How do I respond to LGBT persons?

Don’t

  • …panic. You don’t have to have all the answers, but get informed about homosexuality.
  • …make false accusations. Not every homosexual is activist in his/ her stance and pushing to advance the LGBT agenda.
  • …pass judgment. All of us have besetting sins.
  • distance yourself. The person coming to you has probably known a lifetime of rejection and desperately needs to know that someone will extend grace to them.
  • …assume. Not every homosexual is HIV(+); even if he is, HIV/ AIDS is not transmitted by casual contact as a friend.
  • …disclose their situation to anyone without permission. People with same-sex sexual attractions need to find security and safety, especially within the church.

Remember1:

  • Because we live in a fallen world, we are all broken.2
  • Treat homosexual people with love and respect like you would anyone else. Accept them just as Jesus did.
  • Homosexual people seek acceptance and community, just like each one of us.
  • No one is born gay, yet no one chooses to have same-sex sexual attractions.
  • Regardless of whether a person is born or chooses to adopt a homosexual identity, studies have shown that same-sex sexual attraction often grows out of broken relationships and can be overcome through healthy  relationships.
  • Change is possible. Seek to see them through God’s eyes of love and acceptance, with His intention for their wholeness, healing and freedom.
  • Guard and protect the relationship. Be accountable to others of your activities and avoid meeting at places that may cause either of you to cross healthy boundaries.
  • “Hard on the issue… soft on the person.” (William Ury)Demonstrate a compassionate spirit without compromising your biblical convictions.
  • Engage rather than distance (see Q50 & Q51Seek to love them, not change them.

 

Endnotes
1. Kerby Anderson, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality (Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008)
2. When Someone in Your Congregation Says “I’m Gay” (Probe Ministries, accessed 16 July 2014)
3. William Ury is one of the leading experts on negotiation and conflict.