Monday, June 1, 2009

June is PRIDE month: what does a Christian do?

(photo courtesy of Minge La Chatte)

June is PRIDE month and we're not talking pride in the Royals or pride in how good my wife's cooking tastes (not that it doesn't) ... This kind of pride is public celebration of the 'acceptance' of homosexuality.

Why am I writing about this? As Christians we have a responsibility to deal with sin, to confront it. If God hates sin so should we. (despite liberal churches capitulating to the homosexual agenda, John MacArthur has written on the clear teaching of Scripture that homosexuality is a sin). But we are also shown in God's Word that the Gospel is for sinners (1 Tim 1:15) and we should be reaching out to unbelievers with compassion to share the Gospel.

How are we to make sense of these two seemingly-conflicting mandates? Al Mohler has written about this tension in a great article called Courage and Compassion on Homosexuality. Here is a portion of the article:

The times demand Christian courage. These days, courage means that preachers and Christian leaders must set an agenda for biblical confrontation, and not shrink from dealing with the full range of issues related to homosexuality. We must talk about what the Bible teaches about gender--what it means to be a man or a woman. We must talk about God's gift of sex and the covenant of marriage. And we must talk honestly about what homosexuality is, and why God has condemned this sin as an abomination in His sight.

Courage is far too rare in many Christian circles. This explains the surrender of so many denominations, seminaries, and churches to the homosexual agenda. But no surrender on this issue would have been possible, if the authority of Scripture had not already been undermined.

And yet, even as courage is required, the times call for another Christian virtue as well--compassion. The tragic fact is that every congregation is almost certain to include persons struggling with homosexual desire or even involved in homosexual acts. Outside the walls of the church, homosexuals are waiting to see if the Christian church has anything more to say, after we declare that homosexuality is a sin.

June is a great month to be praying for our friends and family who are living the homosexual lifestyle, or who struggle with homosexual sin. Know God's Word that homosexuality is a sin. And do not be afraid to call sin sin. But we also need to reach out to the lost with the love of Christ and with the compassion that Jesus showed when he was willing to eat with tax collectors and sinners.

Finally, John Piper shares a letter about how to minister to a relative who is a homosexual. Very touching and also helpful.

Most of us know people caught up in this lifestyle, and we should seek ways to share the love of Christ with these who-like everyone else (Rom 3:23)-are sinners who need a Savior.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim 1:12-17)

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