Hot Potato Follow-Up
"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."1
In response to a recent Daily Encounter on homosexuality a concerned subscriber asked for any suggestions that I could offer to help her talk and witness to a friend of hers who had chosen a lesbian lifestyle.
I didn't have a clear-cut answer, but here's what I suggested:
I don't think situations like this ever have a simple, pat answer. I certainly don't have any such advice. And while I don't want to sound too simplistic, I think it is very important that we ask God to help us to be 'as Jesus' to all questioners and to give us the right word at the right time.
A girl, whom I will call Mary, attended one of my weekend seminars on "Loving and Understanding People." A participant asked about homosexuality and I expressed what God's Word had to say about it and added that, at least for some, its roots can go back to childhood which can cause a woman to unconsciously be searching for the mother love she never received, and where a man may still be searching unconsciously for the father love he never received. Mary was extremely upset with me. In no uncertain terms—in front of the entire group—she declared in no uncertain terms that I was "a pharisaical religious b - - - - - -!"
This was quite a shocker to say the least. I simply answered, "Sometimes I probably am." It turned out that Mary was a lesbian.
To my amazement Mary turned up a few weeks later at a week-long, live-in workshop we had for those who wanted to work on unresolved personal issues. There were about 25-30 people in attendance. In this entire week not one person condemned or judged Mary. Early in the week I told Mary that while I didn't agree with her lifestyle, I loved and accepted her for whom she was. In fact, the entire group loved and accepted her and by the end of the week she even gave me a very warm hug and said, "Maybe you are right."
All too often it is a lack of love that drives people into acts of sin as they search for their unmet love need in all the wrong ways and places. And only love will ever bring them out again—that is, God's love through us. True, we are to hate the things God hates, but at the same time we are to love the people God loves. And while God hates sin of all kind, He loves sinners of every kind. We need to do likewise because we all qualify as sinners.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, before I ever point a finger at anyone else, please confront me with any unresolved issues and sinful ways in my life. And help me always to love fellow sinners—and be 'as Jesus' to them—even when I see their sinful and self-destructive ways. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 2 Timothy 4:2-3 (NIV).