Q&A: Homosexuality…Who are they hurting anyway?

We had a reader write us and ask this question….

While your readers are married heterosexuals, many of us are confronted with conflicting feelings on the biblical view of homosexuality because of gay friends and relatives who we love dearly. The trend of women gravitating toward gay men for platonic friendship has only heightened the matter, even for Christian women. In church, it’s a bigger topic than ever because of gay marriage legislation. But the pastor doesn’t preach a sermon on it…he just talks about why we should vote against it to protect the church from state interference. Personally, I find myself in need of something I can fall back on when I’m tempted to say, “Jeez, they’re not hurting anybody and they’re in love, and this how they are, this is how they’ve always been, didn’t God make them this way”…Like any Christian, I get tempted to think that God must have meant it some other way.

This is a very good comment, and I want to expound on it in today’s blog entry. Let me break this apart to address the different thoughts and questions within this whole comment.

All during college, I went through such a dilemma.  I had several friends who were openly homosexual.  I loved them as friends.  They were all male.  I didn’t feel as comfortable with the females I knew were homosexual, but my male friends, they liked me for who I was, there were no “expectations” from them, and I knew I was “safe” with them.   (College boys, ya know?)  They were very careful about who they trusted…I wasn’t a Christian yet, but there was one thing that was VERY strong in my mind…love them.   I loved them for who they were.  I had never read Jesus’ command to us in the Bible, telling us the greatest commandment was to love God and then to love others as ourselves.   I just knew I was to love them.   And in that love, they trusted me.  I knew what they were doing was wrong, but how should I have really treated them?   Did I do the right thing by “supporting” their lifestyle?

In my opinion, yes.

There are so many verses in the Bible that tell us the “thou shalt not”s.   Leviticus 18:22 tells us “’Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 20: 13 tells us the punishment for the earlier Leviticus verse “ ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Wow.  Death.   Okay, so you get the picture that in the Old Testament, homosexuality was a HUGE sin.   Do you think the people got the picture…well, no.   Sodom and Gommorah are examples of people who just didn’t care about God’s laws…and God destroyed those cities….  What else does the Bible say?  Romans 1:18-32 tells us all about people forsaking God and making gods in their own images or the images of animals.   What did God do?   He gave them what they wanted.  Rom 1:24-25 “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” And verse 26-27 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Y’all are going to get me on this one… v.32 “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” I didn’t approve of what they were doing…but I will get to that later.

Then there is 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Jude 1:7 “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

I could go on and on.  Here’s my point and the most important commands in the Bible.     “Love one another.”   Jesus cannot say this enough in the Bible.   Everything he says and does…”Love one another.”    Listen to Jesus’ words…

John 13:34-35  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Romans 12:9-10 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”

Should I go on?   I went to Biblegateway.com and I searched for “love one another” and this is what I found.  Sixteen entries for “love one another”.   How about “love your neighbor”?  Eleven results that say “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Eleven.    Just the word love?  In the NIV translation, Biblegateway found 697 results.   I think love is a very important thing to God.

Okay, back to my original thoughts and questions.  Who are they hurting?  Well, in the first place, they are hurting God.   God loves them so very much.   He hates to see his children choose not to follow him.  He knows that if they would only trust and obey him, they would know more joy than the temporary pleasure they get now in their sin.   With that thought, they are also hurting themselves.      Literally if you go by the Old Testament verses in Leviticus, as well as in the New Testament when we are told the wages of sin is death.   (Romans 6:23)  They are hurting the other people they are dragging into sin with them as well.   They aren’t going to change by being preached at, friends.   I mean, wouldn’t you get angry if someone followed you around throwing your sin in your face and telling you that you are going to die and go to hell, burning in eternal damnation?  Yes, I know it is the truth that they will suffer eternal separation from God, but just like in my non-Christian days, I come back to this…love them.   Show them the joy that you have in Christ and in obeying Christ.    Love the sinner while you hate the sin.   Jesus didn’t come to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world.   He saved us by doing the most loving act possible.    Put yourself on the cross for these people.    Show them how much you love them.

Homosexuality is a choice my dear ones.  A sin that is chosen, not genetically infused in you when you were born.  God doesn’t make any junk, and he’s doesn’t wire us to sin…we choose to sin.     God tells us that we were meant to be together as man and wife.   There is no other choice, unless you choose to sin.  In the meantime, of course, love your family members who choose homosexuality.  Love your friends who make that choice.  But at the same time, pray for them diligently, that God would show them the truth in their choices before the consequence is irreversible.

50 Comments

  1. This is a topic I grapple with. I agree with you that our number 1 charge is to love one another. Where I don’t really agree is where you say that homosexuality is a choice. I have a bachelor’s in biology, and based on what I’ve learned in my education, I do not agree with that statement. I know that makes Christianity a little more messy and a little harder to understand, but I have prayed on it, and, although I’m still not certain on much, I don’t think you have the right to make that kind of claim in such a matter of fact way. I hope that doesn’t sound mean – I don’t mean it to. I just mean that that kind of statement should be prefaced with an “I believe.” I think that God has granted me with (limited) knowledge, opportunity, and understanding about the what science says and has given me the challenge of trying to reconcile what I believe as a Christian with what I have learned about science, with His help of course! That’s not the easiest task, but I also believe God doesn’t make mistakes, and I believe homosexuality is a way someone is born.

    I also struggle with the Old Testament. Using the Old Testament as justification for condemnation is a slippery slope. Do you ever wear 50/50 cotton/polyester t-shirts or any other kind of blend? Check out Leviticus 19:19. There are plenty of similar examples. We as Christians are often picky and choosy with the Bible and using just what we want to hear, rather than praying about it and hearing straight from God what he wants from us.

    Thanks for posting this, and I hope this comment didn’t come off as attack-y. I just wanted to present another point of view.

