Everyone seems on board with Pride Month. No matter where you turn, you will find concerts, commercials, parades, and parties celebrating the LGBTQ community. Officially, the month is to “recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.” NOTE: The acronym now includes an I and an A, making it LGBTQIA. The “I” stands for intersex and the “A” is used for those who are allies or asexual.
However, this month-long observance represents a shift in our culture. In a recent article, Carl Trueman states that Pride Month is an attempt to push a moral agenda. He makes this observation, “It is a basic fact of history that if you control time and space, you also control the culture.” For example, the Early Church understood this in the fourth century as they replaced the pagan holidays of Rome with the liturgical calendar. He goes on to say, “And all sides in our current political divisions know this. It is why debates about the naming of Columbus Day and other historical icons such as statues (italics mine) are such contentious topics. These arguments are not just about the things themselves. They are about who owns time and space. In short, they are about who owns the culture’s memory and imagination.”
So how should a Christian respond to Pride Month? Should we ignore it? Embrace it? Fight against it? We can do three things as we live out our faith during Pride Month.
1. Openly, respect everyone. Here’s a fact: God loves every person you meet, regardless of their sexual orientation. All of us are made in the image of God. Because of that, we need to genuinely respect others. It also means we should protect the LGBTQ community against any hate, abuse, and mistreatment. However, that does not mean we must approve of their lifestyle. It is possible to love someone but not accept what they do. We all have friends or family members we genuinely hold dear yet oppose their decisions, values, or behavior.
2. Humbly, take a stand. For those of us who are Christ-followers, sexuality is part of our faith. Our moral ethics are determined by Scripture, not by society. That means we believe that sexual intimacy is for marriage between a man and a woman. This is sacred for us, and sex outside of marriage is sinful, including adultery, fornication, and homosexuality.
Recently the Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Club told its players to wear a rainbow-colored logo on their uniforms and hats to show their support for Pride month. Several believers on the team could not do that with a clear conscious. They took a stand, stating, “We cannot put on our bodies an advertisement for something we believe to be morally wrong, based upon our Christian convictions.”
Andrew Walker puts it this way: “God knit sexual design into the very fabric of creation, and it is our glad acceptance of that created order where humanity will prosper. Unless we boast in God’s design, we will be perennially on the defensive and unwilling to speak the truth.”
3. Lovingly, build relationships. We should do what Jesus would do – reach out to people. The us-and-them divisions so evident in our political discourse have no place in the kingdom where we are to be known by our love. Be kind and gracious! Spend time getting to know people in the LBTQ community. We are all humans who “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and need a Savior (Romans 3:23; 5:8).
When the religious leaders condemned Jesus for eating with sinners and tax collectors, he responded by saying, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:10–13). Jesus loves all of us and calls us to repentance and faith in Him.
BEFORE YOU GO
What do you think? How should a Christian respond to Pride Month and the LGBTQ community? What should we do as a church? I’d love to hear your perspective.