Homosexuals are people who are sexually attracted to those of their own sex. While the term gay commonly refers to homosexuals of both genders, female homosexuals are often referred to as “lesbians.”
Homosexuality is a very complex problem and one that is greatly misunderstood by a large segment of society. Homosexuals defy stereotyping; not all homosexuals are effeminate men or masculine women, although some do manifest such characteristics. Homosexuality is practiced at all levels of society. A significant number of homosexuals are found among those who hold responsible positions in business, industry, the professions, and government.
Although there is increasing militancy among homosexuals, resulting in an open defense of their lifestyle and the formation of gay organizations and campaigns for gay rights, millions among them still live a double life due to societal pressure and intolerance. Fear of discovery becomes an obsession and a heavy load of guilt may be carried by those who realize the moral implications of the practice.
The serious student of the Bible cannot dismiss homosexual behavior simply as an alternate lifestyle. Nor can it be argued that homosexuals were “born this way” or that such behavior is an illness. While God does not love the homosexual any less than He does anyone else, such behavior is a departure from the natural order of His creation. Though most homosexuals feel that they have not chosen their sexual orientation, the fact remains that many have responded improperly to this orientation; it is this response which must be dealt with in the light of Scripture.
The Bible speaks clearly of what constitutes a proper sexual relationship:
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
“As for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it” (Genesis 9:7).
“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:3–4, NIV).
These Scriptures show the dual purpose of the sexual relationship: It seals the marriage bond between a man and a woman, and it perpetuates the human race. The family, consisting of father, mother, and children, is at the very heart of God’s established order. It is the basis for society, and families are the greatest strength of any society. (One should not assume, however, that every person is going to marry and reproduce. Celibacy and singleness also have a part in God’s order.)
There are also many Scriptures that show God’s disapproval of homosexual behavior (see “Scripture,” below). The Bible includes homosexual behavior in lists of sins along with such things as adultery, fornication, prostitution, and lust. It is not to be singled out as a “special sin,” especially offensive to God beyond any other sin. God deals with all sin through the cross. On the other hand, however, homosexual behavior should not be singled out for special leniency either. It is only as we are willing to confess our sin that God is able to deal with it.
The church cannot condone the lifestyle of homosexuals nor encourage their involvement as unrepentant sinners in the life of the church. On the other hand, however, it should not try to pretend that the problem does not exist. It should address the problem honestly and realistically, in love and understanding. It is not God’s will that anyone should be bound by homosexuality. His grace is sufficient to bring victory to those who are willing to submit this area to Him. The church needs to take the initiative in encouraging the homosexual with this message.
It is a source of encouragement that many homosexuals report being transformed through the power of the Gospel, even though some of them may never be completely free from homosexual tendencies or temptation.
Paul, in writing to people who had been involved in homosexual behavior and many other types of sin, says, “There was a time when some of you were just like that but now your sins are washed away, and you are set apart for God, and he has accepted you because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you” (1 Corinthians 6:11, TLB).
Paul’s words should give us confidence in dealing with homosexuals. The only real cure for this problem, as for any type of sinful behavior, is a personal, intimate, continuous relationship with Jesus Christ. This relationship is an ongoing process of growth and change. Sometimes it can be a painful process, punctuated by relapses and discouragement. Such setbacks should not lead to a sense of despair or to the thought that it is not worth the effort. The Christian’s fellowship with Christ is maintained on the basis of 1 John 1:9, with confession of sin resulting in immediate renewal of our ongoing relationship with Him.
In anticipation of witnessing in this delicate area, you should examine your attitudes toward the problem. If you are not objectively and genuinely able to offer God’s love and grace to the homosexual, you should refer the inquirer to another Christian.
Three situations are likely to arise:
• The family member who has just learned that a loved one is a practicing homosexual and asks, “How can I live with this? What should I do?”
• An individual who admits to being a practicing homosexual and seeks help. Frequently a homosexual will want to talk without revealing the problem, or will try to cover up. Sometimes the subject will be obliquely approached, such as, “I have this friend . . .”
• A Christian who struggles with homosexual feelings and temptations, but who does not engage in homosexual behavior.
If the Family Is Facing This Problem:
If the caller is trying to deal with the homosexuality of a loved one, advise him or her to:
1. Not panic, but ask God for the grace to accept the situation, however difficult.
2. Keep the “love lines” open. We must love as God loves us all—in spite of what we struggle with.
3. Avoid condemning or putting down. This only results in antagonism and loss of communication.
4. On the other hand, don’t condone the homosexual practice or rationalize it. Don’t reinterpret the Bible in accommodation.
5. Take a firm but loving stand with Scripture as he or she firmly and gently witnesses to the person involved, using the Bible as a sword, not a club.
6. Commit the loved one to God in faith (Proverbs 3:5–6). God sometimes permits us to live through a crisis situation in order to sharpen our dependence on Him.
7. Try not to live with bottled-up emotions. He or she might want to confide in a Christian friend and learn to share concerns and disappointments. A Christian prayer partner is a great resource.
