Well, the time has come that I sit down and begin a discussion on the very difficult topic of Same Sex Attraction (SSA). It’s difficult for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s not talked about a lot in the Church so it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s also something that makes a lot of Christians uncomfortable so it’s hard to be honest about it. Because the majority of Christians, myself included, believe that God has establish that proper expression of sexual pleasure ought to be between one man and one woman in marriage, we often approach the questions surrounding SSA with a lot of judgement. It’s also a point of heavy contention between Christians and much of our society. The idea that it would be realistic for someone in the church to be struggling with this is embarrassing to a lot of Christians and the conviction that homosexual acts are sinful is offensive to those who support gay rights. The whole discussion is wrought with struggle and strife between the two sides. But I must take the time to discuss it, and here is why. These are excerpts from several emails we have received over the last little while.
I am a Christian and I am in a really great marriage with my husband of many years. How is it that I would struggle with attraction to other women? It’s not something I want and I avoid the attraction as much as possible but when it’s triggered, I’m reminded it’s still there. The thorn in my side. Is this a topic you could discuss? Bisexuality or attraction to the same sex?
I am married to a wonderful man and have wonderful children. However, I have a very serious struggle. I’ve had it for most of my life and it makes me feel good, yet very ashamed. The struggle is, that I find myself sexually attracted to other women, and I don’t know how to stop it. It makes me feel ashamed and unsaved at times. I try to figure out how this started. There are only two possible triggers…1) being molested by a woman, at a young age, and 2) seeing my share of porn on the past. Could you please try to address this issue? I’d like to have a healthy view of sex before God, and my husband. Thank you.
I have a history of bisexualism and have had bisexual tendencies since I first saw beautiful images of naked women in magazines that I was not supposed to see at a very young age, 8 or so…. I struggle with the tempation of being with another woman.
These women are having a very real struggle between their flesh and what they know to be true about God’s plan for sexual pleasure. Just so you know where I am coming from at the outset of this discussion, this is my conviction about homosexuality. A person who is prone to be sexually attracted to someone of the same gender is encountering a temptation for sin. I do not believe that most people choose to have same gender sexual desires, although bi-sexuality is becoming something of a fad so in some cases I do believe people choose it. I believe that a lot of different factors can influence a person to have very real struggles with SSA that they are not choosing to have, but what I believe is a choice is how the person responds to the struggle. For those who choose to embrace these desires as part of their identity and pursue a gay lifestyle, which I do not agree with, it does not give me licence to forfeit on the command to love. So while I am convicted based on the whole of Scripture that homosexual acts are sinful, I am equally convicted that the higher command is to love. And while I do not accept homosexuality as a legitimate expression of godly sexuality, I do not believe that it should be looked upon as so much worse than others in the church who struggle with marital fidelity, pornography addiction, or even selfish greed and malicious speech. They all tarnish the Bride of Christ and those in the body who struggle with these things need the Church to come along side and create an environment where people are safe to take ownership of their sin so that they can deal with it. I know that people on both sides of this contention-filled issue of gay rights are going to disagree with some aspects of my point of view, but it is my conviction nonetheless.
That being said, where do we go from here in this discussion? What is the solution? I am going to include an interview next week as part of this series on SSA, but in the meantime I want to end this introduction by presenting some questions for you to ponder and interact with.
1. Do you have people in your life who struggle with this or who have embraced homosexuality for themselves?
2. What would you do if you found out that someone in your church congregation was struggling with this?
3. If you found yourself feeling an attraction to someone of the same gender, what would you do?
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