Does the Bible say anything about Lone Ranger Christians?
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
- 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.
- God intentionally designed our spiritual selves to thrive as part of God's family, 1 Corinthians 12:13-26.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- 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 Share your thoughts
being a Lone Ranger Christian?
by adding a Comment
Can I KNOW I am saved?
Jesus teaches Hell 101
Return to 101 Community
From Lone Ranger Christians
return to Gay Christian 101 Home Page.
This page updated June 29, 2013