that promises to always be enough. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I’m claiming it today. I hope you will, too.

You might love these Christian perspectives on hot topics:

 

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39 Replies to “A Fresh Approach: A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality”

  1. Jennifer Umphenour

    Thank you for sharing your heart on this matter. I do have a few causal friends who are gay and all I have ever tried to do is to treat them as I would want to be treated. I hope that one day my actions will point them to Jesus, but most of all, I hope they know that I care for them as people, as God’s beautiful creation.
    Thank you for being brave to discuss a subject that is full of passion and causes such divisiveness in our world. You spoke life giving words.

    Reply
  2. Lisa Stalcup

    Thank you for your thoughtful commentary on this very controversial and delicate subject. I agree with you about looking deeply at our own sins first before attempting to minister to others. The church is filled with sinning people who are not repenting in many areas of sin. There are many right now who are rationalizing pre-marital sex (fornication) and many pastors who are engaged in pornography secretly. For those outsiders who are watching those of us who claim to be Christ followers, we need to be cleaning up our messes personally and as a body and then maybe those who are also hurting from sinful behaviors will be more inclined to see Christ through us and wish to join. If we can be more vulnerable about our own sins instead of hiding as many do, maybe others will put more trust in the church. I do not wish to appear to condone sin here and I do believe that repentance is the answer to any sin problem because a pattern of sin that continues is very dangerous. I am also seeking to understand how to address this issue in a way that is loving and powerful to help. I will pray for you as you continue to seek answers and hope that many will join in a prayerful way to get the Lord’s best plan for addressing this issue in God’s best way for a time such as this! God bless! Lisa Stalcup

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hello, Lisa, and welcome! I wholeheartedly agree with all that you’ve said. We who claim the name of Christ are in desperate need of revival – a renewed awareness of our sin, a humble brokenness over it, and a committed repentance for it. We really can’t expect to have an impact in our nation or in our world apart from living holy lives – our testimony hinges on people seeing Christ’s freeing power in us! Thanks so much for reading, and for hearing my heart here. Blessings to you!

      Reply
  3. Debbie Williamson

    Thanks Jennifer for your thoughtful approach to this. It is one the world wrestles with and as Christians, we are called to love as Jesus loves. So for me, I choose to love. The world will know we are His disciples by how we love one another. Visiting from Grace and Truth.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Yes, Debbie, we’re certainly called to love and to be ministers of the grace with which we’ve been so freely lavished. That’s what compels me about Jesus’ treatment of the adulterous woman – the hope He offered her and the compassion with which He treated her served to show her a better Way. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts!

      Reply
  4. Kylie

    I really love what you said in this. The only thing I don’t agree with is allowing businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community. I believe that if Jesus owned a business, He would keep it open to everyone, viewing it as a way to share the Gospel with them. You are entitled to your own opinion on this pressing issue, but keep in mind what Jesus and the scriptures have said when you form it. Thank you for sharing your views. I agree wholeheartedly with (almost) everything. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hello, Kylie, and welcome! Thank you for reading, and for taking the time to get in touch. I appreciate your admonition to keep God’s Word at the forefront of all that I do at A Divine Encounter; that is my utmost priority in all that I do and in all that I write. If you find anything that I say to be in contradiction to a particular part of the Scriptures, please do let me know! My goal in writing is to point people toward the God who loves them and who wants to be with them – and the way we get to know Him is through His revealed Word, the Bible.

      You’ve raised an interesting question – I’ve never really considered what it would look like if Jesus owned a business today. But I would like to clarify that my support of a business owner’s right to make choices about whom they do business with is unilateral; I support the rights of Christian business owners, gay business owners, Muslim business owners, and all business owners to choose who they do or do not want to do business with. If a Muslim baker didn’t want to make a Christian-themed cake, I would support their right to refuse that contract. If a homosexual baker wanted to make cakes solely for so-called “gay weddings,” I would support their right to refuse to make cakes for heterosexual weddings. It has to do with my belief that the government should minimize its involvement in commerce, not that Christians should discriminate against homosexuals.

      With that being said, I do not believe that Christ-following business owners who refuse to provide services for so-called “gay weddings” are wrong in that decision. I see nothing in Scripture that encourages Christ-followers to celebrate those things that God calls sinful. We can love homosexuals, embrace them as people, and do business with them in other ways without celebrating a union that is not in line with God’s created design.

      Thank you again for reading, and for sharing your thoughts on this topic!

