I've been going to a church for a while now and recently noticed the pastor and four of his male staff have a ton of openly gay men on their friends list, who happen to be out of town. So I confronted the pastor about it and he said there's nothing wrong with having gay men on their fiends list, even though they have graphic images on their pages.

Then recently at a service two young men sat in front of me who appeared to be interacting as a gay couple. My mom said she didn't believe they were gay, and that I was being judgmental and I had to ask for Gods forgiveness.

My pastor preaches against homosexual behavior. Isn't this hypocritical?

  • Hi Max. Welcome to the Site! Is it possible that you could clear up exactly what it is your asking so we can help you? Are you simply asking if it's ok for you to be judgemental? Or are you asking if you are correct in assuming the people at your church are homosexual or what? Thanks.
    – Tyler
    May 19, 2014 at 17:07
  • Hi Max! Welcome to the site. PLease understand - we don't get involved in personal situations. That said, I think there is a broader theological point you are missing, so I have decided to answer. May 19, 2014 at 17:42
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    This question appears to be off-topic because "who is right and who is wrong" is off-topic here. See: the help page, How we are different than other sites? May 19, 2014 at 23:18
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    You need to talk to your pastor about this, and not spread gossip. May 20, 2014 at 2:28
  • @DJClayworth I wouldn't consider this gossip (e.g. idle talk, esp. about the affairs of others). He is looking for a real answer for a real situation he is facing. That said, I'm not convinced this question in its current state is a good fit for this site either.
    – Jeff
    May 21, 2014 at 2:06

3 Answers 3


There is an implicit suggestion in your question that ordained clergy should not be associating with sinners in this question. Theologically, that implicit suggestion is nearly impossible to square with the example of Jesus.

As one example of many, consider Mark 2:

15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of[a] the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat[b] with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus angered the religious establishment of his day by hanging out with prostitutes, tax collectors, and other sinners. Jesus' mission was precisely to these people.

As a pastor, I have friended gay men on Facebook. On Facebook, I friended a man who was caught embezzling $500,000, and then shot himself. In prison, I have made real-world friendships with murderers, drug dealers, and one man who molested his own daughter for years. In practice, I have found it very difficult to share the Good News with people that I am unwilling to associate with. And yet, these seem to be the same people Jesus loved and went to first.

Do these things detract from my witness? If by that you mean, "Do they project an air that somehow I am less than perfect?" then I hope so! If by, "Do they make me less like Jesus? Well, the Jesus I know would have done the same thing.

  • Gngng, good answers on bad questions :( I'd prefer it if you asked another question to put this answer on :)
    – Benjol
    May 20, 2014 at 10:00

Am I being judgmental?

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5 that we should be judges within the church: “Do you not judge those who are within the church?” (NASB). He doesn't mean that we are to judge their hearts—which only God knows—but we certainly should judge them “by their fruit” (Mt 12:33) for the sake of the honor of God (i.e. Christians are supposed to be his ambassadors to the world) but also to help other Christians by holding them accountable so that they will turn away from sin.

Paul’s advice to “remove the wicked man from among yourselves” is supposed to be a kind of “tough love” so that the person will consider the gravity of the situation, change, and return to the fellowship. Paul’s aim is always to lead people to Jesus.

Galatians 6:1-2 (NASB)
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one 4in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

  • As for dealing with a problem of sin, Jesus does offer some advice/commands.
    – mojo
    May 19, 2014 at 17:11

Theological justifications for behaviors are odd things. Often there are many possible justifications for any single behavior, with different claims to validity on different bases that would be interpreted differently by different communities. A question like this gets tricky because it depends on the theological assumptions that you, your pastor, and your church hold in common and as individuals.

That said, it sounds like you and your pastor hold in common a theological assumption about the sinfulness of homosexuality, although it sounds like the actual nature of that agreement may be up in the air. For instance, it's possible that, even though you broadly agree that homosexuality is sinful, you may differ in particulars such as whether or not that applies to identity or only to behavior, or whether orientation is chosen or predetermined—homosexuality is not just one question, but a subject about which one might hold a range of beliefs on a number of questions. So perhaps you and your pastor share some views, but differ on other points.

The reason this is important to providing an answer to your question about whether or not it is hypocritical is because accusing someone of acting hypocritically means to claim that their actions do not match up with their proclaimed beliefs. In this case, it may very well be hypocritical if the pastor is in fact acting out things that he is preaching to the church. However, what seems more likely is that your pastor is trying to act out his beliefs , which are in some nuanced way, slightly different than your interpretation of his beliefs. Perhaps by some conversation, you can learn more about what it is specifically he does believe on the subject, and then weigh for yourself how that relates to your own views.

That said, I am certainly disposed to agree with what Affable Geek said on the subject in the earlier answer.

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