How does the Church “love the sinner but not the sin” when it comes to homosexuality?

To say that you hate homosexuality but love homosexuals doesn’t make sense to those whose primary identity lies within their sexuality.

~ Randy Thomas, former Vice-President of Exodus International

A person experiencing same-sex attraction can be particularly sensitive towards any criticism made of homosexuals or remarks that homosexuality is wrong. Although this is to be expected of anyone engaging in potentially sinful or wrong behaviour, unlike other sins that a person commits, it is extremely difficult to separate the homosexual act (sin) from the homosexual person (sinner).

  • See the person, not a lifestyle. Instead of approaching a homosexual person only in his or her identity as a homosexual, approach him or her as a person with a homosexual issue, and along with it, a complexity of fears, hopes and needs. Premature judgments, rejection and condemnation merely lend weight to the homosexual activists’ stereotyping of “homophobia”.
  • Win the heart, not the argument. We don’t need to become an expert with all the answers. Find out what you don’t know – even about the Bible – and get back to them later. God’s love working through the Church can touch their hearts and lead them to greater obedience of Christ’s teachings.
  • Keep standards consistent. It is important that the Church applies a consistent standard of holiness and handles wisely a violation to Scripture, regardless of the type of sin committed – whether it is premarital sex, spouting profanities, or homosexual activity.
  • Lovingly address sexual sin. All sexual sin is contrary to the Bible so Christians must consistently teach and deal with sexual immorality within the Church. Confrontation of any sexual sin should stem from a heart posture that seeks to lovingly restore the individual to wholeness.
  • Give hope of something better. Be the bearer of good news, not the pronouncer of judgment that their lifestyle is sinful. Encourage them with real testimonies of people who have overcome their homosexuality. Celebrate life and healthy relationships, and build them up to keep motivated to pursue Christ and wholeness.

The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but holiness.

~ Christopher Yuan, ex-homosexual

  • Reach out to homosexual people in the community. The Church can counter its reputation as “an enemy of gays” by reaching out to the sexually broken with supportive care and authentic relationships. Small groups can provide a safe place where people can openly discuss their struggles without shame or rejection, and be strengthened in their faith towards spiritual maturity and wholeness.