      Reply
  5. Laura

    Jennifer, I appreciate the compassion and kindness in your words here. I am a Christian who also happens to be a LGBT supporter. Although I am a heterosexual woman, I have seen the judgment that some Christians place on homosexuals and it breaks my heart. I cannot just stand on the sidelines and let it continue. I’m so happy to see that you can’t either, and are encouraging all Christians to approach these individuals with love.

    Although I live in a different state now, I belonged to a church for several years that recently “came out” as a church that believes in full inclusivity for the LGBT community. I do not have all of the answers, but I strongly believe that this is the right thing to do. I understand that many Christians will disagree, and that’s ok. I just hope that we all can be open to conversation and exploration regarding this sensitive issue. Thank you for opening the door for this to occur.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Laura! Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your heart here. I’m glad you heard my heart of compassion and kindness. While my intent is to encourage Christ-followers to show love, I want to clarify that I do not believe the condoning of perpetual sinful practice is loving. Rather, my heart is to urge Christ-followers toward building relationships with unbelievers of all types with the aim of pointing them to the One who can save them from their sin.

      It is not you or I or any local church who defines Christ’s Church. It is Christ Himself who does that. I Corinthians 6:9-11 offers so much insight about this, clearly delineating who is not part of the redeemed Bride of Christ. Those who practice homosexuality are part of the group who are excluded, along with several other groups of practicing sinners.

      The good news is found in verse 11: “Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and practice as such do not have to continue in that sin. Like all sinners, when they are ready to receive a new identity in Christ through repenting of their sin and turning to faith in Christ for salvation, they too will be included in His Church. It is the calling of Christ-followers to be a people who are working out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12) so we can extend true love without condemnation and offer hope in Christ without hypocrisy.

      Thank you again for reading, and for sharing your perspective. I pray that God brings His people toward greater understanding and practice of love, compassion, grace, and holiness.

      Reply
  6. Dawn

    Brave words that point to Christ, I appreciate that. Looking at one another’s sin rather than deeply at ourselves is a sad defining mark we easily wear as humans. Even those who claim liberality of thought capitalize on their opinions as truth.
    Ultimately our purpose is always to Love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and out of that LOVE others. It is love that wins in the end, it is the evidence of His grace and goodness.
    Love doesn’t mean we agree with each other on anything, but it gives a solid place to connect. Love leads to soul transformation which illuminates our brokenness only God can fix.
    You are right…we are all broken. Jesus came to heal that which was broken.

    In hard conversation, once, I wasn’t sure how to respond to the confession shared. I prayed for wisdom and realized I am required only to speak truth. So I listened to the words that came next, “Do you still love me?”
    My heart broke a little, because I saw the door being closed dependent upon my answer.
    No matter what, all that was questioned was love. And in that moment I realized he wasn’t asking if I agree but if I could see him and continue to love. It was not hard to choose my answer.
    We have never had the discussion about our opinions, mostly because we don’t have to. I pray, he knows; grace meets us both and I am ok with letting God be God because there is so much in me that needs grace.
    To those who are forgiven much, love is abundantly flowing keeps coming to mind this week. What if the church chose to love and live as Jesus did. Imagine.:)
    Very thought provoking post.
    Blessings!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Thank you, Dawn, for hearing my heart here and for sharing your own. I long to find the middle ground between acceptance without truth and truth without love. I believe with all my heart that such middle ground exists, and that God is starting to reveal it to His followers, igniting a holy fire within us. May we be faithful to fan those flames and not squelch them. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing so thoughtfully. You’re a treasure!

      Reply
  7. Sarah

    I have a younger sister that is gay. I love her and I don’t want to jeopardize our relationship, but I have a hard time with this. What is worse is the fact that her new friends have driven her away from Christ. We argue about the validity of the Bible more than we do about anything else. We really don’t talk about her sexuality, but if she decides to bring home a girlfriend, I am not sure how I will deal with it.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Sarah, thank you so much for sharing so openly here. I will pray for you about this, and for your sister. Let me preface my next thoughts by stating that I’ve never been in your shoes, or even in similar shoes, so please pray over what I’m sharing and ask God to lead you in your relationship with your sister.

      Only God knows the state of your sister’s soul before Him, but I Corinthians 6:9-11 makes it clear that those who persist in a lifestyle of sin will not enter the kingdom of God. I don’t say this to frighten you on your sister’s behalf, but to empower you! You aren’t wrestling against your sister, but against Satan (Ephesians 6:12). He has blinded her to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4), and she is his captive (2 Timothy 2:26) – all the arguing in the world won’t accomplish what the Holy Spirit of God can do. So even as I’m sure you’re praying for her, I want to urge you to keep on. He is the One who can open blind eyes and free captives and restore what has been broken.

