I have a question for you. I’m not actually gay, but my best friend of 12 years has recently come out to me, and I’m not quite sure how to proceed with our friendship. We met each other at our home church, and there I learned and accepted to a degree that homosexuality is not right in God’s eyes. So still believing that, how do I give my friend my approval of his new lifestyle? I realize you are not necessarily a leading scholar on Christianity, but I came across one of your posts on Instagram and you appear to be gay and Christian. So I thought you could offer up some advice. Btw, please don’t take any offense to my letter.
Ashley from Around the Way
Dear Ashley from Around the Way,
Thanks for writing to me. Let me start off by saying, that I don’t take offense to your letter here. I’m glad you are seeking my advice on the issue, and happy to give it to you. I’m all too familiar with the Christian perspective on homosexuality that you mentioned. I too was raised in a church that held such a view. However after much prayer and deeper development of my relationship with Christ, I realized I’m gay and still loved by Him. Although a popular opinion claims homosexuality is a choice, I truly believe people are born this way.
And while I respect your understanding of the faith, and not necessarily trying to sway you into believing what I believe, I question any Christian that would attempt to shun a gay man and condemn him to a lifetime in hell. (Not saying you are one of these people exactly, so please take no offense). As Christians, one of our only jobs is to love one another. The job of eternal judge was filled long ago. So even if you don’t agree with your friend’s lifestyle due to your understanding of Christianity, a should be universal understanding of the faith calls you to still love him. Where is the love in condemnation, or in your case not proceeding in your friendship?
I’d also like to point out, that your friend didn’t tell you that he’s gay because he needed your approval. He did so because he wanted to honest and real with his best friend. And he did so hoping that you would support him as a person, even if you don’t agree with, or understand, what he does in the privacy of his own bedroom. If you love him like a real friend, then you should at least be able to do that.
Going forward here are my suggestions.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions for comprehension. If you need help understanding your friend and his true and full identity, then ask him. If you two have really been friends for all this time, he should have no problem answering.
- Discard every perception of gay you have when engaging with your friend. Thinking all gay people are alike or all like the characters you see on T.V., is a GROSS assumption. What gay means to your friend may differ greatly in what gay means to Andy Cohen, or Don Lemon, or even me.
- Have an honest talk with God and ask him about the feelings you are wrestling with. In His way and timing, He will make it clear what’s what.
As always nothing but love,