The Gospel for a Gay Friend

Josh had always known he was different. From his earliest memories, he looked at some boys as more than just peers. His parents knew he was “special,” but they loved him for it. He learned to wear a mask and play the part of a “normal” kid until he graduated high school.

In college, Josh decided it was time to be who he really was. He made friends with other gay people and embarked on sexual explorations. Josh found a refuge in his gay community and developed bonds that ran far deeper than sexual flings. Though his parents distanced themselves and old friends turned a cold shoulder, Josh felt he was finally free in his new identity as a gay man.

Josh is no caricature. His experiences and story are true, and they are common.

What if Josh were your neighbor or your co-worker or your son? How would you communicate the gospel to him? How would you tell him about the forgiveness of sins, the community of believers, and true identity in Jesus?

In one sense, there’s no real difference in the way we’d give Josh the good news compared to any other person. Just because Josh is sexually attracted to people of the same gender doesn’t make him foundationally different from anyone else.


For many of my Christian friends who love Jesus and struggle with same-sex attraction, the beauty of the gospel is that it addresses every area of their life, not just one expression of the fall. All believers know this truth. Whether we were once atheists, liars, Muslims, or self-righteous church attenders, there’s no magical gospel just for “our sin.” At the foot of the cross we are all equally in need of God’s amazing grace.

At the same time, Josh has real questions that need to be answered. In the same way an atheist, Muslim, or self-righteous person would need the gospel to address them personally, we should learn to love Josh in his particular consideration of Jesus’ claims. We should seek to help him find sound answers.

Ideas to Keep in Mind

To share the gospel with Josh, or with anyone who may have questions like his, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

1. Hope in Jesus’ power to help you.                  

It can be intimidating for people who have never struggled with same-sex attraction to share the gospel with a gay man or woman. As with anyone we share the gospel with, we fear how they may perceive us, and we may be tempted to think they’d never listen. The fear of man is a snare (Prov. 29:25). So rather than getting entangled in it, we must hope in Jesus’ strength in us—not in our adequacy to bring the message (John 15:52 Cor. 3:5). We must drink deeply of the gospel as we share it, for in it we find the power needed to be Jesus’ witnesses (Acts 1:8). Hope in Jesus’ power to help you.

2. Hold Jesus as supreme.

Friends like Josh will often want to bring the question of sexuality to the foreground in your conversation. But keep Jesus and his gospel central.

I encourage you to ask your friend to share his story with you. Ask him to help you understand how being gay became a central part of his identity. Or, if that’s not his experience, inquire about where he does find his identity. Ask if there have been any hard times with his journey. Part of loving people is getting to know them.

As you do this, ask if you can tell him why you view your identity in Christ as supreme. In the end, we aren’t trying to make people straight; we want people to be saved. While we never want to minimize sins that keep us from God, we want to magnify the one who brings us to God. Jesus came for sinners of all kinds, and we must keep that message central.

It’s also good to keep in mind that all persons are sexual sinners—some in small ways, some in greater ways. This perspective helps us to reframe the conversation from “You’re sexually broken and need to be like us” to “We’re all sexual sinners who equally need Jesus.” Jesus is the hope for all of us, no matter how the fall shows itself in our lives.

3. Have Jesus-like compassion and conviction.

Christians have sinned in at least two major ways when it comes to reaching those in the gay community. On the one hand, some have laid aside God’s clear teaching that homosexuality is a sin in a misguided attempt to show God’s love. Love stripped of truth is not love but deceit. This is a grave sin against both God and man.

Have Jesus-like conviction and speak the truth in love. Share what the Bible teaches about homosexual activity (Mark 7:21Rom. 1:24-271 Cor. 6:9-101 Tim. 1:10). Warn about the terrible judgment for those who reject Christ (Rev. 20:11-15). Explain the great cost in following Christ as well as the great hope of forgiveness and freedom for those who do (Mk. 10:28-30).

On the other hand, some have neglected compassion and harbored a condescending attitude toward people who practice homosexual sin. Love stripped of compassion is not love but hypocrisy. This too is a grave sin and unlike Christ’s love toward us.

As the God-man, Jesus was unstained by sin, yet he had remarkable compassion on sinners (Matt. 9:36). As we reach out to those in gay community, we must strive to do so with a similar heart. What could be more heartbreaking than for a person made in God’s image to remain lost in her sin and forever separated from the love of God? Ask God to help you to see those in the gay community as he does so you can minister with Christlike conviction and compassion.

