I went to the gay pride parade in Pueblo, Colorado, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who would listen. There weren’t too many in attendance, and the 10 or 12 Christians I was with ran out of people to talk to within a couple of hours, but I noticed some interesting things.
I had a few conversations where people had little or no religious convictions and seemed to respond humbly to the gospel. A few times, after I struck up a conversation and then moved to spiritual topics, they would just walk away. But the conversations that were most frustrating and sad were the ones with people who claimed to be Christians.
I talked to a couple of teenagers standing near a family; I later found out it was the family of one of the teens. The teens and the family all claimed to be Christians who attend church every week. When I tried to explain the gospel to them, I found they didn’t have a very good understanding of it. As I talked to the father, the teens walked away before I was able to explain the gospel. After I said goodbye to the family, I walked toward the teens and started talking to them again. That’s when the mom interjected: “I don’t want you to make my son feel bad about being gay.” She told her son that he didn’t have to talk to me if he didn’t want to, but they were nice and let me finish explaining what Jesus did for us.
Later, I had a confusing conversation with a guy named Rob. He attended church, understood the gospel very well, and gave me a very good explanation of repentance. The odd part was that he kept joking that he was going to hell. I asked him if he was born again, and he said that he wasn’t interested in what modern Christianity has become. I quoted John 3:3 and tried to explain the whole born-again process, and left him saying that it didn’t matter what he thinks or what I think about born-again people. He needs to figure out what Jesus meant by born again, and make sure he is truly born again.
Matthew, who also claimed to be a Christian, was very talkative and honest about his experiences. He was also very self-righteous, and thought that he hadn’t sinned in a long time. He was a less conventional Christian than most. He believed that everyone was going to heaven—no matter what. I listened to him explain his ideas for quite a while, and then he, too, admitted he wasn’t born again. He didn’t have a Bible at home, so I gave him the gospel of John. I pointed John 3 out to him, and encouraged him to understand what Jesus meant by being born again.
There was also a church with a booth at the event. One of the other people I went with talked to the lesbian pastor. She believed that all people must do for salvation is ask Jesus into your heart. This church (apparently made up mostly of lesbians) later went up on stage and did a flag waving/tambourine routine accompanied by praise music.
I felt like I was mostly there to correct what some pastor has taught or is teaching to these people. Still, I believe I fell short in not telling those who claim the name of Jesus yet readily admit to being homosexual, and who could not be humbled by any of the other nine commandments to repent of their homosexuality. I was more concerned with not making a scene or offending them than I was with the truth.
I think that whatever we’ve been doing as American Christians to let people living a lifestyle of blatant sin (whether it’s homosexual sin, heterosexual sin, or anything else) to go on believing that they’re Christians and they’re OK with God must come to an end. Our silly, trite, modern gospel messages are giving people a false sense of security, and they have to stop. We’ve reduced the idea of God saving us down to praying a quick prayer (but really, really meaning it) and encouraging them to never question their salvation (which is very unbiblical advice; see 2 Corinthians 13:5).