How Should A Christian Respond To Gay Marriage While Still Showing Love and Grace?

What can a Christians say to a gay friend or about gay marriage while still showing the grace and love of God?

Love Speaks the Truth

We show our friends, family members, and co-workers no love at all if we don’t tell them the truth about what God’s Word says about homosexuality. The greatest act of love we can display to those we know is to speak the truth and not sugar coat what God says. It is God’s Word, not ours, that is important. If you knew someone was driving down a dangerous mountain road and there was a curve coming up and the bridge was out, wouldn’t you care enough to tell them the truth, regardless of whether they were offended or not? Surely you wouldn’t want them to get hurt or die. Love and grace is truth and compassion and warning someone that the Word of God says “the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Rev 21:8). That is the fate of not just the unrepentant sexually immoral but all unrepentant liars, murderers, idolaters, and sorcerers (Rev 20:12-15).

What is Sin?

The Bible describes sin as the transgression or breaking of the law of God (1 John 3:4). Sin isn’t what we think is wrong or what we believe is immoral; sin is what God describes as the breaking of His moral law so read what God says about homosexuality; “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Rom 1:26-27). Further, Paul asks the rhetorical question in 1st Cor 6:9 “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” but also includes “thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1st Cor 6:10). That is why it is written that “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1st Cor 6:13).

Or-do-you-not-know-that

Sexual Sin is Sin Against the Body

Paul reiterates that “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1st Cor 6:13) and “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never” (1st Cor 6:15)! Whoever “is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh” (1st Cor 6:16). Sexual immorality covers a wide range of sexual behavior like prostitution, adultery, fornication (sex outside of marriage) and means any sex outside of a natural union between a husband and a wife which is why Paul warns us to “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1st Cor 6:18). If we sin like stealing or lying, that type of sin is outside of the body and even though it is still sin it is not directed against one’s own body and the other person’s body but “the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” and this includes both partners, whether they be male with female or same sex partners.

Those Not Inheriting the Kingdom of God

Here is a list of things that everyone who does such things without repenting and trusting in Christ will not be going into the kingdom; 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” (1st Cor 6:9-10) and “the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21). Those who teach that these things are acceptable are teaching things that are contrary to what the Word of God says (1st Tim 1:10). There are a lot of people who think they’re going to heaven that aren’t going there…which is why we must warn them out of a selfless sense of love and do it showing grace because before we were saved, we were headed for the very same fate.

Conclusion

Paul admonished Christians to “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret” (Eph 5:11-12) so we must not take part is these sinful practices but we are also told to “expose them” and I don’t mean to expose and shame them before others but to expose them to the light of the Word of God (Eph 5:12-13). Pray for them, love them, show them the grace of God, but you must also warn them of the coming wrath of God, not just on the sexually immoral, but on all who refuse to repent and turn away and forsake their sins and then place their trust completely in Christ (Dan 12:2; Rev 20:12-15). The greatest act of love is to warn them that practice sexual immorality of any kind and those who falsely teach that it is acceptable to God that unless they also repent, they will eternally perish (Luke 13:3, 5). Loving someone enough to risk rejection, scorn, ridicule, and persecution displays more grace and love than you might believe. Just look at what Christ endured for us so that He might save us through His love and grace because at one time “such were some of you. But you [and I] were washed, [we] were sanctified, [we] were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1st Cor 6:11).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.

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  • Fred the Barbarian

    What an excellent idea! That way decent people will know to never have anything to do with bigot filth like you ever again!

    • 92JazzQueen .

      Yeah, Bigoted is really buzzword for anyone who tells me something I don’t like.

      • Fred the Barbarian

        Still not in heaven, princess? Aren’t you worried that Jesus will find someone else to ejaculate into?

    • John Carver

      A soft answer is the Lord’s way. How does that compare to yours? You were behaving positively indecent. Are you proud of it, or are you living in fear of the Lord? You should be. When you behave like those you condemn you are condemning yourself for you do the same things with your high mindedness. There is no love at all in your reply. How may it have anything to do with a Spirit that said, “God is love.” Be decent after this. I found your reply real. That’s a good start. Now be truthful and honest with yourself and the Lord and let him forgive you your sins and teach you how to deal with those who sin against him. Did she even sin against you? At all? Why are you trying to protect yourself when you are not even threatened? Did you even consider she might be one of his? Talk to the Lord. He loves you really. You had the sense to get real, so admit that fleshly spirit you acted in hates him. And let him help you defeat it. In the Holy Spirit I pray that you will. Please? Before they drag you off where that hateful spirit is leading you. Please. Is it really that important to you that you are willing to lose your soul on account of it? And after this be very careful who you condemn with malice. You could wind up condemned yourself. Remember he who leads into captivity shall wind up a captive. And he who lives by violence will die by violence. That is true for everyone not just the unsaved my homophobic friend. Let’s allow him to bring us back into a right relationship with him. I am homophobic myself. I am that I am, but the good news is: Jesus Christ is too. I started with him and God willing I will end with him, not some homophobic pastor with a mean spirit. Amen?

      • Fred the Barbarian

        Hope you’re blowin’ Jesus really soon!