8. Be prepared to persevere with hope if the situation doesn’t change immediately.
If the Inquirer Is a Practicing Homosexual:
1. The attitude of the helper must be tempered by love and understanding. Often you will be speaking to one who feels lonely, guilt-ridden, and rejected. Demonstrate a sympathetic, caring attitude without being patronizing. Be prepared to dispel the “smoke screens” the inquirer may throw up to hide the real reason for making contact. Do not be intimidated by accusations that “You don’t know what it’s like.” Do not begin your conversation by confronting the individual concerning the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. Opportunities for such discussion will emerge more naturally as you share the gospel – Christian Biblical Counsel: STEPS TO PEACE WITH GOD and various Scriptures.
2. Try to win confidence by encouraging the inquirer: “I am glad to talk with you and will share anything I can to help.”
3. At some convenient point in the conversation, even if you must suggest that other things be temporarily set aside, ask the inquirer if he or she has ever received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Proceed with the gospel – Christian Biblical Counsel: STEPS TO PEACE WITH GOD Reassure the individual that, as in the case of anyone without Christ, the transforming experience of the new birth is the first step to spiritual health: “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3).
4. If he or she responds affirmatively, pray for deliverance from bondage and for a renewal of mind through the Gospel. Encourage being willing to let God change some things in his or her life, whatever the inconvenience and discomfort.
5. Stress the importance of reading and studying God’s Word. It is the source of our knowledge of God and His ways with us. No one can learn to think God’s thoughts apart from the Bible.
6. Encourage the inquirer to establish new relationships after breaking with former associations. This can best be done by becoming part of a Bible teaching church where friendships can be established with committed Christians. Sometimes a singles group is available.
7. For ongoing help, encourage the inquirer to seek professional counseling with a Christian psychologist or a qualified pastor.
If the Inquirer Claims to Be a Christian:
We must realize that many Christians struggle with homosexual attractions, and some yield to temptation.
1. An attitude of love and compassion is needed. Determine to be a patient listener until you have the inquirer’s story.
2. If indicated, share the gospel – Christian Biblical Counsel: STEPS TO PEACE WITH GOD in order to determine if the person has ever truly received Christ as personal Savior and Lord.
3. If you encounter resistance, or if the person tries to justify his or her lifestyle, patiently but firmly present the teaching of Scripture on the subject. Ask how he or she can reconcile homosexual behavior with Bible teaching. No amount of rationalization will change the fact that Scripture condemns such behavior (see “Scripture,” below). He or she must recognize it as wrong and as sin. Confessing it as such before God and turning from its practice offers the only real hope for rehabilitation.
4. Encourage reading and studying the Bible. Assimilating God’s Word will result in a “renewing of the mind.” As thought patterns change, behavior and lifestyle will follow suit.
5. Help him or her distinguish between sexual orientation (unchosen feelings/attractions) and sinful behavior (willful lusts/acts). Many homosexuals feel condemned by God simply for their feelings and temptations.
6. Recommend identifying with a dynamic Bible-teaching church for Christian fellowship, studying the Bible, learning to pray, and worshiping and witnessing.
7. Encourage seeking additional help from a Christian professional counselor or pastor.
NOTE: Encourage homosexuals and their families to also contact Exodus International, a worldwide network of Christian organizations which minister to all those impacted by homosexuality.
Homosexual Behavior Is Sin:
“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 . . . created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 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” (Romans 1:24–27, NIV).
“Yes, these laws are made to identify as sinners all who are immoral and impure: homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, and all others who do things that contradict the glorious Good News of our blessed God, whose messenger I am” (1 Timothy 1:10–11, TLB).
Homosexual Behavior Will Be Judged by God:
Genesis 18–19 (The story of Sodom and Gomorrah; read as background.)
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10, NIV).
The Power of the Gospel to Deliver:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18–19).
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
“There was a time when some of you were just like that but now your sins are washed away, and you are set apart for God, and he has accepted you because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you” (1 Corinthians 6:11, TLB).
“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TLB).
Temptation Can Be Overcome:
“But remember this—the wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation’s power so that you can bear up patiently against it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, TLB).
“For since he himself has now been through suffering and temptation, he knows what it is like when we suffer and are tempted, and he is wonderfully able to help us” (Hebrews 2:18, TLB).
“But Jesus the Son of God is our great High Priest who has gone to heaven itself to help us; therefore let us never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, since he had the same temptations we do, though he never once gave way to them and sinned. So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need” (Hebrews 4:14–16, TLB).
A Renewed Mind:
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—which is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1–2, NIV).
“These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons I can capture rebels and bring them back to God, and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, TLB).
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22–24, NIV).
The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook; World Wide Publications, 1984, 1996
To help homosexuals, see also Change; Forgiveness of Sins; Peace; Overcoming Sin; Repentance; and Sexual Immorality.
1. God condemned Sodom and Gomorrah for their homosexuality. It is sin.
Gen. 18:20–21. And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
2. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed on account of their unrepentant homosexuality.
Gen. 19:4–5. Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”
Gen. 19:24–25. Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
3. The example of Sodom and Gomorrah is given as a warning for people of all ages. God holds homosexuals fully accountable for their sin.
