How Can I Reach Someone Who Is Skeptical of Christianity?
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How Can I Reach Someone Who Is Skeptical of Christianity?

FAQ: Is Celebrating Pride Month a Way to Love My Neighbor?

More and more, Christians feel pressure to support LGBT causes at work. I get questions from people in my church about what to do in these situations. And I believe the decision to abstain from wearing rainbow-colored shirts and participating in Pride celebrations is the right decision.

But Christians are going to stand out in our culture, and there could be painful repercussions for that. Pride Month isn’t something God calls us to rejoice in or celebrate, but if we don’t celebrate with our coworkers, there can be consequences. And we have to be willing to bear those consequences because God calls us to shine as lights in the world (Phil. 2:15).

1 Peter 4:3 tells us, “For the time that his past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” These are, tragically, the kinds of things we see in these pride celebrations and parades. Peter says, “With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Pet. 4:4).

So I think we need to separate ourselves from those kinds of celebrations.

In the book of Revelation, some of the churches are doing well and Jesus commends them. Some of them are struggling. One struggle included participating in the idolatry of society. Jesus says to the church in Pergamum, “I have a few things against you; you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality” (Rev. 2:14).

In other words, people in Pergamum were teaching that it’s not a big deal to participate in pagan festivals and idolatrous ceremonies. Jesus has stern words for them because they’re compromising. So we have to be careful that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, don’t compromise during this cultural moment.

Having said all of that, we’re also called to love our neighbors. No matter who they are or how they identify themselves sexually. No matter how they sin. We’re called to love our neighbors.

But loving our neighbors doesn’t mean affirming everything that they do. Love is defined by what Scripture says love is. And that involves speaking the truth. It also involves being willing to serve, to lay down our lives for others. Think of the parable of the Good Samaritan. We should be willing to care for people, even people with whom we have strong disagreements.

So in the workplace, I wouldn’t engage in Pride celebrations. But you should want to be known for loving everybody you work with, for the care and interest you have in people’s lives. That’s how we should be known as Christians, even as we abstain from certain cultural celebrations. We need to say, “No, this goes against my conscience, and it goes against God’s word.” But we want to be known as those who have love and compassion for others.

This article is part of our Frequently Asked Questions series. Listen to Pastor Adriel answer this question on Core Radio here.

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Adriel Sanchez

Adriel Sanchez is pastor of North Park Presbyterian Church, a congregation in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, he also serves the broader church as a host on the Core Christianity radio program, a live, daily call-in talk show where he answers listeners' questions about the Bible and the Christian faith. He and his wife Ysabel live in San Diego with their five children.