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Get involved in witnessing to homosexuals



Our Tuesday night Bible study is discussing witnessing to homosexuals and I thought I'd share some of what we talked about with you all.

What Helps the Homosexual
(Taken from Homosexual Struggle by Nancy, IVP booklet):

People who will call sin sin. I didn’t need any help in my attempts to condone or rationalize homosexuality. I seemed to do that quite well on my own. I needed people who would bring the truth of Scripture to me in my confusion. I needed advice such as that a friend of mine wrote:

"When you’re involved with a woman in a gay relationship, you may feel there is no greater joy in the world. You will love her and be loved in return, you’ll share at a deeper level than you’ve ever known before and she will return your sharing with tenderness and compassion. You’ll think that there was never a better love than this and never will be. You’re wrong. You’ll think that your love is different and unique and goes beyond the morals found in the Bible. You’re wrong. You may even feel that your love for each other is equal to if not better than the love between a husband and a wifeâ€â€or you may even feel married to each other. But you’re wrong again. You could never give each other the greatest love possible. You may love each other, yes, but you are not giving each other the love that Jesus gave us (Mark 10:45)."

Realizing that there was a difference between homosexual orientation and the activity of homosexuality. Orientation is a condition. It is the way that my brain and thoughts are presently wired. Homosexual activity is what is forbidden in Scripture and labeled sinful.

Someone who would listen with God’s patience and compassion. Good listening ears were few and far between. Find one who will listen and won’t give pat answers.

Staying away from tempting situations. In other words, talk to female friends in broad daylight on the lawn, rather than after midnight in your bedroom. "Flee from youthful lusts" applies to homosexual as well as heterosexual temptations" (2 Timothy 2:22).

Realizing that homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin. All sin is equally deserving of condemnation, yet equally touchable by grace. I was freed to deal with my sin more realistically when I realized that homosexuality is no worse than envy or rage (Galatians 5:19-21).

I needed to not only be willing to let God make changes inside me according to His will and timing, but also to endure some loneliness and discomfort in the meantime. My goal in life has become holiness (Hebrews 12:1-13) and the means are obedience and the power of the Holy Spirit. There is hopeâ€â€we have a big God! And He has assured us of his forgiveness and cleansing.

In dealing with lust, I found Philippians 4:8 to be extremely helpful. Rather than focus on my own struggles and inner conflicts and confusion, I tried to let my mind dwell on what is true, honorable, right, pureâ€â€namely the Lord Jesus himself. We are programmed by our preoccupations. If your mind is "set on things above" (Colossians 3:2), your actions will follow appropriately.

I have become content with being single and celibate. There is nothing second-rate about singleness! God does not always choose to change the orientation of a Christian homosexual. But Jesus has become my "first love" (Revelation 2:4) and I am really enjoying life.

I have also become open to and more interested in the possibility of eventual marriageâ€â€an indication of changes in my heart that I hardly dreamed possible. There still seems to be some ambivalence, mixed motives and confused emotions to resolve in this area, but I sense that God is at work.

"I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Philippians 3:8). Whereas once I felt deprived of the "freedom" to act on my homosexual desires, I now count those experiences and momentary pleasures "as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8 TEV). That which I have given up is so little compared to what I have gained. My overriding feelings are not ones of being ‘deprived’ or ‘punished,’ but rather of being progressively liberated, gentled, and strengthened.



How to Minister to Homosexual People

See a PERSON, not a homosexual. We're not a clean-up campaign; we're ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). How would you approach ANY person you felt needed Christ? There's nothing particularly special about homosexuality in God's eyes. Homosexuals are looking for love just like anyone else, Jesus is the answer for all their needs.

Remember that the gospel means "good news." Be sure to present a Savior who saves, not a code of ethics. God wants to redeem the whole person, not just his sexuality.

Know what you are offering. You are offering Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You are NOT offering heterosexuality. There is a difference between FEELING homosexual feelings and ACTING out homosexual behavior. When that person makes a commitment to Christ he must come into agreement with God that homosexual behavior is sin. You are initially offering him power to come into celibacy. His homosexual feelings are not going to change overnight. That will come with time and the care and concern of friends, and the quality of his own continued surrender to Christ.

Actively, patiently love that person. Words can be so empty. Demonstrate your love by listening, by calling, by confronting when necessary, by sitting together in church. Love is an action verb.

Don't be afraid to hear some colorful language and "gory" details. Some folks don't know how to express themselves in any way but street language. Listen with love and respond as Jesus tells you. Love them where they are at.

Don't be afraid to say "I love you." Don't be afraid to touch or to hold hands in prayer. We all need that physical affirmation of love from one another. Homosexuals confuse sex and intimacy. They need people who can model the appropriate place of touch and love language. They need to learn the place of physical affection outside the context of sexual involvement. They won't rape you. If your intentions are misunderstood, explain yourself, but don't back away. If you don't know what you should do, say so.

Share your life. Be transparent. Many coming from a homosexual background are surprised to realize that "regular folks" also wrestle with sexual temptation, loneliness, rejection, hurt, etc. That helps them put their lives in perspective.

Present the whole of the Word of God. Jesus wants to set them free from lying, bitterness, pride, rebellion -- you name it. Homosexual behavior and fantasy is only part of it.

Point them away from their sin. Let them see Jesus, the answer to all their sins. Don't make homosexuality the focal point of your relationship. Stay away from homosexual and ex-homosexual jokes. It will only push them toward their homosexual lifestyle. For the same reason, avoid calling them ex-gays. They are WHOLE people in Christ. They are Christians!

Tell them about homosexuals that have found Christ -- groups like Exodus, Harvest, and Love in Action. Share Scripture like 1 Corinthians 6:11 ("...and such were some of you...") as well as testimonies of others who have come out of homosexuality.


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