Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When Christians Come Out

My thoughts are based on the following article by Christianity Today from: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/music/interviews/2010/jenniferknapp-apr10.html
This is technically late news... But I wanted to briefly discuss a few thoughts I had had when Jennifer Knapp announced her lesbian orientation. What should Christians do when a close Christian friend reveals he or she is gay? Are there meaningful ways to interact with gay Christians that does not compromise scripture?

First, listen. Don't freak out. Don't react. Let your friend share his or her experience. Don't try to come up with solutions or offer advice. This will seem like you are minimizing the problem. What your friend wants is a safe place to just be. He or she yearns to express what has been suppressed and hidden.

Second, Ephesians 4:15 states that we must speak the truth in love. As your friend becomes comfortable being around you within this new context, be open about your opinions on the issue. Communicate it sensitively and graciously. Be respectful of his or her choices as a human being, but realize this does not mean you have to agree or condone what he or she does. Remember that all humans were created in the image of God; thus we all reflect God's glory. Agree to disagree for the sake of the relationship.

Third, don't push your friend away. You have the greatest opportunity to reflect God's love to your gay friend. The church is God's physical body that is supposed to offer physical comfort and support. I personally feel it is wrong to sever a friendship, even if the gay friend has begun dating someone of the same sex. This is especially important if the two of you are of the same sex. The realization that love can be obtained through platonic means can be so powerful. If we represent Christ, who never gives up on us, we too should be faithful to our friends. Love doesn't approve of broken behavior, but feels compassion for the soul of the individual who bears the Imago Dei. Pray and don't give up that God can change your friend's heart. The same-sex feelings will likely never leave, but the perception of what one can do with these feelings can.

These are some beginning thoughts to reflect and consider. I simply believe the church should be more loving and gracious. Uphold truth; do not compromise righteousness. But don't throw stones at God's children who stumble.

And I promise to begin digressing from this subject sometime in the near future. :)


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