Reaching Your LGBT Friends with Truth and Compassion

Alan helps Christians know which common phrases to avoid when talking to a friend or family member who identifies as gay. 


We also need to kill clichés that are harming our relationships with people,

okay? Now, what do I mean by clichés that kill? Clichés that are kill are cute little

statements that we think are clever, that we Christians like to say to our friends

who identify as LGBT but really end up doing more harm than good. Let me give

you three quick examples. Number one is this: Homosexuality is a choice or refer

to it as the "homosexual lifestyle," okay? As I've shown to you, I do not believe

that homosexual attraction is just something people choose. Yes, they choose

their behavior, but if you use the word "choice" in your description of their, who

they are, you will alienate them from you

because in their mind, they'll think, "You think I chose this? You

think I chose to be gay? You are completely out of touch with who I am,"

right? "You have no idea what I'm experiencing." So this will just simply

create a roadblock, an obstacle in your relationship with them, okay? So avoid the

language of choice. Number two, I hear people say this, "God created Adam and Eve,

not Adam and Steve," okay? I don't know why we keep saying this as

Christians, but let me just tell you, we gotta, okay? Because the only way

I've ever heard my friends and family who identify as gay and lesbian interpret

this is as an insult, okay? If you want them to believe that God made them to

function in a heterosexual way, then just explain that from Scripture or from

basic biology 101, alright? Don't resort to a corny cliché like this as just

simply offends people and creates more distance in your relationship with them.

Here's another one, "God loves the sinner but hates the sin." Now I know this

one's gonna be tough because this sounds biblically consistent. It might

even sound compassionate. But let me just tell you when people who identify as

LGBT hear this, they think in their mind– well, let me ask a question, actually. Do

you know what's the only word they hear in this sentence? Hate. Exactly. They hear,

"God hates me, and guess what, you hate them too."

Because in their mind, being gay's not just what they do, it's

who they are. And so if God hates me and you hate me too, then how is this a

compassionate answer? This actually has the opposite effect that you intend. So

here's my suggestion: If you want them to believe that that you love them or that

God loves them despite what they're doing, here's what you should do. Don't

say something, rather do something, and that is love them, right? You you say God

loves them, why don't you show by how you treat them, right? Spend time with them, go

to the movies with them. The next Avengers movie comes out, go see it with them. Play tennis

with them. Whatever you do with your other friends, do it with them. And because

you're a Christian and you might be the only Bible they ever get to know, they'll

interpret that as love from you, and because you're a Christian, you represent

God, that will teach them that God loves them as well.

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Alan Shlemon