Evangelize… Don’t Moralize! Part 2

The unbelieving homosexual, no matter what they believe about homosexuality, is a sinner and needs Jesus! In my case, after I was lead to tell my new Christian friend, Jill, I had been leading a lesbian lifestyle for many years, let’s remember how she spoke the truth in love. She responded by telling me that it’s wrong because the Bible says it is. And she balanced it out with “but God love’s you and I love you… that is something you need to take to God.” It was a word fitly spoken (Pro. 15:2; 15:23b). Had she been in my face that it is an abomination… or had she begun to espouse her beliefs that it is unnatural, harmful, and destructive to civilization, all of which may be true, it would not have gone well with me. All those answers are to a certain degree subjective. They can be and will be dismissed as just your opinion. Because Jill didn’t do that, and she humbly and lovingly pointed me to the Lord and His truth; no defensiveness surfaced on my part, and I didn’t feel or sense any condemnation.

The important truth we want to remember here is that homosexuality is wrong is because God, who gave us our sexual capacities, simply said so in His Word! When we present the case in that light, we remove our personal opinions and experiences from the argument, thus bringing the person face to face with God Himself and the truth of His Word. This was my situation. Jill knew I believed in God, but I was not born again and she sensed I was opening up to spiritual things. She looked for an opportunity to be a minister of reconciliation, sharing the gospel of peace with me. That opportunity came the next day!

So, if God gives you an opportunity to minister to a person struggling with homosexuality, keep it simple and focused, praying for an open door to share the gospel. Be patient and let the Holy Spirit work, but don’t moralize by overemphasizing the sinfulness of homosexuality. In the New Testament, homosexual behavior is not singled out as more sinful than adultery, fornication, idolatry, blaspheme, greed, hatred, or any other specific sins. Paul consistently placed homosexual behavior right alongside a variety of other sins (see Rom 1:29-31; 1Cor 6:9-10; 1Tim 1:9-10). Neither should we single it out as the worst of sins. One reason they didn’t single it out was because homosexual sex was as common in the Roman world as it is becoming in ours. That has not been the case with us until recently, so we have tended to overreact to homosexuality more than to other sins. And, some have thought that Paul identified homosexual sin as more sinful in the first chapter of Romans, but I agree with most good Bible teachers, that that is not the case. In verses 26-32, Paul is using homosexual behavior to illustrate the inevitable moral insanity and sexual perversity that follows when people, nations, cultures, and civilizations reject the true and living God. We’re seeing the fruit of turning away from God and doing our own thing in our country, are we not? All unrighteousness is sin!

Once I was born again, then I dealt with the homosexual issue. I thought, ok, I’m a sinner… I’m saved… but is homosexuality really sin? With the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God I was convicted that it was a sinful lifestyle. If I had a problem with that, I would have had to wrestle with God about it. I’m a firm believer that conviction over specific sins is better left to the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t clean us up and then save us. He saves us and then begins His “open heart surgery”… changing us from the inside out. Remember, specific sins are fruit of the root problem: all men and women sinners, who are dead in our trespasses and sins. The only remedy is the salvation that comes through personal faith in Jesus Christ.

In closing, it’s time to get back to the important question. How did I come out of homosexuality? First I received the gospel message, became a new creation in Christ, truly born again, a sinner saved by grace! Praise the Lord! And, very soon after I was born again, I agreed with God that according to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin. I could not and would not lead that lifestyle any longer. Is that it, you ask? No, there were some struggles to overcome. But I was so grateful for my salvation. I loved Jesus much more than the homosexual lifestyle. I allowed Him to be the Lord of my life, and by His amazing grace He opened up His storehouse of blessings that canceled the past, equipped me to deal the struggles of coming out of homosexuality and secured my future! Again, I say, praise the Lord. Stay tuned… more to come!

Prayer thought: Precious Lord, give us the heart of a minister of reconciliation and the opportunity to share the gospel of peace to a hurting world!

Related source:  (Speaking the Truth) In Love  (standupforthetruth.com)

Biblical Love and Knowledge a Must

We’ve been looking at the necessity of speaking the truth in love and what that really entails.  I hope you read the last post and watched Pastor Bob’s five minute video.  As Christians, may our hearts be the same as his and may our churches deal with the issue through biblical love as his does.  May we be ready to help anyone who comes to us struggling and not liking the lifestyle and wondering if there is a chance they can change.  Our answer must be yes, yes, yes!  But we then must have the knowledge necessary to give biblical advice and direction.  There are thousands of us who had identified ourselves as homosexual, but by the grace of God were able to move forward to real change and healing.