      By all appearances, your sister is not yet saved; as Christ-followers, I believe we can learn much from Jesus’ example as He looked at the multitudes and had compassion, because He saw people who were harassed and helpless (Matthew 9:36). He certainly saw their sin, but He also saw the harvest. And that’s what your sister seems to be – she’s part of a harvest He is longing to bring in.

      Jesus goes on in that passage to beckon His disciples to pray for more laborers in His harvest. And I believe one of those laborers could very well be YOU! You have experienced a lavish grace, so you are able to show her lavish grace. You’ve experienced unconditional love, so you are able to show her unconditional love. It will be hard and uncomfortable and messy, but He will equip you to love her the way He does.

      I applaud you for standing for truth; that’s an exercise far too few are willing to undertake these days. Be confident in your stance on God’s Word, and be willing to love your sister in a way that just might rock her world and make her question the lies she has heard about the Bible and about Christ-followers. Love her to Jesus, Sarah. I will pray for you, friend.

      Reply
  8. Cassia

    This was a great post. I was just listening to a sermon where the Pastor said the sins we hate the most are other peoples yet we love our own. I truly enjoyed your response to Laura; loving, compassionate but most of all rooted in the scripture. It never matters what we believe or the pastor believe but “thus sayeth the Lord!” We must know the bible for ourselves. God bless you and the ministry that he has given you.

    Reply
  9. Sue

    i sincerely appreciate your wanting to ‘put yourself in another’s shoes’ approach to homosexuality, but I can’t help cringing a bit when you repeatedly use the phrase ‘gay lifestyle’ to describe what, for most same-sex people, is not a choice. The word ‘lifestyle’ is loaded with judgment for anyone who’s struggled to come to terms with their God-given proclivities in a world filled with people who judge instead of love (as Jesus would do… love, that is). Still, your attempt at understanding is appreciated… In the future, I’d only suggest just leaving out the word ‘lifestyle’ altogether. It’s not a different ‘style’ of life, which suggests something that’s ‘in’ or ‘out’ of fashion. It’s just about love… Only love. P.S. Maybe Christians would be well-served to ask themselves, ‘Why am I so concerned with other peoples’ (i.e., gays’) sexual practices which, let’s be real, is what the real focus is). That’s the part of this obsessive focus that shows more about some Christian’s judgments than anything else. That’s the real sin in my book of love… Just wanted to comment. You seem very loving which is very cool!! Good luck with your ministry of love.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Sue! Thank you for stopping by, and for your encouragement. I hadn’t ever considered the use of the phrase “gay lifestyle” to be offensive, but I can understand your point. I’ve changed those references to “homosexuality” or “homosexual practice.”

      My primary point of difference with your comment is that homosexual proclivities are not God-given. There are many sinful tendencies people have as part of their sin nature, but neither those tendencies nor our sin nature are given by God.

      I appreciate the respectful way in which you’ve allowed this discussion to take place. May God bless you with an ever-clearer understanding of Him!

      Reply
  10. Trish

    Such a time we live in! There are many opinions in the body of Christ and also false “Christian” doctrines floating around these days, especially on the topic of homosexuality, transgenderism etc. I, like you, choose to delve into the Word and pursue Godly wisdom on the topic to try and grasp how to handle this highly volatile issue of our day. I am in agreement with pretty much everything you wrote in this blog, but your point #6 caused me to pause. I whole heartedly agree that we should greet others warmly, treat them with respect and a meal would not be out of the question (if you haven’t seen the film by Living Water Ministries “Audacity”, I highly recommend it!). It is, however, dangerous to “do life” with non-believers or to actively pursue relationships with them. We should surround ourselves with those who will edify us in our faith and who spur us on in Christ. For your consideration, I have posted two good references on the topic of intimate friendships (doing life together) as it relates to unbelievers. I hope you will take the time to read them through and perhaps revise #6 in light of the Bible verses mentioned in these articles. Thank you for speaking up and seeking the Lord – may we always be willing to sharpen one another and to be sharpened! 🙂 http://www.gotquestions.org/friendship-evangelism.html
    and http://www.gotquestions.org/friendships-unbelievers.html

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Trish, and thanks for reading. Thank you, also, for your example of digging into God’s Word and seeking His heart. I’m glad we’re largely in agreement on this topic, and I appreciated this quote from the second article you shared: “There is nothing wrong with building quality friendships with unbelievers – but the primary focus of such a relationship should be to win them to Christ by sharing the Gospel with them and demonstrating God’s saving power in our own lives.” This perfectly sums up my perspective. Thank you for joining in the discussion here!