2 Peter 2:4–10.
2 Peter 2:6–10. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries.
Jude 6–7. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
4. God’s wrath is revealed against all of the godlessness and wickedness of men—including homosexuality.
5. Paul describes homosexuality as a wicked perversion of God’s gift.
Rom. 1:26–27. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
6. The wicked—including homosexuals—will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Cor. 6:9–10. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
7. There is hope for homosexuals—God forgives and cleanses persons of this sin.
1 Cor. 6:11. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
by June Hunt
It’s barely past midnight when the luxurious Orient Express becomes snowbound … stopped in its tracks for six days. By morning, an American passenger lies dead in his compartment, stabbed once in the back. As Agatha Christie penned it, twelve people—not who they claim to be—seek to throw the fastidious sleuth Hercule Poirot off track.
Murder on the Orient Express has long been one of the world’s most intriguing murder mysteries: a stranded train … 12 false identities … so-called strangers, yet all 12 had conspired to stab their victim in the exact same place. The victim? The murderer of the Charles Lindbergh baby. All 12 had close ties to the Lindbergh family—nursemaid, chauffeur, family friend—and all wanted revenge. Each adopted a different identity to escape being caught in their crime of murderous passion. If Poirot had followed the many red herrings each of the characters threw his way, the truth would have never been known.
Fiction is one thing; fact is another. If you want to live in the light of truth, investigate yourself: Are you clinging to misplaced passions that have caused you to adopt a false identity? Are you listening to the gay churches, militant groups and political lobbyists that condone homosexuality? Maybe you have come to the wrong conclusion and become another “Case of Mistaken Identity.” If so, you need truth—the Lord’s truth. After all, Jesus said,
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Perhaps you have felt an attraction to a person of the same sex, an attraction that led you to question your sexual identity. If so, you are not alone—this attraction is common for many young people during puberty. For a variety of reasons, these emotions may grow to the point where you feel drawn toward a homosexual relationship—yet in your heart of hearts, that is not what you really want. If your life is lacking peace and joy, don’t despair. God offers you hope as you entrust your life to Him.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
A. What Are the Sexual Paths That People Travel?
God created the sexual relationship for the purpose of bonding between husband and wife, as well as for procreation—the producing of children. Yet throughout history, many men and women have taken different paths from God’s original design for the sexual relationship. These detours have gone in various directions, and rather than leading to fulfillment, they have ended in frustration. But God’s way is always a better way. Instead of confusion, He offers clarity. Instead of conflict, He offers contentment. His plan is to lead you to a guilt-free way of life that is good and satisfying.
“No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”
• A person with a heterosexual orientation has sexual desires directed toward a person of the opposite sex.
• The word heterosexual comes from the Greek word heteros, which means “other, another or different.”
• Straight is an identifying term often used for a heterosexual.
• A person with a homosexual orientation has sexual desires directed toward a person of the same sex.
• The word homosexual comes from the Greek word homos, which means “same.”
• Many people with homosexual desires choose not to engage in homosexual activity and therefore are not homosexuals. (A person who desires to lie but doesn’t is not a liar.)
• A homosexual is a person who chooses to engage in sexual activity with another person of the same sex. Therefore, the word homosexuality refers to erotic activity with a person of the same sex.
• Lesbian is the term for a female homosexual.
• Gay is the term for a male homosexual, as well as being the “politically correct” term for the homosexual community at large. Gay is the preferred term by homosexuals because of its carefree connotation.
• A bisexual is a person whose sexual behavior involves both males and females.
• A bisexual is a person who participates in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
• The word bisexual comes from the Latin word bi, which means “two.”
• A transsexual is a person with an emotional desire to be the opposite sex—to cross sexes—and who feels trapped in a body of the wrong gender. Transgender also means transsexual.
• A transsexual can also be one who undergoes surgery to modify the sex organs.
• The word transsexual comes from the Latin word trans, which means “across.”
• A transvestite is a person who cross-dresses or adopts the garments and often the characteristic behaviors of the opposite sex and who does so for emotional or sexual satisfaction.
• A transvestite is usually not a homosexual or a transsexual.
• A person “in drag” may or may not be a homosexual.
— Drag means clothing typical of one sex worn by a person of the opposite sex.
• The word transvestite comes from the Latin word vestire, which means “to clothe.”
Q “Apart from cultural morality, church doctrine or biblical teaching, does any objective source indicate whether homosexual behavior is positive, neutral or negative?”
Yes. Relating to health issues in the United States alone, objective facts show that homosexuality is painfully negative. According to generally accepted estimates, approximately 2 to 4% of the population is homosexual, yet …
They account for …
• 17% of gonorrhea cases
• 85% of the syphilis cases in some regions
• 42% of new HIV infections
• 55% of AIDS cases
(Only 5% of AIDS cases came through heterosexual contact. Another 22% were transmitted through injected drug use.)
• 9% of homosexual men have AIDS
(Only.03% of heterosexual men have AIDS.)
They are …
• five times more likely to be infected with an incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD) linked to cancer
• very likely to be infected with a STD (One in three gay men have an incurable STD.)
• 50,000 times more likely to be the victim of “love crimes” (being physically abused by a homosexual partner) than “hate crimes”
(Battering victimization occurs in 39% of gay male couples: 22% of gay men are physically abused by a partner, and 5% are sexually abused by a partner.)