4. Keep Jesus’ church central.

As it was for Josh, the gay community is a refuge from the rejection and inner turmoil many gay people experience. They find a place where they’re accepted in their sin and embraced for “who they are.”

I suspect one of the great antidotes to this powerful tool of the evil one is the community of the church. This may seem odd in light of the way many demonize the church for its “bigotry.” But I trust that as we build relationships with gay friends and invite them into our homes and into our lives, they will see the true community of which they have only dreamed.

This blessing is only enhanced when we as the church grow in giving grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle with same-sex attraction. One of my most instructive times in the past decade was seeing a new believer get baptized and share openly about coming out of a gay lifestyle. He described how the church had not only shared the gospel compassionately, but was also helping him now to live as a new man battling old struggles. He said that in the church he’d found a refuge that challenged him not to embrace his sin, but to embrace the Savior.

Jesus said people will know we’re his disciples by our love for one another (John 13:34-35). As you build relationships with gay friends, invite them into your life that they may hear the gospel, but also let them see it portrayed through the life of your local church.

5. Help answer their questions.

There are always objections to the gospel that few of us ever feel “fully ready” to answer. But God calls us to give a defense for our hope in Jesus (1 Pet. 3:15). Here are a few questions Josh has asked:

  • Why do you believe some verses in the Old Testament and ignore others?
  • Why did God make me gay if he condemns it as a sin?
  • Why is it wrong for two loving people to be in a committed relationship?
  • Do I have to become straight to become a Christian?
  • Why didn’t Jesus say anything about homosexuality?
  • Can I become a gay Christian?

Part of our calling as Jesus’ ambassadors is to help people work through questions like these and show that God’s Word has answers. If you’re unsure of how to respond, don’t be afraid to humbly say, “That’s a really important question; can we find the answer together?”

6. Have patience.

Have patience with them. Take the long view in evangelism. It’s rare to share the gospel with someone and see him repent right away.

Impatience can tempt us to give up quickly when we don’t see results. But people are people, not projects. We often won’t see what God is doing in their lives. View yourself as part of God’s means to help them see and hear the gospel of Jesus. Love is patient (1 Cor. 13:4). Show love by entering the relationship for the long haul.

7. Hope in Jesus’ power to save.

The gospel is God’s power for salvation (Rom. 1:16-17). The good news for a gay man or woman is the same good news for a straight man or woman. Homosexuality isn’t the chief sin; unbelief is. The Lord Jesus died for all types of sins for all types of sinners.

So don’t doubt the power of Christ. Pray fervently for soft hearts, open doors, and lasting fruit. Trust in God’s wisdom and God’s power, not your own. Remember that every Christian is a living miracle. If Jesus can save you, he can save anyone—including Josh.

Editors’ note: This article originally appeared in the November-December 2013 issue of the 9Marks Journal.

  • Dawn W

    Great Article! It saddens me greatly when people think that gay people are worse than any other sinner. That somehow they are more sinful than anyone else. A humbling reminder that we all need Jesus.

    • Lori

      The other thing I think we need to remember is that gay people are not sinless apart from being gay. Sometimes Christians act like homosexuality is the only or the most serious sin in a gay person’s life. That’s just not true. And, God doesn’t always make us aware of all of our sin at once. Many times it’s a slow process by which we see our sin and then a slower process by which we change. I don’t think it’s a prerequisite that people have it all right in order to become a Christian.

      I’ll just give an example from my own life. I did not believe that premarital sex was a sin before I was a Christian, and that didn’t change with my conversion. It just didn’t. Sure, I knew that sleeping around was wrong, and that using others sexually was wrong, but I didn’t really believe that sex outside of marriage between two people who loved each other and were in a relationship was wrong. I think many Christians, both liberal and many conservatives, share that view, especially if they are being honest. It was a number of years before I changed that belief and came to see that premarital sex was a sin and that my own history of sex outside of marriage (even if it was in committed relationships with people I cared about, even with my own husband before we married) was something I needed to repent of. I changed my belief through study, through prayer, through being in Christian community, through experiences that I now interpreted in a Christian way.

      Was I not really a Christian at first because I still thought premarital sex was okay? I don’t think so. I don’t think my conversion was invalid because I didn’t immediately get it all right. So why do gay people have to get it all right at first? Why can’t we believe that, just like God might show me in 20 years that a teaching I’ve always rejected or ignored is something I need to take seriously and convict me of a sin I’ve had in my life this whole time, why might God not convict a gay person a decade or two into their Christian lie that their sexuality is being expressed sinfully? Why do they have to get this one thing right before they can have a relationship with God?

