11/18/12 David, about 35
At church this morning Rich and I agreed to meet later in the afternoon to go out in the neighborhood to try to initiate some gospel conversations. While out, we met an openly gay man named David, asking about his beliefs. He believes in the idea of both heaven and hell, and that he will definitely end up in heaven, so I told him “Well I want to see you there some day!” He smiled at this, and it seemed to have a way of disarming his presuppositions, so I continued “So how can you be sure that’s where you’ll end up?” Dave believes in the idea of a moral balance, where if one’s good outweighs their bad, then they will go to heaven. He could also see when I pointed out to him that no one can be perfect, so the issue would be more a question of “how good does one have to be?” “But I have a problem, I’m gay. So I guess that disqualifies me” he said. It really seemed like a way of testing us to see if we would judge him on that basis alone, and he did this a few more times as we talked. The challenge was to help him see his sin and need for repentance without disqualifying ourselves simply as judgmental and homophobic Christians focusing solely on his sexual orientation and activities. Rich and I kept the focus on using the Ten Commandments as the standard by which God will judge us, and the advantage of this is that they provide a mirror of our true sinful nature that excludes no one. We have all sinned and lived in rebellion against God’s commandments in some form or another in our lives. Dave wasn’t comfortable with the idea of a “good person test”, so I volunteered to give myself the test, knowing that the law can also bring the necessary conviction by way of example in other people’s lives. We helped him see the serious nature of his sin and his need for the forgiveness that can be found through repentance and faith in Jesus. “So why are you out here doing this, to make up for all the bad you’ve done?” Dave asked. This is a question we must be prepared to answer when we witness, and Rich answered it beautifully, focusing on responding to God’s love demonstrated at the cross. Overall, I felt like Rich and I were able to truly share God’s love in Christ with Dave, without compromising the hard truth that he too is a sinner deserving God’s wrath. Dave agreed to allow us to pray over him, so we did, sincerely asking God to show him the way to faith and repentance and asking for His blessing on Dave’s life. I hope you will too.