Question:

Dear Jeffrey,

I have a friend in which I've known for about ten years or so and the other day he (I don't like to use this phrase) came out of the closet. He told me that he was gay. I have no idea how to handle this. Do I stop being his friend? Do I try to help him? I don't know. Do I act like the Westboro group and just cut him off in hatred or do I act like the Open Ministries and love him? I'm scared to tell this to my church. He also attends it as well, and I don't want them to kick him out.

From what you have said in your emails I can see that you are a true man of God. I can really use your insight.


Answer:

What would you do if your friend suddenly admitted that he is committing adultery or fornication? Would you not say anything? Would leave him in his sin?

"I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person" (I Corinthians 5:9-11).

Homosexuality is just a form of fornication that involves having sex with someone of the same gender. It remains a sin. Your friend's soul is in jeopardy and you are fearful stating that he needs to come out of his sin. "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" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

This has nothing to do with hatred but has everything to do with love. This has nothing to do with tolerance of sin in the name of "love" but everything to do with rejecting that sin must remain in a person's life. Accepting sin in others is promoting sin, which is sinful of itself (Romans 1:31). Rejecting sin is done lovingly because you wish to persuade the person out of the trap he is in. "But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (II Timothy 2:23-26).

Whether he is withdrawn from by the church is up to him. A church cannot allow sin to be openly practiced in its midst and still remain a faithful church. If you cannot persuade him from giving up this sin, then you'll need to get help. And eventually if he remains committed to this sin, it must go before the church.