They are at a significantly higher risk for …
• eating disorders
• psychiatric disorders
• anal cancer
• substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes)
• premature death by 8 to 20 years
• death by prostate, testicular, or colon cancer
Adolescents are also at a significantly higher risk for …
• using tobacco, marijuana and cocaine before age 13
• having sexual intercourse before age 13
• having sexual intercourse with four or more partners
• being raped
While statistics vary from year-to-year and represent only a snapshot in time, they reveal a timeless picture of the devastating impact of homosexuality. And though these statistics are painfully tragic, none of us should be surprised because God’s Word clearly communicates the negative impact of sexual sin on the physical body.
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
B. What Does the Bible Say about Homosexuality?
Truth is difficult to discern if your mind is clouded with conflicting arguments about homosexuality. The best way to discern what is right in God’s sight is to know the truths of Scripture and to understand the character of God. Your perspective cannot be accurate if you emphasize only one Scripture or only one aspect of God’s character to the exclusion of the others. For example, do you view God only as loving, but with no holy standard for living? Or do you see Him only as your holy judge, but with no compassion for your human frailty? The Bible says, “God is love” (1 John 4:16), which means that His love is directed toward you and every other person He created. But the Bible also says, “God is holy” (Psalm 99:9), and He calls us all to live a holy life—free from all sexual immorality.
“Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”
Q “Is homosexual behavior a sin?”
Yes, according to numerous passages in the Bible. For example, the Law of God states,
“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.… If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13)
Q “Is homosexual temptation a sin?”
No. Temptation is not a sin. Jesus was tempted “in every way,” yet He did not sin; therefore, temptation is clearly not a sin.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Q “Is homosexuality the worst sin?”
No. According to the Bible, if you commit any sin, you are guilty of breaking the whole law.
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10)
Q “Is a person born a homosexual?”
No. Homosexuality is a behavior, not an identity. No scientific study has ever supported the presupposition of a “gay gene” or a “homosexual brain,” which would supposedly determine that a person will be a homosexual.28 The two most important factors that influence whether someone becomes a homosexual are the environment in which the child is raised and the child’s responses to this environment. Thus, no one is born a homosexual. We see that even from the beginning, God created us all—every male and female—in His image.
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’ … God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:27–28, 31)
Q “Is homosexuality ‘natural’ for some people?”
Homosexuality could be considered “natural” just as sin is natural for a sinner. Thus, unnatural behavior can actually feel natural to those with unnatural cravings. The Bible is not ambiguous on this point. It unequivocally states that sexual relations between members of the same sex are unnatural, shameless and a perversion of His creation.
“God gave [those who suppress the truth] 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.… 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.” (Romans 1:24–27)
Q “Why does the Bible state that homosexuality is ‘unnatural’?”
Homosexuality is not physically natural because two people of the same gender are engaging in sexual activities for which they are not anatomically created, whereas male and female bodies fit together naturally. He ordained that “a man … be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This natural fit enables a man and a woman to unite together … to join together … to become one together.
Q “Is it true, ‘once a homosexual, always a homosexual’?”
No. All improper behavior can be changed. Just because a man is presently a thief, does not mean he will always be a thief. He must decide that he wants to stop being a thief, rely on God’s indwelling power, resist the compelling urge to steal and establish a new pattern of behavior. Thus, he is no longer a thief. Homosexuals must commit to stop engaging in homosexuality, rely on God’s indwelling power, receive emotional healing, resist compelling temptation and establish new patterns of thinking and relating. Then the label no longer fits! The Bible makes this point absolutely clear:
“Neither the sexually immoral … nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves … will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)
C. What Does the Bible Say about Believers and Homosexuality?
Every Christian sins. But God in His grace holds His children secure for eternity. Perhaps you are struggling with homosexuality—you still yield to homosexual temptation even though you have truly entrusted your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Will God reject you? No, but realize that God has put His Holy Spirit within you, empowering you to refuse to sin and to live a morally pure life. Do not be deceived—the mere presence of “gay churches” and carefully crafted arguments can never justify a behavior that God calls “immoral.” Declaring right what God says is wrong can never remove guilt from your heart. God tells us to …
“… reject the wrong and choose the right.”
Q “Can a believer in Christ engage in homosexual behavior?”
Yes. Christians are not perfect, and they still sin—although they have placed genuine faith in Christ for salvation. Even the apostle Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).
However … Christians are instructed …
• to run from sexual immorality
“Flee from sexual immorality.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
• to leave their former ways of life
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.” (Ephesians 4:22)
• to form new attitudes about life
“To be made new in the attitude of your minds.” (Ephesians 4:23)
• to become godly so as to be like God in holiness
“To put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)
• to remember their body is a temple of God
“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.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Q “Doesn’t the Bible show that true Christians can lose their salvation if they engage in homosexuality? After all, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 says, ‘Neither the sexually immoral … nor homosexual offenders … will inherit the kingdom of God.’ ”
No. In the very next verse, Paul explains, “That is what some of you were.” The issue is not a loss of salvation. Paul is pointing out that by their immorality they were behaving the way they did before coming to Christ. And then he reminds them of the reason why they can now live differently.
“That is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Q “What happens when a Christian engages in homosexual behavior?”