  2. Thank you for this article Spicynutmeg. I am so saddened by the great hatred that much of “Christianity” shows towards homosexuals, almost as if those who choose to be that way are some kind of aliens who must be destroyed. How sad.
    You are so right about the Lord calling us to love others as He loves us.
    Who am I to preach down at my dear friend or family member for their sin, after the Lord has rescued me from my horrible, sinful past! Were my sins somehow “less sinful” ? Nope, they may have been worse! When I think of who I used to be, the sins that I lived in, I know that the Lord’s heart, and my family’s hearts were breaking to watch me go through my life like that. But you know what? They never shunned me, NEVER stopped loving me. Did I deserve their and His love, absolutely not! But now that I have been rescued out of my sin by my dear Savior, my family is still there, loving me. What joy I have now, knowing that they did not hate me, but hated my sin! And it was Christ’s love through them that eventually brought me back to Him!
    I love and will continue to love my dear friends and family who struggle with these sins, as I was loved, knowing that my great God is more powerful than any sin, and praying that through my love will shine His!

  3. thank you for this bold and truthful stand.

  4. Wow, great post. Very well-written, and so on the mark. Thank you for being brave enough to post this!

  5. This was so well written. I find that Christians seem to find this particular sin so heinous that they feel justified in hating the sinner. I appreciate so much the reminder to love. If only we emphasized that in our Christian lives the way Jesus wants us to, I truly believe we would have a much greater impact on a hurting world. Thank you!

  6. As someone who attends a liberal university, I have been confronted by many homosexual individuals or those who say that lifestyle is acceptable. I am being truthful in saying that I have a few close friends who are openly gay, and while I love them as friends, I do not love their lifestyle.
    My mom put it well one time when I was little, and it’s stuck with me since:
    Does a mother hate her child for taking a cookie before dinner after she said no? No. She doesn’t like or approve of the child’s behavior, but she still loves the child.

  7. Thank you for this article, as many others have said, it was well written. And I agree 100%. I know many homosexuals, and every time I interact with them, I am just so saddened, and just really filled with love and compassion for them. What makes me so sad is that to me, it almost seems that for them to overcome their sin would be harder than to overcome many other sins, because to them, it’s their identity. It’s who they are. They are gay. And every day they live this way they are only reaffirming it to themselves, and becoming more entrenched.
    I’m so glad that there are so many Christians out there who share the opinion that above all, we need to love them. They are people, for goodness sake! And we still sin every day. Great, great article. Thanks.

  8. Katie, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree. God does not make mistakes, and to claim that homosexuality is not a choice goes against what the Bible says. The bible says it is a sin. God created Eve as Adam’s helpmate, and tells us that a man is to leave his family and cleave to his wife. There is nowhere in the Bible that says God created homosexuality. Man created it. I believe that science is wrong on this issue. Sorry if you disagree.

  9. I think that people often have to agree to disagree on a lot of topics that are controversial. And I’m okay with that. There is also nowhere in the Bible that says God created Alzheimer’s disease or that God created astigmatism. But I believe that God has had a hand in creating those things, for a purpose that is beyond my understanding, though I will continue to seek understanding. So I’m not sure how claiming homosexuality is not a choice goes against what the Bible says, because (and I could be wrong) I don’t think the Bible explicitly says homosexuality is a choice. It talks about its sinful nature, and I appreciate your point about how we need to love everyone because we ALL sin! But it also talks about many laws that we in today’s society completely ignore and don’t even consider our not following them as sin. I still grapple with things because there are some things that I know in my heart (like that God loves me, for example) and there are some things that I feel like I’m making informed guesses about, I guess. And I personally want to develop my opinions in part by input from others, but mostly by informing myself by reading the Bible and praying and reflecting. I really appreciate your response, because I really want to keep learning and growing in my faith, and that can’t happen if I only have discussions with people who completely agree with me!

  10. Spicynutmeg and erin4him,
    Awesome article and post – you both are spot on. I have a different opinion on God’s junk though. You are right, He does not intend junk, but we live in a fallen world and there is no process, species or thing in this world that does not exhibit extremes of behavior. My son is gay. I have struggled with his “choice” at first believing he was merely a product of a secular school, then beating myself up because I must have failed as a father the way the psycho babblers would have you believe, but I have come to realize many things. Disobedience from God’s perspective has no gradations. My son can choose to be celibate, but I am not sure I could do that were our roles reversed. There are some in my church that would not be able to accept my son for who he is because of his “choice,” and yet would choose to gossip about another. That kind of hypocrisy I cannot abide, so no one in our congregation knows my son is gay. That is for his sake in the event he should someday find himself here. He and I had a very long conversation recently about him, about God, about what I can and cannot deal with, etc. He is saved, but cannot, as he puts it, “accomodate a Christian God,” because of the abuse and vitriol from “Christians” he has experienced and heard about. What a tragic testimony! I told him he might have a limited view of who/what/how/when/where God is and that God is so much greater than we can imagine and that what people think of when they hear the word “God” is so far removed from what the Hebrews meant by Yahweh that he should not turn from his Creator (which he can believe in) because of what he observes demonstrated by men. I spoke no judgement, told him I would be honored to meet his close friends, that in my house we honor God and I could never accomodate anyone visiting with him unless they stayed in separate rooms. This is no different than not allowing an unmarried heterosexual couple to share a bed in my home. And finally I told him that the greatest commandment next to loving God is to love one another. It does not matter if the sin is sex or theft, murder or lust, lying or cheating, jealousy or anger, we all need the covering of Christ’s blood to appear righteous before our Lord. I pray that my words will lead to repentence, but I cannot believe that my little boy who accepted Christ as his savior when he was ten is now condemned because he lives in sin. With tears in my eyes, treeman.

  11. While I certainly agree that God did not create homosexuality, I also think it is possible for it to be nature due to the fall. The fall perverted all of God’s creation on earth, including us, including our sexuality (hermaphroditism for example).
    But the lifestyle and the action of it is always a choice. I know homosexual Christians who have chosen to honour God and remain single and celibate. This is a huge sadness to them because they have no possible future of a sexual or romantic relationship as we do, but they look forward to their future with HIM where they will be redeemed fully as they were meant to be.

