How Can I Help My Christian Friend Who Might Be "Gay"?
Oh brother are you gonna
leave me wastin' away”
Streets of Philadelphia
As I said in the last post, "gay" is a very unhelpful term because it is so vague and doesn't distinguish between desire, identity and behaviour. I will say that if you have a Christian friend who has SSA (Same-sex attraction) there are ways to help him or her.
If your friend is a Christian, then embrace your friend as a fellow Christian who struggles with sin just like you do. With young men I (as a man) am physically affirming with appropriate hugs and pats on the back. I go out of my way to affirm his masculinity and our brotherhood using physical, verbal and all fraternal signs of affection. I also speak against the cultural myth that our sexual desires are equal to our identity. He is not any more evil for having homosexual temptations than we are for having heterosexual ones.
Usually underneath the SSA there is a legitimate same-sex need that was or is being unmet. For that reason, I try to be an accepting and faithful friend to my Christian brother dealing with SSA. My hope is that I can help meet his hunger for affirmative male relationship in healthy godly ways instead of leaving him to meet those needs in destructive ways.
Offering them love and acceptance will not mean compromising the many Bible verses which forbid homosexual practice. Our generation is cowardly in speaking out about sexual sin in general and homosexual sin in particular. We must not condone homosexual or heterosexual sin. We must also not fail to reach out to those struggling with SSA in humility and grace.
If my friend is not a Christian, then the goal is not to make him or her “straight”. Hell will be filled with “straight” people! The goal is to get that person to meet Jesus. Heterosexuality does not give eternal life. Jesus does.