I’ve done a one week series on the topic of homosexuality. As I’ve freely confessed from the beginning, I am not an expert on this topic, but our church has “reached” some gay people. I thought I’d end this series by asking, and trying to answer, some of the tough questions with this issue. And, yes, I realize how dangerous this is and how stupid I am for attempting it:
What does the bible really say about homosexuality? The Bible is clear (at least when Vince reads it) that homosexual behavior is not a part of God’s perfect plan for humanity, and is therefore sin. See, for instance, Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:24-27.
What causes homosexuality? This is a hotly debated topic. Gay people claim, “It’s okay because I was made this way.” Most Christians would argue that people are created in the image of God, and therefore no one is born gay. Research has shown that many gay people were raised by a dominant parent of the opposite gender or experienced sexual abuse early in life – often by someone of the same gender. This research seems to indicate that homosexuality is a “learned” behavior. Even if some are born with a tendency toward (or put into situations that would increase the likelihood of) homosexuality, this does not justify the sinful behavior. Others are born with a tendency toward (or put into situations that would increase the likelihood of) heterosexual sin, or alcoholism, or anger, but this does not excuse their acting out with sinful behavior.
Can homosexuality be “cured”? The Bible teaches that people can be set free from sin in general (see Romans 6:18) and from the sin of homosexual behavior in particular (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). There are Christian ministries in the United States dedicated to compassionately helping people out of homosexual lifestyles. For instance: Desert Stream , Exodus International, and Pastoral Care Ministries. Several books have been written by people who have come out of the homosexual lifestyle. Pursuing Sexual Wholeness, and Strength in Weakness by Andrew Comiskey, and The Broken Image: Restoring Personal Wholeness through Healing Prayer by Leanne Payne.
How is homosexuality different from same-sex attraction? Same-sex attraction is a temptation. Homosexual behavior is acting out on that temptation. It’s not wrong to be tempted to sin, it’s wrong to be engaged in sin. The distinction is important because some will struggle with same sex attraction but out of obedience to God never act on it. Others may leave a homosexual lifestyle behind, but continue to struggle with same sex attraction. This can be confusing and difficult but, again, it is not sin to be tempted. A lot of this has to do with identity. Many people identify themselves as homosexuals; to them it is who they are. There are others who, while they struggle with the temptation of same-sex attraction, would identify themselves as a child of God, made in His image.
What should a Christian say to a friend who claims to be gay? The Bible teaches us to speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15) and so this is our guiding principle. In general, gay people know what Christians think because the truth has been loudly proclaimed by many. Therefore, we probably need to put extra emphasis on the love component of Ephesians 4:15. In this we follow the example of Jesus (who sinners were drawn to) because He treated them with compassion.
I thought about turning off the comments so I don’t get destroyed for any of this, but go ahead, destroy me.
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