  12. I don’t think that SpicyNutmeg was using the OT solely as justification for condemnation (in fact she wasn’t doing any condemning just pointing out Biblical truth). Paul is incredibly clear in Romans about homosexuality, as pointed out in the blog. The point here is, that regardless of how we feel, or how we view sexuality our priority, our job, is to love those around us as we love ourselves. We spend so much time pointing fingers and making ourselves feel better by putting other people down that WE FORGET that sin is sin. It doesn’t matter what it is, we hurt God regardless. All sin goes against the created order, this is not the way it was meant to be. I no longer care whether homosexuality is right or wrong, it’s not about that anymore, it’s about what Jesus did for every person on this planet regardless of what they’ve done. We have no right to stand in God’s place and judge.

    The OT law was fulfilled in Jesus. It’s important to remember that this law was put in place to keep Israel set apart as a holy nation. Does that mean that with the death of Jesus we now ignore what it says. If we want to split hairs about the various laws and whether they are now relevant or not, why not just do away with “Do not murder”, “Do not covet” etc? The law was there to keep Israel holy – that is keep Israel set apart, and to point to the need for a Saviour, someone who could help us be what God intended. The law was there to confront the world around them with their own sin. I could go into the theology behind the meaning and giving of the law but I’d be here all day. The point is, there was a reason for the varying laws and that shouldn’t be discounted just because we don’t abide by them today.

    As for science, well I only studied high school biology. But I have studied theology. I know that we, as a Christian community, focus too much on the way we think it should be and not on what God wants us to be. We forget that sin is the great destructor. Why do we have alzheimer’s, not because God put it there but because we have been broken and corrupted by sin. God did not design us to be broken or corrupted, Adam and Eve made that choice for us when they ate the fruit. If this was all there was, if this is all we were meant to be, then there would be no point in a New Heaven and a New Earth. The truth be told science can’t explain human degradation without the wisdom of theology. It’s important to keep both theological truth and science in perspective.

  13. I completely agree with your statement about identity mdcccc. I think it overtakes the rest of their person, and so when one disagrees with their lifestyle it is taken as a rejection of them as a whole being and it is hard for them to understand that I really do love them as they are. Mind you, I have met a few heterosexual people who co-habit who have created a similar mindset. I sorrow over the whole spectrum of people removing their sexuality from God.

  14. CN is on a roll with great provocative topics!

    While close to a handful of gay friends, I’ve wrestled with the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ without coming up with any clear answers except one: we must love all people, not as a matter of duty, but with open-hearted Godly love.

  15. love, love, love this article!! so well written! it’s not my job to convince people of their sin, that’s what the holy spirit is for! my job is to show Gods love. the holy spirit can do his job much more effectively than i can! he accepts us as we are and as we grow and mature in our relationship with him his holy spirit speaks to us and helps us leave behind our sinful behavior.

  16. Katie, I agree with you on the nature/choice issue. I think this should be similar to birth control, IVF and donor sperm, and other not-so-easy topics: different churches have different views (yes, some churches support gay marriage), and what is morally right for one couple can be wrong for another. If, after prayer, reading, or discussion with respected religious authorities, a gay couple declares that their relationship is guided by God, who am I to say that it’s not, just because I don’t understand? Especially if everything else about their relationship corresponds with biblical teachings about chastity and fidelity.

    Spicynutmeg, I respect your choosing to write on this subject and I think you’re absolutely right about how a good (ha, my typo here was ‘God’) example is so much more effective than any preaching done in hate or self-satisfaction. Your college friends were lucky to have you as a friend, I think.

  17. Spicy Nutmeg, as the author of the question that inspired the article — thank you so much for writing it. I appreciate the scriptural references (you did the work I should have done myself), and everyone’s responses have caused me to contemplate more aspects of this subject than I ever did in the first place (for example, the debate on how applicable the OT commands are or aren’t to us today. All the women’s comments help me to know that I’m not alone in my search for godly answers on this; and Treeman, you sound like a wonderful father that any son would be blessed to have). This site has been such a blessing in my life, and I knew it was a safe place to ask.

    Spicy Nutmeg, thank you for your emphasis on showing love, and I couldn’t agree more. The only thing I’m questioning about your perspective is when you said: “Wouldn’t you get angry if someone followed you around throwing your sin in your face and telling you that you are going to die and go to hell, burning in eternal damnation? Yes, I know it is the truth that they will suffer eternal separation from God, but just like in my non-Christian days, I come back to this…love them.” It sounds like you are saying that those who live as homosexuals cannot also live as Christians. Is that what you believe? I promise you, I don’t want to debate; I’m truly seeking guidance from godly peers who are loving in their approach (my Bible study teacher and his wife are good friends, but they discuss homosexuality as if it is the single most pressing issue our nation faces today, and as someone who’s plugged into current events I think they’re seriously exaggerating. I’ve had it up to here with the way they do this; so that’s part of what prompted my original question).

  18. spicynutmeg: I used to agree with you perfectly on the issue of some one being born homosexual. I discounted everything about it as a lie of scientists who hate Christianity. Got into an argument with my brother in law ( like me, a Christian since childhood) and what do you know, that boneheaded teenager (not that I’m much older or less bone headed, lol) actually got me thinking and I changed my mind (or the Holy Spirit did), and my eyes were opened to some of my own pride and vices.

    I respectfully submit to you my current, revised thoughts on the matter, please don’t think I am condemning you in any way, I share these thoughts for you and everyone to read because I think they are helping to shape me into a more loving person, and that is so important.