One of the responsibilities of the Holy Spirit is to convict believers of their sins. Then, if they confess their sin, repent of that sin and do not continue in sin as a lifestyle, they are cleansed and restored to fellowship with God. However, if a child of God continues in homosexual sin, God will bring discipline. His correction is designed to put a wayward person back on a correction course. His discipline may include a lack of joy and blessing or missed opportunities for eternal reward. If the discipline is spurned, the result may be an increased hardening of the heart, sickness and even physical death.
“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep [a term for believers who have died].” (1 Corinthians 11:28–30)
Q “Can a true Christian continue to live in a homosexual lifestyle?”
Those who genuinely ask Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior—giving Him control of their lives—experience authentic salvation. At that point, they are “born again,” adopted into the family of God and made members of the body of Christ. Thus, the Bible says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
The Bible also says an authentic Christian cannot continue to live in sin; therefore, those who become authentic Christians will change their lifestyle … it’s just a matter of time!
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin [as a lifestyle], because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:9)
II. Common Characteristics of Homosexuals
The most frequently used word to describe homosexuality is gay. Ironically, this word is the antithesis of the unhappiness hidden in the hearts of most homosexuals. Although “Gary and Glenda” both call themselves “gay,” neither feels a true gaiety within their heart of hearts. Instead, their childhood woundedness controls their feelings. This pain from their past increases their hunger for love and keeps their homosexual passion alive. Gary assumes he has had these desires since birth and concludes, “God created me this way.” Glenda explains her same-sex attraction, “I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember!” However, they are remembering not homosexual desires, but rather emotional woundedness that carved a deep hole in their hearts. Unless these emotions are healed, Gary will believe he is something he is not … and Glenda will assume that something or someone will fulfill her, but it will not. Without knowing it, they will continue to …
“… [exchange] the truth of God for a lie.”
A. Entrenched Emotions
Those involved in homosexuality feel deeply, yet live painfully. They seek to hide their woundedness; nevertheless, their hearts are not healed. They desperately need to experience the Lord as their emotional healer, for …
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
As long as their hearts are not healed, those like Gary and Glenda will continue to experience the following:
Loneliness and Isolation
• feeling alone and confused
• feeling “weird” and different from others
• feeling abandoned by God and denied a normal lifestyle
• feeling rejected by family and condemned by the church and society
“Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.”
Guilt and Shame
• feeling like a failure in their gender and even poisonous to others
• feeling self-condemnation and the need to be punished
• feeling unacceptable to God and beyond forgiveness
• feeling hypocritical and guilty of the “unpardonable” sin
“My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.”
Anxiety and Fear
• fear of exposure and humiliation
• fear of God’s condemnation and final judgment
• fear of being doomed to a life of sin, compromise or self-denial
• fear of painful consequences and losses (loss of job, influence, ministry, health, relationships)
“My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.”
Anger and Hostility
• hidden anger toward one or both parents
• hidden anger toward authority figures
• hidden anger toward the opposite sex
• hidden anger toward self and God
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Depression and Despair
• unable to override severe self-rejection
• unable to change sexual desires
• unable to overcome a sense of hopelessness
• unable to feel genuine joy
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?”
B. Twisted Thinking
Buried childhood emotions have a way of permeating our adult lives. Ultimately, these unresolved emotions distort rational thinking. Once your heart and mind accept distorted beliefs, accepting the following lies becomes easy.
Common False Conceptions
• I should bury my feelings and try to be perfect.
• I should always be alone because I can’t be trusted with others.
• I should always take care of others and never think of myself.
• I must always be what others want me to be.
• I must think for the entire family.
• I must always be “in control” or everything will fall apart.
• I must keep the person I love happy at all costs.
• I am only good for dirty sex.
• I am helpless, hopeless—a victim.
• I am unable to think for myself.
• I am invisible—like I’m not here—like a nonentity.
• I am always talked about but never listened to.
• I am never allowed to make decisions for myself.
• I deserve to always be punished.
• I deserve to be doomed.
Hurting homosexuals easily adopt a belief system that misrepresents the image of God and twists the truths of Scripture. Therefore, those drawn into homosexuality often think that …
• God gave me a bad deal.
God is unjust.
God is completely just.
“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)
• God is out to punish me.
God will never forgive my sin.
God is willing to forgive all your sins.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
• God doesn’t answer my prayers.
God is so far away from me.
God wants to be near to you.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)
• God doesn’t care about me.
God is not compassionate.
God has great compassion for you.
“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” (Psalm 116:5)
• God hates sinners.
God doesn’t love me.
God’s love for you will never end.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)
• God is always angry with me.
God is an angry God.
God is slow to be angry with you.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8)
• God won’t help me when I’m in trouble.
God doesn’t care about my troubles.
God is your refuge when you are in trouble.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
• God is condemning.
God would never show mercy toward me.
God offers immense mercy to you.
