Yes, I do have gay friends in my life. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I mean, if you are, then I don’t blame you. But at the same time, could you blame me for having at least a few gay friends after sharing some stories of my wild life these past few blog posts?

But for reals, I do have gay friends — though I really don’t view them as my “gay friends.” I just call them my friends.

They’re just as important to me as my church friends.

It’s good to have such an awesome quality of Christian friends, because they’ll keep you accountable, keep your focus on God, challenge you like no other person will, quote Scripture when you need it, and speak truth for you when it’s hard to hear!

Yeah, all of those qualities in Christian friends are good, but I think we should also balance our lives out with friends who are unbelievers.

Wait, what? you might be asking. Are you saying it’s good to have friends who don’t believe in God or have any kind of Christian faith?

Yes, I’m saying that it’s okay to have friends who don’t believe everything we believe. Yeah, most of us aren’t used to having such a mindset, but Jesus did hang out with tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners during His 3-year ministry, and He sent us to preach the Gospel into the world — a messed up world, at that!

Back when I was hooking up with all those guys and basically being a man-whore, I did actually establish some friendships. A few of them are still my friends to this day, though we obviously don’t have sex with each other anymore. There are others I’ve never had sex with, and we have good old chats at coffee shops, talking about life and such.

In the process of authenticating my Christian life, most of my gay friends have seen the change I’ve made in my life — from being a man-whore to the man I am today. Honestly, I am surprised they’ve stuck by me all this time!

From talking to my gay friends every now and then, I’ve learned they do respect me and how I approach them about life-issues. Especially if one of them is acting stupid!

You might be asking, how in the world is that even possible? Well, my complete answer is gonna have to wait until a future post.

Here’s what I’ve learned about having “gay friends” or friends who are unbelievers in general. You don’t have to treat them as “unclean,” wiping them from your life just because they cuss, party, or whatever!

I mean, if your friends are making you stumble, then yeah, you should probably consider stepping that friendship back until you’re strong enough to say no to them about certain stuff. If you don’t have a problem with that, though, then you’re right where God wants and needs you to be.

Sometimes your life should be insulated by the Gospel, not isolated by it. If your faith can’t stand being around people who are different and believe differently, then what kind of faith is that?

Salt can’t flavor the food unless it gets on the food! Sometimes those relationships with unbelievers are more important than safety and security with all your happy church-going friends who may never challenge what you think and know.

We Christians often surround ourselves with “safe people” just like us, but I don’t think that’s what we’re here for.

My gay friends, those who are single and those who are couples — I know they need me just as much as I need them. If I do get on some spiritual high, they bring me back to reality where the actual mission is! My gay friends keep me grounded and level-headed, that way I can actually do my best to practice what I preach! Sometimes it ain’t pretty, but it’s all worth it.

I know those guys need a Christian friend just as much as we need friends who are not like us. Our presence in gay people’s lives doesn’t always mean we agree or condone their life choices, but we can accept their basic humanity.

We can be not only part of gay people’s lives, but also the positive parts of their lives.

We can ask gay people how they’re doing or even be open and honest about where we’re struggling, not beating around the bush. We can literally tell them, “Hey, I just want you to know I’m praying for you.”

Trust me, any people are grateful to hear that!

Whatever you do, or however you do it, remember these basic things: hanging out with them, listening to their dramas with friends or family, driving them to work, and further opening lines of communication.

With those open communications, people are more open to searching for real answers and truth.

To those who are “Side B” Christians or still in any ex-gay ministries: yes, sometimes your gay friend who you’re reaching out to might get married to the guy he’s been seeing for a while, and you might think you’re a failure. But don’t stop there. Keep going; keep being their friends.

Hey, maybe one of these days, like months or 10 years from now, your unbelieving friends will accept Christ into their lives and will want to live the abundant life! That’s my mission. It’s my passion that one of these days my gay friends will accept Christ and will want to follow Him until the end of their days.

And it’ll all be worth it.

Do you have any gay friends outside the Christian faith? Is it hard or easy for you to reach out to unbelievers, gay or otherwise? How do you keep healthy boundaries between being “in the world” but not “of the world”?

* Photo courtesy artetetra, Creative Commons.

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    22 Comments
    • Reply Kevin Frye

      24 May 2016, 2:22 am

      My first-ever YouTube video was about my love for lesbians. I’ll say it again: I LOVE lesbians! They’re just so much fun to hang around! And they say the craziest crap! Hahaha… Oh man… Those were fun days… Of course I do want them to be saved and redeemed and changed and whatever, but the point is, they are still people just like the rest of us and it’s okay to enjoy being with them. Good post, man!