    I think that some people are ‘bent’ towards certain sins, and others toward other sins.
    God made man perfect in the beginning, but when sin entered the world, men’s hearts were no longer perfect – we have the sin nature, the flesh is what Paul calls it – and it means that we are wired to sin, we’re bent towards it.
    But as I said, I believe we are bent towards different things.
    For example, due to the personality I was born with and the way I was raised, sexual sin has not really tempted me.
    There can be no pride in me for being sexually pure -it’s not like I’m innately better than a practicing homosexual or even mr. Tiger Woods- I was just born and raised so much differently that choosing to be sexually pure was not much of a choice for me, i just am that way, and it could happen that I could fall (be careful when you think you stand…) but I imagine it would probably be a long slow slip first, to reverse my natural nausea at the idea of ever cheating on my husband. (and that abhorrence of adultery does make it harder for me to show love and patience to those who do practice it. That’s why what I am about to say is so important to me)
    Although I am not bent towards sexual sins, I am bent towards other sins – things like pride and bitterness and distrust are huge areas that I work on. My sins tend to be a lot less scandalous Tiger Woods’, but I believe they are no less disgusting to God – except that they are washed away by Jesus’ blood, so I don’t despair! Still, when reading the bible I realize with shame that the pharisees were the ‘pure’, prideful, evil men who scorned Jesus, while the adulterers and thieves were people that Jesus openly loved and spent time with.

    I think some people are just born with it (homosexuality) to be a bigger struggle – and with that in mind I think there could honestly be a biological reason there, just like there could be a biological reason (i’ve read about it) that some people are more likely to be alcoholics. I don’t think anyone HAS to be gay, and I don’t think anyone HAS to be an alcoholic, but I do believe that some people are ‘bent’ that way. And who’s to say there couldn’t be a biological reason there? (I’m not saying there IS one, and i firmly believe that the biological reason wouldn’t excuse the behaviour, just like being PMS doesn’t give me a right to be a jerk to my husband. but it makes it a much bigger struggle!)
    I think each of us has sins we are bent towards, the important thing is we must choose to turn away from that bent and towards the straight and narrow path, towards a life that is like Christ’s. And may God make us whole and straight!

    Respectfully yours,
    hisgirl

  19. Do you really think someone would “choose” to be homosexual? What are the upsides?

    You get teased, spat on, beaten, often thrown out of your family and community, relegated to the status of second-class citizen, denied your basic civil rights, and in some cases (more than you would think!), killed. And this is in a developed, supposedly civilized country like the US. In developing countries, it’s even worse.

    Tell me, who would “choose” that life? I cannot believe that homosexuality is a choice, because given the consequences, who would choose to live like that?

  20. I have recently had been struggling with this exact issue. About a year ago my older brother came out of the closet. It hit me hard as he was always my younger siblings spiritual examples, camp counceller, university mentor, missionary for 5 years in the middle east. Then he comes back and within 1 year he has annouced he is gay. My whole family is very deeply Christian. We all took it hard.

    I have prayed about this so offen, but the fact is that their is no grey area with this one on. The Bible is very clear on homosexuality, and even if people say, well God is big enough to forgive all sin, 1 John says that no one keeps sinning if they truely know God. Thessalonians says that we are saved by grace, and that we are not too keep sinning just because we know God will forgive us.

    The hard kicker on this one is the commands to the early Churchs. Continually they are told to not even eat with those who insteeped in sin. There is even one example where we are told to given them over to their sin and satan.

    I have had friends in the past who are gay, however the Bible is clear, they are in sin, Jesus didn’t make the sinners his confidants, He told them to come follow Him, leavng all ease behind. He forgave their sins, as they left it behind to follow Him. We need to be guarded not to turn our witness to people into complacancy. Being gay is just the same a rape, murder, secret sins, lying even the sins we commit daily. Its all the same, what isn’t the same is that Christ says if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrightousness. Being Gay, annoucing it to everyone is no longer trying to follow Gods path. Either they are in sin and need to leave it to follow Christ, or we are not to even sit with them.

    I have prayed long and hard, and searched the Bible for redemption, for a loop hole for my brother, for my friends of old. But when you become a Christian you become a new creation in Christ the old (including old friends who live distructive lives) must be set aside to follow Christ. We are not to sit in Judgement over them, rather pray for their souls.

  21. Coco, I believe that once you are saved, you never lose your salvation. My reference in your quoted area should be more related toward someone who says they are homosexual, but does not know Christ.

    There is a church close to my home that I have received pamphlets handed to me from a neighbor and someone who walked up to me in a park with my daughter from that church…the pamphlet basically condemning me to hell for not knowing Jesus. Granted, I do know Jesus and I know where I will be after I die…but can you imagine if I were not a Christian? That is not a loving way to introduce me to God or to Jesus. I would never approach anyone, and I mean anyone, that way. That is not how I would introduce my Savior to anyone. Showing them love, just like Jesus did to all the sinners he encountered, is the way to introduce a non-Christian to Christ.

    Thanks for asking for clarification.

  22. I am very sorry that this has hit your family hard. But I go back again to this. You cannot stop loving him. I know I am probably not going to put this right in words, so forgive me if this sounds wrong, but I don’t intend it to be mean. There are some people who claim to be Christian, may look like Christians, may try to act like Christians, but deep down inside, they are still works driven and they really don’t understand about the relationship. That Christ doesn’t want us to work our way into Heaven…that even though it is easy to look like one on the outside, deep inside, Christ knows the truth. I truly hope that this is not the case with him, and that the Holy Spirit is working hard inside of him to help him see the truth. When someone first accepts Christ, Satan is at work the hardest to try to make him (or her) doubt that the relationship really worked…makes them feel like presto change-o, you should immediately be changed into something new. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. I had to work hard to learn as much as I could after I accepted Christ as my Savior. I didn’t have a church. I didn’t have a mentor, so I was a prime target for Satan. He loved it, too. But the Holy Spirit fought hard in me those first few years. It wasn’t until I found a church home with a strong biblical foundation that I started learning so much about Jesus and I knew I had a relationship with him that would last forever.

    I would pray for your brother. Don’t shun him. Jesus sat at the table and dined with sinners all the time. I would love him and pray for him. That is what I would do.