“In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3–4)
C. Distinct Differences
Despite the common denominators of childhood woundedness and faulty thinking, significant differences exist between homosexual men and women. Although there are always exceptions, the following does reflect what is generally different between homosexual males and females.
|Gay Men||Lesbian Women|
|Males who feel a strong physicalattraction toward men …||Females who feel a strong emotionalattraction toward women …|
|• have unaffirmed, unrealized masculinity||• have wounded, rejected femininity|
|• tend to be later born in a series of brothers||• are not affected by birth order|
|• tend to be sensitive and drawn to the arts||• tend to pursue athletics and authoritative positions|
|• experience early homosexuality through sex play or exploration||• experience early homosexuality through “crushes” or romantic attachments with no observable sexual overtones|
|• pursue male affirmation||• pursue female approval|
|• consider themselves homosexuals or “different” by age thirteen or earlier||• don’t consider themselves homosexuals until adulthood|
|• focus on the archetype of masculinity||• focus on one specific female|
|• obsess over the male physique||• obsess over the emotional relationship|
|• tend to be more feminine compared to heterosexual men||• tend to be more masculine compared to heterosexual women|
|• desire masculine type partners||• desire feminine type partners|
|• refer to themselves as gays||• refer to themselves as both gays and lesbians|
|• are more promiscuous (sometimes hundreds, even thousands of sex partners over a lifetime)||• are more codependent (typically between five to seven sex partners over a lifetime)|
|• are less tolerated as homosexuals by society||• are less recognized as homosexuals by society|
|• yearn for a father figure||• yearn for a mother figure|
Q “Why is God against close same-sex relationships? Must we accept the Bible’s prohibition against intimate friendships?”
The Bible doesn’t restrict endearing same-sex relationships. In fact, it would be hard to find any friendship on earth closer than the one between Jonathan and David. Likewise, the apostle Paul did not hide his tender affection for younger Timothy. And John was the “beloved” disciple in Jesus’ life. Ruth and Naomishared an unsurpassed loyalty and love. These intimate relationships were blessed of God because they were neither sexualized nor codependent, but rather were emotionally healthy and sexually pure.
“After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.” (1 Samuel 18:1)
III. Common Causes of Homosexuality
“I remember that once when I slept with a girl friend, I had a strong desire to kiss her, and that I did so. I could not help being terribly inquisitive over her body … I go into ecstasies every time I see the naked figure of a woman … It strikes me as so wonderful and exquisite that I have difficulty in stopping the tears rolling down my cheeks. If only I had a girl friend!”
Are these the private dreams of an inquisitive young boy about to cross the threshold of manhood? To the contrary … they are the secret thoughts of a young girl between the ages of thirteen and fifteen—a young girl who had the very same feelings that many other young teenagers have who struggle through their confused emotions about sexuality. This tender heart was poured onto the pages of a diary in the darkness of her hiding place during the Holocaust of World War II … writings to an imaginary friend from The Diary of Anne Frank.
A. Developmental Stages of Homosexuality
No one believes that the young, precocious Anne Frank was a homosexual. Her story only illustrates the kind of fleeting thoughts that often come with the awakening of new sexual desires during the teenage years. Later entries in her diary describe the love and need for intimacy she felt for a young male friend with whom she shared many of her deepest thoughts.
This raises the question: Why do some make the transition from same-sex to opposite-sex attraction while others become involved in homosexuality? Typically, people are drawn into homosexual behavior because of their responses to their childhood environment.
Yet when sexually broken people face the inner truth about their childhood woundedness—seeing how these hurts set them up to be drawn into homosexuality—they are much more open to receive emotional healing from the Lord and to receive His help to leave the lifestyle.
“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”
Stage One … Disposition
Children enter this world with both a physical heritage and a spiritual heritage. Our physical characteristics come from the dominant genes of our parents. Likewise, our spiritual characteristics come from the dominant traits of our forefathers—whether godly or ungodly. Just as children have no control over their inherited physical characteristics, they also have no control over their inherited spiritual characteristics—however, they are greatly impacted by both.
We are all disposed to sin, some in one way and some in other ways, but this in no way means that a person’s disposition cannot be changed … entirely changed by God. He says,
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
A disposition is a prevailing tendency to act in a certain way under certain circumstances. Some children develop an involuntary disposition to sexual temptation because of …
• sinful sexual patterns or rituals of the parents (In general, the Bible shows the corrupt influence of Ahab and Jezebel on their son Ahaziah.)
“He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, because he walked in the ways of his father and mother.” (1 Kings 22:52)
• a lack of spiritual protection from the biological father, who is designated by God to be the spiritual protector of his family. The Bible says,
“How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.” (Matthew 12:29)
• generational sins passed down from forefathers … children negatively impacted by family sins
“The Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” (Exodus 34:6–7 NASB)
While every child is born with a sin nature (Psalm 51:5), some children have a bent toward certain sins based on their family environment, as well as a weak spiritual heritage that leaves them vulnerable to sexual sin.
“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.… They were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.” (Psalm 51:5; 106:43)
Stage Two … Deficits
An emotional deficit occurs when a child fails to receive the quantity and quality of love needed and therefore fails to develop a healthy self-image (the way we feel about ourselves). The fact that these feelings of emotional deprivation begin in early childhood explains why many homosexuals think they were “born this way.” Within the heart of every child is the undeniable longing and hope for two loving parents, but when that love is lacking, the child’s heart is sickened with “emotional malnutrition.”
