Chelsea Nylen reacts while visiting the memorial outside the Pulse Nightclub on the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 12, 2017.
Chelsea Nylen reacts while visiting the memorial outside the Pulse Nightclub on the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 12, 2017. (REUTERS/Scott Audette)

June 12 marks the second anniversary of the 2016 shooting at Orlando, Florida's Pulse gay nightclub, where 49 individuals, many of them LGBTQ individuals, tragically lost their lives, with scores more wounded in a senseless barrage of violence by a lone gunman. The horrendous act of terrorism left the nation—and particularly the LGBTQ community—in shock.

One might think that the carnage and heartache that occurred in that brief moment of time would have prompted individuals enchained in a lifestyle of homosexuality to turn from their sin and run to God's mercy. Sadly, instead, militant LGBT activists have capitalized on this unthinkable act of violence to promote their godless agenda—and to emphatically denounce all who challenge them with the truth of God's Word.

One good example of this was what my good friend Dr. Michael Brown faced when he published a short video entitled "Can You Be Gay and Christian?" Among the responses by the LGBTQ crowd to Dr. Brown's compassionate and reasoned outreach were such comments as: "Die you old [expletive]," and, "I seriously hope that every single one of you twisted, evil monsters that liked this video are hit by a bus" (to offer a couple of the more civil examples).

Let me ask: Are these the comments of a grieving community that feels the pain of the loss of life in Orlando? Or are these insults directly aimed at those who place their faith in Christ and stand against sin and immorality? Since the Orlando tragedy, these incidents have increased and intensified. Like Dr. Brown, I also have received threats from the gay community for my outreach to those struggling with same-sex attraction.

More than ever, militant LGBTQ activists are pushing the limits to force their lifestyle on society—including the church. And sadly, pastors and Christian leaders who should be taking the lead in compassionately challenging this onslaught of evil are responding instead with conciliatory attitudes. More "gay affirming" churches are being established, and some Christian leaders are actually aligning themselves and their congregations with the LGBT community.

Many leaders in the church have allowed their friendships with the gay community to compromise their fundamental beliefs concerning family and marriage out of fear of offending someone. Many have left their convictions behind and their hearts have waxed cold, just as Jesus warned: "Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold" (Matt. 24:12, NLT). The hearts of many Christians have become hardened as militant gay activists have aggressively targeted the church and everyone else who do not support their sinful agenda.

One of the main tactics homosexual activists use to deceive individuals and groups is to assume the role of marginalized victim, when in reality they are aggressive bullies. They have forced their lifestyle claims into the mainstream and are now intimidating anyone who oppose them. And sadly, many believers and churches are caving in to this godless aggression.

Thus, in many cases, the church is unavailable to those who struggle with same-sex attraction or who desire to leave the homosexual lifestyle. Some Christian ministries that once stood for the truth about homosexuality have actually closed their doors for fear of the backlash from the LGBT community. I'm deeply aggrieved by what is happening today because an evil and destructive lifestyle is being embraced as good.

Nonetheless, I remain hopeful. The Bible declares that where sin abounds grace much more abounds (Rom. 5:20). In this time of God's grace, the church has the opportunity to do what it is called to do: share the hope and healing available through Jesus Christ regardless of persecution and consequences.

We simply cannot afford to be silent, no matter how intimidating and militant the LGBT community becomes. We must be convinced that Jesus remains the great I Am who has given us as believers the authority to boldly proclaim the truth of liberty through Jesus.

People will never be set free if the church does not boldly and uncompromisingly address the truth about homosexuality. This elephant in the room will never go away if we pretend it doesn't exist. But all must be done in Christ's love and without compromising God's Word. In John 4:7-15, Jesus reached the woman at the well by speaking the truth in love, and that is the approach we as believers must adopt. We must be compassionate without compromising our beliefs. We must let the homosexual community know that change is possible through Jesus Christ. Many, like myself, are a living testimony that freedom is possible through Jesus.

The challenge for us as believers is to know God's Word and to stand firm in the authority we have in Jesus Christ. And we must remain discerning and open to the move of the Holy Spirit, so that we do not miss what God wants us to do in the lives of those trapped in sin.

Janet Boynes founded Janet Boynes Ministries in Maple Grove, Minnesota, in 2006. She has authored two books: Called Out—A Former Lesbian's Discovery of Freedom and Arise—The Journey from Fear to Faith. She challenges individuals and the church to reach out with a message of hope and restoration to the homosexual community. Her articles have been featured on the front cover of Charisma magazine, Called magazine, Power for Living, Bound magazine and many more. Her life is proof that the love of God has the power to heal and restore the brokenness in our lives. It's been 19 years since she was called out of the lesbian lifestyle. Janet travels the U.S and overseas and shares her story of redemption. Her desire is to bring hope through the power of Jesus Christ.

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