  23. Great post.. great conversation… bless you spicynutmeg for leading this topic.

  24. i know that in the bible Jesus had many different methods of confronting sin in people, with some he was really harsh and with others he was very merciful and gracious. only God knows exactly what is going on in your brothers heart and why he has made the decisions that he has made. only God knows exactly what your brother needs to hear to turn from his sin. i would encourage you to pray and ask God to you give a word and understanding about how HE would have you act towards your brother. he will lead you and direct you in how to best bring your brother to restoration with him.

  25. hisgirl – I am in agreement with much of what you are saying and have felt similarly for quite some time. We are all born with a sin nature and while I do not believe that God creates us to be homosexual any more than he creates us to be liars or unjust or adulterers or malicious, the sin nature we are born with does sometimes involve a weakness towards certain things, and the enemy will feed lies towards those weaknesses as often as he can as we grow up. “Well, aren’t you a sensitive little boy… Other boys aren’t like that… You are different… What’s wrong with you…”

    And I think another factor is that part of the sin nature we are born with can include generational sins and in some people a sin pasted on through family lines can surface as a habitual temptation towards certain sin areas, namely homosexuality in this case. In my own life, a generational sin of lust which was fed occasionally in childhood and then surfaced for a season as an adult in a temptation to view pornography, was something that I had to deal with and process with the Lord. Did God make me with a weakness towards lust? No, He made me in His image, but my then unredeemed sin nature received from my family line a propensity towards that.

    Just my own thoughts as I grapple with these issues too…

  26. SpicyNutmeg,

    I’m glad I read through the comments here and that you further elaborated your beliefs on the topic of “being born that way” or “choosing that lifestyle.” I especially agree with HisGirl and you that there is more to this issue (being gay or self-identifying as gay/lesbian) than simply making a lifestyle choice. But let me back up a minute, please.

    I read this entry on the plane down to Midland, TX, where my husband and I were on our way to attend the Cross Power Ministries Marriage Conference – a conference for couples who are impacted by same-gendered attraction. But I wasn’t able to pull away from the conference enough to pen a response until now.

    We know this struggle intimately – and there is absolutely no pun intended. I used to think that ‘being gay’ was a choice – until my husband began dealing with his stuff. While it’s true it is a choice to identify and live life “gay,” for most people, it’s not a choice to feel attracted to the same gender, and GLBT people find it offensive when someone says, “that’s your choice.” They don’t remember actively MAKING a choice to be attracted to the same sex, and the imputation of a volitional will in the matter is downright offensive – and many will say, “did you CHOOSE to fall in love with the opposite gender?”

    The fact is that our sexual identities are rooted deeply and early by choices that are not our own. In my husband’s case, he never chose to be sexually molested by his grandfather – and he never chose for his parents to reject him and disbelieve him. Yet that sin and violation on the part of his family gave him a ‘bend’ in the direction of SGA – because God designed for his identity to be developed and solidified by family members who abused and neglected him. So when the desire for attention and learning the ways of men grew and became inappropriately sexualized, he hadn’t made the choice to feel this way – at all. He told me last year that if he had self-identified as gay (he never did, but struggled in silence nearly all of his life), he honestly would have said that he was this way “all of his life” and that it wasn’t a volitional choice because he had no memory of the abuse, of longing for validation, or of choosing to be attracted to men.

    There’s a lot of scholarly information about this – Elizabeth Moberly, PhD talks a lot about the sexualization of needs when they are unmet by the same-gendered parent, and when you mix in the high prevalence of abuse, sexual sin, and the rest of what can “bend” someone in the direction of SGA, it makes sense both from a psychological perspective and a spiritual perspective.

    That said, our story is not without hope. We leave this conference with a new vigor and determination to walk out what God is doing in our lives. I didn’t marry a gay man – I married by husband, who is a struggler. But I’m a struggler, too – just not in the same arena. God put us together in order to work out our issues (because I believe that’s part of His design in marriage – to work out our “stuff” in the context of a close, safe relationship), to give us a future and a hope, and to give Himself glory as He heals us individually and corporately. My husband is a man who is getting to the bottom of his junk, and as he does, God is changing him and removing the SGA-component of his sexuality. He’s learning the things that he desired to learn as a young boy – but is in his mid-40s. He may not have volitionally chosen his SGA or his abuse, but he IS volitonally choosing to walk in the ways of a man – a heterosexual man.

    God is good, God is faithful. And just because He doesn’t fit in to the theological box that we like to put Him in (just about all of us do it at one point or another) doesn’t mean He’s wrong or we’re wrong. It just means we don’t have a full picture of His goodness and love. If all truth is God’s truth, then it doesn’t matter where He reveals that truth, it’s still His. We found His truth in books, counseling, theophostic prayer, and in His word – and He’s used it all for our good and our healing.

    I’m sorry this is so long – you’re getting the overflow of my heart today. I hope this helps as you continue to think about these hard things. And if you or any of the readers EVER think that God cannot heal your broken marriage, think of us. God is doing what the world says is “impossible” and gets all the glory for it.

    –Cori (gen224)

  27. I personally believe that we are born (because of the fall) with different sin struggles. One person may struggle with one thing more than another. I believe that what we DO with our own personal struggles is what matters. Do we give our sins and struggles over to the Lord, or do we give in to the temptations? We were given a free will, so whatever struggles we are born with or are more prone to, can always be given to the Lord. Through Him, we can put down our “story” and take on the Lord’s.
    I think that we also need to be very careful as to what we label “God created.” I believe that God ALLOWS many things because of the fall. I do NOT believe that God creates many of the terrible tragedies and sicknesses in our fallen world, but that He allows them. To say that God CREATED our sinful thoughts and urges, I believe, is very dangerous.

  28. “If, after prayer, reading, or discussion with respected religious authorities, a gay couple declares that their relationship is guided by God, who am I to say that it’s not, just because I don’t understand? Especially if everything else about their relationship corresponds with biblical teachings about chastity and fidelity.”