      Reply
  11. Jamie (@ walkinginhighcotton)

    I found your 2 posts thoughtful and graceful on this tough topic. #6, 7, and 9 resonated particularly with me. I think we (meaning overall American culture, I think) have a hard time separating the spiritual issues of sin and homosexuality from the actual political and policy issues–and they ARE very different, with different impacts and considerations. I am personally opposed to both, but the reasons are very different.

    While I don’t agree with the strength of the term “embrace” in #6, I do agree that establishing respectful relationships with people is exactly how Jesus would expect us to reach them with the Gospel, and #7 is a key ingredient to understanding what to respect vs embrace vs stand against. From a different perspective, we go through this with Muslim customers to our farm. We have to use discernment and prayer constantly in our relationships with them through our business. We prefer to see our business as a mission field (as someone mentioned above) but it is HARD and we have faced a lot of questions and wrinkled noses and criticism from family, neighbors, and friends. And one of the reasons we are able to continue is because we have the freedom to establish boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not and turn those practices away. (The post is here if you’re interested… http://www.walkinginhighcotton.net/2014/10/serving-muslim-customers-at-the-farm-as-christians-the-daily-farm-adventures-71/)

    I think the best take-aways from your post is that 1, the issue is both spiritual AND policy-based, and we should be trying to talk about them separately sometimes. And 2, that those practicing this behavior are just unsaved (or saved but not living for the Lord) humans and should be treated like any other lost person we are trying to reach, with love, compassion, and God’s Words, not ours. Surely as Christians they aren’t the only folks in need of Christ we run into. Missionaries don’t treat nationals badly to win them to Christ. Our churches don’t treat our bus kids badly to win them to Christ. We should respect all persons and not speak until we can speak with a humble, loving heart, lead by God.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Jamie, and welcome! Thank you so much for sharing from your own perspective about how we can minister to unbelievers. I looked at your article, and I’m so glad your interactions with your Muslim customers have been positive. I pray that you’re able to impact them for the glory of God through Jesus Christ. Thank you for contributing to the discussion here!

      Reply
  12. Amy

    Very good message. I have been struggling with how to reconciling the love the sinner process; just didn’t seem that easy. Then God lead me to a verse – I believe in1st Corinthians – where Paul names several types of sin, including homosexuality; that says “which some of you were”. This brings me back to the main point of your message. Love everyone as Christ loves us and share the gospel message as the Holy Spirit provides opportunity. It is not something to argue. Speak the truth in love. Sometimes it seems impossible for homosexuals to be saved, but according to the verse mentioned above, it it is possible.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Amy, I know exactly the passage you’re referencing in I Corinthians 6, and it’s one of my very favorites. “But such were some of you.” What precious hope this offers for those who aren’t yet on this side of redemption! I want to be clear that the goal of this kind of relationship-building through love is to share the gospel. There comes a time when the truth must be told, because to be perpetually silent is to withhold life-giving truth. But that truth is often best shared within the context of relationship. I don’t advocate love without truth. But I’m also not a proponent of truth without love. Both are essential as we follow our Lord’s example. Thank you for sharing with me how this post blessed you. Hearing from you blessed me!

      Reply
  13. Karen

    I really appreciate your posts on this subject. I believe you have a balanced, compassionate and solidly Christian approach. Maybe you’ve posted elsewhere but I’ve missed it? But what would you do if it involved a closely related family member and your young children? That is the situation we find our family in. Would you take your 5 & 6 year old to a family gathering when the beloved relative–who they know well and have previously spent a great deal of time with–is now participating in this type of relationship and wants to bring their partner with them? We find ourselves feeling conflicted between wanting to show love and keep a good relationship with the person who has chosen this lifestyle, but also the need to protect our children, at least until they are a little older. I think if our children were even a few years older it wouldn’t be an issue. Meanwhile, we are told we are “haters” and are destroying the family, which is not our heart at all. We have tried to express kindness in other situations when the children aren’t involved, but those situations are few and far in between compared to family gatherings for birthdays, holidays, etc. We aren’t afraid to talk to our kids…we just don’t think they are at the right maturity level yet. Would really love your thoughts about this. Or if they have been given elsewhere, would love the link! Thanks. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Karen, and welcome! Thank you for your encouragement about this post, and for sharing your own heart. I haven’t delved into this kind of specific situation yet, but I’m considering this topic and some more follow-up posts.

