Question: I need some advice, I know a man and he used to practice homosexuality, he has become a Christian and is now studying to be a minister. He said he no longer does the act, but he still considers himself “gay” and he has a boyfriend. I am not sure how to talk to him, I feel he wants to change but it seems that he needs a reminder of the life style change. Please don’t misunderstand, he and myself have talks all the time, I am not intruding on his beliefs but I feel if he wants to represent God, he should do so completely. Thanks for your time.
Answer: First, I hope your ‘friend’ does not become a minister, at least not with the attitude that he has. There would have to be a real miracle of repentance take place in his life, and some time elapse before he should even consider being a minister of the Gospel. To be honest with you, though, I would be afraid this ‘friend’ of yours would put other lives at risk considering the attitude he has now.
“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner- not even to eat with such a person.
“For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person.'” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
These are not my words, but the words of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul. We are not to play with fire or we will be burned also. I believe even the relation you are having with this individual is way too casual, and not on the right ground to begin with.
If you love this brother in the Lord, if he truly is saved, you will need to admonish him very strongly on the path he is taking. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
If you cannot take a stand for righteousness in this serious issue of homosexuality, this basic area of righteousness, then you have no business being around this individual. Also, if he is not repentant then he should not be considered a ‘friend’ until he repents.
St. Paul speaks about a case sexual immorality in the church in Corinth, this one had to do with a brother having a sexual relationship with his mother, possibly his step mother, but still a very serious situation. Here is what Paul said should be done:
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles-that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:1-8)
Now fortunately, this story has a happy ending, the brother repented and was welcomed back into the fold. However, until he had repented he was not welcome in the body of Christ. We see what Paul says to do if a person truly repents of their sin and turns from it.
“But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent-not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.
“For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:4)
The problem with many Christians and churches today is that they don’t see sin as all that bad, so they don’t see the need for church discipline, or for Christians to speak to other people who call themselves Christians, when they are sinning.
Then today the current philosophy is that everything is ‘good,’ and you are not to rock the boat. Heaven forbid that we should judge another’s sin and say you need to repent. A person who says such a thing is considered ‘mean spirited.’ Well, God has standards and these have not changed, even if society says homosexuality is ok, the Bible still says it is wrong. Even if a person, who will go unnamed, said, it is condemned, by Paul “in an obscure passage in Romans.”
The passage this person was referencing is no other than the most important treatises in the New Testament on the Constitution of the Church. Here is the passage we are speaking of:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:19-27)
Do I think you should talk to your friend about his attitude and actions? Yes, if you can do it in love, using Scripture, telling the whole truth, and not holding back. If you can’t do this, get away from the fire before it burns you also.
Let’s see what the little “obscure” book of Jude, just before Revelation has to say about this subject:
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Old and New Apostates
“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire…
Apostates Depraved and Doomed
“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
“These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
Maintain Your Life with God
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”
I hope this answers your question,
In Christian love,
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