      • Joseph B

        Wow, Lori, you said what I have been trying to say for a while now. Amen. The Spirit convicted you, not someone else. My experience is plain and simple: anything God talks me into, not man can talk me out of; anything a man can talk me into, another man can talk me right out of. Thanks for your insight and imparting your experience, and only your experience.

      • Garrett Kell


        Thank you for your comment and for sharing your thoughts. I wholeheartedly agree that no one is sinless at their conversion. As the great theologian Shrek said, we are like onions, we have layers. As we mature in Christ, God shows us more and more areas we need to grow in.

        That being said, if someone is reading the Scriptures, is in a faithful church where they are being challenged, and they are desirous of honoring Christ, God will reveal their sin to them. How long does that take? I suspect it is different for each person.

        This should cause us to be patient with people who are newly converted, but it should also not serve as a reason to not challenge each other. This is why God tells us to “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’ so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13).

        Let’s pray that our churches are filled w/ compassionate and courageous believers who strive for holiness together by the grace of God.

    • Bruno


      Firstly sorry for my english, because i’m brazilian and i’m learning yet :)
      I completely agree with you because i’m a Christian and I still have homosexual feelings, but I really believe that i’m saved, not because of me but because that the Word of God assures me!

      I know that God can change it one day or maybe i’m going to struggle with it to the rest of my life, but what comforts me is to know that God really loves me, and Jesus died to assure me the eternal life when I really won’t feel it anymore!

      So I thank God for His Son, and I thank God for all my brothers and sisters here in this post, specially you Lory and the Pastor Garrett Kell, for writing this test with so much love!

  • Katy

    As a straight believer, I still have the same questions as listed under section 5. Are there any resources you could recommend to me as I try to work through them? Thank you for the thoughtful article.

    • D. McDonald
    • Matthew Abate

      Hi Katy,

      Like you, the issue of same-sex attraction isn’t one that I’ve had to deal with in my life. That is not the case for my father. Our relationship at this moment is better than it ever was during my childhood and teen years.

      The following resources have been excellent wells of truth in the area of SSA:
      (Over the last decade, I’ve been involved off and on with the leadership team for Living Waters (LW) in Los Angeles. LW isn’t merely for those who struggle with SSA, but for all people who recognize sexual and relational brokenness within them.)
      (Leanne Payne’s ministry inspired Andrew and Annette Comiskey to begin LW and Desert Stream Ministries. Two must read books by Payne are Healing the Christian Soul and The Broken Image. The latter zeroes in SSA as it relates to both men and women. (This is the ministry of Gordon Dalbey, who wrote one of the best books ever on the Father’s heart to restore manhood in men: Healing the Masculine Soul.)

      Enjoy your day,


  • Colin Lindley

    Thank you for the article! I have found that ministering to homosexuality, while theoretically it should be similar, is often a very complex and emotional process.

    I wrote an article along the same lines a few months ago that readers may find helpful:

  • Colin Kerr

    How long do you think evangelicalism can hold out for on this issue? Given that now over half of millennial Christians don’t think same-sex relationships are sinful, it’s hard to imagine anything longer than two generations.

    • Eric

      Holding the popular view on things was never supposed to be our forte.

      And we’ll hold out until Jesus comes back. He’s still saving people. Still revealing himself and his Word as true.

      I could offer a more spirited answer…but it’s a snow day.

      • Christian Vagabond

        I think the answer lies in your question, Colin. The trend is already in place, so it’s unlikely to reverse itself. That said, evangelicalism is very elastic. Sometimes it shifts leftward (rock music went from Satanic to the centerpiece of almost every evangelical worship service) and sometimes it shifts rightward (like going from pro-choice in the 60’s to pro-life in the 80’s.)

        If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that no matter what position evangelicals take, they will use scripture as proof and argue that they’ve always held the same position. It wouldn’t surprise me if 100 years from now evangelicals insist that they never really were against same-sex relationships.

    • AndyM

      so we can say that half of the millenial christians are either poorly catechised, or are goats. In either case, we do them a disservice in not bringing their ignorace to their attention.

      This is only an issue as it is an issue the bible has. When God changes his word, we might change our position.

      • Christian Vagabond

        So Millennials are Muhammad Allis?

    • Garrett Kell


      Thanks for your question. Jesus’ church will be fine. Just because the culture may shift on this issue does not mean the end of the church. There are plenty of lies we believe before we are converted, this one is no different. Will this mean we face more persecution? I suspect so, but Jesus promised to build His church (Matt. 16:18), so we should take courage.

