Your Faith or Their Pride
Imagine that a close family member just told you that they are gay. Amidst the vast array of emotions that you may experience at that time, a question will undoubtedly come up in your mind: how can I still love them without condoning their lifestyle? What if this person asks you to come to a gay-pride parade or celebration in support of their lifestyle? It is a question that many struggle with right now and it is incredibly important to answer this question for the sake of those who are gay and for their families.
Sin is Sin
Scripture is clear that God considers homosexuality a sin (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). In both the Old Testament and the New Testament it is clear that homosexuality is not acceptable before God. However, it would be wrong to say that homosexuality has some sort of special condemnation that all other sin does not. Any list of sins in which homosexuality is mentioned, greed, drunkenness, idolatry, and multiple other sins are also mentioned alongside it. So what we see is that homosexuality is a sin just like any other sin! Therefore those who live in homosexuality should be treated as anyone else living in any other form of sin – they should be treated with love without compromising truth.
Love the Sinner, Not the Sin
When we love someone, we are not saying that we approve of everything that they are doing; we are saying that we value them and want the best for them. In light of what Jesus has done for us, what is best for them is to repent of their sins and turn and follow Jesus. For someone who is an alcoholic, the most loving thing I could do for them would be to call them to repentance all the while loving them. It is the same for someone who is gay: the most loving thing I could do for them is tell the truth that a life of homosexuality is not acceptable before God and they need to repent. This is not hateful at all because it expresses my desire to see them in right standing before God. If they choose not to repent, that should not stop me from being loving toward them. Instead I should continue to love them while at the same time not compromising the truth of Scripture.
This is a very difficult subject that hits very close to home for so many people today, but if we believe that Scripture is the word of God then we must do what it says and believes what it says. I cannot support a lifestyle that Scripture says is sinful, even if it is my own family member that is living in it. This is why Jesus said that those who follow him would be hated by even their own family (Luke 12:53). Jesus also said that we are to love God first and then love others second (Matthew 22:34-40), which is to say that I cannot compromise the word of God in the name of loving others. I must instead love God first and show my love to others in a way that reveals my love for God as I stand for his truth.
God loved the whole world enough to send his son to die for their sins (John 3:16). I should love those around me enough to tell them that and continue loving them regardless of how they respond. While you should not condone the life of someone who is gay, they must know that you still love them and want God’s best for them, which can only be found in repentance and forgiveness through Jesus.