Capital Pride Parade in Washington, DC on 6/9/18. Photo Credit: Ted Eytan
Capital Pride Parade in Washington, DC on 6/9/18. Photo Credit: Ted Eytan (CC-By-SA 2.0)

I think you have to live in some sort of bubble not to know that June is considered “Pride Month” where LGBTQ people are celebrated across the nation. You may work somewhere that observes it. Your city or state government may officially recognize it. All sorts of celebrities make note of it.

Also, apparently it is bad to eat Chick-fil-A sandwiches during “Pride Month” as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey quickly learned when he tweeted a screenshot of his “boost” (mobile payment) for a Chick-fil-A sandwich. Former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien quickly rebuked Dorsey for eating at a store whose owner believes in and supports the traditional definition of marriage.

You may even attend a church that acknowledges it. Elizabeth Dias, a New York Times correspondent who covers faith and politics tweeted this from the Capital Pride Parade in Washington, DC over the weekend, “Many churches of DC area all marching together at today a few blocks from the White House. Lots of churches marching, different denominations. Reminder: Christianity in America is diverse.”

I wanted to share something I shared on Facebook yesterday and perhaps expand on it.

As Christians we are called to love our neighbors, and that includes our LGBTQ neighbors. We are to love them as ourselves. This is not optional, this is a command. We should pray for them, serve them, befriend them, and speak out if they are mistreated. We should also tell them the truth.

It is not loving to promote “pride” for something God clearly calls sin. It is not loving to bear false witness and lead those who have embraced this lifestyle away from the truth. It distorts the Gospel. It is not loving to not share that Jesus died for their sin, including homosexuality, and rose from the grave conquering sin and death and offers His grace as a free gift to those who repent and believe.

I know of some churches going to Pride festivals with the intent to serve and show the love of Christ in a practical way (giving out water as an example), and share the good news of Jesus when given the opportunity. That’s admirable, the Church should do things like this to reach out to the LGBTQ community with the Gospel of Christ. We must love and serve AND tell the truth. It is not one or the other, it is both AND. 

We have to go to them and we have to build up trust because many LGBTQ persons simply don’t trust us and for good reason. They have felt rejected because they were rejected.

A friend of mine shared this video produced by Together for the Gospel of a person she went to church with. It’s powerful.

I also consider Rosaria Butterfield’s experience (whom I have had the opportunity to interview on two occassions). She heard the truth of the Gospel, but she was also shown love and hospitality by a church in Syracuse, NY.

We are commanded to do both. Whether they reject us is not important, but our faithfulness is. If we expect that they will darken our door then we are going to wait a long time. It requires us to be pushed out of our comfort zone, but God does not call us to be comfortable. The example of Jesus and Paul is that they went to where the lost were.

Jesus was even labeled a “friend of tax collectors and sinners,” (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34) because of it.

But this does not mean sacrificing the truth. We can’t. We are no longer faithful if we do.

Unfortunately, what this tweet from Elizabeth Dias communicates is that churches were there to declare good what God has declared evil. That is the wrong way to reach the LGBTQ community. It does not reach them with the Gospel, instead it just cheers them on in their sin. 

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan (CC-By-SA 2.0)

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