      Check out this article by Mark Dever…

    • Frank

      “Given that now over half of millennial Christians don’t think same-sex relationships are sinful, it’s hard to imagine anything longer than two generations”

      Is that any surprise given that the parents of millenial Christians divorced and fornicated at about the same rate as the culture at large? Every age has it’s issues where some biblical truth clashes with the cultural zeitgeist. Today, homosexuality is the cause du jour of the sexual revolution. Yesterday it was fornication and divorce, tomorrow it will be something else. And just like many evangelicals of the last generation compromised when it came to divorce and fornication, so many of this generation will compromise on homosexuality. The sad fact is that there will always be a large chunk of professing Christians who will succumb to the spirit of the age. That has always been the case and it always will be. There is nothing new under the sun.

      • Colin Kerr

        Thanks for the thoughts all. I seem to be picking up two shared beliefs.

        #1 This shift towards affirming same-sex relationships is a cultural fad/zeitgeist in the sense that it is not an enduring social change that will end up being permanently viewed as a social good. If that turns out to not be the case, will that be an unprecedented event in which the Church rejects a strongly agreed upon social good as determined be the wider culture?

        #2 That our hermeneutic on this issue exists independent of any cultural or experiential hermeneutic. If this true, are there any examples of the Church remaining steadfast on a particular doctrine with major social implications 100, 200, 300 years after the wider culture has rejected it?


        • Frank

          “If that turns out to not be the case, will that be an unprecedented event in which the Church rejects a strongly agreed upon social good as determined be the wider culture?”

          I don’t think it’s unprecedented. Most of our culture sees the entire sexual revolution as a “social good”. Sure, most people will concede that the sexual revolution has had some negative effects in our culture (broken families, STD’s, etc). But at the end of the day, our culture would still see the “sexual freedom” and “reproductive rights” that were attained by the sexual revolution as the greater good. We see this in how our culture interprets history. Most of the time, the 1950s are portrayed as a backward, repressive time when people’s “sexual freedom” was stifled by oppressive mores. The sexual revolution that followed during the 1960s and 1970s is almost always looked back upon as “progress”, despite any admission of it’s excesses. The same will hold true for homosexuality. 20 or 30 years from now, our culture will concede that the gay rights movement had it’s excesses (think AIDs), but the movement as a whole will be viewed as progress, just as the sexual revolution in general has been viewed as progress.

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  • Vic Christian

    Good article – thanks. I do have one point. Christians still sin – usually the sin that “so easily besets us”. This may be lying, lust, anger, homosexuality, pride, or any other sin. However, we do have forgiveness because of Jesus Christ – 1 John 1:9. Note to Colin – the truth of the gospel and God’s Word will hold out forever. Thanks!

  • Al

    This is a well reasoned article and very fair. But still indicates a view that “getting saved” cleans your life up. Ministering to a gay person doesn’t end with a commitment to Christianity. It’s an entire life change that isn’t guaranteed to make a life better on this earth. Understanding that culturally/ideologically there is a mountain to climb for a gay person to leave behind their life will breed compassion that is so desperately needed. Become friends with a gay person without asking them to change. Otherwise they will feel used, do you want some putting expectations on you as a friend to change your identity as a condition of being around them? It takes more than a salvation experience to change a persons feelings and attractions. And most likely if a gay person comes to Christ they will struggle with their feelings and actions the rest of their lives… Similar to people with a propensity to gluttony, alcohol, stealing, pride, slander, gossip, etc. Though those who know they have been forgiven much love their savior all the more. Love as Christ loves you.

  • Ivan from Slovakia

    Dear in Christ,

    I fully agree with article and especially with comment of Lori as I dont find any list of sins listed in Bible, where homosexuality is above all other sins. Check list in 1.Corint. 6 chapter. I was saved 15 Years ago as a alcohol and drug addict after I physically attacked my mother, which means that before conversion alcohol addict, homosexual, medical doctor practicing abortion, lyer, somebody who does not love God with all his heart-are equaly sinners in the face of God. In the same way, saved addict, or gay, or abortionist is equal in Christ! It is written that God is not repected of persons. Unfortunatelly, we are. Closer to Christ in character means that we will imitate Him in this magnificent character. True is that if Jesus will be respecter of persons, he will not save me nor You. We are boasting in Sola Scriptura but many times it is Sola theologia, we are boasting in Sola Christus, many times it is Sola my opinion, we are boasting many times Sola Gratia, but many time it is Sola Gratia to me and Sola Judgment to others. For this, I thing that we are missing another important message of New testament, why this type of sexual orientation is spreading around us. According Romans 1 it is quite shocking. It is a SIGN from God that humanity exchanged worship of living God for idols. More worship of idols more Gays and lesbians in society. So anytime You some gays around You, ask Yourself – are WE under Gods judgment for our idolatory? Are we away from God so much that this behaviour is begining of judgment on us? To anybody who is Gay or was Gay – Be sure that Jesus recieves You when You will run to Him. Read Gospels and count how many time outcasts has been refuted by Him. and post me that number. I know that number already. APlologies for my english I am not native speaker.