    I beg to differ on this point. Take a man and a woman in a biblical relationship in all ways but one and its still un-biblical. Is that one thing abuse? Its still sin. Is that one thing he looks at porn? Its still sin. How about she is disrespectful of him? Its still sin. God clearly states that homosexuality is a sin and behaving in a “biblical” fashion in all ways but that does not negate that sin.

    We can live perfectly in all ways but one and still be sinners. Someone who lives perfectly according to the Bible but is an alcoholic is still a sinner.

    To argue the point of something be morally right for one and not for another is fine as long and that thing is not clearly stated in the Bible. You wouldn’t say that its ok for someone to kill someone else because they decided its morally right for them because God clearly started that murder is wrong. Lying is always morally wrong because God says it is. The same goes for homosexuality. God says its wrong in a place we can see it, the Bible, He spoke on it clearly more than once.

    I understand the desire that many have to think this way and believe that homosexuality is something people can’t help, especially when someone they love is entrenched in that lifestyle. However, it is still a sin. It is easy to look the other way and say its not a choice. But what about an abusive alcoholic? Or someone who uses drugs? Their lifestyle is wrong as well and they chose it. Do we say that they were born that way? Many addicts are more prone to it for various reason, that is their struggle. But we don’t say that they don’t have to change because they were born that way. Their lifestyle is sinful and we acknowledge that, so we are ok with them changing. But when someone is gay, another sin God spoke on, we say there is no need to change. Why? Because it has become socially acceptable.

  29. A couple of people mentioned the genetic component. I have alcoholism on both sides of my family. Am I predisposed to drink? Most likely. Does that mean I should give into it, and if I do it isn’t wrong? Answer no. It comes down to a discussion on who you trust. Do you trust that God wants good things for you by the limits he places on things like sexuality, or will you chose to believe that you know better. We all answer that question.

  30. The bible is very clear about many things not universally practiced among Christians, including diet, dress, and actions during menstruation. Maureen, I respect your views regarding homosexual acts the way I would respect someone who chooses NFP (or a Quiverful approach) over condoms. It is right and it is *your* right to follow your convictions. I don’t disagree with your analysis of addiction, or social acceptance of a lifestyle dictating moral opinion of it, or that “all but” is a poor way to define one’s morality.

    However, I respectfully disagree that being gay is unbiblical under all interpretations of the bible or that being gay is the same as participating in the gay lifestyle and/or being an abusive alcoholic. No one is sin-free, yes, but I cannot believe that love between two consenting adults and sanctioned by their church’s reading of the bible is sinful, the way it would be for myself (and you, I presume) , whose personal understandings do not sanction same-sex acts.

    The only true religious reconciliation is discussion leading to conversion. If someone who earlier identified as gay finds new love with the opposite sex, or decides to examine their actions (gay-related or otherwise) in view of religion, I would support that — societal approval or no — and hope they give my convictions due consideration.

  31. Just want to say that I so love reading everyone’s comments and viewpoints on this topic. Very thought-provoking, which is a great thing. Sometimes Christians can get so lazy and complacent and we know what we believe but have no idea why. And because our pastor or our parents told us to is not a good enough reason why! (Not that I’m downplaying parents’ or pastors’ roles in helping shape what we believe. But it should not end there.) This has motivated me to study the Word more, and to live my life day by day, hour by hour, aware of and in tune to the Holy Spirit. Thanks.

  32. Rosie –

    I think you hit on something important – the delineation between “having a gay orientation” and “living a gay lifestyle.” If we want to boil down and remove the sexual component for the sake of discussion, we could say, “having a lying orientation” and “actively being Pinocchio.”

    Regardless, we are ALL prone to sin – it’s the Human Condition. Whether we choose to engage in that sin (whatever it is) is a different matter. Some people seem to enjoy making homosexuality the one thing they rail against – or have special condemnation for it, pulling out passages from Lev. 18-19, etc. They don’t do the same for lying, gossiping, stealing, or anything else – just homosexuality. And somehow, they don’t make a distinction between being prone to a particular sin & actually DOING the sin. Being prone to lying – or being tempted to lie – is that REALLY the same as actually lying and deceiving? I hope not – otherwise there really is no hope for any of us.

    I live with and love a man (and we just celebrated our 15th anniversary) who struggled with his attraction to men most of his life. Should it be right that his struggle is a worse sin than mine? We are both covered by the blood of Jesus; he struggles in the area of being tempted by SGA; I struggle in other areas. Is his struggle “worse” than mine? Or are both of our struggles met and forgiven by Jesus’ sacrifice?

  33. Sorry for commenting and fleeing – I’m in the process of working on my dissertation proposal. But I just had to respond to this comment. I just wanted to clarify that my talk of condemnation wasn’t intended toward SpicyNutmeg – I meant it more in general. Sorry for that confusion. I think your last sentence is on point. I believe that the science explains the how but religion explains the why. Both very important, and things can start going awry when you use one to try to answer the other question. There’s some more explanation to that, but that could be a whole post!

    Where I wholeheartedly disagree with you is with your statement about Alzheimer’s. Perhaps you mean it in a different way than it’s coming across to me, but it sounds like you believe Alzheimer’s is a punishment for sin. Sorry, but having had 7 years (out of my 24 years of living) working with people with Alzheimer’s and currently working on my PhD in gerontology, I’m going to have to say that I do not agree with that sentiment at all.

  34. Amen, Cori! I praise God for ya’ll’s testimony in this and I pray that God continues to bless you and your husband as you CHOOSE to walk in the right path 🙂
    thanks for sharing your story!

  35. I agree with you. One thing that homosexuals and lesbian do struggle is finding the opposite sex attractive. I can’t find anything in the bible that it is a sin if you can’t find the opposite sex attractive.

  36. Cori, Congratulations on your 15th! No, I don’t think it’s right that your husband’s challenge was/is seen as “worse” than yours, but I also don’t want to belittle it. People don’t use the word “struggle” for easy things and I don’t like counting games.

