Why You Should Make Friends With A Homosexual

Today I would like to introduce you to a new guest blogger, Marcella Franseen. Marcella is  a contributing writer at Counseling Solutions where this post was originally featured. 

I am a Christian.

You already know, then, where I stand on homosexuality.

I believe it is sin, just as I believe all sex that falls outside God’s definition in the garden of Eden is sin. God defines the context for sex to be enjoyed as one man and one woman in union before Him.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. – Genesis 2:24-25 (ESV)

The definition of marriage or the context of godly sex is not the point of this article, though. My point is how I will relate to those who act out their sexuality in sinful ways. I’m speaking of homosexuals.

People are easy to hate when they are clumped into groups:  Jews, blacks, homosexuals, conservatives, liberals, Evangelical Christians, Muslims, etc. When we put them in a group, we can make sweeping and general statements to define them. We can forget their individuality and their humanity. We can forget how much we have in common.

Your neighbor is gay!    

Bear with me as I attempt to use a rather cheesy example to make an important point. Let’s say a homosexual or lesbian couple moves next door to me.  I am no longer dealing with a defined group of people, but two individual human beings. Two people I have more in common with than I don’t have.
Let’s say this couple is interested in keeping their grocery bill down and eating healthy so they decide to plant a garden. Because they just purchased a home they don’t have a lot of extra cash and show up at my door asking to borrow a few of my tools in order to get started. What do I do?

In disagreement with their lifestyle, do I slam the door in their face? Maybe I’m better than that so I politely lie, saying I do not have the tools they need? If I have a Christianized heart, I will kindly loan them the tools.

Modeling the Gospel to Gays

But if I truly grasp a pure understanding of the Gospel, I may go even further (Mark 10:45). I may offer to help them plant their garden. I may get my hands dirty in the soil with them, share gardening tips, cold lemonade, even a laugh or two.

Maybe in sharing my tools and time with my homosexual neighbors, I will also get to share my relationship with Jesus. Not in a self-righteous, “I have Jesus and you don’t” kind of way, but sharing Jesus for the sake of Jesus.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. – Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)

Real love is exposed in disagreement

Real love isn’t exposed in agreement. On the contrary, loving those who agree with us is really only loving ourselves. There is no merit in that (Luke 6:32-36). It is a type of love which requires no effort, no lack of selfishness, no understanding of God’s love.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Real love shows up before there is any common ground. This is the love God has shown us. This is the love Christians should have for others, regardless of who they are, a love that for Christ’s sake transcends any enmity, lifestyle, race, sex, or group identification.

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” – Luke 15:1-2 (ESV)

Unlike the Pharisees and scribes, Jesus did not expect people to “clean up their act” or make themselves worthy before He included them and showed them mercy and kindness. He loved first, sitting down, eating, and sharing fellowship with those society considered the lowest of low. We see this example of love throughout the New Testament.

When Jesus prevented the stoning of the woman caught in adultery He did so knowing she was guilty of the sin she was charged with. (John 8:1-11)

When He showed respect to the Samaritan woman at the well, He did so knowing of her adulterous past and current adulterous relationship. (John 4:9)

When He healed the sick and raised the dead, He did so knowing the sinful nature of the people He was healing and raising up. (John 11:43)

When He shared a meal with the tax collector, He knew the heart of each of them. (Matthew 9:10)

Are undeserving people drawn to you?

None of these people deserved His goodness or His kindness or His miracles, but He gave Himself to them anyway. People were drawn to God and away from their sin, not by the harsh, judgmental example of the Pharisees and scribes, but by their encounter with the person of Jesus Christ.

Is this not the very way salvation came to you and me? Did God not love us first, when our hearts were dark with sin and undeserving of His love and grace (1 John 4:19)?

No one will ever be saved or sanctified by my self-righteousness–only by God’s grace, but my self-righteousness can hinder the work of Christ. The only hope for the world is the person of Jesus Christ. This is where Christians and homosexuals have important common ground.

We are humans created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

We have sinful hearts separating us from God (Romans 3:23).

We have an invitation to accept the forgiveness of our sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

Having done so, we all have the opportunity to grow in holiness and sanctification (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Ironically, homosexuals and Christians also have the privilege and common ground of being despised by certain groups in this nation. Pastor Charles Worley would like to round-up all the homosexuals and put them in a prison camp as blights on society.

Frank Schaeffer would like the CIA or FBI to round-up all the Christians and put them in Abu Ghraib as terrorists. Due to the poor economy, maybe they could place us all in a prison camp together. If so, I should allow my homosexual bunk mate to choose which bed he wants first. Maybe they would rather sleep on the floor than near a Christian. In that case, I should offer to take the floor.

A call to shine brighter

I’m not saying as followers of Jesus, we back down from the inerrant authority of the Word of God. This isn’t a call to worship love between people in place of the holy God who is love. This isn’t an argument for erasing parts of the Bible to make following Jesus Christ more culturally acceptable. This isn’t an article about the need for Christians to lose their “saltiness” or “hide their light under a bush” (Matthew 5:13-16).
The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin, as well as every other perversion of God’s plan for sex, i.e. adultery, fornication, rape, etc. Lying to homosexuals, or anyone else caught in sexual sin, is not loving them (Colossians 3:5).

On the contrary, this is a call for Christians to ramp up their saltiness, to shine even brighter. The more our culture hates us, the more we should love it. The more the culture demands our death, the more we should be willing to die (Luke 6:27-36). Isn’t this the very mind of Christ–that of a servant?  (Philippians 2:6-11).

Follow the Leader

Because I am a follower of Jesus Christ, the world may clump me into a group labeled, “Evangelical, right-wing, conservative, homophobic, misogynist, bigot.”

It can call for my silence, my suffering, and my death. But the truth is I am an individual. And in Christ, I have a choice. I can choose to plant a garden with a homosexual neighbor. I can choose to show them kindness and love and respect, even if they do not show it in return. I can choose to share with them the one thing I value above all else, my relationship with Christ.

Will it cost me? Quite possibly. Will I do it perfectly? Assuredly not. The point is Christ freely gave Himself to me. In Him, I am free to give myself to others, to choose to love and to pay whatever price that love demands.

The ultimate victory over all that is horrible and messed up about this world came through the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in love and in righteousness, laying down His life for sinners, for the very ones who rejected Him, shamed Him, and killed Him.

If we would live like Jesus, we must be willing to share in that love and in that cost (Hebrews 12:2-3, Philippians 3:8-11). The answer to my title question, “Why should I make friends with homosexuals?” is because that is what Christ did–He became your friend (John 15:15).

 Marcella Franseen has been married for 13 years and has three children. She knows the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to save, heal, and transform a person’s life because she has experienced it herself. She and her family currently reside in Greenville, South Carolina. She has served as a pro-life center volunteer, Center Director, and currently as a facilitator for a post-abortion Bible study called “Forgiven and Set Free.” She’s passionate about the sanctity of life from conception to the grave and equally as passionate about the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, for those who have chosen abortion or are involved in the industry.