      To answer your question, are you certain that your young children will notice the romantic nature of the relationship? I have a five-year-old myself, and I don’t believe she would pay any attention, unless there was some blatant display of affection.

      With that being said, I understand and appreciate your desire to preserve the innocence of your young children, and I’m not sure there’s a single “right” way to handle this. I would recommend that you continue to spend time in prayer about this subject. If you and your husband are in agreement that you need to keep your children away from this relationship for the time being, then I would maintain a prayerful attitude asking the Lord to show you how He wants you to proceed in the future. If you haven’t already done so, I would also encourage you to reach out personally to the family member involved, endeavoring to spend time with him/her (with the partner, if he/she chooses) without the children and affirm your love for them in meaningful ways.

      I heard a webinar by Joe Dallas, and found Him to be compassionate, wise, and biblical in his approach to homosexuality. You might consider checking out his books, available here through Amazon. (The link provided is an affiliate link, which means I will earn a small commission should you make a purchase, at no extra charge to you.)

      Thanks again for sharing here! Praying for wisdom for you, and for your loved one who needs the gospel.

      Reply
  14. Jo

    I love my friends/acquaintances that are gay. We are all human beings with emotions. We are all sinners. We must look at that fact first. No matter “what” the sin is, we are all sinners. Sin is sin. Abortion, murder, pride, unmarried and living together, we could go on and on.
    When a gay person says to me….You know I am gay? Does that matter to you? My response is… You know I am a conservative Baptist, does that matter to you? Then we laugh. I enjoy their friendship and conversation and always drop His name in conversation. BUT I care about them enough to tell them that in His eye’s they are living a sinful lifestyle and there is no hope for salvation and a heavenly home someday. We all make choices in life, but coming to Christ to be cleansed of sin is THE most important decision in our life. By my sincere friendship I am Christ to them, but I never compromise or conform His Word.

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  15. Mary

    Thank you so much sister for sharing your wisdom on this matter! I pray God will give me grace to love these people as He loves me and that all Christ followers will do so as well. We need to treat these people with respect because they are image bearers of the Most High God. Jesus died for these people as He did for us and their sin is no worse than where we were before He saved us. Praise to the Lord for His unfailing mercy and His powerful redemption!

    Reply
  16. Marla

    The human mind is enmity to God. Pride is our biggest sin and always follows “my rights to self”. Sexuality is one, so is any addiction, to anything not just alcohol and drugs, to shopping, eating, body mods. We cannot look at anyone and judge them, only Jesus can as he was the only without Sin. He was often called a drunk and swindler due to His chosen targets of His teaching. We cannot bash their lives, they are not all bad, just slaves to self and Jesus can help with that. He came with love and compassion not a club.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      I agree with much of what you said here, Marla. I take issue with the statement that “they are not all bad,” because I believe every human being is “all bad” if left to his or her own devices. But there is none of us whose sin can surpass God’s grace. And for that, I’m so thankful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here!

      Reply
  17. Marie

    I really needed to read these articles. I am mentoring a young lady who is in a homosexual relationship and have been very concerned about what to say to her. I’m certainly not perfect, and have sin in my own life. I believe that sin is sin is sin…that one sin is not greater than another in God’s eyes. Thank you for helping me deal with this situation. I will not give up on her because I know God hasn’t. What a blessing!

    Marie

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Marie, and welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your heart here. One of my goals in this post was to encourage Christ-followers to remember our own sinful tendencies in our interactions with others – and especially with those whose sins are more difficult for us to identify with. I don’t quite agree, however, that “one sin is not greater than another in God’s eyes.” Although all sin has the same penalty (death), and all confessed sin is covered by the same sacrifice (Christ’s blood), the Bible does speak about some sins being more grievous than others. I found this article helpful on the subject. I will pray for you in this mentoring relationship, asking the Lord for abundant wisdom and grace as you invest much in the life of a young woman, for the glory of God.

      Reply
  18. Marge Potts

    You have written exactly how I think and feel about this subject! I have two friends who once lived the gay lifestyle, and through their acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, have been set free, so I know that through Christ, all things are possible. Thank you for a much needed commentary on this painful subject. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      What a wonderful testimony, Marge! Thank you for sharing about God’s redeeming work in the lives of your friends. I appreciate your encouragement, and I’m glad this post resonated with you.

      Reply

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