    I don’t know if this makes sense, but if something is wrong (eg. extra-marital desires, lying, drugs, whatever), I don’t think people can half or double their score on some imaginary sin-o-meter by choosing to commit it with the assistance of one gender versus the other or by choosing to commit this sin instead of that one.

  37. According to my husband it has its roots in parental rejection and early childhood. He works in the healing/deliverance ministry and he is the one who helped me to deal with it. (Ex lesbian, nearly commited suicide, felt rejected from womb, until we married I belived it was impossible for anyone to love me. I was sexually abused by my teacher when I was 6.) I was struggling with being lesbian for all of secondary school. What made it worse was I tried pre marital sex and the guilt from that made me even worse. By the time I was 17, I had tried to kill myself three times, I wasn’t strong enough to hold the rope around my neck and jump foward the first time and I tried to strangle myself the other two. I was brought up in a christian home, so I couldn’t tell my parents. As soon as I began to strugle with this all, I knew it wasn’t right and that I should resist it.

    What helped me the most is that my husband knew the LORD from childhood, because he was brought up orthodox Jewish, and found Jesus when he was very young. He is easily the most sinless man I have ever met apart from Jesus, and so I have two great role models to learn from, which is good.

    I offer to pray for anyone who is struggling with this because I KNOW it hurts, and we are still dealing with this stuff.

  38. Deafgirl,

    I can’t find anything in the Bible that says killing someone with a gun is sin, either – and yet we agree that it is, because the general principle of “do not kill” holds true.

    I’m here to tell you that someone who presses in to Jesus will find 1 of two things: 1) strength to remain celibate or 2) a changing attraction. God’s word doesn’t give us loopholes, but it does give us a guide for behaviour that is sinful and sinless, regardless of the ways we try to justify our choices for behaviour.

    My husband engaged in impure, same-sex behaviour in his life and despite his circumstances (abused by his grandfather, a victim of sexual violence in college), there was no ‘excusing’ his choice of behaviour – he knew it was wrong and he had guilt over it, because he knew that the Bible told him it was not acceptable. He received forgiveness that is available in Jesus, but there was no justification.

    If we try to justify behaviour based upon perceptions, what is it that keeps us from killing others with means not mentioned in the Bible, just because it doesn’t mention those means? Cars, radios, televisions, iPhones, etc., aren’t mentioned in the Bible, and yet any of these things, used improperly, can lead to sin.

    Don’t look for loopholes, look for Jesus.

  39. I think your husband is right, HisQueen. The research (that is not politically-motivated) suggests the same thing: a lack of bond with the same-gendered parent, a history of sexual abuse, or sexual violence can all contribute to a same-gendered attraction and the feeling of gayness that “has always been there.”

    I’m so grateful for your testimony of healing – we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony!

  40. Reading this post and the comments of everyone has been a huge eyeopener for me. I clicked on the link with a tinge of fear, knowing that I did not understand this issue enough, and not looking forward to the possibility of my foundation being shaken. Haha, I’m glad I kept reading though. Foundation shakers are so good, because you know Christ is fixing the cracks so that He can build an even more magnificent building (life) on top of it.

    Listening Star, let me see if I can share some things that might be helpful to you. I cannot speak directly to the issue of Homosexuality, but as I’ve learned in the above comments, I’ll treat it as a sin, the same as any other sin that the Lord hates (because he does HATE all manifestations of sin). My father’s family shunned one of my uncles when he married his cousin and it’s something that I’ve wrestled with until recently, was the way they handled it Godly or not?

    There are a few different layers to this question. You are quite right in all that you have mentioned about God’s judgment on him. Have you noticed why God is so harsh with Christians who continue in their sin? Because He loves His sheep, His church, sooo much, He wants to protect them from falling away. As I read the language that Jude (all of Jude) and Peter (2 Peter 2) and Paul (1 Timothy 6:3-10) use, I realize that I wouldn’t be able to write it here without inflaming many people. If you care what it says, you’ll read it. It sounds like you’ve already read them yourself Listeningstar.

    But it doesn’t stop there. For sure we need to listen to God and distance ourselves from Christians who think their sin is harmless or ok. It is dangerous because they can sway Christians who are not firmly set in God’s ways. So if there is danger to your younger siblings (prayer and seeking after Christ will show you that) then it seems right to ask your brother to stay away (although that would be something your parents should do as it sounds like your whole family are “deep Christians”). If your family is confident that everyone concerned is safe in Christ, then by all means spend as much time with your brother as possible!

    This is what Paul told Timothy about dealing with Christians who are teaching false doctrine, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Everyone who said love is our goal in the comments above is absolutely right. Jesus want us to go, eat with sinners (i.e. liars, prostitutes, homosexuals, gossipers, Muslims, atheists and gluttons, just to name a very few). BUT! Guard your ways, and protect the brothers and sisters in Christ that are under your charge, lead them in the way of righteousness and don’t let them fall under the influence of false teaching. It’s very dangerous.

    Christ’s power is incredible. We underestimate it so often. He commissions us to operate by that power and seek and save the lost. If your family is not strong enough to minister to your brother, it’s ok, God understands and wants to keep you close to himself. But if you are strong enough to keep the faith, by all means keep your brother close and show him how much you love him and how much Christ loves him.

    1 Tim 6:13-16, I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

  41. I just wanted to share a quick story with you! I have a friend whose daughter actually sounds a lot like your brother. She was a very strong christian growing up and camp counsler all of that as well. She moved away after college and basically walked away from God and the church to live the gay lifestyle. She was in that lifestyle for 8 years and thru much prayer and much heartbreak for her within that lifestyle she is now come full circle and is back in church with many friends walking her thru without condemnation! She I believe was delivered because of consistent pray of friends and family for all those years! This particular friend of mine also has a son in the gay lifestlye as well they have not given up hope for him but I know it is very hard Dont give up hope God can turn it around to use it so powerfully in his life. I personally dont know how my friend was able to cope with at one point two children in the lifestyle. Anyways just dont give up hope. I know God can heal it might take years but he can do it!

