We should respond the way JESUS did.
What do I mean by that? We have a perfect example of how to deal with the LGBTQ community, and it’s the Lord JESUS, Himself.
I also want to be upfront and let you know I have both family members and friends, whom I love very much, who are part of the LGBTQ community.
We find the example of JESUS in John 4:4-42. From this passage there are four unmistakable principles that give us an example of how we should engage with people regardless of what community they are part of.
One, we see that JESUS loves everyone (John 4:4). JESUS went to her. John says, “He had to go through Samaria.” That’s really not true. He didn’t have to go through Samaria. No Jew ever would. But JESUS did. You know why? There was someone He wanted to reach. He was going where people were.
Listen to His words in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That includes people with same-sex attractions.
In 1 Timothy 2:3-4, Paul said, “This is good, and is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Again, that includes every member of the LGBTQ community.
Two, JESUS initiated the conversation with the Samaritan woman (John 4:7-9). “He said to her, ‘Give me a drink.'” She was shocked that He was talking to her. The racial hatred between Jews and Samaritans was undeniable. But JESUS was a friend to her. Something He was often criticized for being – “a friend of sinners” (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34).
Three, JESUS invited her to a better life (John 4:13-14) and she really wanted what He offered.
Four, JESUS affirmed God’s model for sexuality (John 4:16-19). He said to her, “Go, get your husband.” She replied, “I don’t have a husband.” JESUS answered, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands and the one you now have is not your husband.”
He didn’t compromise the truth or lower God’s standards just to make her feel better. She tried to change the conversation to worship styles (John 4:20-24) and then told Him she knew the “Messiah was coming and that He would tell us all things” (John 4:25). JESUS told her, “That’s Me” (vs. 26).
The disciples returned, apparently with some food for JESUS, and the woman left. She went back to her town and told everybody they needed to come to JESUS. The result was a city-wide revival (John 4:39-42).
That’s a terrific example of how Christians should respond to the LGBTQ community or the Polyamorous Community (where you can have multiple relationships) or any of the other communities with their own plans for sexuality instead of God’s.
There are two fundamental, inseparable and undeniable truths we cannot and must not ignore. First, there is only one authority: THE BIBLE. And there is only one Savior: JESUS.
If our theology changes when someone from our family or one of our friends joins one of those communities, we no longer have a theology. We have a me-ology, where we attempt to believe whatever we want in order to keep everybody happy, even though we and/or others are violating Scripture and living in open rebellion against God.
The Bible is clear: God doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6). His Word doesn’t change (Matthew 24:25; Revelation 22:18-19), and His Son never changes (Hebrews 13:8).
God hasn’t changed His mind, His Word, His standards or His plans for us. If we really love our family and friends, we need to tell them the truth. We have to tell them the truth. To do anything less would be eternally unloving.
The Bible is clear that no person living in sexual immorality of any kind will enter the Kingdom.
1 Timothy 1:9-10 says, “Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
God’s condemnation of homosexuality is clear in Scripture. He has opposed it in every age. And again, His testimony is: “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
He opposed it in the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28).
He opposed it in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13).
He opposed it in the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50; 2 Peter 2:6-10).
He opposed it in the New Testament (Romans 1:18-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Jude 7-8).
Some have said, “Well, JESUS never addressed the issue.” YES, HE DID.
“God hasn’t changed His mind, His Word, His standards or His plans for us. If we really love our family and our friends, we need to tell them the truth.”
Matthew 19:4-6, “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’”
JESUS absolutely affirmed God’s standard and model for sexuality.
Others will say, “Well, as long as you don’t act on your same-sex attraction you’re good.” That’s not what JESUS said.
In Matthew 5:27-30, JESUS said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
His point was: DEAL with it. REPENT of it and STOP it before it destroys you. It’s a struggle for every child of God to live the Christian life, to be holy, set apart and do what’s right.
The Bible says, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
Just because we have the right to do something doesn’t make it right.
We cannot and must not compromise what God’s Word says. We can love our relatives and friends who make bad choices that go against God’s Word. But we cannot condone those choices or ignore what God’s Word says.
The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). So every sinner is welcome at every Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. However, just as JESUS declared to the woman at the well in John 8:11, “Go now and leave your life of sin,” we must hold that same standard for every sinner, including ourselves.
If anyone ignores that standard or attempts to defy it by choosing to continue to live in sin, the Bible clearly says, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6).
Those who leave their sin can not only have hope, but heaven as well. Paul affirmed the Corinthians who had left their sin to follow JESUS in 1 Corinthians 6:11 when he said, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.”
Those who leave their sin and receive JESUS as Lord and Savior will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). Which is what we encourage everyone to do.
No one can live a sinless life. Neither can anyone continue to live a sinful life and claim to be a follower of JESUS. That’s living in deception and defiance when He has clearly called us to live and walk in obedience (John 14:15).
The Apostle Peter who, like all of us, failed the Lord miserably many times, repented and the Lord restored him. Here was his testimony and encouragement toward the end of his life, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
That’s my heart, too. I don’t want anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance.
So I conclude by encouraging you to follow in the footsteps of Peter and the example of Moses, who chose “to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25).
How should we respond to the LGBTQ community? We should always respond in grace and truth with the love of JESUS. And always remember …
Nothing in this life is worth missing the one to come!
© 2020. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.