A sincere and humble attitude is a prerequisite to any discussion that you might have about your opposing views. Your friend may have tried to “change” in the past but the same-sex sexual attractions persist; he/ she may have faced or witnessed discrimination on account of being different from others of the same sex. Extend understanding towards their circumstances.
Willingly listen to their point of view. Ask questions in a calm and gentle manner. Avoid being hostile and defensive, or aggressively arguing beliefs. Your role or responsibility towards them is not to change their mind or ways. It is possible to maintain your stand against homosexuality without losing a “pro-gay” or homosexual friend.1
Acknowledge that neither party has all the answers. Prepare to respond to pro-gay interpretation of key bible verses that refer to homosexuality. Stay flexible when discussing theories (e.g., biological basis of homosexuality or ability to change sexual orientation), yet firm when discussing your convictions. Be aware of the complex issues within the discussion.
Offer genuine friendship. Instead of focusing your energies on arguing that they are morally or ideologically wrong, show them love by demonstrating acceptance and grace. They may expect you to dismiss or betray them at some point because of your differing stand; prove otherwise.
Set appropriate boundaries. You may be the first heterosexual person to engage with and befriend them. Watch for signs of emotional dependency or co-dependency, and do not be afraid to clarify your relationship.
Speaking about homosexuality poses an unavoidable challenge as the issue is itself controversial and our words often misconstrued. Nonetheless, Christians are called to influence and not just evangelize the world (Matthew 5:13-16):2
|Innateness: homosexuality is inborn, and therefore normal and God-ordained.||
|Insignificance: homosexuals are decent people and a minority; what they mutually consent to is a private matter.||
|Intolerance: those who oppose homosexuality are dangerously ignorant, prejudiced homophobes or violent gay-bashers.||