  42. This is such an amazing dialogue. And thank you, Spicy Nutmeg, for clarifying your views on gay Christians. Someone close to me growing up, who I initially hurt badly with my reaction to his coming out, considers himself one. I know several others who do as well. Currently, they are unrepentant for their actions and deceived into believing that this is their identity and it is immobile. But despite this, I refuse to treat them like second class anything…including second class Christians. I have some pet sins I have been known to chalk up to being part of my identity too..and that is just as wrong. Ever heard someone who behaves rudely say, “Yeah I’m blunt, I tell it like is, and that’s just how I am?” But it’s not “just who you are” – it’s called cruelty, and it’s a sin. Ok, it’s not a mirror image to homosexual behavior, but there is a parallel there if you remain unrepentant and consistently attribute it to your personality.

    In regards to your experience at the park…I agree, churches that do that are not edifying the kingdom of God with their actions. On a similar, but thankfully not as extreme note: One of my primary issues with my Bible study teacher is that he’s constantly railing about how gays shouldn’t be allowed in churches. Because THAT’s going to help them want to change, right?! Wrong…so right now, I’m praying for him – daily – to begin speaking the truth IN LOVE. He is becoming the worst kind of cliche in terms of his teaching and preaching teetering on gay bashing…it fulfills all of the world’s stereotypes about Christians; and in today’s social/political climate, none of us can afford to be that ignorant. Because of what Scripture says, I have no choice but to believe that homosexual acts are sinful; but as others here have said, I don’t believe that this sin trumps all other sins. I would appreciate anyone’s prayers in dealing with this circumstance, as I want to maintain the relationship and influence a change in his attitude. We are family friends and it’s becoming a serious obstacle in the relationship, at least on our end.

  43. Listeningstar, I too had a brother who was gay. He was a spiritual example to me and my siblings! It hit my family hard when he came out of the closet. I ask you not to give up on him! God can do miraculous things! I told my brother that I would always love him even if I did not approve of his life style! We were able to still have a brother sister relationship! God does not give up on people and I do not believe he asks us to give up either! My brother is now in heaven with our Lord and Savior! He returned to God after being diagnosed with brain cancer. It was a tough road but God brought him back to us and Him through the tough battle we all faced together! God calls us to love Him and to love people! I will pray for you and your brother! I hold deep understanding to what you and your family are facing. I pray God gives you the peace you need in this time in your life! Hang in there Sister he needs you more than anything right now! God sees the bigger picture and nothing is too big for Him!

  44. You are right soon2bhis, yes she still loves her child … just as God still loves us. However, what about a mother that allows this behaviour … over and over and over … what has her actions said to her wee one … by constantly “allowing” and “re-allowing” this behaviour. Does God “allow” and “re-allow” … or do we, as His children, reap what we sow …. and if this is truly a spiritual law, than shouldn’t this child also reap what he sows … at this point, correction isn’t a matter of not loving …. its a matter of, “not” loving, if you don’t correct the behaviour before it becomes …. habit.

  45. i choose it

  46. gee, i think that was a typo … i did choose it … it was revealed to me just before I was saved … that it was sin; that i wasn’t “born” that way; it was because of sexual abuse that had been buried deep in my memory and held hidden from me, by God, until i was almost 30 years old.

  47. I think this is a great discussion, and this is the first time I am admitting to any forum something.

    I am living life the way God intended. I am woman married to a wonderful man and I would not have it any other way. This goes to say that when I was nine( about the time when homosexuality was starting to be a big political issue), I was scared that I might be gay. I know, nine-year-old, what on earth? But I remember thinking, wow that girl is pretty–and I think that is all one could need to psyche themselves into believing that is who they are meant to be.

    My point is this: though I could see how leading a depraved lifestyle could happen so easily to some people, I have been so convicted by the Spirit that this is such a transgression I could never act on it, nor do I dwell on the prospect of doing it (my temptation is very very minuscule, but to say I have never been tempted in any form whatsoever is a lie –thank you Satan for whispering in a young child’s ear), and it makes me sick to think I would have any inclination towards it, but there it is. I know that if I could open up to people in real life, who I am friends with and know they struggle with this sin, it might be enough to convict their own hearts and turn them away from their evil lusts.

    Also, I do not have any idea whether it was due to my environment or my genes, but I feel that for whatever reason it was brought up in my life, it gave me absolutely NO right to violate God’s Will.

  48. but who’s job is it to correct them? yours or God’s? when do i have a right to ‘correct’ another adult? if they ask me my opinion or give me any kind of in, i will completely and honestly share the gospel with them in love, but to force them to listen to my ‘correction’ when it’s not wanted will only turn them off to the gospel! you can’t force people to stop sinning, they have to want and choose to stop. if you sincerly believe God is telling you to say something than do it, but i would recommend following the voice of the holy spirit very carefully when you want to minister to a homosexual.

  49. I totally agree with this blog. Although I think homosexuality is far more gray area than we understand. Black and White answers rarely is truth in the full reality of God. We must take into consideration the times that homosexuality in Sodom and Gamorrah was heavily associated with rape, which is bar far more damaging and evil that two men loving eachother. That makes a lot more sense when considering Paul’s and the Lord’s condemnation.
    I do think homosexuality is a sin but Isaiah says all our good works are like filthy rags (literally translated as “menstral garments.”)

    I think that it would be of benefit to watch the documentary “For The Bible Tells Me So.” Its very educational and eye-opening. Although take into account the secular influence and mindset and remember we do not have to make decisions or take stances on things like these because God already has for us and is the judge. As this blog so amazingly says, love them. Jesus will never condemn those whole-heartedly seeking him, but lead them unto his heart.

  50. Just for the record, the only time I used reference to Sodom and Gomorrah in this article was to say “Sodom and Gommorah are examples of people who just didn’t care about God’s laws…and God destroyed those cities…. ” and also quoted from Jude. (Jude 1:7 “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”) What are you referring to in your comment?


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