Does the Bible say anything about Lone Ranger Christians?

by Dorothy

Are you a spiritual Lone Ranger?

Are you a spiritual Lone Ranger?

Are you a spiritual Lone Ranger?

Everyone loves the rugged individualism of the Lone Ranger. Spiritual Lone Rangers are becoming common today, especially among GLBT Christians who've quit going to church. Verses which impact our discussion include Ecclesiastes 4:9, Hebrews 3:12 and 10:25 and 1 Corinthians 12:13-27

LRCs (Lone Ranger Christians) are born again believers who got tired of church politics or quit attending because they disagreed with what was being taught or who quit going to church during a church split or who were kicked out because they refused to go along to get along.

Lone Rangers by definition, tend NOT to be team players yet being part of a team is God's plan for our spiritual growth.

Whatever the reason, many saved people around the world no longer go to church on a regular basis. But why are some GLBTs Lone Ranger Christians? Their reasons for becoming LRCs are many and varied.

Some were kicked out of church because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Some who were kicked out of "straight" churches tried going to a gay church or a gay-affirming church and got discouraged because the Bible was never taught verse by verse or the Bible teaching couldn't honestly be described as skim milk.

What should Lone Ranger
GLBT Christians do?

Some GLBT Lone Rangers have adopted a settle-for attitude. They aren't particularly satisfied with the weak doctrinal teaching and the lack of evangelistic emphasis in many gay and gay-affirming churches. But they have a deep inner need for fellowship so they put up with positive thinking pep talks which ignore every negative statement in the Bible (instead of real sermons).

The problem with sermons which refuse to deal with negative statements in the Bible should be apparent. Ignoring the negative makes the message unbalanced and often wrong. Could you start your car if your battery had two positive poles and no negative pole? Certainly not. The negative pole is necessary. Without it you're not going anywhere. And the negative part of the Bible is absolutely essential if you want to grow spiritually.

Many times the churches that welcome gays and lesbians are more like religious clubs than New Testament churches. The price people pay for staying in that kind of church is perpetual spiritual infancy. Scripture encourages us to:

"Desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." -1 Peter 2:2

Why have church anyway?

There are modern alternatives to church. We can watch preachers on TV or listen to radio sermons and Bible studies. We can go to Internet Church on our computer. Or we can watch Bible Study DVDs and listen to Bible Study MP3s. So is meeting with a local group of Christians where we live really necessary in our modern world?

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
-1 Corinthians 12:13-27, KJV

The Bible reveals the secret

God created Christians for community, to be part of a family. We are intentionally designed by God to need each other, to thrive in each other's company. Christians are like the many parts of the human body. Each part is designed by God to work with the other parts, smoothly, efficiently, almost effortlessly so that the body functions normally.

As every part of the human body is important, so every individual Christian is important to the proper functioning of the body of Christ, Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23. We were not created to be Lone Rangers. Scripture tells us that in Christ, we should grow to spiritual maturity as a group:

"From him (Christ) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." -Ephesians 4:16, NIV

The stomach was not created to work apart from the body. Remove the stomach from the body and the stomach ceases to function. Outside the body, the stomach cannot digest food or take part in nourishing the body. The body needs the stomach and the stomach needs the mouth, the tongue, the teeth, the jaws, the esophagus, the duodenum because each part is inter-related. By God's design, we need each other.

The Lone Ranger Christian, on his own, can never experience the optimum growth God planned for us, Ephesians 2:10. Being a Lone Ranger long-term has detrimental consequences for our spiritual life and the spiritual life of the church. The truth is, we need each other, with all our angst and foibles, with all our warts and ornery irascibility.

"But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. " 1 Corinthians 12:18, NIV

This Is God's Truth

  1. When we got saved, God adopted us into the family of God, Ephesians 1:5. Like it or not, born-again Christians are part of God's family, with all the intricate and sometimes difficult relationships found in any family.