Please keep in mind that as the world is preaching more and more that homosexuality is normal and simply an alternative lifestyle… God is brokenhearted about it.  Doesn’t God love the homosexual?  Yes, He does, but it’s not what He has for them. We must be careful not to let our sympathy and compassion for those caught-up in the lifestyle or for those who have been struggling for years with same-sex attractions/feelings, to take us away from the truth of our faith.  Nor should our sympathy for the struggler cause us to doubt whether they can change; and due to lack of knowledge, remain clueless how to respond to their claims. 

Not all homosexuals that you come in contact with are going to be seeking change and might be quite ugly at any mention of change.  They will defend their lifestyle with a passion.  They may tell you, they have known they were gay since they were 4 years old… that they’ve never had attractions for the opposite-sex.  They asked Jesus into their life, but continued to struggle with same-sex attractions for years.  Now they believe God loves them and they don’t need to change… because Jesus never taught it was wrong in the Gospels.  They have the gay theology down pat.  Would you know how to refute their twisting of certain scriptures.   Perhaps you declare “you were not born homosexual… you chose to be homosexual” and they respond, “that’s not true; I’ve always struggled with these unwanted same-sex attractions/feelings; I didn’t choose them; so I finally came to grips with who I am… to try and change the homosexual is wrong and harmful!”

As I minister to other Christians, I find that many feel inadequate to minister in this area.  Why?  Because the Bible alone does not give them all the knowledge that is needed to answer all the questions and remarks thrown at them from a struggler or someone defending their lifestyle.  Also, they have never personally known someone who God has changed.  As I end this post, may I ask an important question?  Are you willing to prepare yourself to minister in this area? 

You need not feel inadequate.  Check out the resource page of my website www.bridgeofhopeministry.com for help; you’ll find a link for my book, Love Flowed Down, that you’ll find very helpful as I share my testimony and what I learned that helped me come out and be changed.  I’ve listed other ministries and books that can prepare you.  Biblically based help is available for individuals and churches.  How’s your heart?  Are you willing to gain the knowledge necessary to minister the truth to someone you know and love who is homosexual?  Or to be prepared for the struggler God may soon bring into your life.  I pray you are!

God’s Personal Love

In 1986, the woman I was with broke up with me and it started me on a downward spiral into the pit.  By the summer of 1988, I was almost in the pit of despair.  As the saying goes, I didn’t know if I was “on foot or horse-back”.  I could not find relationships that made me happy, that met my needs.  I almost had an affair with a man while I was having a physical relationship with a woman who I really did not like very much.  I had a huge void deep inside that needed to be filled!  I was back living the double life (as I had in the years before I began living my 15 year lesbian lifestyle).  I had no peace in my life.  Simply put, I was a mess.  But this turned out to be a very good thing because God finally had me in a place where He could work in my life.

A young woman shared the gospel with me, and the love of Jesus changed my life.  My new life started when I received Jesus into my life (John 1: 12) and consciously repented of my sin.  And this is the important thing I want you to understand in this post.  From the very beginning, the true motivation for me to walk by the power of the Spirit, and not by the desires of my fleshly feelings and attractions, has been God’s love for me.  I understood He loved me when I was doing my own thing.  I was so grateful and felt I was forgiven much.  His love was manifested by His death on the cross for me, personally!

His personal love for me made a huge difference in my life.  Right from the very beginning, it was my desire to worship Him and live my life for Him.  This kind of love I could not find in any homosexual relationship, nor in any earthly relationship, period!  No other relationship could heal my soul.  No other relationship could give me the deep inner-peace I received when I was born again.  Even with the same-sex feelings and attractions hanging around for a few years, and the need for God to heal me of my tendency toward emotional dependence on another person, I wanted and needed Jesus more than my old life!  It was immediately the desire of my heart to flee the old lyfestyle and like Mary Magdalene pursue following Jesus!  Have I walked a perfect walk with Jesus the past 20 years.  Absolutely not… but love has always been the motivation to get back on track.

Is God truly personal to you?  If you have never accepted the love of Calvary into your heart, He cannot be personal to you.  Only when we, sinful men and women, personally receieve the love of God poured down at Calvary can we say… it was for me! 

(Much of this post is from my book, Love Flowed Down… it was for me.  Pages 24-25, 59-60.)