Hi there, I’m Zach, a senior in high school looking forward to college. My question is quite sensitive and multi-faceted in its content and ramifications, so I’ll get down to it. One of my closer friends in school is openly homosexual, and we have been friends for years. I’ve shared my views and faith with him and tried my best to show the grace and love of God, but he seems ambivalent to religion in general and it feels like my words are falling on deaf ears. I know that the word says that ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”” in Isaiah 55:8-11, but I was wondering if there’s any way I could be more effective in communicating with him intentionally on matters of the Gospel.
Pray pray and pray some more, if your living a life for Christ in his own time your friend will come to you and ask questions. Don’t forget if he’s not a follower of Christ, in his eyes you are ‘judging’ his chosen lifestyle which he knows no difference.
Your friend is blessed to have you in his life. Sounds to me that you’re doing your part by loving him. I agree with David–pray, which I’m sure you are already doing.
In several posts in the past, there have been links for Sam Allberry. Have you seen these? He’s a pastor, who is same-sex attracted, that embraces celibacy. I’ve found listening to him to be immensely helpful. Google him, there are a lot of links and content on youtube. He’s also involved with the website: livingout.org.
A preacher I’m close to teaches that two things generally have to happen before a person yields to God and accepts Christ:
- They have to recognize that they need a savior
- They have to recognize that Christ is the only one who can save them
I think everyone eventually realizes they are completely lost…many just reach out for the wrong things to either save them or numb them–alcohol, relationships, drugs. So it may be that your friend has to reach a point where he knows he can’t make it on his own. It may be in that time that your words are remembered. Meanwhile, God honors his free will–not sure you have any other choice.
But you can pray that when that day arrives, that the right person, with the right message, at the right moment can offer him eternity and that he will yield to the wooing of the Holy Spirit. We can all pray for that.
I also had a friend in high school who was openly homosexual and I shared Christ. We once even had a four hour discussion about absolute truth in which I thought he had decided that not all truth was relative. But a day later he had decided everything was relative again.
One day before we vanished for college he turned to me and said, “You know, you’re not like the other Christians. You don’t just care about converting me. You really care. I appreciate that…”
He did not get saved - but I think when you genuinely love people they can see it. So I am sure your friend can see your heart for him.
The only advice I would give beyond what has already been stated is that as you go off to college and continue with life be intentional about continuing to pray for your friend. Life goes on - seasons change - but if we are persistent in coming before Christ’s feet on behalf of our friends, there may be fruit many years in the making. Write your friends name on your heart and never forget to keep him before the Lord in prayer.
May Christ open the eyes and heart of your friend to the glory of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and may the love of the Spirit of Christ shine through you as you continue to interact with him.
@Zachary_Proctor One other thing that came to mind is a song by Jeremy Riddle. I know songs speak to different people differently - but for me this one hits home when I think of my friends who are still living apart from Christ. I can’t listen to it without yearning in my spirit for their salvation and bringing them before the Lord.
Hi @Zachary_Proctor. Your love for your friend is edifying. As I read your post, it seems to me that you do not withhold from him truth, and you love him with actions too.
A few questions. You mentioned that he seems ambivalent to religion. May I know why you think so? How does he respond to you sharing your faith with him? Can you describe the context of how your sharing with him happens?
Hi @Zachary_Proctor , you have received great advice from the responses so far. I came across the ministry of Sy Rogers, who used to identify himself as a woman. In the video below, he shares his testimony of being abused as a child, his attempt at gender reassignment, and ultimately being transformed through God’s grace. He is married and has a daughter now. Here’s a transcript of excerpts from the video for your consideration:
“__There were Christians on campus who reached out to me but they made the classic mistake well-intentioned believers often make. They kept trying to win an argument with me – that the way I live was wrong; it was me. “It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, Sy.” “Oh, thanks, I’m all better”, you know?
And I think they were well-intended but what they fail to understand – my need was not for a different sex life. That was the symptom. My need was for a Saviour and I think so often, believers who are so well-intended make that mistake…People don’t go to hell because they are gay. People go to hell because they are not reconciled with God on His terms through Christ…I like to repeat a quote I heard before. The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. It’s surrender – surrender to God. Because straight people go to hell. It’s redeemed people who go to heaven.
…And so I was diagnosed as a transsexual by 2 therapists. I began my hormone treatments and began to live and work as a woman in preparation for surgery and I lived that way for 18 months before God intervened in my life to open my eyes to His reality. You know, I tell people, David, the reason why I’m not a Marxist, the reason why I’m not a Buddhist, the reason why I gave up my boyfriend, and gave up the only life and support I had ever known, and end up going to a church that would look at me like I’m a freak from Mars; the only reason I would undertake that effort is because God opened my eyes to His reality. He ceased to be a code of ethics to debate and I had to have more of that. I said to my friends, “I can’t touch Him tangibly but I can feel Him tangibly affect me. When I feel dirty, He makes me feel clean. When I feel afraid, He gives me peace. And when others look at me with contempt, He makes me feel valued and understood. And I need that…It wasn’t so much I was seeking Him. Thank God you can. But even better, He goes looking for lost sheep.”
Sy talked about the common mistake made by Christians and how winning an argument and offering a code of ethics do not speak to someone in his position. In the end, what everyone needs is a Saviour who values them. His testimony also highlights that there can be contributing factors which one needs to be cognizant of and which only the Saviour could adequately address.
