"If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36)
Christians from a homosexual background are often anxious to share the Gospel with their non-Christian gay friends. This would seem to be a natural result of conversion to Christ. After all, we are all called to be witnesses for the Lord Jesus. Certainly there should be a witness to the gay community and who better to witness than people who have known what the gay lifestyle is all about? The problems are the underlying motives, all of which, being fuelled by our desires, give Satan (the Deceiver) an open door. The hidden motives are often these:
(1) "I enjoy being admired by others and meeting attractive gay people who like me".
(2) "I feel more at home in gay company. I can relax and be myself. I don't need sex".
(3) "I enjoy the fun of talking and joking about gay things and listening to others talking about their experiences. After all, it helps me understand them".
If you can say that any of these ideas are likely to be on your mind, then you are potentially in a dangerously vulnerable situation. Your spiritual life is probably in need of some refreshment and renewal. On no account should you go to any place linked with a gay lifestyle and you should not associate with people who will encourage you in that area. This sounds harsh, I know, but it is absolutely right to be firm on this point. You may be enjoying a lifestyle with gay people similar to the feelings expressed above. You may be developing deep relationships with people in that lifestyle and believe it to be right because you are not having sex with them. If this is your situation, then I believe you are really disobeying God's Word and therefore sinning. That means that God's Heart must be filled with grief and pain (cp. Gen.6:6).
Throughout Scripture God calls His people to be "transformed from" and not "conformed to" the pattern of this world. He desires Christians to be set apart and "different" (e.g. Rom.12:1-2; Eph.4:11-14). We are obviously called to be salt and light to the world, as others see the difference Christ has made to our lives, individually and as a body. Therefore we will have contact with unbelievers, loving and caring for them in Christ. However, in order to be Christ to the world, we need to be experiencing the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. This should be manifest in a love for unbelievers, but also a feeling of "not belonging" or "being a part of" a non-Christian lifestyle with its attitudes and beliefs. There should be an abhorrence at the ideology that is contrary to God's. Obviously, because we are all fallen people, the desires of the flesh to follow a worldly and sinful pattern of living are very strong. It is very easy to be influenced away from Christian thinking. That is why God speaks so strongly through Scripture about deep relationships with non-Christians (e.g. 2 Cor.6).
When two people relate on a deep emotional level, in many ways the heart, mind and spirit are involved. The Holy Spirit in a Christian cannot be linked with the mind or thinking of a non-Christian whose heart is centred on loving, serving and glorifying God. Hence I believe Paul's strong words in 2 Corinthians 6: "...what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" Paul then explains further: "For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said, 'I will live among them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people'". Paul as obviously very concerned that the Corinthian Christians should not be influenced by society around them.
The influences of the society in which we live today are very similar in essence to those the Corinthian Christians faced. Although our idols are different, they are still there, and sexual permissiveness seems very much the same. This is especially true of the "gay lifestyle". If we have homosexual feelings then, as a part of our flesh, we have a preconditioned outlook which will almost inevitably develop if we encourage it. This will be especially true if we are feeling weak spiritually.
What about the witness to the gay community?
This must always be undertaken through a church based group, by Christians who are strong spiritually and "living in the light" (i.e. complete honesty with their brothers and sisters in Christ). We must all honestly face up to our real feelings and motives. If you have experienced homosexual feelings but never had any contact with people in a gay lifestyle, then the temptation to be curious and amused by it must be resisted. Beware Satan's deception as he tries to capitalise on our often hidden desires and motives.
It is not true that only Christians from a gay background can witness effectively to gay people. Most of the Christians I know from a gay background were led to Christ without anyone knowing about the sexuality of one another.
People seeking to come out of a gay lifestyle must obviously forsake every aspect of it and become an integral part of a Christian fellowship. There needs to be acceptance of the person on equal terms rather than some sort of a "special case" or a "freak". There are many deep needs that must be met within the Body of Christ, especially emotional ones. Loneliness and isolation can easily encourage someone to seek love, understanding and fulfilment from non-Christian friendships. It is easy to make the lack of support from Christians an excuse. The Church has a long way to go in its understanding of Christian relationships and the needs of the lonely, especially single people.
Isn't it good to laugh at ourselves and even our sexuality?
It has struck me how often I have been too flippant in my use of gay humour and terminology. It can be so east to actually encourage an interest in something that God finds totally offensive. It must grieve Him when I am careless in what I say. I am not saying that we shouldn't have a sense of humour, but simply that that we should be sensitive to the implications of what we are saying. For example, it is sometimes felt that joking about a particular sexual problem or habit takes a weight of guilt away. It lightens the load. This may sometimes be true where Christians have been unable to experience God's forgiveness and are experiencing unnecessary guilt. However, there is also the danger of developing an attitude of mind which doesn't take sins seriously enough and therefore makes it difficult to hate and fight against. I have certainly found myself falling into this trap. Apathy soon sets in and our relationship with, and attitude to, God is badly affected.
We should experience joy and fun as Christians in our relationships with one another in the Lord. I am sure that God has a sense of humour but I am equally sure that sin offends and grieves Him. May we shine with the Light of Christ to the dark world around us but never be allured by our own desires into the darkness.
Reproduced with thanks from a pamphlet published by:
True Freedom Trust
P.O.Box 3, Upton, Wirral
Merseyside L49 6NY, England