Q: I recently discovered that a very close friend is a homosexual. I am struggling with what my attitude should be toward this person, struggling between my Christian beliefs and my love for this person. Call you offer some advice?”
A: Whenever approaching a person trapped in a lifestyle which the Bible condemns as sin, the inspired advice of the apostle Paul is needed: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” It’s natural to feel a tension between the Bible’s outright rejection of homosexuality (Romans 1:26, 17; I Corinthians 6:9; Genesis 19:5; Leviticus 18:22), and the desire to deal gently and lovingly with a friend who is either intentionally or unintentionally living a life that opposes Christ. But the key question the Christian must ask is: How best am I going to show true love to my fallen friend?
In dealing with your friend it is paramount not to give any signal of condoning the sinful lifestyle he espouses. Adhere first to God’s truth in calling sin as sin, no matter how today’s permissive society pressures individuals, families, and churches to avoid voicing any repudiation. Your friend needs to see precisely what God’s Law says under the whole subject of the Sixth Commandment, for it is only when sin is exposed for what it is that the healing balm of Jesus’ forgiveness and his promise of a new life can be applied to “the spiritual cancer.”
How should you carry this out? If the person isn’t familiar with the teachings of Scripture, careful and patient instruction by word and example is necessary. If your friend, however, is living under the guise of Christianity, your associating will need to be curtailed until fruits of repentance are in evidence. Paul speaks of not associating with “anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral. . . With such a man do not even eat,” (I Corinthians 5:11). Again we state that this be done only after careful and patient instruction.
Clear indication should be given your friend that the reason you are “raising the issue” is to demonstrate that the real and genuine love is to direct a lost soul to Christ, even in the face of what the world thinks is “loveless.” And if and when your friend renounces his sin, you will be quick like Nathan (II Sam. 12) to announce the Lord’s forgiveness with no probationary conditions attached.