Obligation to Confront
Q. When someone who is gay comes to our church don’t I have an obligation to confront them about their behavior?
A. My brain does not know what “obligation” yours might have and you might want to consider some Scriptural admonition:
- Love your neighbor as yourself. Christ’s model is one of love and inclusiveness. I can’t imagine confronting anyone in church about anything unless the person was exhibiting some exceedingly inappropriate and egregious behavior in real time and in front of everyone.
- Judgment belongs to God. Confronting another person at church about their supposed behavior is making a judgment—that you think your brain knows how that other person should be living.
- Take the beam out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out of someone else’s. How would you even know the attendee was gay unless he told you? You didn’t say what type of “behavior” concerned you but how would that be any of your business, especially if the individual has come to church wanting to connect with God?
- Do you also feel obligated to confront straights at church about their behavior? Are you even sure someone you think is straight really is? According to Amita Pierce Buxton PhD: in two million marriages in the US at least one spouse is gay, lesbian, or bisexual… and when a husband or wife comes out of the closet, it is a profound crisis (at least for the straight spouse and family members) that cuts across race, socioeconomic class, religion, and age.
Bottom line: You may have a definite obligation to be as gracious and Christ-like as possible, leaving it to the Holy Spirit to impress others of the way in which they should behave.