On Saturday morning, I accidentally ended up in the middle of an LGBTQ+ pride celebration in Louisville. I had a friend visiting from out of town and was driving him to see various parts of the city when we found ourselves in heavy traffic with hundreds of participants celebrating their LGBTQ+ affinity.
During our brief time there, I witnessed people dressed in bright colors, waving
, and wearing flags that connected them to their letters in the LGBTQ+ alphabet. We also saw same-sex demonstrations of affection and many people who were proud of a lifestyle that every follower of Jesus knows is contrary to Biblical teaching. I was surprised by the size of the crowd, the openness of their identity with their movement, and the space that was granted them by the city of Louisville to demonstrate and celebrate.
That experience left me with a question: How should believers live faithfully in a sinful and rebellious world? Here are three answers:
1. Accept God’s definition of sin, not our culture’s: I remember pastoring a church when one of the issues of the day was people living together outside of marriage (that remains an issue). I recall grandparents of those living in sin who had always held a biblical view of the matter until it involved their grandchildren. Their view of sin changed with those who were committing the sin. The same thing is happening today with homosexuality. Some church members are more concerned about maintaining the familial relationship than they are about demonstrating loyalty to Christ and the word of God.
2. Practice God’s method of love, not our culture’s: Adherents to the LGBTQ+ movement demand that others love them by affirming their lifestyle. Christians cannot affirm homosexuality as a right practice under God’s law, but we can and must love people who are trapped in the sin of homosexuality. Jesus loved people trapped in sin by approaching them, treating them with human decency, having conversations and eating meals with them, and telling them the truth about their sin and the love of God. We can follow his example as we interact with those in the LGBTQ+ community.
We must always remember that love, by God’s definition, will require that we lovingly identify sin and invite sinners of all stripes to repent and believe the gospel and be saved from the wrath to come. Any definition of love that does not try to save a sinner from their sin is not love.
3. Live for God’s approval, not our culture’s: Occasionally the people of God are admonished to do the right thing in a certain situation by being told “the world is watching.” I appreciate the sentiment behind the statement. We have in the past damaged our witness for Jesus by behaving in ways that are not like Christ. We must strive to represent our Lord in the way we live out our faith in the world by doing the right thing in the right way. However, we must also understand that many in the LGBTQ+ community, and those who support them, will reject both the truth of Christ and those who deliver it. Our goal is not to gain the approval of others, but to be faithful to God and speak the truth in love.
These are indeed difficult days that we live in, but they are also the days in which the Lord has called us to represent Him to the world. May we live in such a way that all sinners know that God loves them and that they will be saved from sin if they will repent and believe the gospel.