How to respond if someone at your church comes out as gay.

Thought I’d keep this post simple.
Those who have been following my previous blog posts know I am pro LGBT.
I also have repeatedly said in my posts on here to stay loving, which ever side of the argument you are on.
I’ve noticed though that there seems to be controversy about what constitutes being loving.
Some people think, telling people that if they don’t repent of their homosexual thoughts they will end up in hell is being loving.
Some people think that by telling them that they are deceived by the devil and that they need to get him kicked out, they are being loving.

So this is my view on how you should respond.

1. Thank them for their honesty.
I’m not kidding you! If somebody has just taken the step to come out to you, it took guts. They have just put themselves in a vulnerable position. Be honoured they chose you, and thank them for it.

2. Tell them you care about them.
Let them know they are still somebody of value. This isn’t you saying you agree. This is you letting them know that you care. Believe me, they need to hear it!

3. Tell them God loves them.
Because, well, he does. He loves all his children, and it’s good to affirm that to them.

4. Let them know you are available.
Again this still isn’t agreeing. This is acknowledging that they need support. As we all do. If you don’t feel you can be the one to offer it, find somebody who will.

5. Pray with them.
Pray for Gods peace and love in their lives. Pray that God will stay close and that they won’t loose sight of him. Do not pray for God to change them. That can do more damage. If they God does think it’s wrong, then by praying God remains close, their hearts will change anyway. (I firmly believe God doesn’t think this.)

6. If they ask you if you think it’s a sin, be careful.
You don’t have to lie here. You can honestly turn around and say, I know God loves you.
You can honestly say to them that they were fearfully and wonderfully made. You can honestly turn around and say to them that God still has a plan for their lives.
You can honestly say that we are all sinners.
Tell them to seek God first and tell them to let God reveal his heart.

7. Don’t out them.
If you are the first person they have told, let them know they can tell others in their own time. Tell them that you will support them as and when they decide to tell others.

8. Hug them!
At the end of the conversation, hug it out.
You don’t actually have to hug them if hugging isn’t your thing, but any form of touch reaffirms that they are still valued and that you care. Even just a shoulder pat.

9. Talk about something else.
Make sure first that the conversation has ended, but awkward silences are, by definition, awkward. Ask them what they are doing at the weekend or something.

10. Walk away knowing you made a difference!
You may be worrying that it’s come across like you’ve condoned something you don’t, but remember this isn’t about you.
You’ve told told them to seek God, so trust him.
In the mean time you’ve just saved somebody from feeling alone and isolated. They aren’t going to be the next person to leave the church because of a lack of compassion. You have made them feel valued and loved and they have gone away in the knowledge that God still loves them too.

You don’t have to understand, don’t have to agree. Just be the light in their lives when they ask you to be.
Let God do the rest 🙂

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “How to respond if someone at your church comes out as gay.

    • I know how you feel. That’s exactly why I needed to write it.
      You aren’t being false by not coming out though, it’s hard and it’s always up to you how much of yourself you choose to reveal, especially when you know you may receive negative responses.
      Things are changing, and there are more and more Christians coming out in support for LGBT Christians 🙂
      I hope you find, when you do decide to come out, the level of support you deserve.
      Always remember God loves you.
      God bless 🙂

      Like

    • Honestly, the answer is through a lot of prayer and research.
      You will have to forgive me as I currently have no bible to hand, which means I can’t give you exact references.
      In the Old Testament it is mentioned in Leviticus, along with a lot of other rules that we were freed from when Jesus died on the cross.
      There is also the story of Sodom and Gomorra, which I won’t go into as you are probably already familiar with it. It used regularly to show that homosexuality is one of the worst sins. But yet further on in the bible where it lists the sins of Sodom, homosexuality is not listed among them. Instead this is a story about, brutality, inhospitality and rape.

      The new testament, it is only mentioned by Paul, in his letters to the churches.
      For this I went right back to scratch and studied the Greek texts.

      It’s important to know the cultural back grounds of the time here too.
      Homosexual acts were often used as a form of idol worship and also older men used to use this as a way on dominating pre- adolescent boys in return for mentoring them into manhood.
      Paul would have known of both of those practices.

      The Greek word Paul actually uses, isn’t actually homosexuality at all but actually two words he’s combined into one ‘arsenokoitai’. This has been translated slightly differently though out time, currently it is translated to homosexuality. Actually the first part of this word means man, the second part of this word means, either bed, a marriage bed or can refer to immoral sexual intercourse.
      With what was happening culturally at the time, I think it is much more likely this is what Paul was speaking out against.

      Hope that answers your question.

      Like

      • Hello. Thanks for the reply.

        “In the Old Testament it is mentioned in Leviticus, along with a lot of other rules that we were freed from when Jesus died on the cross.”

        Yes, but there are many things that carry over from both covenants. I cannot steal and justify it because I’m not under the law anymore.

