This post is in response to a question a kind-hearted Christian man asked me recently. In effect, what is the best way to love a homosexual man who is grieving over boyfriend problems? Not stated, but impossible not to imply, how do we do this without compromising Christ?!?!
There are only two commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind. The second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Now, I’m a celibate monk, so the dating thing isn’t my deal anymore. But I love others, and it is not possible to live long in this sinful world without experiencing the pain of loving someone who does not love you, or the insecurity of having a trusted and relied upon relationship in peril.
My fundamental reaction is the same regardless of the gender and sexual orientation of the distressed person who comes to us. We have the commandment to love one another the way God has loved us (which is even stronger wording than ‘do unto others what we wish they would do to us’).
First of all, what a blessing it is that God has given you the opportunity to have compassion and mercy on someone who is struggling! That’s the very application of God’s mercy shown to us in trouble that 2 Corinthians 1 points out.
Secondly, I clearly do not believe that active homosexual relationships are a good, healthy, or acceptable thing. I disapprove of them because I think two amazing, God-created, God-beloved people involved are seeking satisfaction that can never come about, and experiencing all sorts of physical, social, and emotional pains in their illigitimate attempts to meet a God-given desire for love and fellowship. (Love and fellowship are God-given desires and good things, sexual expressions of them outside of heterosexual marriage can never be good things.)
I can and have listened to homosexual men talk to me about their fears, hopes, and pains, even in relationships. First, because it is a chance to communicate with my life the truth of scripture, that the homosexual is worthy of love and compassion the same as any other sinner (and we’re all covered in the sinner category). Apologist Josh McDowell used to say, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” This is the street cred, the curriculum vitae that gives authority to our voices perhaps in an hour, perhaps in ten years, when God gives us the time and place to offer them the Gospel instead of the treadmill of pain and disappointment involved in active homosexuality.
Finally, it is an EXCELLENT chance to learn to love someone better. When the walls are down, people tend to tell us what they really want, what really drives them, what they really hope, fear, and dream. If our God-given goal is to love others the best way, they are more than likely about to give you an excellent lesson what their needs are.
NOTE: that does not mean that they themselves know.
Extra-finally (I am typing as quickly as I can), if you believe as I do that homosexual activity is a counterfeit of love that damages people God loves, then what a great time to show NON-sexual intimacy, a chance to show the genuine article of pure Christian compassion, love, and fellowship.
If we wait for the impure to clean up their act and come to Christ, we’re going to wait a while before we may get bounced out of the Body on our own hypocritical butts. If God lands a person in our laps to pray with, or listen to (and pray FOR while you listen!!!) Excellent.
This is not just pie-in-the-sky theory. Once about eleven years ago a pair of men were joking about raping and beating me. I was pretty upset as this went on for some forty-odd minutes, and I was really worried about hurting them if they tried.
The next day one of my would-be attackers came to me in need of prayer. We ended up sitting together reading the Psalms out loud for about an hour to try and how him that God is trustworthy in crisis.
BUT God warns us to be wise when we comfort those trapped in sin, lest we ourselves fall into temptation! So, compassion with the sexually broken is often best done in semi-public places, a corner booth at an all-night diner, other places where others may be able to see, simply to avoid the tangle of false accusations or subtle temptations when Satan comes to knock us down.