How should Christians respond to Pride Month? Andrew Bunt, an assistant pastor with King’s Church Hastings and Bexhill in England says an essential aspect of a Christian response to Pride is “gospel humility.”
“My observation is that humility is often not the instinctive response of Christians to Pride Month,” Bunt said in an article for Living Out titled, “Humility in Pride.” “Frustration, indignation and even disgust seem to be more common responses.”
Bunt acknowledged that there could be “some justification” for believers who respond in these ways. “Part of the sentiment behind Pride is a celebration of ways of living that go against God’s good plan,” he said. “Some of the ideas promoted through Pride are not honouring to God or good for human flourishing. I can acknowledge that there are elements of what Pride stands for that we should be concerned about.” However, not only does humility have “a place” but Bunt also believes that “any Christian response or reaction to Pride must be rooted in and shaped by gospel humility.”
Pride Month and the Christian
Pride Month, which takes place in June, commemorates in part the Stonewall Riots that occurred in New York on June 28, 1969. The riots were a response to police raiding the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village.
Bill Clinton was the first president to officially recognize June as Pride Month. Barack Obama recognized Pride Month throughout his presidency, while Donald Trump acknowledged it once in 2019. President Biden has recognized Pride Month in 2021 and 2022, the first two years of his presidency.
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In addition to being an assistant pastor, Andrew Bunt is a writer and speaker with Living Out, a ministry founded by Sam Allberry and Sean Doherty that seeks to help believers live out their sexuality and identity in faithfulness to Jesus. In a 2021 interview on the ChurchLeaders podcast, Living Out director Ed Shaw shared his insights as a pastor who experiences same-sex attraction.
Bunt credits author Rebecca McLaughlin with helping to shape his thoughts on Pride Month and gives three areas where Christians can have humility in their postures toward it. First, believers should be humble in the way they treat the LGBTQ+ community. “Pride was birthed out of some early movements of gay and gender non-conforming people who bravely stood up against the mistreatment, in some cases brutal mistreatment, of people like them,” said Bunt. “It is a celebration of the fact that we are a society where hatred and mistreatment of sexual and gender minorities is no longer seen as acceptable…This is something Christians can, and should, get fully behind.”
All people are created in the image of God and should be treated as such, no matter who they are, said Bunt. Yet while followers of Jesus should be the primary defenders of the weak and the vulnerable, some Christians nevertheless participate in “unacceptable treatment of LGBTQ+ people.” Believers can use Pride Month as a chance to examine our own attitudes and repent of their sins in this area.