Today is the beginning of LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Reach out intentionally to people you know who are celebrating this way of life with pride. Acknowledge their dignity and worth first. Love them first, as Jesus did Zaccheaus, when he said “I must come to your house for dinner” before he said anything else. Show hospitality first. Creation in the image of God comes first in order before we talk about the Fall.
2. We can all take this month as a time to take pride in Christ’s victory over the guilt and condemnation for sin.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”1 Corinthians 1:1-31
We never cease the warfare against sin until we die. I’m going to ask the Lord to show me this month especially what I take pride in that displeases him, the secret sins that I justify and even feed like a pet. Do we take pride in selfishness, dissensions, and devouring one another (“in defense of the truth,” of course)? In greed (“so we can serve his kingdom”) or gossip (“so we can pray for them more intelligently”)? These sins are always listed in Scripture wherever we find homosexuality mentioned. And what heterosexual sins do we tolerate merely as weaknesses or a “mistake”? We hear all too regularly about sexual violence in the church. So do our non-Christian relatives, friends and neighbors. Instead of taking pride in our sins, let us heed his command “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires” (Eph. 4:22).
3. Pray for people we know who are bound by the cruel counsel that good is evil and evil is good. False prophets who tend the wound of his people lightly, saying, “‘Peace,’ ‘peace,’ when there is no peace” are Satan’s apprentices in keeping people from enjoying the gift of repentance and liberation in Christ through faith in his gospel. This is not a time to pray for judgment, much less to presume to exercise it ourselves. “This is the Day of Salvation.” So let’s have the heart of Jesus, who rebuked James and John for trying to call down fire on the Samaritans who rejected their message. Judgment will come—for all of us—and because “no one is righteous—no, not even one” (Rom 3:10), we will all be condemned apart from the justification that is found in Christ’s alien righteousness.
So instead of just rolling our eyes this Pride month, let’s use it as a springboard for loving outreach and hospitality, for self-examination, and for prayer that people we love will find, instead of pride in a way that leads to death, release from captivity.