    • Reply Jaye Thomas

      24 May 2016, 8:23 am

      I absolutely have gay friends and I couldn’t agree with you and Kevin more. Having friends who are unbelievers is not only Christ-like but keeps up from becoming Pharisees ourselves. It’s important to war against religious mindsets that we are somehow better because we know Jesus. The truth for some people (as is evidenced by this very website) is that the only difference between “us and them” is the name tag “Christian” that we wear. Some of our actions (struggles and desires) are the same as those who don’t know Christ. Thanks for the reminder in this post.

      • Reply Matt 'Ashįįhí

        27 May 2016, 9:57 pm

        You’re welcome man! Yeah, It’s always a dangerous area to get to when we have that mindset of “us and them.” But once we humble ourselves and become servants to our non-believing friends, it’s easier to lose that kind of mindset.

    • Reply mistaken identity

      24 May 2016, 11:34 am

      I like your mission and your passion, Matthew, and I think the Lord does as well. Yes, one of my best friends is a lesbian, so I find myself agreeing with Kevin yet again. Keeping that boundary you mentioned is primarily about being honest about our differences when God prompts me to speak out.

      • Reply Matt 'Ashįįhí

        27 May 2016, 9:59 pm

        Thank you! Yeah, the boundary issue took quite awhile for me, but I mostly got it down. I mean, i couldn’t forget that piece of information while writing this! Haha. But yeah, you need to know yourself before you go out into the world and be The Gospel to other people.

    • Reply Karl Jacob

      24 May 2016, 12:07 pm

      No, I really don’t have any gay friends outside of the “christian” world. Where I am now it’s very much a conservative Christian bubble, so that kind of explains it. Not for long, though, with my moving to college and all that.

    • Reply Ashley Lavergne

      24 May 2016, 6:33 pm

      most of my gay friends are from my side b and on the internet, but other friends that I´ve had who´ve later come out stopped talking to me afterwards. I try to keep in touch, but they either ignore me or barely talk to me. I´ve also had side b friends change to side a and that´s kind of sad in a way. There is this guy I spent most of my childhood with that I found out was gay a while back and I´ve really wanted to get back in touch with his family for a while even though he doesn´t even live there anymore. it´s hard having gay friends sometimes because at times they don´t want to be around people that think differently than they do.

    • Reply Bryon

      26 May 2016, 1:41 am

      I would have liked to have gay friends, but it was complicated because I met them at a sort of “ex-gay” ministry, but being celibate wasn’t required to be part of the ministry although most were not, and some in secret. What happened was that my stance on celibacy and not going to bars and drinking, not going to clubs and ONLY having gay friends was not popular, and made me a boring person. Not to mention my not swearing, being part of other ministries and having mostly straight guy friends made me odd. I’m sure there are other reasons, but no one wanted me to find out what they were doing when they weren’t at the ex-gay ministry, especially those who were staffing and supposed to be celibate. I started a Facebook conversation once with another person from that ministry who was living with his boyfriend (mind you I never talked about my views really at all) and just tried to get to know him more. He was very inappropriate by talking about all of his favorite sex acts, trying to get me upset. Once, I got a Facebook message from someone in the group hitting on me in a very taunting way. It happened to be a staff person pretending to be the Facebook person, which I figured out and they admitted to, only because they were really drunk. I never said I would tattle nor did I have any intention to, but I did try to confront that particular leader about his behavior by saying I didn’t agree with the stance he was sharing in group when he recommended a book I knew full well was about being a gay Christian. The very next day he cut off his relationship with my best friend because he was afraid I would tell the ministry president and founder. Well, I had to leave because he was my counselor along with the founder and we were pretending I didn’t know about what was going on while he was snide and rude all the time. It broke my heart though because I really needed friends who would support my celibacy and help me navigate through the loneliness of being single. I still don’t have that and find ways to relate through things like this blog. Currently I’m more of a leader for others who struggle with rejection than anything else. I’m glad that I don’t struggle with feeling bad about it any more, but thinking about this past situation still makes me hurt a little. My life is more simple now, but I don’t have any access to gay people really since I don’t frequent places they congregate. I did learn a lot from the ministry though and was able to overcome my fear of being swayed towards living a gay lifestyle. Before that, I was celibate because of fear, but now I’m celibate because I choose to be out of love for God.

    • Reply Alan Gingery

      8 June 2016, 7:50 am

      While gay friends don’t make up the majority of my friends, I do have them. One of them tested me recently with temptation to online sex. I didn’t give in to this, but it came at a time when I felt vulnerable and the temptation was difficult for me. I wouldn’t back away from relationships with gay guys because of this. Another gay friend I love very deeply. We have a great non-sexual friendship and I accept him where he is and he accepts me where I am (former SSA). He is not a believer, and I hope one day he was will come to know the one man who can truly satisfy his life.
      Yeah sure I have heterosexual friends who are not believers and feel it is important for every Christian to have non-Christian friends. So, straight, gay, ex-gay, SSA, former SSA, and whatever else all make up my friends list. I pray I can be the best friend I can to each one of them. And if God allows me, I want to share my best friend, Jesus, with each of them.

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