by Bob Davies
Exodus North America
In this era of gay rights, many of us know someone who is gay, whether a co-worker, neighbor, or friend. We are often asked, “How do I witness to this person?” The answer is simple: The same way you share God’s truth with anyone else. Here are some pointers.
See a person, not a homosexual.
Your friend is a man or woman with complex fears, hopes and needs. Look beyond the “gay” or “lesbian” label to the whole person inside. Rather than seeing your friend as a homosexual, think of him or her as a person with a homosexual problem.
Be willing to listen.
Often an individual involved in homosexuality has been deeply wounded by well-meaning but ignorant Christians. John Paulk, now a former homosexual, recalls being in a gay pride parade and hearing shouted insults from church people standing on the sidelines. “Who would ever want to be part of their religion?” he wondered. Several years later, a campus minister befriended him and took the time to get beyond John’s “pro-gay” facade. A short time later, the pastor led him to Christ.
Point your friend to Jesus, not to heterosexuality.
Women or men caught in homosexuality cannot change on their own; they need the power of Christ working in their lives before the change will occur. Often, they have little motivation to change until God opens their eyes to His truths. As He begins the healing work in them, He will highlight areas in their life which must be surrendered to Him.
Don’t expect to know all the answers.
You don’t have to become an expert on all aspects of homosexuality before you can be a godly influence on your gay friend. When discussing the issue, it’s OK to say you don’t know, but you will find out and get back to them later (then do it!). God’s love working through you will change their mind, not winning an argument.
Give them hope for something better.
Be the bearer of good tidings, not just the announcement that their lifestyle is sin. Although the Bible is clear that homosexual practice is against God’s pattern for humankind, 1 Cor. 6:11 gives clear evidence that gays can change.