Thanks Brian –– it is an honour for me to engage with you all in this way!
I’m glad to hear your friend has a Christian close to them who wants them to know Jesus. We’re told in Acts 17:26 that God is behind when and were we live, so it is no accident this friend is part of your life.
There are all sorts of reasons he might not like the God of the Bible, reasons which may be understandable to some extent, even if they are not correct. It may be he has an incomplete or skewed understanding of who God is. Many people see the God of the Bible as sovereign and demanding, but not as good.
So I always like to find out what people think of Jesus, and to ask them (1) if they can fully account for who Jesus is in merely human terms, and (2) whether Jesus is exactly what they would want God to be like if God existed. ‘The God of the Bible’ can be nebulous and unwieldy as a topic for discussion; Jesus can be more focussed and accessible a topic.
Another approach that is very helpful is to make sure your gay friends see how the teaching of Jesus on sexuality lands on all of us, not just on gay people. Jesus challenges everyone on this, just as he also dignifies everyone on this. Gay people often feel singled out by Christians, and it can be because they’ve only heard what the Bible says about homosexuality, and not what it says about the universal fallenness of all of us in our sexuality. (An example of me attempting to do this in a short evangelistic talk is here). So I often find myself thinking “don’t say to someone what you can’t say to everyone” when it comes to this kind of discussion. Show how all of us are broken and fallen in our sexuality, and that can then be a context in which (and over time) a gay friend might begin to understand their own brokenness in this.
Thanks again Brian. Blessings,