  • memyselfandi

    “We show our friends, family members, and co-workers no love at all if we don’t tell them the truth about what God’s Word says about homosexuality. ”

    In that case, I’d rather you not show me any love at all, thanks.

    • Hilary

      Likewise, I agree. If that’s Christian love I’m better of without it.

      • John Carver

        It isn’t my friend. He is that he is. You are that you are. Just as I am that I am. That’s real. That’s not only the truth. That’s reality. Start there and talk to Christ about it. I don’t think your sin is any worse than mine, for to him sin is sin. Don’t let them condemn you. They aren’t Christians really. They just fantasize about being that. They are known by their fruit, And the fruit they bear is not Holy by anyone’s measure of holiness. The poor delusional lost things. Pray God will lead them back to the reality they may have never known before. Fight their evil with his goodness. And don’t ever give up.

    • John Carver

      We show people who condemn people using God’s word as a tool a great disservice if we don’t point out that a mean spirit in a Christian is like Jesus surrounded by the Sanhedrin. Satan love to trick us into roll reversals. But why let him. If you aren’t really a Christian in the first place why are you choosing to misuse his words? Whom do you hope to deceive? Yourself or others. God knows what you’re up to even if you don’t. Examine yourself more intensely and you will find the sinful cause of your nastiness. I did. I’m a homophobic sinner. But Jesus is at least working on that sin of chasing off sinners from the tent meetings. Do you have the courage to get real with God instead of your fantasy god? BTW How does it feel? Like Heaven? If so you may need a psychiatrist more than a Savior.

  • Stevie D

    You start with a good question : “What can a Christians say to a gay friend or about gay marriage while still showing the grace and love of God?”

    You follow this with your version of a Biblical case for rejecting Homosexual practice.

    You offer no answer to your original question. Unless I misunderstand your Bible quotes and you believe that quoting these passages to your “Gay Friend” is the best way to show grace and love?

    • John Carver

      I don’t know why anyone would listen to him. I was on another thread and saw no evidence the man is in touch with reality let alone has access to the Holy Spirit. This is one however I personally think, not God but I myself, one should pray very carefully about. I am admittedly homophobic like the churches I went to taught me to be and must be disqualified as an advice giver. Did anyone think of getting right with God, keeping it right, and praying sincerely on their own instead of some online adviser who may or may not be either emulating some homophobic teacher or a typical mean spirited Christian to begin with. I think Jesus cries when we condemn anyone even queers.

  • David Murphy

    You know, I respect the idea of ‘hating the sin and loving the sinner’ problem is almost no one seems to actually practice it. The prevailing opinion seems to be that loving the sinner means passing laws to discriminate or deny them legal privileges that everyone else has. And when people criticize it’s called persecution

    • Mark Bell

      Really? Criticism is “persecution”?
      So when homosexuals criticize Christians – which is 24/7 – is that “persecution”?
      You have no objection to hating and persecuting, so long as you are the ones doing it. That’s called “hypocrisy.”

      • David Murphy

        Define the criticism that Christians receive from Homosexual people? Are Christians denies service by gay business owners? Where are the Homosexual lobbyists trying to have Christianity banned? Where are the lobbyists saying that being Christian should be a criminal offence?
        Certainly you could find some extremists arguing for it if you looked hard enough but in general Christians still hold a lot of cultural power in the States today.
        When someone tries to deny Christians or muslims, Buddhists, hindu’s and whatever other religion I’ve forgotten, of their 1st amendment rights, or tries to have them criminalized, or murdered, or denied services for their beliefs I will be right there arguing against it. Just as I am now arguing against denying Homosexuals of legal age the right to marry their partners, eat from the same restaurants as me, shop from the same public businesses and be treated the same under the law as every other American citizen.
        Nothing really wrong with that

  • DavidC

    As others have noted, it seems like your answer to the question you pose at the top is to simply quote scripture at someone. Is that really supposed to be an all encompassing and sufficient answer?

    As a gay person, here’s a couple ways that actually comes across to me. First, it comes across as a lack of respect. It doesn’t seem like you believe anyone who doesn’t already agree with you could have sincerely and genuinely wrestled with the issue and come to a different conclusion. It makes it seem like you think anyone who is LGBT or supports gay marriage is wholly ignorant of those particular verses (believe me, they are not.)

    Secondly, when your main or only reaction is to quote scripture at me, it often feels like you view me as more of an issue to be railed against than an actual person. I have a real desire to love and be loved, real hopes, real fears, and real pain. Quoting scripture at me that, at best, essentially only says “don’t have sex” misses the mark terribly. It assumes that sex is all I could possibly be interested in, and that my interest in forming the only type of adult, romantic, committed, sacrificial relationship that is ever going to work for me boils down to a sex act. I can assure you it does not.

    You can say you love me all you like, but if your responses to me make it clear that you are more concerned with taking a position than with actually engaging with me as a human being (as your proposed method of quoting scripture does), that claim will continue to ring hollow.