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  • CJJScout

    Good stuff here. I wish someone would send this to the folks in the Westminster Presbytery of the PCA. They want to make an overture that local churches should petition the gov’t to not allow gay teachers in the classroom. Complete idiocy! No love in that and doesn’t mention any of the other sins that all the teachers have. Buffoonery.

  • stanley bemis

    while having a different attitude than one often finds towards this subject,the fact is homosexuality is still being perceived as a sin.this is analogious to saying that left handedness or frickles are a violation of God’s design because they vear from the norm.what should be fostered is a celeberation/affermation of one’s uniqueness in the cosomic traperastery of deversity.while it may be true that all have fallen short of the glory of God and are in need of redemption,it is imperative that one not consider something to be a sin which isn’t.

    • Garrett Kell


      Thank you for your comment. I certainly agree that we should not consider something to be a sin which isn’t. We have no right to do that, no matter how we feel about a subject. I would ask you however, how do you determine what a sin is? Do you look to the Bible or another source? If it is the Bible, how do you understand the passages I referenced in the article? I would be interested to hear from you either here or we can discuss off line. Have a good day.


      • Chancellor Roberts

        Stanley, Garret, we must be careful to distinguish between homosexual attraction and homosexual sin. The attraction, which develops during childhood and kicks in sometime around the onset of puberty, is contrary to God’s created design for male and female, but is not itself sin any more than physical deformities are sin (they are consequences of Adam’s sin, however). Embracing and acting on that attraction is sin, however. A homosexual – like all other sinners – must repent of his sins and put his trust in Christ and the gospel.

        Will he continue to have his abnormal attraction? Unless God miraculously changes the attraction, yes. (Even then, he won’t go from lusting after the same sex to lusting after the opposite sex because God doesn’t exchange one form of lust for another).

        The focus needs to be on the gospel call because nothing else will matter if the homosexual – or any other sinner – remains unregenerate and unrepentant.

  • RAZRr1275

    Here are my impressions

    I don’t like how this article starts to begin with. The connotative meaning of “special” in the beginning of this article is that “acting gay” (whatever that means) is somehow different and makes someone stand out. It’s simply something that’s a part of identity.

    This trend of language that presents gay people as some kind of unknown entity continues in the point about presenting the gospel with gay people when it makes the implication that gay people are somehow scary because their homosexuality makes them somehow naturally opposed to Christianity.

    I also feel that this article is generally an incorrect way to go about it. I think calling a spade a spade is more appropriate. For example, the statement of “Oh we’re trying to get you saved not change your sexuality”. We all know that the implication of that is to get someone to either A) Be straight or B) Be celibate. Beating around the bush is what I find tends to make people angry because people focus on implications and connotative meanings rather than words.

    And then we get to point 3 of the article. This is where if someone were talking to me, I’d start to get aggravated. Think about it this way – the person who is talking to you has spent all this time getting to know your identity, when you confirmed it to be the case etc. with the intent to tell you it’s wrong and you know this the entire time and then it happens — saying that that identity that is intrinsic to a person is condemned and that it has horrible consequences because one cannot follow Jesus while having that identity.

    Points 5 and 6 are agreeable as far as methodology. I think it would be preferable if the discussion started like this instead of finishing with it. That way it’s framed in much less of a “gotcha you’re going to hell fashion” and more of a “here’s what we believe, if you have any questions about it feel free to ask. I will try to understand you and I hope you agree but it’s your choice”. The latter being much less punitive in nature. The way the article outlines is far more of a scare someone straight and then while they’re down pick them up by being loving tactic which I just find to be manipulative in nature.

    • EricP

      Read Lori’s comment upstream.

      The point of the article is not to argue about sexuality but focus on the gospel. You can identify as gay and still be a Christian. Maybe in 20 years, like Lori, you would decide that being gay and Christian were incompatible. Maybe not. When you become a Christian, your life changes. What changes is up to God’s calling and your obedience.

