Over the past several decades, “Pride Month” has grown from obscurity into a major cultural event, especially in the United States. In America, June is designated for this celebration of non-traditional sexuality and gender expression. Pride Month also seeks to recognize contributions of LGBTQ-identifying persons. As with other cultural issues, Christians find themselves torn regarding the best response to Pride Month. It’s important to stand for biblical ideals. We ought not celebrate what Scripture condemns. Yet the gospel is not served if Christians contribute to false stereotypes about the faith. When sexuality and gender are filtered through unbiblical cultural views, the best tactic for most Christians is like that of the “conscientious objector”: polite, peaceful, firm refusal to actively participate in Pride Month events without demanding others to follow suit.
As the name suggests, Pride events presume that behaviors and attitudes once considered immoral should be embraced, even cheered, rather than being criticized. This is not the sole purpose of Pride Month events; activists also intend to remind people that history’s important contributors include those identified with LGBTQ ideas. Events such as parades and rallies are common. Pride flags—a series of colored bars representing homosexuality and transgenderism—are flown in some communities. The concept of Pride Month has been heavily commercialized; many companies incorporate Pride Month imagery in packaging, commercials, press releases, social media, and so forth. Even within the LGBTQ community, some object to these developments, seeing them as insincere pandering.
Faced with commercials, flags, statements, and public events endorsing “Pride,” Bible-believing Christians often feel they need to do something or say something to counter the month-long wave of hype. Scripture denounces many actions and attitudes championed during Pride Month as serious sins (1 Corinthians 6:9–11). The Word calls us to be clear about truth (Proverbs 12:17). Yet the same Bible encourages tact, common sense, and discretion (Proverbs 18:6; Matthew 10:16). It’s all too easy to be baited into fruitless arguments and a feeling of frustration (Proverbs 29:9). That which we say and do should be guided by thoughtfulness rather than by volatility (Proverbs 15:1).
Ultimately, Christians are called to be witnesses of the Way, the Truth, and Life (John 14:6; Acts 1:8). Our obligation is to offer truth to those who are interested (Matthew 28:19). We cannot conform non-believers to biblical expectations (1 Corinthians 2:14). Western culture has long embraced views of premarital sex, drug and alcohol use, morality, and other ideas that run counter to a biblical worldview. That a fallen world should continue to fall further is not surprising but expected (Romans 1:24–31). Instead of scuffling to “resist” or “stop” things like Pride Month, Christians should remember what it means to be “in” a culture without being “of” that culture (John 17:11; 18:36).
In short, the best Christian response to Pride Month is polite non-participation. Followers of Jesus should decline to have anything to do with “Pride” events. We should speak truth in love when given an appropriate chance (Ephesians 4:15). It’s good to articulate why we cannot endorse the ideas or assumptions behind the promotion of “Pride.” We should avoid giving worldly culture exactly what it wants: ammunition with which to falsely accuse the gospel of hateful intolerance (1 Peter 3:15–17). Many will be offended by truth spoken in humility and love (1 Peter 4:4)—but that means their conflict is with God, not with us (Galatians 1:10).
Believers cannot change cultural views on sexuality by trying to change culture itself in some broad sense. All we can do is reach individual people (Hebrews 8:10–12; Romans 14:11–12), letting the Holy Spirit work from there. When we are winsome and loving, those who respond with hate have none but themselves to blame (Proverbs 9:8; Psalm 109:1–5). Whether surrounding culture chooses holiness or depravity, our mission is unchanged: calling sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). We can’t expect society to do that for us (Joshua 24:15).
The mindset behind Pride Month is deeply immoral. Sin is to be mourned over, not celebrated (Romans 1:32). The “pride” in Pride Month has nothing to do with a satisfied happiness compatible with godliness (Galatians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 7:4). Arrogant bragging about immorality is the kind of “pride” leading to God’s judgment (Proverbs 8:13; 16:8–9; Psalm 10:4).
At the very least, Christians should never actively participate in anything that blatantly defies God (Acts 5:29), even though defiance of worldly expectations concerning Pride Month might mean suffering social and legal consequences. When so led by the Spirit, Christians can and should give a sound explanation for their views (1 Peter 3:15–17) and why others would be wise to follow suit. What we should not do is respond in panic or with fear that we have “lost” somehow when culture turns away from God.
First Peter 4:14–19 (ESV) summarizes this perspective efficiently: