Updated: Jul 3
The book of 1 Corinthians is well-known as a rebuke letter. It is strong, confrontational, and direct. However, though it is lesser known as a love letter, it absolutely is that also. Throughout the book, Paul shows his love for the Corinthians by providing spiritual wisdom and direction. His letter to them has a forceful tone at times, yet throughout its sixteen chapters we see Paul’s spiritual investment in the Corinthian people. His investment reveals that he loves them deeply. Paul’s letter to these Corinthian people makes it clear that loving others sometimes requires rebuking them from a heart of genuine concern for their spiritual welfare.
Among the issues that Paul deems worthy of rebuke is the issue of homosexuality. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, he includes homosexuality in a list of damnable sins. Twice in those two verses, Paul mentions that the “unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Paul correlates sin (the “unrighteous”) and damnation (“shall not inherit the kingdom of God”).
While there are other sins listed in those two verses, and while all sin is damnable sin, the sin of homosexuality is relevant because it is the one sin in the list that 21st century American Christians are expected to celebrate. The month of June has been designated “Gay Pride Month,” but by no means is the social pressure to celebrate gay pride limited to only one month. Gay pride has become a year-long celebration.
Many major retailers, TV networks, and social media companies are happily celebrating gay pride. The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro published a video listing the “Most Woke Corporations” as of June 2023. One of the most egregious offenders in that list was Bud Light. You may remember that Bud Light offered to make trans activist Dylan Mulvaney a spokesman to promote their beer. It seemed to backfire on them as many people are now boycotting Bud Light. Personally, I’ve been boycotting Bud Light for the last forty-three years.
Also featured in the video was Ford Motor Company. In 2022 they released a Rainbow Ranger Raptor as an expression of their solidarity with the perversity of LGBTQ. Adidas Athletic Wear is also celebrating gay pride with an ad showcasing a transgender man prancing around in a woman’s bathing suit. North Face Outdoor Wear also has an ad of a mustached man dressed as a drag queen. And it is of course no surprise that Starbucks, Disney, Target, and Kohl’s are all celebrating Pride Month.
Not only are retail corporations celebrating gay pride, but TV networks have also joined the unrighteous party. Not surprisingly, MSNBC and CNN are celebrating it. It is a surprise, though, that FOX News has joined the celebration. While watching “Fox and Friends” early one Thursday morning in June, I saw Steve Doocey, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade explain how they were celebrating Pride Month by honoring Billy Bean, the only former MLB player to come out as gay. This is FOX News, the favorite news channel of millions of conservative Christians.
Additionally, most social media companies and internet search engines are promoting gay pride as well. Each year, for several days during the month of June, the homepage for Google displayed several pieces of artwork “Honoring Pride.” You may not know this, but June is also PTSD Awareness Month. Google has not promoted that on the home pages like they have Pride Month. Despite the reality that many military men and women suffer PTSD from the violence they experienced in service to our country, there is little-to-no mention of that in our society. Instead, our sin-sick country is celebrating men in women’s bathing suits and vile affections of various types. Almost the entire western world is now celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer behavior (LGBTQ).
Even though it is now popular to celebrate sodomy, consider with me three reasons why Christians can’t celebrate gay pride.
It’s Not Loving to the Individual Person
First, celebrating gay pride is not loving to the LGBTQ person. Instead of thinking about the movement as a whole, let’s first think about a specific person that you may know who’s caught up in this lifestyle or the celebration of it. It is very likely he or she is hurting and confused. The Christian faith commands us to LOVE our neighbor (Matthew 22:39; Galatians 5:14; Leviticus 19:18), and certainly we should, but how do we love our “neighbor” when they’re celebrating sin?
One cultural commentator aptly said that “our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense.” He is right! Sometimes loving someone means doing what Paul did throughout 1 Corinthians—loving them enough to tell them the truth, even if it is difficult.
The way to love someone who is leading a life of sin is to urgently yet humbly warn them. If we love someone, we shout, like Paul does in 1 Corinthians 6:18. “Flee fornication!” Love shouts, “Watch out!” “Beware!” Loving your neighbor means hollering, “Sin has consequences!” After all, “sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death” (James 1:15). Loving someone means your saying, “I love you, so I caution you that giving into vile, fleshly cravings will only bring you heartache on this earth and potentially hell for eternity.”
On the other hand, sometimes love takes a softer tone and it says, “I love you, so I'll attempt to teach you how to 'keep your heart’ so that, with the Spirit’s power, you can have victory over your carnal heart and enjoy the Spirit-enabled renewed mind.” Love wants to help people going through a tragedy, but Christians are not loving to call that tragedy “normal, healthy, or celebratory.” We are not loving them if we celebrate their sin.
As we consider the wider context of 1 Corinthians, remember that Paul includes the famous “love chapter” in 1 Corinthians 13. That chapter gives us many helpful insights about how to love our neighbor the right way, or as he writes, “the more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Remember, 1 Corinthians 13:6 explains that love (charity) “rejoiceth not in iniquity.” Christians can’t celebrate Pride Month because we can't rejoice in iniquity. We can’t celebrate sin, no matter the type. Love doesn’t do that.
Not only does 1 Corinthians 13:6 explain that love “rejoiceth not in iniquity,” but it goes on to say that, instead, love “rejoiceth in the truth.” This is why Christians can’t celebrate men who transition to women or women who transition to men. Our love for them won’t let us because it’s not the biological truth of who they are. Christians are to celebrate truth; therefore, we cannot celebrate brokenness.
Christians shouldn’t use preferred pronouns because it gives credibility to a lie. Using those pronouns gives credence to a false notion that is contrary to reality. Again, love “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth.” We need to love the person without rejoicing in their sinful propensity. Love them without celebrating their carnal proclivity.
That LGBTQ person has a soul, and that individual is at risk of “not inheriting the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Loving our neighbor means caring for their soul. Sin is what damns a person to hell, and to celebrate sin, instead of warning against it, is to personally escort that individual straight to hell. It is not loving to celebrate sin-sickness; it is foolish. Every act in the LGBTQ initials is sin and it is sad.
Celebrating depravity is a tragedy of eternal proportion. The best way to love a person involved in depravity is to give them the gospel and to pray for them. 1 Corinthians 6:11 indicates that the sin of homosexuality is forgivable. There were people in that church family who were “washed … sanctified … and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Paul reminds them that they “were” involved in that unrighteous lifestyle, but the gospel transformed them.
Give LBGTQ people the gospel so that they can be transformed from the inside out, but also don’t underestimate the power of praying for them. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for someone is to spend time earnestly praying for them (consider James 5:16). Pray that they get saved and that they get into a healthy Bible-believing church.
Many people are drawn into the LGBTQ community because they find social acceptance and community there. Yet, in 1 Corinthians, Paul makes the point that there is community to be enjoyed within a healthy church family. The church is a collection of sinners gloriously saved and transformed by the grace of God. The local church is a place to belong because the church belongs to Christ.
It’s Not Good for the Future of Civilization
Secondly, celebrating gay pride is not just unloving to the individual person that we may be burdened for, but it’s also not good for the future of a civilization. Here we go from the micro perspective—a person as an individual—to the macro perspective—people as a civilization.
The LGBTQ agenda includes an attempt to destroy marriage, and the destruction of marriage is not good for the future of civilization on many levels. Jesus defined marriage in Matthew 19:5. God’s intention, design, and purpose for marriage is that it is between a man and woman, and anything outside of that is sin. Other passages to consider include 1 Corinthians 7:2; Hebrews 13:4; Leviticus 18:22; Ephesians 5:25-33, and 1 Timothy 1:10.
God ordained marriage so that a husband and wife could enjoy physical intimacy and thereby provide opportunity for them to “be fruitful and multiply.” Without male and female reproduction there is no future for human civilization. Therefore, the LGBTQ agenda is also an attempt to destroy children. In order to have children, a same sex couple depends on either artificial insemination or adoption. Sadly, it is now legal in the U.S. for same-sex couples to adopt children. The sociological and psychological damage that is done to a child raised in an LGBTQ environment is extremely harmful. Studies indicate that a child with no mom but two dads, or a child with no dad but two moms is in a warped environment and will not be a healthy child.
