I have a friend who is a non-celibate homosexual and a Christian. He argues that he is not in violation of Scripture (I disagree), and I don’t know how to handle our relationship. How does 1 Cor. 5:11 apply both here and in general? Am I truly not supposed to be friends with him or am I just not supposed to go to church with him?
I understand this question and the frustrations it brings because I’ve got the same situation. You ask about 1 Corinthians 5:11, but I’m going to quote a larger chunk so we have some context.
1 Corinthians 1 5:9-13: I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
I’m a pastor – and in my congregation openly non-celibate homosexuality is a no-no. As would be a whole bunch of other stuff (any open sexual immorality, reviling, drunkeness, swindling… etc). And that’s the standard for my congregation. So in terms of how “me and my house” will handle things – well, we will follow the Lord. But for the person who is at some other church that is erring… well… they do their own thing. I hope they come to a better understanding… but if they aren’t part of my congregation, then it does become a “not my circus, not my monkeys” sort of thing. I’ll be friends… but I’m not their pastor, so I don’t interact with them as if I were. They aren’t part of my congregation, so I don’t pretend that they are.
We’re in the world, we interact – and thus is life.
Hope this helps,
Pr. Eric Brown
Trinity Lutheran Church – Herscher, IL
Editor’s Note: Rev. Dr. Matt Richard has done a four part series on Same-sex marriage at his local church. These videos can be found on his blog by CLICKING HERE. The videos will be re-released through WEtv as WE Extras in the near future.