      • Vic Christian

        EricP – question – can you identify as a liar, an adulterer, a gossip, a murderer, and still be a Christian? As with any sin, if you are convicted by the Holy Spirit or God’s Word, and you do not repent, you may want to question your claim that you are in fact a Christian.

        • EricP

          of course. As you said, “IF you are convicted” God does not crush us with all of our sinfulness on the first day of new life. Little by little, He recreates us in His image.

  • Ryan

    As a gay guy this is a good way to make sure your gay friends aren’t friends for long.

  • Tim Irvin

    The problem with this whole issue is what the writer expresses early in the article.
    “His parents knew he was “special,” but they loved him for it.”
    If his parents were Christian, they would love him IN SPITE of it. If they aren’t Christian then they, as well as the rest of the Gay community, want us (Christians), to love love them “FOR” it and that ain’t happening.

    This isn’t just a case of “mis speak”. It’s the direction we’re being manipultaed towards with a bunch of false “Love” talk.

  • Chancellor Roberts

    That was an excellent article containing a well-reasoned approach to sharing the gospel with homosexuals.

    I do have a problem with one line in it, however. The article stated, “Homosexuality isn’t the chief sin; unbelief is.” The problem with that line is that nowhere does the Bible state that unbelief is the chief sin. The “chief sin” – the only sin that will not be forgiven – is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which appears to refer to attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit (based on the context of the passage).

  • Chancellor Roberts

    Allow me to address the questions in No. 5 of the article:

    Why do you believe some verses in the Old Testament and ignore others? I believe all verses in the Old Testament. They are as much the inspired and inerrant written revelation of God as the New Testament. However, not every passage of scripture is applicable in every context, every period of time. The Law of Moses was for the nation of Israel. It was fulfilled, brought to completion, when Jesus died on the cross. The Church is under a different law, the law of grace.

    Why did God make me gay if he condemns it as a sin? God didn’t make you gay. God created Adam and Eve and created them perfect. Everyone else since then came to exist through the procreative process after Adam sinned.

    Why is it wrong for two loving people to be in a committed relationship? God created male and female and His created design for them was opposite-sex marriage and sexual/romantic expression is reserved exclusively for that relationship.

    Do I have to become straight to become a Christian? Does a white person have to become black to become a Christian? Does a man have to become a woman? Sexual/romantic attraction (what is often called “sexual orientation”) develops during childhood and “kicks in” sometime around the onset of puberty. No one woke up one morning and decided to have one attraction or another. To become a Christian, you must repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ and the gospel. Merely having attractions that are contrary to God’s created design for male or female isn’t sin, but embracing and acting on those attractions is.

    Why didn’t Jesus say anything about homosexuality? Why didn’t He say anything about pedophilia or bestiality or necrophilia? Just because Jesus didn’t personally say anything about these while He was on Earth doesn’t mean He endorsed these things. He established the Church and, through faithful men, gave us the New Testament and speaks to us through it.

    Can I become a gay Christian? No, you can only become a Christian. Any other identity must be left behind. There are no gay Christians, straight Christians, black Christians, white Christians, male Christians, female Christians, Irish Christians, Basque Christians, or (insert identity here) Christians. There are only Christians. The Christian’s identity, ethnicity, citizenship, nationality, culture, etc. is that of the kingdom of God. The Christian’s identity is in Christ, not in things of this world.

    • Frank

      “Just because Jesus didn’t personally say anything about these while He was on Earth doesn’t mean He endorsed these things”

      A couple of points regarding this:

      1) Not everything Jesus said was recorded in the Bible

      “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25)

      So Jesus very well may have addressed the subject of homosexuality directly but it didn’t get recorded in the gospels. We don’t know. But if Jesus didn’t speak about homosexuality directly it was simply because the sinfulness of homosexuality was a “settled issue” in first century Judaism. It was so taboo in that culture that the practice of it was probably almost non existent. On the other hand, homosexuality was accepted and widely practiced amongst the Gentile nations, which is why Paul needed to address the subject in a few of his letters. It’s the same reason why if you read Christian books and articles that were written 50 or 100 years ago, you’ll find few if any references to homosexuality in them. That’s because the sinfulness of homosexuality was a settled issue in Western Judao Christian culture back then, so there was nothing to discuss on the issue, nobody needed to be convinced back then that homosexuality was sinful. On the other hand, today homosexuality is no longer a settled issue in the West. That’s why nowadays almost every Christian author is forced to address the issue in some book or article. In other words, the more homosexuality is accepted and practiced in a culture, the more you would expect Christian teachers and leaders to talk about it. That explains why Jesus had little to say about homosexuality DIRECTLY. He didn’t need to convince first century Jews that it was sinful. Paul did need to do that for the Gentiles.

