Jonathan sent me this question recently:

“I understand most of what you are saying regarding following Jesus, however when do we draw the line on what’s right and what’s wrong? When it is “Ok” to confront someone when we see they are destroying there life? For example: I have had several openly gay friends who might call themselves followers of Jesus but they don’t see a need to change their lifestyle and if they are confronted to do so they immediately get defensive if they are confronted and say that church people are hateful and narrow minded. (As a disclaimer I have never told them they are wrong and are going to burn) I guess what I’m saying is when is it Ok to confront? I am having a difficult time understanding what the Bible teaches regarding this matter. I do not however want to condemn and preach at people about what’s right and what’s wrong regarding this either.”


Dear Confused,

Good question. When is confronting someone right? Is it ever good to tell someone the “full story” right up front rather than being nice and smooth and all slick….

Yes. That’s the answer. There is a time. Clearly, if you look at the life of Jesus (which I hope we’re all doing) you see times when he confronts. He tends to save the harshest confrontations for the religious leaders. But he can also be pretty hard on his disciples.

However, the one group that he’s almost over-the-top nice to are the outsiders. Not just any old sinners (we’re all that), but the lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors and the like. He lavished grace on them.

So….I think there are two keys:

1. Being led by the Spirit. Not having a set formula that we give to everyone.

2. Knowing the person. If they are a person who thinks of them self as an outsider, hurt or wounded – then pouncing on them with the 4 Spiritual Laws, might not be right.

Now your situation is a bit of both. Your gay friend is coming to church but still living in a life of sin. What do you do? I would say kick him out of the church….as soon as you kick out the gossips, liers and adulterers. Jesus has a lot to say about those types. But as long as we’re loving and accepting those sinners, we might as well accept your friend too…

This does NOT mean that you don’t speak truth to him. Love him and point him to Jesus. Pray for him and encourage him to have the best Jesus has to offer. He’s settling for less than the best. Call him to truly come out, but coming to Jesus! The feast is set for him and it’s SO good!