Why We Can Love LGBTQIA+ People But Not Celebrate Their Lifestyle

By Shane Idleman Published on June 14, 2024

There’s a lot of discussion in Christian circles right now about what it means to love homosexual and gender-confused people well, with even a major evangelical seminary discussing the possibility of relaxing its stance on same-sex relationships (see The Stream’s story on this published earlier today). However, there are a lot of reasons not to drift in this apostate direction, away from the clear teaching of the Word of God. Here are some points to consider about what “loving well” looks like.

1. Tolerance is simply putting up with differences, but love embraces regardless of differences. In the past, I had the privilege of talking with a male prostitute in North Hollywood. I had received a call from his sister, telling me that he was suicidal. I drove to see him the next day and spent two hours with him, sharing my own prodigal story and telling him about God’s love and the hope we have in Christ.

When I left he seemed built up and encouraged, but within a month I received a call telling me that he had died in his sleep. Before his death, he told his family he had been reading my books. Tolerance would not have motivated me to drive three hours round trip, but love did!

2. Challenging those we disagree with is often a characteristic of love, not hate. Parents confront, challenge, and admonish their children daily. Does this mean they hate them?

Of course not. The reason challenges against the LGBTQ agenda are labeled “hate speech” is to silence the messenger. Those who support the LGBTQ movement wouldn’t get very far if they said, “We know that many Christians love us, but we don’t like their advice.”

3. The Creator made His plan obvious. God created humans to be male and female so that they would be joined together and become one flesh (Mark 10:6–8). Jesus adds, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (verse 9). We can see from God’s original design that males and females are to be joined together. (Yes, there are only two genders, not an infinite number of them.)

As many today struggle with what is called “gender confusion” or “gender dysphoria,” we can lovingly remind them of this biblical truth: God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

4. There is no scriptural support for believing homosexuality or transgenderism align with God’s design. Some argue, “The Bible is not an ethical textbook. Culture changes and so does the Bible.” Not so.

Not a single moral law that God has ever given is obsolete. Never once does Scripture present homosexuality or transgenderism in a positive light; sexual perversion is always identified as a sin. To suggest that Naomi and Ruth or Jonathan and David had same-sex relationships gives the phrase “grasping at straws” new meaning. This is eisegesis in its purest form — reading things into the text that are not there.

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Feelings are not a gauge of truth. Some parents are inclined to change their views when their children declare they are gay or transgender. When that happens, we must lovingly explain to our children that we all struggle with sin, but that is not a reason to reinterpret the clear meaning of Scripture.

If a child is struggling with anger, disobedience, or addiction, we don’t change the Scriptures to fit their behavior. Instead, we offer hope in the midst of their struggle. No matter how many laws are passed in favor of gay marriage or transgenderism, it will not change God’s mind on these things. First Corinthians 13:6 says, “Love does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth.” Times change — truth does not.

5. The Bible is crystal clear. It’s been said, “If the plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense lest it result in nonsense.”

I cringe whenever I hear those who support homosexuality say phrases such as “abandoning natural relations” in Romans 1:26–28 mean something different now, such as switching passions (e.g., a person likes men one day and women the next). Or that homosexuality is fine as long as the couple is committed to each other.

Some say the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was only neglecting the poor or not being hospitable, but that is not what the Bible says. The sins of homosexuality and sexual immorality are identified in Genesis 19:4-9 and Jude 1:7. Additionally, church history also supports the biblical teachings against homosexuality. The early Church Fathers, as well as the creeds and confessions and the later Reformers, all echoed the same truth in this area.

6. The mocking tones of most pastors who support homosexuality speak volumes. A movement that truly is of God is undergirded with love and humility; words are seasoned with grace. But the opposite is often true: One well-known pastor mocked fundamentalists, saying, “They are not fun and they are mental.” Another leader made a shocking statement: “Our greatest spiritual problem has not been sin, it’s been shame.”

Confused? So was I! Many of the Christian leaders who support the LGBTQ agenda are angry and arrogant; they speak only to their cheerleaders and ridicule those who don’t agree with them. It reminds me of Jeremiah 23, where teachers were altering God’s Word and actually encouraging sin.

7. “But I was born this way” is not an excuse. The Bible teaches that everyone is born a sinner. I was born to lie, cheat, lust, and deceive, but that doesn’t make it right for me to do those things — it makes me sinful and in desperate need of a Savior.

In closing, when the people on both sides of this debate stand before God, one will say, “Lord, I followed Your Word as best as I could. I upheld the Scriptures and anchored my life to the fundamentals of the faith. Your Word appeared crystal-clear in this area.”

But the other will say something like, “Lord, I believe that You gave us a fresh and new perspective in this area. I know that many Scriptures, as well as church history, cast homosexuality in the same light as other sins, but I didn’t think that applied anymore.”

Choose your side carefully.

 

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California and the creator of the WCF Radio Network. His program, Regaining Lost Ground, points us back to God and reminds us that although times change, truth does not. His books, blogs, and sermons can all be found at ShaneIdleman.com.

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