|PREACHING TO HOMOSEXUALS
PREACHING TO HOMOSEXUALS
James C. Guy
How often do we preach and teach about homosexuality? How often do we do it well? Do we preach only to condemn, or do we preach to convict and to help? The preaching of the gospel is never in vain. We never know what good it is doing, and we should always give the glory to God when it works. Man chooses his own behavior for the most part. He may not always choose in what ways he is tempted, but he makes his own choices about that temptation. Even though anyone is perfectly capable of making the right choices, even those who are not Christian, our preaching to and about homosexuals in the world has largely gone unheeded. This should not surprise nor discourage us since much of what we preach to the world goes seemingly unheeded. Yet, we still preach it. For some, it does make a difference. We should keep preaching.
This is no different concerning the subject of homosexuality. I believe we need to keep preaching it to the world. Some will hear, even if the majority does not. But, what concerns me is the infiltration of the world’s values into the church. Instead of the church preaching to the world, many let the world preach to the church. As Christian ministers, counselors, elders, and Bible school teachers, we need to preach the truth to the church and to the world. We must not let the world turn the church away from the truth of the gospel. Rather, we should do our best to use the gospel to turn the world to the ways of God.
Even when we have preached about homosexuality, we haven’t often done so with the view of actually expecting those who practice it to repent. Perhaps there are several reasons we have not traditionally handled the preaching of the subject of homosexuality well. Let’s consider a few:
a. We may not expect it to make a difference. However, we must believe in the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16). Jesus, Paul, and all the rest often preached with no visible results. Yet, they also had a lot who did listen as well.
b. We may be listening to the world’s views. The world says it’s natural. It tells us homosexuals are born that way. They even claim scientific “proof” (though it has been proven to be flawed). Listen to God, not the world. God says, “it is not natural, it is sin” (Romans 1:24-32).
c. We may be ashamed to talk about it. Often we will go to visit and talk to those who are absent from the church services. We may even make great efforts to try and straighten friction between church members. If someone is drinking, stealing, or caught up in other such sins, we try to “restore such a one” (Galatians 6:1-2). But, when a Christian gets caught up in homosexuality, do we go to them? Do we try to show them the right way? Are we embarrassed? Are we scared? Do we care?
d. We may have the wrong emphasis. The Bible certainly teaches us to point out things that are wrong. We are to stand firm on the truth and not relent from preaching the gospel. We must show people what is right and wrong. Yet, why do we do so? If we prove a point, even though the point is true, what do we accomplish? The Bible says to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). We do preach to stop the mouths of false teachers, but we also preach to turn people to the ways of God (II Timothy 2:14-26). There is nothing different in preaching about homosexuality. We want those who preach false things to be silenced in the face of the truth. But, we also want to show those who may be willing to submit to the will of God, the way to repentance and forgiveness. Preach the truth, but preach it in love.
e. We may not acknowledge the struggle of homosexuality. We all are tempted, and we all struggle with the battle between doing right and doing wrong. We all “sin and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Just because a person’s struggle is with homosexuality does not negate his struggle. Nor does it negate the fact that we should strive to understand and to help that person to be right before God. To us, homosexuality is more repulsive to us than others such as gossip, lying, stealing, or even adultery. Yet, they are ALL repulsive to God. It’s true that God punished Sodom and Gomorrah in part because of their homosexual practices. But, He also punished Adam and Eve for eating fruit. Eating fruit??? It wasn’t the act that made it sin, it was the fact that they disobeyed God. They had a rebellious and evil heart. Sin is sin is sin. Acknowledge people’s struggles with sin, and strive to help them overcome it – whatever the sin may be.
Read Romans 1:16-32. Read II Peter 2:1-22. Then go preach the truth, and preach it in love.
©Copyright 2000: James C. Guy – All rights reserved.
*Permission granted to reprint for church or ministry use in free material (i.e. church bulletins, classes, sermons, etc.)
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