THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
The kind of friends you have will make a big difference in your growth in
Christ and out of homosexuality. The Bible has much to say to us regarding
our friendships. God recognises that our friends are our companions, our
partners in common interests. We are encouraged and influenced by them,
and they by us. We draw life from them, particularly our closest friends.
To fellowship, a Biblical word from the Greek, means to join as a
companion, partner, or ally; to keep company as a partner or intimate. To
associate, in the Random House Dictionary, means the same.
Breaking With Old Friends.
One of the major reasons why people trying to break with the gay lifestyle
don't make it is because there is never any separation from old friends,
activities, and old ways of identifying. Closely linked with that is the
fact that many believers don't seek out new fellowship or learn what their
new identity in Jesus is all about.
Scripture says that "... friendship with the world is enmity with God."
(James 4:4). We are called out of the world to serve Jesus Christ. Lack
of separation betrays the fact that we are clinging to the old stuff. "
... Cleanse you hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of
double mind." (James 4:8).
It isn't good enough to merely stop sexual behaviour. If you are still
hanging out at the bar playing games (even if you are only drinking cokes!)
with someone you find attractive, you're setting yourself up for a fall
sooner or later. Places and things that have significance to you because
they have something to do with homosexuality can still have a pull,
including "wholesome" events like your weekly softball or hockey game.
Many times a woman in counselling will mention that a certain song can
evoke all kinds of memories and feelings. Perhaps it is a special song she
shared with her lover. Hearing it on the radio or playing it on the
jukebox will be seductive -- spiritually as well as emotionally.
The remedy? Quit the team, quit the bars, throw away the records, and
"draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8).
Attending a church and getting involved with a small group fellowship will
make it easier to cut ties with old friends and activities. If you have
nothing to look forward to in the way of human contact, the lonelies might
tempt you back to old friends. The effort needed to make new friends may
seem greater than you are capable of, but God will provide strength to
endure the empty days and nights, and lead you into new patterns of living
as you ask Him to help you. There are so many Christians out there who are
willing to reach out if you will give them a chance.
Fellowship in the Body of Christ is essential to your spiritual well-being.
As a confessing Christian you have a place in the Body of Christ that no
one else can fill because only you have the combination of personality,
gifts, talents, and weaknesses that you have. " ... Let us consider how to
stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet
together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another ..."
(Hebrews 10:24-25). " ... if we walk in the light, as He is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another," (1 John 1:7).
There may be obstacles for you to overcome. Perhaps you will have to ask
God to help you set your face like flint to do the right things. Do you
have bitterness toward the church or church people for disciplining and
rejecting you? You must forgive, and perhaps consider that maybe
discipline was called for.
Are you afraid to let anyone get close in case you get hurt again? Love
can heal this hurt, but you must let others love you. You must choose to
be vulnerable, knowing that if you do get hurt again that the Holy Sprit
can comfort you and give you strength to keep trying.
Are you afraid of spiritual authority? Afraid of anyone telling you what
to do? Take courage! You will not lose your individuality by learning to
submit in love to others, particularly spiritual elders. "Obey your
leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls as
men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not
sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you." (Hebrews 13:17).
Learning to interact with others will polish you and let your unique
abilities and personality shine forth the way God intended.
Witnessing To Old Friends
Don't kid yourself that you can go back to the old friends and old places
and be a witness. If you are a brand new Christian or brand new to your
celibacy, or still coming out of a dependent relationship, you don't have
what it takes to stand up to the spiritual oppression that's there.
Friendship evangelism does work, but only if the people see a difference
in your life or see that you are different than others they know. Even if
you know there's a difference in your life, hanging out with the old crowd
won't prove it. Those old friends and acquaintances won't be impressed
with your change. What's changed? You're still with them, aren't you?
Many times those "friends" don't have a healthy interest in your well-
being. They are just waiting for you to fall. They may even set you up on
purpose, like getting you drunk on your birthday and sending you home with
someone they know you've had your eye on (to witness to, of course).
You'll be back, they say to each other confidently. This Christian stuff
is only a phase. It's only because society has laid such a guilt trip on
gays that causes some to get religious. It's to ease the conscience. But
once you come to your senses, own your feelings, you'll be okay.
