Tactics and Tools

How Should You Talk to a Friend Who’s Gay?

Author Alan Shlemon Published on 12/09/2016

I was asked on an #STRask podcast, “How should you talk to a friend who’s gay?” I would answer the question in two different ways, depending on who that particular person is.

If they are a non-believer who identifies as a gay man or woman, then the way I would talk to them is the way I would talk to any other non-believer—whether they’re a Muslim, whether they identify as gay, whether they’re Mormon, or whether they’re just an atheist or a skeptic. I would simply present to them the Gospel in the clearest possible way I can because that’s what ultimately matters. That’s their main problem.

Even if the gay man abandoned homosexual activity and adopted heterosexuality, that still wouldn’t reconcile Him with God, which is his biggest problem. His eternal destiny would still be in jeopardy because whether you’re a heterosexual or homosexual is irrelevant to the question of whether you have been pardoned for the crimes you’ve committed against God. All of us have committed crimes against God that we need forgiveness for. That’s why I say, if it’s a non-Christian, the way you should talk to them would be to present the Gospel to them. If they’re a friend of yours, be a friend just like you would to your heterosexual friends. Befriend them and let them know about the Gospel.

Now if they claim to be a Christian and they’re identifying as a gay man, lesbian, or bisexual, meaning that they are engaging in ongoing homosexual behavior or ongoing homosexual lusting, then I would say, once you claim to be a Christian, you now fall under the authority of Scripture and the commands the Bible has for how you should live. That, by the way, applies to all Christians, gay or straight. Anyone claiming to be a Christian is required to submit to the authority of Scripture. If you’re talking to a person like that, my suggestion would be to try to encourage them to do what they can to obey the commands of Christ and to follow the Scriptures. That’s what I would do with any Christian friend who is leading a life in contradiction to Scripture.

In either of these cases, you treat the gay friend the same way you would a heterosexual friend in similar circumstances. Neither one of my suggestions, whether you’re talking to a non-Christian who’s gay or to a Christian who’s gay, is any different for any other person. If they’re gay and non-Christian, present the Gospel. If they are a Christian, then encourage them to live righteously according to the commands of Scripture.

[Adapted from an #STRask podcast transcript.]