Letting Pride Get in the Way of the Gospel :: By Howard Green

Like every June, this month will be filled with rainbow flags, signs, and ads commemorating Pride Month. LGBTQ symbols will be everywhere: on streets, in shopping centers, and on social media. Parades, gatherings, and rallies will all focus on the inclusion and awareness of people in that community.

Another group of people will also saturate op-eds and social media with a counterinsurgency of sorts against Pride Month. They’ll boast of taking back the rainbow and even get into shouting matches at gay-pride rallies to prove they are right. Many Christians become so fixated on fighting against Pride Month that they miss the opportunity to warn LGBTQ people about the problem they share with everyone else. It’s the problem of sin, a holy God, and coming judgment. They let pride get in the way of sharing the gospel.

We held a ministry outreach a few weeks ago, and as I was packing up, a group of teens began to ask me questions about the Bible. One young lady looked me right in the eye and asked, point blank, “Is homosexuality a sin?” I answered, “Yes, it certainly is, and so is adultery, idolatry, jealousy, and fits of anger (Galatians 5:19-20). She seemed a bit surprised by my response because I didn’t launch into a dissertation about the sin of homosexuality but lovingly warned her that all sin, including homosexuality, leads to destruction.

The talk with the group of teens reminded me of another encounter I had with a young lady while doing open-air evangelism. She came up to me and asked sarcastically, “I’m a lesbian; does Jesus love me?” I told her, “Yes, He loves you very much. He loves you so much that He endured torture and death on the cross to make you clean from every sin, including homosexuality, so you can have eternal life.” This young lady seemed taken aback at my answer that Jesus loves her. She asked a loaded question, which presupposed that I would argue. The Holy Spirit led me to share the gospel instead because the reality is that Jesus does love her (Mark 1:15).

You might be asking, “What about the books, drag shows, or other displays of debauchery that expose our children to perversion, indoctrinate them into the LGBTQ lifestyle, and officials who seem bent on subverting parental authority?” It is all seductive evil and must be spoken out against at every possible opportunity when children are used as pawns for sexual deviance.

What I’m addressing here is many Christians’ willingness to enter into a culture war against the LGBTQ community by trying to fundamentally change it through human effort instead of sharing the gospel. This could look like shouting matches at pride parades, social-media campaigns, or singling out the sin of homosexuality instead of warning people about all sin and its leading to eternity in hell (Jude 1:22-23).

What would happen if more believers began to address the cure for sin and not just the symptoms? What is the possible outcome if we lovingly preached the gospel to the LGBTQ community instead of worrying about winning battles? The result will be that some people will leave the LGBTQ lifestyle and come to saving faith in Jesus (Romans 10:14).

On the other hand, there’s a knee-jerk reaction by some Christians to appease the LGBTQ community by accepting and even participating in their spiritual deception. I believe it is a grossly misguided and unbiblical attempt to show Christian love. Here’s an example:

Several years ago, I went to a church forum one evening that focused on a Christian’s response to the LGBTQ movement, primarily among youth. The talk was hosted by several Christian leaders, and there were many teens and parents present. One of the teens in the audience asked the following question. “As a Christian, should I refer to my peers by their preferred pronouns?” This was a while back, so I’ll do my best to paraphrase the answer that was given. One of the leaders answered: “At first, I think we should refer to them the way they want to be because it shows Christian love. After you gain their trust, then it would be ok to address them by their proper pronoun” (Ephesians 5:7-10).

Not only was this unbiblical advice, but it only added more confusion to spiritually blind people who desperately need gospel clarity, not acquiescence to their sinful LGBTQ lifestyle. This wasn’t a rogue answer by these Christian leaders because, as we’ve seen in recent years, a growing number of well-known ministers have taken unbiblical positions on how to interact with the LGBTQ community, from suggesting the use of preferred pronouns while being clear on biblical truth and suggesting some attend gay weddings to show love. These contradictions to scripture are unfortunate examples of a watered-down Western church becoming like the world in an attempt to get them to like us when only the truth and love of Jesus will save them (2 Corinthians 4:4).

I don’t expect to see a reduction in pride parades, flags, or people who identify with the LGBTQ lifestyle. In fact, as we near Jesus’ return, I expect the sins of sexual immorality, including homosexuality, will increase exponentially. Satan is the prince and power of the air, and he has billions of people deceived, including people in the LGBTQ community, who follow the course of this world toward God’s wrath and an eternity in hell (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Acquiescence and appeasement won’t win LGBTQ people to Jesus, but neither will engaging in a culture war. The only thing that will bring people to repentance from homosexuality or any other sin is the gospel. We can’t let our own pride in trying to prove we’re right or, just as distracting, become people pleasers to be liked and be a stumbling block for people on the way to eternity. If we’re going to boast in anything, let it be in the cross of the Lord Jesus, where salvation is found. Don’t let pride get in the way of the gospel.

All for Him,