I found your answers on this page very helpful: How do I tell someone they are sinning? I'm hoping you can help me speak to several friends I have who are gay. Most of them do not go to church or say that they were shown nothing but hatred by people who called themselves Christians (and most of them use that as a reason that they no longer go to church). Most of these friends do consider themselves "spiritual", though, and some even have gay friends who are ministers or perform same sex marriages in a "blessed" ceremony.
As a Christian and as a sinner who lived with my husband before we were married, I know that sex outside of marriage is a sin. I am not proud of my past, but I also do not feel I have the right to tell someone else about their sin when I have also sinned. Also, because the Bible seems to condemn homosexual acts, there seems to be only heartache for someone who is born gay. I truly don't understand how God can create a gay person and then ask them to live in a state of celibacy for their entire lives or in a state of sin. For these reasons, I have kept my opinions on this to myself in the past and have tried to show my friends unconditional love.
This Lent, however, I was reminded of this scripture of telling someone of their sins to give them a chance to repent. I do care for these friends and do not want them to be turned away from God because I'm not showing them love as a Christian. However, if I say nothing, aren't I condemning them myself? How can I bring this up now that (literally) years have gone by without me saying anything, and after I have been so accepting of their lifestyles. These are not sex-crazed individuals, they are mature, loving people who are in committed, but gay, relationships. I really don't know how to approach them. I could really use some advice.
Thank you, in advance, for considering this question.
"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5).
If only non-sinners could teach people about sins, then no teaching would get done since all of us sin (Romans 3:23). While the passage above is frequently misused, Jesus did not say that one person cannot help another. Rather, he said that you first have to clean up your own life and then you will be in the position to help another person. Thus, if you tried to teach someone that homosexuality was wrong while you were committing fornication, your message would rightly sound hypocritical. But that is no longer the case. You left your sins behind, to encourage others to leave their sins would be reasonable.
I wonder if you would have problems with telling young adults that they shouldn't be sleeping around, as you once did. You would be a position to say "This doesn't work. I know from experience." But if you can say that to one set of sinners, but not to another, doesn't that demonstrate a problem?
While reading your note, what struck me most was the fact that you aren't convinced that homosexuality is a sin. You stated that the Bible seemed to condemn homosexuality, but that isn't even close the the truth. It clearly defines it as a sin in no uncertain terms. Rather than repeat them, see Homosexuality for a list of passages. The fact that there are false teachers who willful teach against God doesn't change the truth. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (II Corinthians 11:13-15).
You also state that people are born homosexuals. I know that it is a popular notion because it removes responsibility from the individual, but there is no evidence. See: No "Gay" Gene According to the American Psychological Association. However, people are born heterosexual, yet you have no problems stating that fornication and adultery are wrong. Homosexuality is a sin -- a breaking of God's law (I John 3:4). People can choose to sin, and they can choose not to sin.
"Is homosexuality biologically programmed from birth, or is it socially and psychologically induced? There is clearly no one answer that accounts for all homosexuals. what can be said for certain is that some homosexuals were started along that path in early childhood, and that most homosexuals, having had sex with both sexes, have chosen homosexuality along with or in preference to heterosexuality.
"We can say "chosen" because the vast majority of gay men have had intercourse with women. As a four-year study of 128 gay men by a UCLA professor of psychology revealed, 'More than 92 percent of the gay men had dated a woman at some time, two-thirds had sexual intercourse with a woman.'" [Dennis Prager, "Judaism's Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality"].
God did not create homosexuals. "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (I John 1:5-6). God tries to rescue people from their sins. He does not make people sinners. He does even tempt people with sin. "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13). By accepting the false arguments of those trying to justify homosexuality, you have arrived at the point where you essentially say that God has sinned.
You also attempt to justify your friends actions by claiming they are in a "committed" relationship. But "committed" is not what you would expect. Homosexual relationships are much more unstable than most unmarried heterosexual relationships.
"The word “promiscuity is usually used pejoratively, in such loaded statements as “The AIDS crisis is a direct result of promiscuity in the gay community.” It’s not a neutral description but a moral condemnation, and is used against gays by any group that condemns homosexuality. What constitutes promiscuity depends upon the speaker and his value system. One person will call a man who has two sexual partners promiscuous; another will reserve this condemnation for a regular frequenter of brothels. As a rule, gay men call someone promiscuous if he has a lot of sex with a lot of different guys." [Charles Silverstein, author of a book on homosexual sex].
Notice the redefinition of the terms. In the homosexual community "promiscuous" doesn't imply a monogamous relationship. As long as a person mostly sticks to one partner and only has a few side relationships, then it is considered consistent. Yet the same actions among heterosexuals would be called promiscuous. In one survey of homosexuals involved with a lifetime partner: 57% report having sex with 30 or more people; 35% report having sex with 100 or more people. That is 92% with a large number of multiple sex partners while in a “lifetime commitment”!
"Sexual relationships with multiple partners is not condemned in the homosexual community and is even looked upon as a potentially positive experience." [Larry Burtoft, Ph.D, Setting the Record Straight, A Focus on the Family Report].
"For same-sex couples who "wed" in one of the five states that allow it, many have marriage vows. But according to a stunning New York Times article, "forsaking all others" isn't one of them. Calling infidelity "a gift," several couples are brutally honest about the lack of monogamy in most homosexual "marriages." Just how common is this phenomenon? A study scheduled for release next month from San Francisco State University found that more often than not, "open" marriages aren't the exception to counterfeit marriages; they're the rule.
"The Gay Couples Study followed 556 male partners for three years, and half had "sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners." Some even had the audacity to say that heterosexuals have a lot to learn from this "evolution of marriage." On the contrary, it only exposes the mockery this movement is making of marriage. They want access to marriage only to destroy what should be its defining characteristic: fidelity! For years, FRC has argued against same-sex "marriage" on these very grounds. Now that the New York Times is confirming the trend, maybe even more people will start to listen." ["For Homosexuals, a Sad State of Affairs," Family Research Council (2/2/2010)]
You don't want your friends turning away from God, but you already stated that they are not with God. Your silence all these years has done nothing to turn them to God. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
By not teaching others of the danger they are in, you give approval to what they do. As you stated, you have been accepting of their lifestyle. Yet after Paul listed out the sins of the Greeks, which included homosexuality, the last sin he listed were those "who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:32). You've done nothing so far to save your friends and in the process have placed your own salvation in jeopardy.
What I've noticed over the years is that when a person encounters arguments against his particular chosen sin the frequent response is to blame the one with the hard to answer arguments as being hateful and mean. Somehow this excuses the person from actually thinking about the arguments or making any necessary changes in his life. I don't buy the argument that your friends were shown hatred by Christians. They called Christians hateful simply because Christians did not accept their chosen sins and allowed them to join while remaining in their sins.
If you want to help your friends, then you first have to be fully convinced that God is right.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. You are correct. On everything. I definitely need to remember that God does not make mistakes. I need to take another look inside my heart and ask for forgiveness and move forward. Thank you, thank you, thank you.