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Some children develop an involuntary state of confusion, fear and low self-worth due to …
• an environment where feelings are not allowed to be expressed
• indifference or lack of nurturing by a cold or absent same-sex parent (creating a deep hunger for love from someone of the same sex)
• a fear of or lack of confidence in the same-sex parent (leading these children to reject their gender, thus marring their self-image)
• early childhood trauma (such as sexual abuse, emotional abuse, death of a parent or divorce)
The child lacks the foundation to develop both a positive self-image and a correct sexual identity and thus begins to relate to others out of a deep sense of insecurity.
Stage Three … Detachment
When children feel emotionally deprived of love, they become emotionally detached from those who fail to provide that love. This emotional detachment robs them of forming a positive self-image and a healthy gender identity. While these children become aware of their sexual identity based on their physical anatomy, because of a myriad of wounded emotions and unmet needs, they can fail to fully embrace their God-given sexuality and instead develop a hunger for same-sex love. Thus the real or perceived rejection by mother or father leaves the child feeling emotionally forsaken. This child needs to know …
“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”
The detached child experiences an involuntary isolation from emotions as a result of …
• failure to bond with the same-sex parent
• failure to identify with the same-sex parent
• harboring anger and resentment toward the opposite-sex parent
• shutting down emotionally and blocking the ability to give and receive intimacy
Because of unmet emotional needs, around the time of puberty these children become emotionally focused on their same sex and mistake their emotional need for sexual desire.
Stage Four … Deception
Buried anger within wounded children distorts their reality, creating misleading thoughts about God and blocking their acceptance of spiritual truth. Living with these lies allows Satan to take their impressionable young minds to become captive to do his will. Since these young people are unwittingly deceived, they need a wise, trusted adult to come alongside to gently instruct them …
“… in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
(2 Timothy 2:25–26)
The young person involuntarily gives ground to the enemy due to …
• overpowering and distorted thought patterns dominated by their wounded emotions
• a darkened mind unable to relate to the truths of Scripture
• stored grievances against God and others
• illegitimate ways of getting emotional needs met through same-sex relationships
These young people develop into deceived adults who assume they are powerless to overcome their same-sex preferences.
Stage Five … Decision
Based on their emotional pain and their subsequent involuntary responses to that pain, these deceived young people begin making voluntary same-sex choices in an attempt to numb their pain and meet their needs. However, many homosexuals feel they have not made a choice, since the decision to enter “the lifestyle” is a result of numerous unconscious factors. But they are making a choice.
In reality, they are believing a lie that their needs for love, for significance and for security can be met only in a sexual relationship with a person of the same gender. Nevertheless, the Lord says,
“Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die?”
These deceived young people voluntarily choose homosexual relationships due to …
• a perceived inability to have sexual feelings toward someone of the opposite gender … no matter what God or anyone else says
• a perceived, desperate need to feel loved in a sexual way by someone of the same gender … no matter what God or anyone else says
• a perceived, desperate need to feel significant to someone of the same gender … no matter what God or anyone else says
• a perceived, desperate need to feel emotionally secure with someone of the same gender … no matter what God or anyone else says
These emotionally crippled young people grow into adulthood attempting to fulfill their legitimate needs for love, for significance and for security through sexual intimacy with someone of the same sex. In these relationships their emotional pain is temporarily soothed with pleasure, and their identity confusion is temporarily relieved with confirmation … from those just like them. Many abandon themselves to the lie that their identity is “homosexual,” and they lose hope of ever feeling differently. They view God as either unable to free them from a homosexual fate or unwilling to give them a new heart and a new life. Yet the Lord Himself says,
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
B. What Factors Lead to Homosexuality in Men?
Men do not turn sexually to other men “for no reason.” There are a variety of factors that draw men to seek solace in homosexual relationships. The following three causes most often form the basis for gay relationships among men.
#1 Failure to identify with his weak or absent father while seeing women as undesirable
• Viewing his father as weak and powerless and his mother as overpowering
• Condemning his father for allowing his mother to rule the family
• Recoiling from women because of his domineering, controlling mother
• Fantasizing about sex with his mother to get back at his weak father
• Despising being taken as a surrogate “husband” by his lonely mother
• Retreating from women due to an emotionally detached, absent or alcoholic mother
He unconsciously concludes, Women are not trustworthy or safe. If relationships with women are like this, I’m going to look to only men for love. Because of the emotional void in his life, he is drawn to strong men; thus, he rejects heterosexuality and plunges into homosexuality. This verse in Proverbs could easily apply to these gay sons because they feel emotionally wounded:
“There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.”
#2 Failure to bond with his non-affirming father
• Feeling he can never measure up to his father’s standards of manliness
• Knowing that his artistic, feminine traits are a disappointment to his athletic father
• Envying his athletic brothers, whose maleness is affirmed, while his own maleness is denied
• Resenting being given money or gifts instead of love and affirmation
• Perceiving himself as a failure as a male both at home and among peers
• Leaning on the acceptance of his nurturing mother and sisters because he is rejected by the males in his life
He unconsciously concludes, If this is what my home is like, I’m going to look for a new home. Thus, he longs for a male father figure who will affirm him and give him a sense of significance. The Bible cautions fathers to be careful about their attitudes and actions toward their children:
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
#3 Failure to emotionally attach to a positive, healthy male because of mistreatment or abuse by a significant male
• Resenting his father, whom he views as harsh and rejecting
• Rejecting his father for having an affair and abandoning the family
• Rebelling against a hypocritical father who espouses religious beliefs but fails to live up to them
• Reacting with sexual identity confusion because of sexual abuse by another male before the age of twelve
• Refusing to have a relationship with his abusive, alcoholic father
• Retreating from his own maleness because of hurt and rejection by males in early years
He unconsciously concludes, If this is what being a man is like, I’d rather be like a woman. Thus he despises his own male gender and seeks to find security within the female gender. The Bible says—and this especially applies to a father—
“A man is praised according to his wisdom, but men with warped minds are despised.”