I look forward to comments/ thoughts on what Sy said and what makes a good approach.
He really isn’t for or against religious things in that he isn’t responding negatively, but he has no interest whatsoever. My sharing with him has been in little “nuggets” of the gospel throughout our friendship, and I’ve invited him to listen to me speak at my church.
I’d keep in mind that his ambivalence about religion may have as much to do with his level of maturity as it does with how he identifies sexually. Many people, especially when young, see little profit in looking forward. They are very much living for the here and now.
That changes for some as they mature and/or grow older, but for many it does not. It can be a challenge to get someone to focus on eternity when they barely think about tomorrow. Sadly they don’t even know they are lost.
Sean O. – thanks for sharing about your experience with your friend. A few weeks ago I was listening to a posted link of Sam Allberry (the pastor I mentioned in my first post). He said that all people need intimacy (not talking about sex here) and that if same sex attracted people do not find that in the community of God they will seek it elsewhere. I think your care and concern for your friend at least kept the door cracked open for the future…I pray so.
@Zachary_Proctor. It seems to me that based on what you said, he may be an apatheist. This means that his challenge is mainly psychological. Have you ever asked him why he has no interest whatsoever about religious things?
For now, your prayers and love for him will surely help. But if ever given an opportunity, you can dig deeper by getting to know why he is not interested. From there, you can ask questions which can help you understand his position further. I believe you need to help him at least be interested about the religious question.
Here are some thoughts that I have not seen posted yet. Hopefully they help.
First, to quote Ravi when asked if homosexuality was wrong. His question back was, “is there anything wrong with anything?” Once we have established that there are at least some boundaries we should not cross, relationally and sexually, then we can work from there. What moral framework then are we working from? God’s or ours?
Second, we are all made in the “image of God”. (i.e., we are relational beings as one aspect of that). As relational beings there are different levels of relationships that we experience. One of them is sexual. However, all relationships, if they are going to last at all, must recognize some boundaries that keep our actions in check. Relational anarchy does not work. Free Love also does not work. Attraction has its place but attraction and desire does not become the sole basis of relational or sexual behavior. In fact, God is the One who sets the boundaries in all of our relationships, even the sexual one. Therefore, how we live out our sexual desires must also be within the boundaries of what God has set, not us. Sam Allberry recognizes this and therefore submits his feelings of attraction to God’s boundaries. As do I. I am married. I may still be attracted to other women that I see but I submit my desires to be met within the boundaries that God has set for my marriage relationship. When I said yes to my wife, I also said no to all other women, no matter how attractive they may be. I cannot engage someone sexually simply because I may be attracted to them (same sex or opposite) anymore than it would be good for me to do so with someone I’m not married to.
Simply put, if God made us, then He sets the boundaries. If we made god, then we set the boundaries. However, there is a way that seems right in the eyes of man, but in the end leads to destruction. Prov 14:12
Just some things to consider. I hope I’ve helped.
I thought this recent post by Nathan Rittenhouse might be helpful to you:
I think sometimes we can be tempted to look at a person through just one dimension (their religion, their sex, their sexual orientation, their stage of life). But, many things are going on in all of our lives. And God can be at work in ways we are not expecting.
Just faithfully loving your friend and praying for them is, in the end, all we can do. What Paul says in Philippians 1:9-11 is relevant here:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
As you continue to grow in your own walk with God, and your own knowledge and discernment about people, about apologetics, about evangelism, about theology, and so on, then you will be able to approve of (and do) what is excellent in how you care for your friend. Keep engaging, keep learning, keep loving.
@Helen_Tan I know that your post was in reply to Zach, but I thank you for the YouTube with Sy Rogers as it was really insightful. I have a great friend that I knew for many years through church who, after many good conversations, felt that God made him gay and he walked off to that lifestyle. Prior to my realization of his inner struggles, he later told me that he’d cry out to God to take these homosexual feelings away. I so think that Sy’s comment “Feelings only represent unmet needs and unresolved issues” is so enlightening and I wish I had told my friend that years ago. Also, Sy’s mentioning that the Bible is something that all need to seek rather than discuss it in the safe harbor of the people that will tell you what you want to believe is also so helpful. I’m sure grateful that you posted that YouTube!.
Great conversation. This was such a non issue growing up for me, but now it seems most people know someone who is dealing with this lifestyle. Several of our Christian friends now have children who have “come out” and it’s heartbreaking. I spoke with a women who came out of the gay lifestyle, is now married and serving Christ. I wanted to get a first hand understanding of what enticed her to leave that lifestyle. Interestingly, she said she found something “better” than what she had. She told me that, like most other sins, homosexuality is a “drug” to mask or hide deep pain. And, while she thoroughly enjoyed her lifestyle, it did not address the root problem…the pain deeply hidden. I just found her statement fascinating that she found something better. She also emphasized that the focus was not on the judgement of God, but the fact that male and female are “sacred”. God created both and they both are sacred and their respective roles work perfectly together. Her basis for ministering is Genesis 1 and 2 which focuses on God created them both…male and female. The websites she recommended was Restored Hope Network and Andrew Comiskey. I have looked at Andrew Comiskey’s website and I am reading one of his books, but have not had a chance to look at Restored Hope Network. Was a privilege to talk with her and hear her testimony.