  2. God intentionally designed our spiritual selves to thrive as part of God's family, 1 Corinthians 12:13-26.

  3. God placed pastors/teachers in local congregations so we could grow to spiritual maturity, Ephesians 4:11-16. This means that not being part of a local congregation is at odds with God's plan. By staying out of church, we may be settling for a lot less than God intends for us.

  4. Scripture assumes that Christians will be part of a local church, including giving heed to pastors who watch for our souls before God, Hebrews 10:25; 13:17

  5. Spiritual growth stems in part from loving interaction with our brothers and sisters in Christ, Ephesians 5:3, 8, 21, 30. We share laughter, tears, sorrow and joy. We face challenges together and pray about the difficulties we face. Family is important.

Solving the Riddle
of Lone Rangerism

I offer four possible solutions to solve the riddle of Lone Rangerism for modern Christians. If you have other solutions, please share them with us by Commenting below.

  1. Refuse to give up on finding a church that faithfully preaches the Bible. It may take time and prayer but expect God to lead you to the right local church.

  2. Refuse to let detractors define you or sway you from your Biblical Christianity. It may be difficult or impossible to find a local church in your area where you can fit in and grow spiritually. In that case, you must feed yourself and find fellowship with Christians outside of a local church.

    Possibilities include:

    a. Coffee shops where other Christians gather
    b. Christian groups on campus like Campus Crusade and InterVarsity
    c. Bible studies at work
    d. Bible studies online
    e. Bible studies through a Bible school online or at a sticks and bricks campus
    f. Bible study books from your local Christian bookstore
    g. Bible study with family members or house mates

  3. Discipline yourself to stay in the word and get actively engaged in evangelism. Get in the habit of passing out gospel tracts or take a course in How To Witness.

    Don't forget, the Lone Ranger wasn't really all alone. He had a close friend and partner named Tonto. Round up some of your Christian friends each month to go someplace together to witness for Jesus or see a Christian film or DVD or to study the Bible.

  4. Consider seeking out neighborhood small group Bible studies in your area if you still feel uncomfortable in churches which are intentionally unwelcoming to GLBTs. There may be a small group already meeting in your neighborhood.

How have you dealt with
being a Lone Ranger Christian?

Share your thoughts
by adding a Comment

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This page updated June 29, 2013

Comments for Does the Bible say anything about Lone Ranger Christians?

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Jun 08, 2010
a wonderful read
by: james c burgess

I've spent a large part of my walk as a Lone Ranger believer and was actually proud of it for many years, for many reasons. Oddly enough in 1995 I got involved with a Promise Keepers group at a church I had recently joined.

There I was, the only person of color and the only "out" gay man wondering "what on earth am I dong here?" Yet it was this very group of men that broke down my walls gay and all. Not once was it a problem and ALL OF THEM knew for I was pretty open about it.

Anyway, some of my most valued connections and healthiest souls ties and fellowships were birthed from this group. It opened my heart. These days I'm somewhere in the middle. I'm in a great church yet I have have NO fellowship with anyone there outside of church.

I am the only openly gay person there that I know of. Its not a gay "hating" church but I wouldn't say it was affirming really. I'm glad I do have "kindred spirits" outside of my church as prayer partners, friends, etc. I'd like to expand my circle though for I still feel a bit out of balance, being careful not to isolate and go back to Lone Ranger thinking... :-)

Aug 19, 2011
I admire you!
by: Rick Brentlinger

Hi James-

Sorry it took so long to reply. I admire you for making the best of a difficult situation. I am happy to know that you have fellowship even though you are honest and out. That speaks well of you and your brothers and sisters in that church.

I do hope you are blessed by God with a partner and with GLBT Christian friends too. Perhaps those relationships will come as a result of your faithfulness to God in prayer and witnessing.

God bless you dear brother!

Sep 10, 2011
by: Shelley Howard

God created people, not churches or sects.

Mar 20, 2012
Isaiah 5:20
by: warren lont

The Lone Ranger was a good guy. "woe to those who call evil good and good evil" Isaiah 5:20

Oct 16, 2012
by: Christine

Hi, I came upon your site as I was searching the net on Christians who don't necessarily attend church. I'm very confused? about this site and article. Don't you believe that a homosexual lifestyle is actually sinful, as the Bible states?

