“Excellent assessment. Now can you give us a list of things Christians can actually do about all this?”
That was Mark Wright’s response to the 15 reasons I gave in answering the question, “Why are we flushing thousands of years down the toilet?”
Though painful, it’s a good question. It’s easier to engage in intellectual analysis of “Why?” than to address the practical question of “What now?”
So, I’m going to have a stab at this, aware that this needs much more than a brief blog post composed in an hour. So please supplement with your comments, and let’s all keep thinking about, “What now?”
Right upfront because it is our biggest need and our only ultimate hope. We are facing incredibly powerful forces in both the worldly and the spiritual sphere: “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).
Some Christians and churches have sinned against individual LGBT’s by communicating only 100% condemnation towards them, showing them only hatred. Surely we can admit this, or confess it if we have sinned there.
We should also make clear to the LGBT community that although their sins may not be our sins, we do have sinful struggles of our own that need forgiveness and removal.
By admitting our own sinful hypocrisy, our own shortcomings in our relationships with LGBT people, and our own sinfulness, we will hopefully break down barriers, destroy caricatures, and gain a hearing for our case.
It’s important to find out what kind of LGBT person we are engaging. There are two extremes in this movement. First, there are “given-over” types — the Romans 1:18-32 LGBT’s who are generally militant, arrogant, aggressive, and persecuting. But at the other end of the scale, there are 1 Corinthians 6:9 types who, though struggling with sinful sexual desires, and falling into these sins, yet they hate the desires and practices, wish to be delivered from them, and are more open to listening. We make a great mistake to lump together all LGBT people under Romans 1 condemnation, just because they are the loudest and proudest.
DADT (“Don’t ask, don’t tell”) used to be the military’s approach to homosexuality. Many Christians’ response to LGBT’s is TDA (“Tell, don’t ask”). We just tell them “the truth” and walk away. Though we need to tell the truth, we would often be better to ask questions first. We can ask questions about their lives, their histories, their interests, their challenges, their hurts, their jobs, their hobbies, and so on. We must demonstrate personal interest in them and in their whole lives. We need to show that we do not define or identify people just by their sexuality.
We must get beyond the specific sins to the presuppositions behind them. For example, we can ask, “In your moral world, what is wrong? And how do you decide? Where would you draw the line morally and why?” We’re trying to help our opponents identify whether they have any moral foundations, any objective way to measure what is “moral,” and how weak and inconsistent their moral basis is.
We might challenge those who are not LGBT, but who have bought into the agenda, “Have you thought through the consequences? Do you have any idea where this is going? Have you considered the potential damage to children in gay marriages, or the danger of putting young girls just inches away from sexually confused men in bathrooms?” As this article asks, “What about compassion for our children?”
When we provide preferential treatment to a segment of society based on an individual’s choice to identify as a gender other than his or her biological sex at birth, we’re ignoring who really needs our protection: children. They haven’t asked for this, they aren’t demanding safety, but they should expect that we will fight for their protection.
Many supporters of LGBT rights are trying to silence their consciences by seeking cultural, social, and judicial approval of their lifestyles. We can surely appeal to this need, this inner accuser, God’s sentry within, and urge them to seek the silencing of their consciences through the only effective silencer — Christ’s blood.
We can highlight the political opportunism of the Democratic party using such issues to distract from the bigger messes in our nation and to motivate more black voters by equating Transgender rights with the Civil Rights movement — which many black people are seeing through (see I fought for civil rights; it’s offensive to compare it to the transgender fight)
One of the reasons why the President and the Judges have supported the LGBT agenda is that LGBT’s are so vocal and aggressive in lobbying for change whereas Christians have been so muted and passive. The Government thinks it can get off with pandering to the LGBT community and Christians will just roll over. We need to prove them wrong: perhaps by letters of protest, or by changing our votes, or by withdrawing from schools, or, most powerfully, by withdrawing dollars.
I’m with John Piper on boycotting. I’m doing everything I can to avoid or limit the number of my dollars going to companies that are supporting the LGBT agenda. In the case of Target, that means my family has stopped shopping there until it reverses its decision, just as we and millions of Christians did with J C Penney. As for Apple, I’ve put off replacing my Apple products and will only do so when absolutely necessary.
Many are being sucked into the LGBT lifestyle with promises of happiness. They are going to be badly disappointed. They will thirst again. We need to come alongside them with the cleansing and refreshing water of life that if they drink, they will never thirst again. I’m looking forward to hearing many testimonies of grace in the years to come (see here, here, and here)
When LGBT men and women turn up in our churches, let’s welcome them, and show them love that they have never experienced anywhere else. Rosaria Butterfield has often spoken of the “fellowship” of the gay community and how much catchup Christians have to do in this area of hospitality if we are to attract and keep such people in our churches. We also love them by telling them the truth about their need for the Gospel of grace in Jesus Christ. We must have faith in the message of the Gospel to draw the worst of sinners to the best of sinners. LGBT’s do not need another Gospel; they need exactly the same Gospel that saved us.
We might financially support organizations that have some political influence (e.g. Family Research Council), media influence (ERLC), or who are helping defend Christians in court (e.g. Alliance Defending Freedom).
Let’s teach our children to think and speak on these issues so that they not only believe what is right, but understand why they believe, and articulate it too. I’d recommend some blogs that regularly tackle these issues: Denny Burk, Al Mohler, Kevin DeYoung, Russell Moore, and Carl Trueman at FirstThings. You’ll also get good book recommendations there such as Kevin DeYoung’s What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?, Rosaria Butterfield’s Openness Unhindered, and Sam Allberry’s Is God Anti-Gay?
Call upon God who holds the king’s heart in His hand, just like the rivers of water, and who can turn it wherever He wishes (Prov. 21:1).
What else would you add?