  • The author compares driving down a dangerous road to carry the same necessity as to “warn them of the coming wrath of God”. One warns a person away from danger to prevent harm. There is no sin in Paul’s long list that doesn’t have an obvious real life harm. In contrast there is no objective harm to the lifelong commitment of two same sex persons to fidelity, respect and support in marriage…none.
    Paul is making a list of obviously harmful practices. For example he lists drunkeness. Does he mean the person who becomes intoxicated once is going to hell? Or does he mean a life of drunkeness will certainly harm oneself and others?
    The most honest way to read that list is to understand each of those sins from a perspective of actual harm. Could he have meant one man’s rape of another? Could he have meant the abuse of a servant? Could he have meant the use of male prostitutes? Any of those would be far more reasonable to see as the sin he was referring to. Thus, as one Christian to another, I would admonish you to stop taking verses out of context.

  • Jack Wellman

    Yes, the author’s driven down the road of biblical truth and the truth sets you free or it really makes you made. I stick with what God says and not human opinion. This is what God’s Word says and not what I think.

    • SJ

      A lot of the gay marriage issue is a result of so many churches thinking the Old Testament Law doesn’t apply. It still does.

      The law is perfect and spiritual. The Old Man died under it but the New Man observes it. Jesus Christ observed the Law and we’re going to observe it in the Millenial Kingdom…Micah and Ezekiel say so.

      The dietary laws are still wise but a lot of churches misinterpreted Peter’s vision. He never declared foods clean. Pigs still carry retroviruses and shrimp can still make you sick if they bottom feed on the wrong things.

      God declared gentiles clean enough to be approached with the Gospel in Peter’s vision.

      We have gay marriage today because the Church threw God’s Old Testament Law out of the Church.

      It has helped increase lawless interpretations among liberal Christians and now we’re paying for the biblical ignorance.

      There are two laws. The external one in the Old Testament and the internal one given by Jesus.

      God never rescinded either set of Laws….He may have modified the sacrifices and replaced them with Jesus but it is a fact today that pork can carry a retrovirus.

      The primary directive from God was for people to go out and multiply and that direction passed into Christianity….God never said He didn’t want to have children…In fact, the opposite is true. He will adopt anyone that humbly acknowledges Him.

  • Jane Newsham

    I am a Christian who supports same-sex marriage. This group of Christians is growing daily – and we are sorry that LGBT people still have to come across articles like this. This is how Christians should respond:
    ·
    We no longer use Scripture to make other people
    feel ‘less than’, diminished, condemned, unacceptable
    ·
    We no longer use Scripture to keep gay people ‘in
    their place’ and out of churches
    ·
    We no longer use Scripture to assert our own
    self-serving agenda
    ·
    We no longer use Scripture to glorify our own
    ‘moral superiority’ (this isn’t moral and we’re not superior)
    ·
    We no longer use Scripture to alienate people
    from God (this undermines God’s purposes)
    ·
    We no longer use Scripture to attempt to control
    and manipulate the lives and relationships of others
    ·
    We no longer use Scripture to support the work and
    purposes of the Enemy

    Anyone who quotes the ‘clobber verses ‘ to shame gay people,
    distorts the Gospel, undermines the Holy
    Spirit’s mission, and dishonors God.
    This isn’t the way of Jesus but the way of the Pharisees.

    • Jack Wellman

      And finally, you no longer use Scriptures and thus the problem. Do you not believe the Scriptures?

      • Jane Newsham

        There is no Scripture to support your demonisation of LGBT people.
        There are a thousand other scriptures to reveal God’s love and blessing for us all – straight and gay. If you don’t yet see this, Jack, you will struggle as the LGBT inclusion process unfolds in our generation. This is an Acts 10 movement – the Holy Spirit is at work!

        • Jack Wellman

          I appreciate your grace and your kind response. I stand by the dozens of Scriptures and until I am convinced by Scripture, I can not differ. I too am still a work in progress and am no saint and a sinner for sure> You are right, there is no “Scripture” (singular) but “Scriptures” yes, by the dozens, e.g.I stopped at 11 but there are others of course: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Homosexuality/ and many others and these are all wrong? http://www.openbible.info/topics/homosexuality

          • Jane Newsham

            We don’t win people to faith by Bible-bashing, this drives people away from faith. In our new cultural context, the scriptures are undermining God’s work to draw people to himself. Gay people are committing to marriage – we extend the same respect to their marriages that we hope they would extend to our own marriages (the Golden Rule) – and we trust God to deal with any sin in anyone’s marriage (straight or gay).

          • SJ

            No you’re a saint now Jack…best to realize it. That way you’re further along down the Lord’s course for your life.

      • James

        Nobody believes everything that is written in the Bible. Everybody picks and chooses which parts to believe and which parts to re-interpret so that those parts are no longer bothersome. Anybody who has honestly and thoroughly studied the Bible knows that it is not inerrant. God did not write the Bible. Nor did God dictate to the various writers. There are many contradictions in the Bible, and many scientific/historical mistakes. There are also many passages which claim that God requires behavior that any decent person would find abhorrent. It is up to each of us, in reading the Bible, to seek understanding and to seek to discern which parts of the Bible are consistent with the Gospel of Christ and which parts are not.

    • Stevie D

      Thank you Jane