My Brother Came Out as Gay. What Should My Family Do?
- Dr. Roger Barrier Preach It, Teach It
- 2014 13 Nov
Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My brother came out as a homosexual to our family about a year ago. He has always been a devout Christian, and has lived celibate for his entire life.
Unfortunately, he has now met someone at church (another gay man) and the two of them have started dating. Their relationship has caused a lot of friction within our family. Most of us want him to end things with this man, but at the same time we've never seen him so happy.
What do you think we should do? (Note: I feel like I should mention that they are not having sex. They both believe their relationship isn't sinful as long as they treat it like a normal Christian relationship)
I imagine that you have made clear to him, or have at least talked with him, about the Biblical teachings regarding homosexuality. It is good to let him know your "position." Once that is done, don't mention or bring up the subject again. The key here is "relationships." You want to keep them intact and any more arguing or reasoning will only drive a wedge deeper between you.
Peter told wives that if they wanted to lead their husbands to Christ then they best keep their mouths shut and "let the husbands be won to Christ as they see their wife's good behavior” (1 Peter 3:1-2).
Remember that Paul taught in Galatians 6:2 that those in sin are to be approached only by those who are spiritual. It takes spiritual wisdom to guide any person in sin to repent and return to a Christian lifestyle. The spiritual immature will most likely ruin the encounter.
I concur that as long as they are not having sex then their relationship is within the boundaries of Christian behavior.
Think about this. Paul wrote in Romans 12:15 "Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn." You may consider being glad that your brother is the happiest that he has ever been in his life. If you can't do that, then perhaps at least keep your disappointments to yourself.
Consider your home a spiritual hospital for sin-sick souls. Doctors and Nurses don't beat up on their patients! They don't throw them out of the hospital and leave them sick and unattended! They help get them well--even if it takes a long time.
Folks in the Gay and Lesbian community have the same needs for love, affection, comfort, acceptance, affirmation, security, encouragement and respect as everyone else. Like heterosexuals, homosexuals need Jesus as their Savior, too.
I was having lunch with a Christian doctor friend of mine who is well versed in both Christianity and the genetic, chemical and environmental issues regarding homosexuals. We were discussing the complexities of Romans one and homosexual genetics when my friend said, “This means that it is time for us to get ‘off our high horses’ and let God be the Judge. We need to enter this arena with love and compassion! We know we are called to do that.”
Sean, I hope that my thoughts are helpful to you. Let me know how things turn out.
Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.