      2) Jesus certainly did condemn homosexuality INDIRECTLY. On numerous occasions he condemned fornication, which covers any sexual activity that takes place by an unmarried person. He also explicitly defined marriage as being between a man and a woman (Matt 19:9). That leaves no room for homosexuality within Jesus’ sexual ethic. And let’s remember that while Jesus did relax the Old Testament ceremonial laws, when it came to sexual morality Jesus actually tightened the OT law even further, forbidding divorce to his followers even though Moses had permitted it. So when people say that Jesus had no opinion on homosexuality that is simply untrue.

      Sorry Chancellor, I’m not trying to nitpick your comments. I agree with what you’ve said, but I wanted to comment on this issue of Jesus not mentioning homosexuality because it is one of the common arguments trotted out by those who are desperately looking for loopholes to avoid the Bible’s position on the sinfulness of homosexual sex acts.

      • http://www, Chancellor Roberts


        There’s no need to apologize. Thank you for expanding on what I wrote earlier.

        It’s true that not every word Jesus spoke was recorded in the gospels. However, God has seen fit to only give us what was recorded in the gospels. So, that’s all we have to go on. (Hence the original question that gays and their supporters often ask about why Jesus didn’t say anything about it). The Jews were under the Law of Moses, the Law was clear on the subject of homosexuality, and homosexuality isn’t one of the things in the Law that the religious leaders had perverted. So, based on what we read in scripture, Jesus didn’t address the issue directly and didn’t need to address the issue.

        Jesus entrusted Apostles and other faithful men with the task of writing the New Testament and it is through the New Testament that Jesus speaks to the Church. I agree that homosexuality (or at least pederasty, it is unclear that what the Gentiles practiced was the same as homosexuality today) was an issue among the Gentiles and sufficiently significant that God saw fit to have Paul address it.

        Jesus indeed condemned fornication, which is all sexual activity that doesn’t occur within the bounds of opposite-sex marriage. That obviously would have to include men having sex with men and women having sex with women, but it doesn’t really address the issue of homosexual relationships (though what Jesus taught about marriage in Matthew 19 does address the relationship issue and marriage is a relationship, not the piece of paper issued by a government bureaucrat). However, I disagree with your dividing the Law of Moses into ceremonial laws and moral laws because it was all “moral” in that it was all about God separating unto Himself a holy people. Further, we very often like to cherry pick which parts of the “moral” law we want to apply to Gentiles today (even though Acts 15 settled that issue). We condemn homosexuality based on Leviticus, but we don’t call for rebellious children to be stoned to death. Put simply, the Law of Moses does not apply to the Gentile Church except as specified in Acts 15.

        • D. McDonald

          Chancellor, one problem with your argument is that “we” don’t condemn homosexuality just on Leviticus; the NT condemns it as well.

          Another problem is that the stoning to death of children for being rebellious is a punishment (the stoning) for their rebellion (the sin). The NT never tells us to continue stoning children for rebellion, yet it does still continue to tells us that child rebellion is a sin. The only difference is that Jesus has already paid for the punishment, so there is no longer any need for the child to be punished by stoning him or her to death (Christ has replaced the sacrificial system).

          Furthermore, if you are going to cite this as a “pick and choose” thing we Christians do, then why not compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges instead. What I mean is that if we are going to compare homosexual behavior to something, it won’t be for the punishment given to rebellious children (a behavior), but the sin itself (the sin of rebellion and the sin of homosexual sex). On that note, you also failed to mention the punishment for homosexual sex, which was–death as well. And like child rebellion, there is also no command to put homosexuals to death in the NT–both punishments have changed.

          • http://www, Chancellor Roberts

            D. McDonald,

            The point was that we don’t get to take some of the “moral” Law of Moses and apply it today and not apply the rest of it (even though Acts 15 made it clear that the Law of Moses doesn’t apply to Gentile Christians and doesn’t differentiate between moral law and ceremonial law). People are quick to apply what Leviticus says about homosexuality, but refuse to apply other moral proscriptions. Further, the Law of Moses was fulfilled, brought to completion, on the cross. The Law of Moses represents the old covenant, the covenant that God made exclusively with the nation of Israel. The Church is under the new covenant that was established through Christ’s death on the cross.