You know what will really make them see a difference? When you
disappear. For good! It'll make them mad. You'll be accused of not
caring about your friends any more, of playing games. But if they don't
see you for a year or two, and there's been a chance for the Holy Spirit to
begin that process of the renewing of the mind, then a difference will
really be apparent. As you consecrate your feelings, your identity, your
life to Christ, a new person will emerge. That's something worth investing
in, don't you think? Something worth waiting for? When you are new to
everything, what do you have to offer except ideas? Unproven ideas at
You want your life to make a difference. You want those people you care
about to know Jesus and to have eternal life. Have patience. It may be
hard. It may hurt for a while, but compromising yourself now and risking
going back because you aren't strong enough to stand against the old life
will only prove to them (again) that Christianity doesn't work.
Outreach To Non-Christians
Does all this mean that you should quit relating to all non-Christians?
Certainly not! "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill
cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a
stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father
in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16). "I wrote to you in my letter not to
associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of the world ...
since then you would need to go out of the world." (1 Corinthians 5:9-10).
You may not be old enough, or called, to tackle a ministry to gays or go
overseas as a missionary, but God calls each Christian to make a difference
in his home, at his job, at school, or wherever we go. How will non-
Christians ever get saved if we aren't out there being the light?
Spend your leisure time primarily with Christians, especially seeking out
older believers. God will naturally bring non-believers into your life to
be selected friends. Share yourself and your life in Christ. Don't make
that person your best friend or roommate. (And, for heaven's sake, don't
marry him or her!) But do allow Jesus to guide your relationship. Pray
for that person regularly. If the humanistic values of that individual
begin to weigh you down, you may have to draw back a little so as not to
compromise your walk in Jesus, but God can give you wisdom to see it if you
ask. Let other Christians friends share your burden for this person, too,
so you're not all alone in it.
We tend to make friends with those that we find attractive, and that's
pretty normal. I don't necessarily mean attractive in a sexual/emotional
sense, but that could be there, too. It's all the more important to seek
Jesus with all your heart so that impure motives don't creep in. It's all
the more important to be doing the right things in other areas of your
life. Don't let temptation scare you off. Learn what it is to overcome in
Christ, to care purely.
Fellowship With Gay Christians
There are people in the world who confess to know Jesus Christ but who
believe that homosexual behaviour is justifiable according to the Bible,
particularly where there is a committed, monogamous relationship. It is
not really up to us to decide whether these people are saved or not. God
knows their hearts. But for us the word is clear: all homosexual
behaviour regardless of the context is sin. Those who don't believe this
Let's look at 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 again: "I wrote to you in my letter not
to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of the world,
or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go
out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with anyone
who bears the name of a brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or
is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber -- not even to eat with such a
one." Paul is adamant about not wanting us to have fellowship with someone
who claims to be Christian, yet is involved in sin.
Is God merely being arbitrary? It may seem so, and it may make you mad.
But look at what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:33: "Do not be deceived:
bad company corrupts good morals." DO NOT BE DECEIVED. He makes a point
of saying that there is a risk for anyone, no matter how mature in Christ,
that we could be caught in deception. Being deceived opens the way to sin.
Sin opens the door to a darkening of the understanding. "Claiming to be
wise, they became fools ... Though they know God's decree that those who do
such things deserve to die, they not only do them, but approve those who
practice them." (Romans 1:22,32).
Here's another one: "He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the
companion of fools will suffer harm." (Proverbs 13:20).
I have a special concern for those from gay backgrounds who have been
involved in gay churches or fellowships. Continuing on in fellowship, or
thinking that you should witness to these believers in error when you've
not been called of God to do it, is especially foolhardy. "For uttering
loud boasts of folly, they (the deceived believers) entice with licentious
passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in
error." (II Peter 2:18).
If you have barely escaped, don't go back and stand on the railroad tracks.
The train will surely come and mow you down. Run from the doctrines that
would seduce you back into sin, like Joseph ran from Potiphar's wife, so
fast that he left his robe in her hand. " ... No longer be children,
tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the
cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles." (Ephesians 4:14).
It isn't just those with homosexual backgrounds that are susceptible to
these lies. Friends and relatives who have deep emotional investments in a
gay loved one are some of the most vigorous proponents of gay theology. In
their pain, they have rationalized away the sin aspect because they have no
desire to cause hurt to their loved one or risk losing the relationship.
These folks are also dangerous fellowship.
-- Robbi Kenney
For further reading:
How to Give Away Your Faith. Paul Little; Intervarsity Press.
For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual
brokenness, please contact:
LOVE IN ACTION
G.P.O. Box 1115
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone (08) 371 0446
This article is reprinted by permission from
P O Box 33039
Seattle WA 98133-0039
MINISTRY TO HOMOSEXUALS
Database Listing - Ministry To
Christian Resources on Homosexuality on the web
These documents are free from BelieversCafe.com
the complete christian resource site with more than 5000 webpages.