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How to Speak to Your LGBT Family and Friends About the Gospel | Season 2 Episode 4

If you don’t have at least one LGBT family member or friend then chances are that you don’t have family or friends. Far gone are the days when few people personally knew someone who identified as LGBT.

In this episode of Now Is the Time I share with you some times on how you can speak the Gospel to your LGBT friends and family.

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What I’m reading

Recently I picked up a little book of Charles’ Spurgeon’s personal letters called “Letters of Charles Haddon Spurgeon“.

Not only are these letters a very personal look into the heart of Spurgeon but they are also extremely inspiring and encouraging. They have changed the way I write my own letters!

How to speak the gospel to your LGBT friends and family

Recently I wrote a post entitled, “6 Truths I want my Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Friends to Know After the Orlando Massacre.” I received an overwhelming response of e-mails from people with friends and family who are LGBT.

Many wrote to me of the heart-break of a child who choose the gay or lesbian lifestyle. Some asked for advice on how to lovingly share the Gospel with someone caught up in a lifestyle that seems so directly opposed to Gospel truth.

Below are 9 tips on speaking the gospel into the lives of your LGBT friends and family.

1. Don’t avoid them

Sometimes straight people and especially straight Christians can feel awkward and even fear being around openly LGBT people. How are you supposed to act? What are you supposed to say? How will they respond?

This feeling is quite normal, but it doesn’t mean we should avoid them. Being LGBT isn’t some sort of special class of sin that is “untouchable.”

LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Biblically speaking these all fall into the category of sexual sins.

Sexual sins are not new, we find many different types of sexual sins early in the Bible: polygamy (Gen 4:19), nakedness (Gen 9:21-23), adultery (Gen 16:1-4), homosexuality (Gen 19:5), incest (Gen 19:32-36), and rape (Gen 34:2).

Jesus himself spent a fair amount of time with people who were known for their sexual sins. Check out Luke 7:36-39 where Jesus was even condemned by religious leaders for spending time with these “sexual sinners.”

I’m not saying that you need to start going to gay clubs and bars, we should use wisdom in all these matters. I am however, saying that if we want to communicate gospel truth to our LGBT friends and family, then we’re going to have to stop avoiding them and start spending some time with them.

2. Apologize for the hate mongers

Unfortunately there are a few very public “Christian” groups who spew nothing but hatred and condemnation against homosexuals. I think we should apologize for the rude, unloving, and unbalanced approaches of others.

3. Be clear and respectful with them

While there are some exceptions, in general I’ve found that often my LGBT friends were ok with the fact that I did not personally agree with their lifestyle. They respected me enough to allow me to have my opinion on it.

Don’t be afraid to respectfully share with them your view on homosexuality. You can simply say something like, “I believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin.”

4. Don’t try to “fix” their sexuality

As a heterosexual protestant evangelical believer it can be easy to lose focus when sharing the gospel with my LGBT friend. We have to realize that God has not called us to “fix” anyone. Whether it’s homosexuality, overeating, or a problem with anger, these are not things you or I can “fix.”

Remember we are fixing people so they can come to Jesus, we calling sinners to faith in Jesus (Luke 5:32) This means our focus should be faith issues that will lead the person to a real and deep understanding of who Jesus is and what he has done for them.

5. Speak to their deeper issues

It’s important to realize that homosexuality is not the main problem, it is only a symptom of deeper problems. All unbelievers are seeking some sort of fulfillment, purpose, and satisfaction in life. In addition to this many struggle with issues like depression, anxiety, and anger.

These are the things of the heart! This is where we need to be speaking the truth of the gospel into their lives.

We need to show them that only Jesus can give them the ultimate satisfaction they are looking for. We need to help them understand that Jesus alone is the answer to their depression, anger, and anxiety.

6. Don’t make it only about the LGBT lifestyle

Turning the gospel into a one issue platform belittles the power and breadth of our message. The gospel is holistic. It doesn’t pivot on one particular sin or another. It conquers all, it changes all, and it completes it all!

You will need to talk with your friends about the power of the gospel outside of their LGBT lifestyle. Show them how Jesus changes man from the inside out, explain to them the joy and peace that the Holy Spirit brings into the life of a believer, talk with them about the gospel’s power to free from guilt and remove the burden of all sins.

7. Let them know about your sins

Unfortunately we often come across as holier than thou in our approach to LGBT people. This should not be.

Let them know that you also struggle with sin, even sexual sin. Speak to them as a poor wretched sinner who found grace in Jesus not as a finger-pointing preacher whose only remaining sin is being too long-winded on Sunday mornings!

8. Love them

Tell them you love them. Help them when there is a need, be kind and compassionate toward them, leave them with no doubt that you genuinely love and care for them as a person.

9. Pray for them

Make them regular in your private prayers. When you visit with them ask them if they have anything you can pray for them about. let them know you are praying for them. Pray for them in person when you have a chance.

10. Share the gospel repeatedly and in various ways

Remember that the gospel takes many forms and can be communicated in many ways. We all need to hear the gospel message again and again. Find different ways to share the truth of the gospel naturally as it relates to different matters in life.

Don’t forget that it is the job of the Holy Spirit to work in the heart and bring about conviction of sin and faith in Jesus. This is a process that we don’t see, it is a process that may be happening now even though it doesn’t look like it.

Some helpful resources

Below are links to six articles that relate to the gospel and LGBT people. I found them helpful and I think you may too.

Rosaria Butterfield

I found the following two video interviews with Rosaria Butterfield very enlightening and helpful. Rosaria is a former Leftist Lesbian who came to faith in Jesus Christ.

Rosaria on personhood and identity and how we ought to open our homes to people who are struggling.

Rosaria about consistency in our approach to our LGBT friends and how to disagree with them.

Rosaria about the Christian gay movement.

Rosaria Butterfield on understanding and loving our gay and lesbian friends.

Question: Can you add anything to this list of tips on speaking to your LGBT friends about the gospel?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Lee Lanier

    Good morning my brother in Christ, I believe that your approach is a good one. Because you have asked i feel that #2 when you say “i believe’ the bible teaches it is a sin” leaves room for escape, there are new bibles being printed to adjust God’s Word that maybe at the end tell them that the Bible teaches us that it is a sin just as other sexual sins. With that being said love i believe is the greatest tool there is in preaching the gospel. With some that totally will not listen & insist that we are hate mongers when we aren’t brings me to Roman’s 1:27 when God said that He has given some over to a debased mind, to me that is powerful because He is saying that He gave up on some. Pray for me as I am struggling with sin because of what is happening to our country. Caleb I love you brother in Christ & you have a beautiful heart & have you in my prayers & thoughts alot. Please don’t take this as any insult just sharing my thoughts. May God continue to bless you and your family

    • Good comments Lee! Certainly when you are talking with an unbeliever you have to be aware of all the contexts that surround that person and possible ways that they could misunderstand you. I see what you mean about different Bible translations that may make this issue less clear or even make it look like the Bible supports LGBT lifestyle. If that’s the case then we have to go back to the original languages.

  • Excellent advice, Caleb. Too often we think that we’re supposed to be able to “fix” others… we rarely take the time to stop and realize we don’t have the power to fix our own weaknesses. It’s only the power of God that can overcome this weak flesh. We all have weaknesses, and that’s theirs. The rub of course comes in that they, and all of us sinning in the flesh, want a way to justify our actions.