            The question that I was answering was why we “believe some verses in the Old Testament and ignore others.” It certainly seems, based on statements like yours and those of so many other Christians, that we do exactly that – that we cherry pick which Old Testament verses we’re going to take as being for today and which ones we’re going to ignore. If you’re going to insist that the passages in Leviticus about homosexuality apply today, then you MUST apply the passages in their entirety (remember that those passages require homosexuals to be put to death). You don’t get to take half a passage and say that it applies today while the other half doesn’t.

            Further, your parenthetical statement that “Christ has replaced the sacrificial system” has nothing whatsoever to do with the punishments imposed for various sins. Those punishments weren’t sacrifices.

            The Law of Moses (the entire Law, not just the so-called “ceremonial” parts) was for Israel. While there are a lot of fellow Calvinists who believe the so-called “moral” or “civil” Law of Moses should be imposed on societies today through the governments, Acts 15 made it clear that the Law of Moses doesn’t apply to Gentiles in the Church. We are under a different Law, often referred to as the law of grace, the “law of Christ” (1 Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2), etc.

            • D. McDonald

              So if nothing from the Law of Moses applies to Gentiles in the Church, I guess that adultery, incest, sleeping with animals is no longer sin as well; these too were forbidden in the Law of Moses. It’s interesting that “so many other Christians” and I are always accused of picking and choosing, but that accusation should perhaps work both ways shouldn’t it? Why does homosexuality get to be the only sin in today’s society that we get to choose is no longer sin?

            • D. McDonald


              My initial comment about your arguments remains, regardless of whether I made a mistake by saying “sacrificial system” or not. The reality is that even though we are no longer under the Law of Moses, it is clear that God in the New Testament requires a certain standard of holiness from the Church (actions, thoughts, attitudes, etc), just as he did in the OT from Israel. Where on earth do you think those involved in the Council in Acts 15 get the idea that sexual immorality is to be avoided? It comes from the same God who gave the Israel the Law. Adultery, incest, homosexuality, any other form of sexual sin did not change to non-sin simply because we are no longer under the Law of Moses.

              We both agree that Christ’s death changed something. And for arguments sake, I will accept that the ceremonial and moral laws are no different. But that still leaves us with the following concerning homosexuality:

              OT–Homosexuality is a sin under the Law of Moses, and death is the punishment under the Law of Moses.
              NT–Homosexuality is a sin.

              I’m sure I didn’t make myself completely clear, but my point is that those of us who “pick and choose” are not in fact doing that. When the NT says something is a sin, I have no choice to believe/accept that it is a sin, regardless of whether or not we ever begin to talk about Leviticus or the Law of Moses vs. the Law of Grace. I also have to accept that when the NT says homosexuality is a sin, it is a sin regardless of whether I can explain theology better than anyone with a title in his or her name.

      • D. McDonald

        Excellent points Frank. I would also add that Jesus indirectly condemned homosexuality because he also claimed to be the same God as the God of the Old Testament. And as you said, he tightened the OT moral law even further in areas such as sexual morality.

  • melanie

    Thank you for this article. Something that I have been thinking about lately.

  • MJ

    Loved this piece. Especially the part about PATIENCE! I do want to just gitter done. So glad Jesus wasn’t/isn’t like that with me.

    Sharing with the Future Marriage University (FMU) community at

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  • Jonathan

    I’ve read through this and the comments several times. After 30 years of struggle, I now understand myself to be gay, but have been Christian since very early on. My relationship with God and Christ has always been there, and like many Christians has gone through struggles.
    I appreciate this article for how to not condemn people for the lifestyle they were born into, and to instead embrace them. I do have some issues in the way some of it was worded, making it sound that all homosexuals are unbelievers, when I know of many gay men and women who consider themselves Christian, and who, I’ve found, to be more knowledgable of the Bible and its word than some people I know on church staff. I appreciate all that has been said, and I don’t ask for an argument within these comments, I only wanted to say, that as a Christian who has same sex attractions, it is a daily struggle to understand, for us, where God has us. Some believe in living a life alone in celibacy because the feelings never go away (there really has never been a report of someone truthfully switching orientation, most ex-gay movements only work on the behavior, not the orientation). Others, understand that we are a part of a fallen world, born with these attractions, and when someone comes along, feels that God has honored their union the same as “normal” couples.

    Just remember to love the gay friend or family member, and understand that they are dealing with many of their own struggles to accept themselves daily, because they often feel that they did something wrong, or because of this, God has turned His back on them. Something happens in a moment when you realize, despite it all God loves you regardless, in an agape form of love. Sometimes that is the biggest message you can give to someone in that position.

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