According to National Health Interview Survey data, children in the care of same-sex parents are at more than twice the risk of emotional problems including depression, anxiety, misbehavior, poor relationships with peers, and the inability to concentrate. They are twice as likely to have a psychological condition. Yet, in spite of these facts, same-sex couples continue to adopt, causing tremendous damage to their children. This debauchery our government continues to enthusiastically endorse.
God’s design is for the mother to bring a unique tenderness to the life of a child and for the father to provide a unique toughness. The balance provided by a biblical parenting team is a vital part of a child’s ideal development.
The pride agenda bad for a society not only because it attacks the family structure, but also because any society that approves of, or celebrates sin, is under “the wrath of God” (Romans 1:18). The word wrath in Romans 1:18 is a description of “violent passion, anger, indignation, justifiable ire, and vengeance.” God’s “violent indignation” is set against a people that celebrate sin. It should go without saying, but it’s not good for the future of civilization to be under the wrath of God.
Most Christians love our nation too much to celebrate sin and thereby celebrate its potential judgment. Further, Ephesians 5:6 explains that “because of these things cometh the wrath of God.” Verse 7 instructs Christians, “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” We cannot celebrate gay pride because it invites the wrath of God on our civilization.
It’s Not God’s Will
The third reason I can’t celebrate gay pride is because it’s not God’s will. There are seven places in Scripture where homosexuality is addressed and condemned. The Bible makes it clear that the practice of sodomy is sinful, unnatural, and perverted. Romans 1:26 uses the words "vile affections” to describe homosexual behavior.
Romans 1 goes on to explain that, in a society’s downward spiral, “their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature [it’s UNNATURAL].” Verse 27 continues, “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [consequence] of their error.” Clearly this unnatural act is not God's will. Both the act and the attitude are condemned in verse 27. The “lust" is condemned and the perverted activity is also condemned.
Verse 28 indicates that the attitude and the act are the product of a reprobate mind. Those who commit these sins, among many others, are "worthy of death.” This is no surprise to Christians because, after all, we know that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
If it is still not clear why Christians cannot celebrate pride month, Romans 1:32 makes it extremely clear. “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
When “Christian” people celebrate pride month, they might not be personally doing the act of sin, but as they “celebrate,” they are showing “pleasure” in those who do those acts. We can’t celebrate gay pride because the Bible explains repeatedly that it is not the will of God.
By way of conclusion, we must remember that no one loves LGBTQ people more than Jesus does. No one is able to help them like Jesus can. As Christians, we are to be extensions of His love. We are the ambassadors of His message of hope and reconciliation.
Recently, a friend of mine, a Christian businessman in downtown Pensacola, reminded me of the power of one generation. Sometimes Christian parents observe the moral degradation of our society and wish that their children could be spared from growing up in this generation. Yet it is interesting that in Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, as He’s praying for His disciples, He said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).
Again, many of us see the world celebrating sin, and we want to take our children out of the world, but Jesus knew that, if the Father would enable the disciples to stay away from sin themselves, they could “turn the world upside down” for Christ’s sake! Through His power, this generation could make a tremendous positive difference for Christ’s sake.
The gospel is transformative. A transgender person doesn’t need to try to change their gender; they need a transformation in Christ. The answer to all sin is Calvary. It is on the cross where God’s wrath is appeased.
Maybe you don’t just KNOW a person who is struggling in these areas, maybe you ARE that person. I’m telling you that Jesus can help you. He can heal you if you will turn to Him. Come to Christ and cast yourself upon His mercy.
Or maybe you are reading this, and you are on a journey of sanctification and healing. God has been healing and helping you, and you rejoice because you can shout, “I was like that, but now I have been washed, sanctified, and justified (1 Corinthians 6:9). Now I have victory!”
Or maybe you are a Christian and are specifically burdened for a person who is caught up in that lifestyle. You love this country, and your heart is broken over the direction it is headed. Would you pray that God will use you to be a part of the generation that reaches this sinful world for God’s honor and glory?
The above article was written by James C. Johnson. He is the pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at email@example.com.
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Now that you've read about behavior God's wrath is set against, listen to Pastor Johnson give a biblical, theological explanation of the wrath of God generally.