I was recently chatting with a dear brother when he suddenly opened up and revealed his history with homosexuality. And I was shocked to learn the way in which the church treated him! As much as God hates the practice of homosexuality, so much so does he love homosexuals, I believe that the body of Christ should follow the same.
This post is just an overflow of a large number of direct and indirect conversations with friends and mutual friends with a gay history.
To start off, let me be very clear that the bible condemns homosexuality as sexual perversion and depravity. And anybody who practices it and does not repent will never enter the kingdom of God, neither on the earth nor up there in heaven!! (1 Corinthians 6:9) However, all of church history is a proof of the fact that the cross of Christ is powerful enough to deliver anybody out of any kind of perversion that humanity has fallen into. If you are struggling with a desire, a habit or an un-biblical relationship, please get in touch with us, let’s together invite God into your life and expect him to fix it.
However, most of us reading this post would be the outsiders watching inside! Hence I would want to discuss a couple of things to help you reach out to and minster to a dear brother or sister struggling in this habit.
1.Reach Out: I was shocked to hear from my friend (who is ministering among Eunuchs and Homosexuals) that 14% of the Indian population practice homosexualtiy and about 3.5% are open about it.
Now with its legalization in India, it is coming to light more than ever! More than 80% of the sexually transmitted diseases, esp HIV, are spread through gay practice. I wish the church and her leaders focuses its attention on this sect of the society. I pray that we will say like Paul that I am a debtor to all those to whom we haven’t preached the gospel to! (Romans 1:14-16)
2.Accept Them: It is not possible to reach out to them without first accepting them. The greatest hindrance to evangelism today is that the Church wants to see people change their t-shirts before hearts are changed. They want their sexual preference changed before their minds are renewed!
Please understand that Jesus dined with Zachaeus without asking from him a commitment to change! It was the unconditional acceptance of Jesus that made him change his mind about his unethical standards. I pray that God will give us the grace to welcome homosexuals and all other class of people in the world into the church. They all need the Lord!
3.Love Them: The command from Jesus to love your neighbor as yourself was not based on the sexual preference of the neighbor. (Matthew 22:39) Loving somebody is a choice or a decision we willingly and knowingly make within our hearts, and not just an emotion showoff.
Loving a homosexual brother or sister might even involve allowing him or her to stay in your house during the time that he/she is being restored to God. Love as usual, has to be extravagant, it has to be sacrificial and it has to be in action! Anybody who has money can write off a check for any ministry. But it really takes true love, to literally go down to them and get your hand dirty in your attempt to help them!
4.Nurture Them: Transformation does not happen overnight. It happens over a period of time. As we continue to pour God and His Word into the person’s life. This requires a lot of patience. Esp, because Homosexuality can prove to be very addictive and enticing. God’s word encourages us to help the weak, not to command or dictate over them. (Acts 20:35)
One of my friend when to a Christian family for spiritual help. While he was staying there, a pastor sexually abused him for six months. How much more ugly can it get? We are supposed to be those who will feed and lead them in Christ!
5.Treat Them: Most of the homosexuals have a history of physical and sexual abuse, violence, drug abuse, social harrasment, etc. It is essential that they receive inner healing for all those past hurts and rejections before they go ahead and be normal people with healthy, godly relationships with people from either gender.
One of the causing factors for homosexuality is sexual abuse early in life by friends, or by closely people like their own father. We really know how to judge the person out of the church. But don’t take enough time to ponder, why people are where they are!
6.Give Them Time: As I mentioned earlier, transformation does not happen overnight! It requires time, especially when it is something that goes deep down into the sexuality of a person. What if God would have given up on us, when we were stubborn and going back into the ways of the world? Wouldn’t we all be lost? We’re still hanging in here, because of that great second chance, which we have used innumerable times. So, let us be patient and merciful towards these new brothers and sisters who are just getting into God!
7.Promote Them: No one can reach out to or evangelize a gay or lesbian better than a person who has been there, done that! Once, individuals are completely free and progressing it is required that you elevate them into leadership positions. Everybody created of God has a unique god given destiny and purpose! It is our duty to help them realize their potential and push them into God’s calling on each of their lives.
Together let us impact our society for the good. Is this post helpful? Have you encountered any challenges in reaching out to the Homosexuals who come your way? Please feel free to discuss here.