How Shall We Then Love Them?

Gary Campbell Jr.
4 min readJun 22, 2023

As we round out LIFE Month this week, I want to wrestle with the question, “How do I love the person in my life for whom Pride or an LGBTQ identity defines them, or at least has defined their June?”

Simple question, complex answer. It actually begs several other questions:

Is this person a believer in Jesus, or no? Are they living a lifestyle contrary to a biblical worldview of sex and sexuality? Are they involved in such things with shame and regret or pride and rebellion?

There are other questions of course but the Scriptures provide us with counsel and teaching that is different for those who claim the name of Jesus verses those who don’t and for those who are in a place of wanton rebellion verse those who are battling their flesh.

With that in mind, we’re not able to speak to each and every scenario in the space provided here. But what we can do is put forth three biblical principles to apply.

1. Look for the Plank

Matthew 7:2–5- Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? [5] Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.

While it is true that this passage is qualified in the very first sentence as being between “brothers”, assuming fellow Christians. The principle of measuring our own sin-struggles and propensity to hypocrisy when we interact with others we believe are acting in a way that is sinful is a right and biblical practice. Practically speaking, for those in your life in the LGBTQ sphere this can mean simply approaching conversations from the standpoint of a “fellow struggler” rather than a condescending Pharisee.

2. Tell the Truth

1 Corinthians 13:6- Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.

Romans 12:9–10- Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.

Exodus 20:16- You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Sometimes the hardest thing to be is truthful. The reality is that the doctrines of man’s sinfulness, God’s wrath, and the judgement of Hell are not an easy teachings, communicating our need for a Divine Rescuer because of our sinful filth — whatever it’s manifestation in our lives — is not well-received in our time.

But then again, when have these truths ever been well received? The Prophets who brought God’s message, by and large, were rejected and even physically persecuted. We do not like being confronted with our sin and God’s judgment, period.

But Scripture makes it clear, to be untruthful in the name of love is the most unloving. In Ezekiel God confronts us with the judgment to come for those who aren’t truthful about our “lost-ness” (Ezekiel 33), and in Isaiah we read that those who bring the good news (Isaiah 52:7), later applied to the Gospel (Romans 10:15), are beautiful, which brings us to the third and final principle…

3. Apply the Gospel

When speaking of God’s nature, our sin, judgement and grace, always keep in mind the goal of getting to Jesus and His Gospel and the fact that what HE offers (no matter our particular sins) is better. Sin is ALWAYS a counterfeit of something better, truly genuine, that comes from a relationship with the God of the Bible through His Son Jesus. You can see this contrast in theses passages in Ephesians.

The Gospel offers a better way.

Ephesians 2:1–5- And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

Ephesians 4:19–24- They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

But that is not how you came to know Christ, assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.

(See also Colossians 3)

When talking to friends and loved ones, present this reality, challenge them to consider it, to weigh the deep-level heart satisfactions of their current life and invite them into the LIFE that is SO MUCH more, that Jesus Himself invitees them into!

Remember, One, Look for the plank; two, tell the truth; three, apply the Gospel.

Praying for you Church!

— Pastor Gary

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Gary Campbell Jr.

Writing for Groton Bible Chapel & the larger Body of Christ on cultural issues, parenting, marriage, theology & other light-weight topics.