        “There is also the story of Sodom and Gomorra, which I won’t go into as you are probably already familiar with it. It used regularly to show that homosexuality is one of the worst sins. But yet further on in the bible where it lists the sins of Sodom, homosexuality is not listed among them. Instead this is a story about, brutality, inhospitality and rape.”

        Genesis 19:4-5 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
        5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know (have sex with) them.

        The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the men in Lot’s house. Notice it doesn’t say bring out the angels, it says bring out the men. The angels were disguised as men and the men of Sodom didn’t even know it.

        Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

        The Bible says they went after strange flesh, that’s not talking about angels because the angels never went to Gomorrah or the cities round about them.

        “The Greek word Paul actually uses, isn’t actually homosexuality at all but actually two words he’s combined into one ‘arsenokoitai’. This has been translated slightly differently though out time, currently it is translated to homosexuality. Actually the first part of this word means man, the second part of this word means, either bed, a marriage bed or can refer to immoral sexual intercourse.
        With what was happening culturally at the time, I think it is much more likely this is what Paul was speaking out against.”

        Arsenokoitai means male+bed, meaning someone who goes to bed with a male.

        Romans 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
        27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

        Paul here is saying that the men left the natural use of the women, and went after other men. That’s homosexuality he’s speaking of.

        Paul also says:

        1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
        10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

        Notice, effeminacy is listed there, and Paul says as such were some of you. Homosexuals are not born that way because the some of the Corinthians were effeminate and abusing themselves with mankind (sodomy) and they were no longer after getting saved.

        I have heard stories of a young men messing around with sodomy but then getting saved and putting that sin away.

        The fact of the matter is, Jesus said from the beginning God made them male and female (Matthew 19:4)

        I urge you to rethink your stance on this issue,

        Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

        Like

      • Again thank you for responding.
        I completely agree that in Jude the bible is talking about something other than Sex with angels. As you say, those in Sodom were not aware that they were angels. However this can be interpreted in more than one way. For example, using sex as a means to abuse a guest in somebody’s home would probably also qualify.

        The reason I put in the part about what was happening around Paul at the time with regards to homosexual acts, is because that would have been what Paul would have been commenting on and speaking out against.
        It was extremely common for those who worshiped idols and pagan Gods to use homosexual acts as a way of worship. It makes perfect sense that when those using it in this way became Christian, they turned away from it.

        Also God had to make us male and female, otherwise the earth would never had populated.

        I think ultimately it also depends on your understanding of homosexuality.
        I believe it’s not a choice and there is overwhelming evidence to support this.
        This is why so many people who are gay end up turning away from the church.
        That was the point of this post.

        “for a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

        At the moment how the church is dealing with homosexuality is bringing forth bad fruit. People are feeling isolated and therefore turning away from God. The church should be pointing people to him, here we are failing hugely and we’ve hurt so many.

        Talking about pointing people to Jesus and making everybody feel included is biblical.

        This post was not intended to change opinion on people’s stance on homosexuality, but instead to rethink how you might deal with it regardless of views.

        Thanks again for commenting.

        Like

      • Thanks for your reply.

        The key point in Jude is simply they were going after strange flesh.

        If I have relations with a woman, there’s nothing strange about that, because that’s correct flesh. The simple fact that God created men to be incompatible with other men, and women with women, shows that was not His original plan.

        Paul condemns idol worship in Romans chapter 1 verse 23. He says because they were worshiping idols, God Himself gave them over to vile affections.

        Men with men working that which is unseemly is the result of idol worship, not the sin of idol worship.

        ” The church should be pointing people to him, here we are failing hugely and we’ve hurt so many. ”

        Yes, the church should point everyone to God. I agree, but telling them, or anyone, that their lifestyle is acceptable before God is simply not true.

        When a person gets truly saved, the body dies to sin (Romans 6:1-4)

        So a homosexual who gets saved would become free from that sin ( Romans 6:7)

        Not continue on in it.

        “I believe it’s not a choice and there is overwhelming evidence to support this.”

        If it were not a choice, why are there ex-homosexuals? And why were the Corinthians believers formerly effeminate and practicing sodomy?

        Why would God create people homosexual and then punish them for doing what He created them to do?

        These are things you need to consider.

        Thanks for the reply.

        Like

      • Your last question is exactly what made me decide to re-examine what the bible says on this topic in the first place.

        As for people choosing their sexuality, I ask you to read this and consider what it is saying; http://www.christiantoday.com/article/former.ex.gay.leaders.publish.open.letter.saying.conversion.therapy.is.damaging/39256.htm

        I think, if Paul is referring to those who were using homosexual acts in the way I previously stated, it makes perfect sense that they turned away from it once they became Christians.

        ‘Effeminate’ is interesting by the way. In Greek the word was malokoi which literally means, soft. It was used to describe men who were weak, lazy, cowardly, unstable ect. Not in the way we see the word used in culture today.

        If I am right and it’s not a choice, then telling them their orientation is a sin, is majorly unhelpful. So we really do need to be careful how we respond.

        I think this is going to be a case of agreeing to disagree. You are perfectly entitled to your view point 🙂

        Thanks for taking the time to discuss it.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s