Really, I am not "coming down" on anyone! However, the Bible states this. What is your interpretation, and do you have conviction that this lifestyle is sinful and a sense that you may not be "walking in the truth"?

Sometimes we can be deceived by our feelings. I understand that. God does catch up with us and confront us, though, and if we're really His, He will discipline us so that we're continually being conformed to the image of His Son.
The discipline of God can be very difficult and heart-rending! But the peace that comes from the freedom Christ brings FROM our sin is better than anything without it.

He tells us that if our right eye causes us to sin - something we feel we can't live without -- then to "pluck it out," that it is better to enter the Kingdom 'maimed' than that our body and soul should be cast into hell. This is God's divine discipline, and those who are His, He will bring correction to, as sons.

It isn't my job to do that here. I did want to express these thoughts because I HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT. God is faithful, and He will complete the good work He has begun in you.

Blessings & love to you all! Christine

Rick's comment: Hi Christine - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, we believe that it is perfectly okay to be gay or lesbian and Christian. The purpose of this website is to explain why from the scriptures. Hope you'll explore our information and discover that we are Bible-believing, soul-winning, Jesus-loving genuine Christians.

Jun 29, 2013
Money changers
by: Anonymous

Most tv preachers exploit others for money, making merchandising at the expense the body, flying around in expensive jets, staying in the most expensive hotels,lavish homes,but they dont give / share there wealth with all believers that need help too, its mostly about there kingdom, i need help i am unemployed not allow to have a job,i am over 40,i can work

Jul 16, 2013
Another, maybe greater alternative
by: Randy

Hi Everyone, Sometimes we get so pressured by thinking we have to be involved with others it can become an overwhelming pressure. Fellowship with others is often like a lot of things in life: getting your drivers license, turning 21, joining a church etc.

What I am saying is that there are a lot of things that are really over-rated. I think fellowship can be one of those things. Is it ok to be a Lone Ranger? I think so. The relationship with the Holy Spirit is the greatest fellowship. You can always count on it.

Jan 20, 2015
No churches
by: Causeforchrist4

Where me and my partner live there is only one church that is ok with gay people it's a disciples of Christ church and we've tried going but we are not Caucasian and we are baptist, so we stick out, my partner grew up at a local black church that her parents go to, but they love them "way of the master" crew and they may occasional "gay is a sin" references in their bible studies etc.

They seem like nice people and it's nice being around our own cultures music etc but we now never go because it's like sitting on egg shells, waiting for them to say something about gays being "sinful and wrong."

So the disciples church we don't feel moved at all by the music or preaching, it puts us to sleep, and when we tried a universalist church, the flavor of that one seemed more like and atheist church, it's like we are too gay for my partners parents church, too black and Christian for this local uu church, and too black and baptist for the disciples of Christ church.

I used to feel really lonely about this but now I feel somewhat connected, I listen to lifejourney or sacred souls church in North Carolina, or the vision church atlanta which they have bible study live online during the week and all of these churches have tons of multiple cultural people in it, and we watch those online, because we don't fit in any where else.

Rick's comment: Hi CauseForChrist - It can be frustrating to want a good Bible teaching church and not be able to find one. Have you considered using the FREE print-out Bible studies on my website to start your own Bible Study Fellowship in your home or in a local coffee shop?

There are hundreds of pages of FREE Bible studies. You can print out however many you'll need each week for the people who come to your Bible study. There are enough FREE Bible studies to last you several years.

May 03, 2016
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
by: Sarah

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

God clearly states that gay is not okay. God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.

Rick's comment: Hi Sarah - Thanks for reminding us of 1 Cor 6:9. As you may already know, the apostle Paul NEVER used the word homosexual in that verse in any language. For modern translators to use the word, homosexual, in that verse, is a perversion and a travesty.

Do you love truth enough to do more reading and study? I hope so. Here is a very helpful page.

Do you know this about 1 Cor 6:9?

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