You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: â€œLove your neighbor as yourself.â€ Galatians 5:13-14
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do,whether they are slave or free. Ephesians 6:7-8
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:13
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of Godâ€™s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
I’ve had a specific prayer request for awhile now that God would give me insight into how the church should handle the issue of homosexuality. As nearly all of us can attest, the collective church has done a poor job displaying Christ to gay people. Usually the conversation is all about whether or not it’s a sin and what verses or criteria each side uses to make their argument. I’ve been thinking through this topic on my blog for the last five years as you can see through a couple of examples here and here. While there is certainly a time and a place for that, I’m left wondering if that is ultimately a poor starting point. Instead, what if Christians approached the topic proactively? This has caused me to reflect on a simple question recently.
How can Christians serve gay people?
Specifically, what are ways that those of us who profess a faith in Jesus Christ can demonstrably show His love to gay people? The great part about this question is that it doesn’t matter our beliefs on the gay lifestyle. We are called to serve those around us regardless of their beliefs (consider the verses above for a short list). As I reflect on it, we’ve done very little serving to the gay community. I confess that one of the reasons this is probably true is that most Christians (myself included) don’t have a quick answer to this question. Even if we wanted to serve our gay neighbors, how would we best do that?
Lest a Christian read this and feel this to be an offensive question, realize that serving someone in no means equates to supporting all the choices they make. If that were true I don’t know of a single person I’d be able to serve other than myself (which somehow doesn’t qualify as serving anymore. Even then I don’t always agree with my own choices after the fact). Rather, we are called to serve everyone around us. I’m simply acknowledging a particular community that has been exempt from Christian service and love by most professing believers.
I’d love to hear some practical answers to this question in the comments below. Especially if you are gay or if you know someone close to you who is gay. What do you think?Â How can Christians serve gay people?