November 21, 2017

Ministering in Love to Homosexuals

by Matt Recker

Recently, I was confronted with a challenging statement followed by some questions that deserve answers:

“Many Christians fight hard against gay rights (which is not an incorrect battle), but few grapple with how to minister the gospel to homosexuals and other equally tempted believers in this lifestyle. For example, what do you say to a close friend who is a professing believer, but struggles with homosexual lust? Where did this lust come from? How does he or she combat it? How do we match God’s hatred for sin while maintaining a redemptive friendship?”

As we seek to better understand homosexuality as Christians, it is imperative to balance compassion with courage. Many times a person is directly introduced to homosexuality through victimizing acts such as molestation, incest, or rape. Other times, there may be indirect causes such as: adultery committed by the parents resulting in the fear of relating to someone of the opposite sex, an over-achieving mother coupled with a passive father, drunkenness or abuse by the father, or occult practices and demonic influences in the home. Perhaps there was a deprivation of parental love, or maybe certain physical characteristics brought about the inner conflict. A person may turn to homosexuality seeking pleasure as an attempt to cover up the pain that a fallen world has imposed. Homosexual behavior may very well be motivated by legitimate desires for love and acceptance, but it is always an ungodly response to hurt, abuse, or rejection.

The reality of the situation is that we live in a culture where we are constantly being sinned against, and we sin in return. If you have a friend that is caught up in this struggle, a good strategy would be to discover the trauma that occurred in their childhood. As God gives you opportunity in your friendship, ask them about their family history. What was their father like? Ask them about their mother, grandparents, and siblings. Ask them about their church history. What did they experience at church? Was there any abuse in that setting? Many times they may want to share the burden of their heart, but simply do not know how.

Furthermore, we need to minister to homosexuals by sharing with them the true nature of our Triune God. Due to past wounds, they may be angry at God and think He planned a life of suffering for them. It would be helpful for them to know that God set up a perfect place for man to live in the Garden of Eden, but our rebellion against Him brought sin and pain into the world. It would also be helpful for them to understand that God knows everything about them and still is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:6b-7a). It would be proper for us to lovingly confront homosexuals with the sinful passions that are at work in them. By partaking in homosexuality, a person is giving in to the weakness of their sinful flesh and yielding one’s members as “servants unto uncleanness and unto iniquity” (Romans 7:5, Romans 6:19).

Lastly, we can share the power of the Gospel with homosexuals because deliverance from any sin is indeed possible (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Anyone who was once a servant of sin can experience the freedom offered by Jesus Christ in the Gospel: “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness … but now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Romans 6:18,22).

If you are close enough to a friend struggling with this particular sin, request to do an in depth study on Romans 6-8. Ultimately, the true love that a homosexual craves can be found through Jesus Christ and His substitutionary death, His burial, and His bodily resurrection. Let us challenge our homosexual friends or family members to live a life in Jesus Christ, where hope and meaning can be found. He alone is the One who supplies the true friendship and the peace, love and joy for which we all seek. He alone delivers us from this world of sin into the Holy City of heaven where no tears, pain, or death exists, but where we will experience the magnificent light of His presence for all eternity.

Pastor Matt Recker serves in Heritage Baptist Church in the Chelsea area of Manhattan, NYC. To write this article, I referred to a Syllabus of Basic Teachings of Freedom and Counselor Training Guide by Joanne and Ronald Highly of LIFE Ministry, NY, NY. Their ministry counsels those who desire freedom from homosexuality is on the same floor as our church office in Midtown Manhattan.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

Submit other comments here.