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Pastoral 2015

What shall I do if someone who is close to me “come out” to say “I am gay”?

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Just a week ago, a young Christian sister shared with me how troubled she felt when her long-time school friend revealed that he is a gay. As a Christian, she was also deeply concerned as to what is the right way to relate to her friend who has now openly “come out” as a homosexual. Should she continue to associate with that friend or separate herself completely? Can she maintain some kind of friendship with that friend, who now openly lives as a homosexual, so that she may have opportunities to share the Gospel with him?

There was another similar situation not too long ago, when I was asked what Christian parents should do if any of their children say to them that he or she is homosexual? Before I give my response to the above questions in the light of Scripture, I would like to exhort all Christian parents to teach their children Scripture’s categorical condemnation of homosexuality as a sin and its warning of God’s wrath against those who practise and would not repent from it. Parents’ biblical instruction and supervision of their children till they grow into adulthood is very important (see Proverbs 22:6, 15; 29:15, 17). We must prayerfully give ourselves to the spiritual nurture of our children so that they may be guided and nurtured in the way of holiness, even in the midst of the world’s increasing attempts to influence them with its wickedness. As with all sins (such as pornography, fornication, greed, selfishness, lying, theft, pride, murder, drug addiction and gambling), homosexuality is also being increasingly promoted in our modern society.

What should Christians do if a friend or a family member suddenly “comes out” as a gay? The biblical principles for Christians’ response to homosexuals are no different from the biblical counsels concerning Christians’ response to all other unrepentant men and women who live in unbelief and immorality.

  • Whether it be homosexuality or other forms of sexual immorality or for that matter, any other sin, we are admonished not to associate with those who utterly reject the Gospel and shamelessly engage in immoral deeds (Psalms 1:1-2; 26:4-5; Proverbs 4:14-15; Acts 15:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17; Ephesians 5:3-7, 11).

    • While we dissociate ourselves from the unbelieving sinners in order that we be not partakers and promoters of their sins and that we be not contaminated by their sins, we should not miss opportunities to show grace and kindness, and also to lovingly preach the Gospel to them, that they may turn from their errors to the salvation and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Otherwise, how would they know the Gospel, if we do not even communicate with them (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; Philippians 2:15)?
    • However, we must be prepared to be accused and even attacked (verbally or physically) by those who take offence against the divine condemnation of sin, and the exclusive claim that Christ alone is the Saviour (cf. John 15:20-21; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 23; 2 Timothy 1:8; 1 Peter 4:16).
  • If the sin is committed by one who claims to be a Christian, then he must be first confronted in a loving and yet firm manner. The severity of the sin in the light of Scripture must be explained to him, with a view to his repentance and restoration to a life of holiness and good testimony to God’s truth and glory (cf. Matthew 18:15; James 5:19-20; Galatians 6:1; Jude 22-23).

    • If he would not take heed to the biblical correction and repent at the first confrontation, then he must be approached again, with the help of matured and godly men, to persuade him to repent (cf. Matthew 18:16). If he repents at this point of confrontation, he should then be accepted with love and grace, and be carefully instructed, guided and strengthened by godly men.
    • If he still would not repent, then he ought to be put away from the church. Christians should stop fellowshipping with such a person (cf. Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; Romans 16:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 1 Timothy 6:5; 2 John 10).
    • Be not deceived: the one who claims to be a Christian and yet continues to live in sin without any repentance not only distorts the truth of God’s Word, but also seduces other Christians with his false claims about the Bible and his sinful pattern of life. Christians’ response towards such a person is clearly and emphatically stated in 1 Corinthians 5:13 – “Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person”! Christians, especially church leaders, have the moral duty to guard the purity of the church and to keep God’s flock from ungodly and corrupt influences.

 

BWWR Spread the Gospel Blessings

Our Bible Witness Web Radio (BWWR) continues to spread the blessings of God’s wisdom and truth around the world. The testimonies we receive from around the world speak of these. Below is a communication between a listener from Australia and BWWR’s Sis Melissa Mah:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Thank God for the ministry of Bible Witness Web Radio. It has been a source of great blessings for me as I have been following the broadcast messages, especially those on “Women of Virtue”. As a working adult Christian, I constantly seek to find some good biblical material to listen to while I am at work and this need has been met by BWWR. I am greatly blessed by the Q & A sessions, where the questions discussed are addressed with support from the Bible and based on teaching from God’s Word.

Truly, I realise that the issues that have been brought out through such discussion are very relevant to the sisters of our time, such as how to dress modestly and the role of women in the church.

Thank God for the labour of love in this ministry and I will continue to uphold the ministry in prayer.

In Christ,
Angeline
Australia

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Dear Sis Angeline,

Thank you for sharing your thanksgiving for this ministry. We are very thankful to the Lord for His enabling grace and strength to do His work. Of our own selves we are unable to accomplish anything, but we trust in God’s promises that He will grant us all that we need in the Gospel work, including His guidance and provisions. Thank you for remembering us in your prayers.

The “Women of Virtue” segment is planned by Sis Carolyn Koshy, who co-labours with Pastor Koshy and the Bible Witness Media Ministry team to produce this weekly programme.

Praise God for the Q & A sessions; in this respect, please pray that the Lord will guide us to select topics that are of great spiritual benefit to BWWR listeners in general, and the ladies in particular.

In Christ,
Melissa Mah
for BWWR