C. What Factors Lead Females into Lesbianism?
Although a variety of factors surround girls who pursue homosexual relationships, there are three basic reasons why they seek solace in same-sex relationships. The following list identifies three causes that most often form the basis for these relationships.
#1 Failure to identify with her weak mother
• Viewing her mother as weak and powerless; living with a victim mentality
• Condemning her mother and becoming competitive with her
• Excelling in athletics and becoming a tomboy, thus hindering the development of her femininity
• Competing with brothers, trying to be more masculine in order to be better accepted
• Rejecting her mother, thus parenting herself, creating a craving for a mother figure
• Fearing men because of her adulterous parent(s), thus leaving her with no acceptable role models
• Assuming the role of an emotional mate to her mother after the loss of her father as a result of death, divorce, infidelity, imprisonment, work separation (such as the military)
She unconsciously concludes, If this is what being a woman is like, I’m going to be like a man, and thus she rejects the female gender and identifies with the male gender.
Because of heartache, she looks for love within a lesbian relationship. The Bible says,
“Heartache crushes the spirit.”
#2 Failure to bond with her non-nurturing mother
• Viewing her mother as harsh and overly critical, feeling she can never please her mother
• Seeing her mother as non-nurturing, feeling she can never be accepted
• Knowing she is a disappointment to her parents because they wanted a son
• Blaming her mother for breaking up the family
• Despising her overachieving mother in contrast to her weak, passive father
• Resenting being treated as though what she thinks, says and does doesn’t matter
• Perceiving herself as an “invisible” child, deprived of being mothered
She unconsciously concludes, If this is what the home is like, I’m going to look for a new home. She detaches her mind from her emotions and slips into a fantasy world where she searches for security from a nurturing surrogate mother. Then she attaches herself to a mother figure who sexualizes their relationship.
The mother who fails to nurture her children is not only unwise, but is also emotionally destructive.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
#3 Failure to be drawn to males because of her abusive father or mistreatment from other males
• Refusing to trust men as a result of an emotionally detached, absent or alcoholic father
• Recoiling from men as a result of sexual or physical abuse by a male
• Retreating from men as a result of hurt and rejection by males, in early years
• Resenting male children who are favored by family members
• Reacting to men in leadership, feeling she is just as capable as they are or more so
• Rebelling against a hypocritical father who espouses religious beliefs but fails to live up to them
• Rejecting her father for his denigration of women
She unconsciously concludes, Men are not trustworthy or safe. If this is what having a relationship with men is like, I want relationships only with women. She rejects heterosexuality and plunges into homosexuality.
A nurturing father is vital in helping establish a daughter’s feminine identity. If male nurturing is lacking, a daughter can become embittered and lack the courage to trust males. The Bible gives this warning to fathers:
“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
D. Cycle of Defeat
Emotional woundedness is the powerful engine propelling the cycle of defeat for “David,” who is trying to leave the gay lifestyle. Even if he becomes convicted by God of his immorality, simply wanting to change will not make it happen. His problem is that, during the stage of detachment in childhood, the connection was cut between his mind and his emotions. Although he acknowledges that homosexual activity is wrong, his thinking doesn’t influence his feelings. Unconsciously, his disconnected emotions desperately demand a balm for his woundedness, thus his emotions continue to rule his decision making. Once he seeks comfort for these wounded emotions through homosexual activity, the cycle begins, and guilt sets in. A sense of shame that brings on inevitable pain quickly follows. Obviously, since he doesn’t want to live in pain, he again seeks comfort in a same-sex relationship that continues to perpetuate the cycle.
The good news is that any cycle of bondage can be broken by God. Divine intervention can begin the process of bringing victory out of defeat.…
“For nothing is impossible with God.”
Q “Can a belief system that was formed in childhood be changed?”
Yes, especially when you uncover and resolve your wounded emotions from childhood. While confronting emotional pain is never easy, it is absolutely necessary. A heart in turmoil needs to hear, accept and then act on God’s truth. When you choose to change your thinking to line up with God’s thinking, your beliefs and even your life will be transformed.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
“I made a major mistake by getting into a gay relationship, but now it’s too late to leave. I made a vow to my partner, and God’s Word says I must keep my vow. I’ve made my bed, now I must lie in it.”
Your reasoning is unsound. Let’s assume you had a six-year-old daughter who promised to drink poison with a friend. Would you hold her to that vow? You know you wouldn’t. Instead, you would try to dissuade her from keeping that vow. As the old saying goes, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Normally, you should be faithful to keep your commitments. But if you make a commitment outside of God’s will, God would never want you to keep that commitment. Instead, you must go to your friend, confess that the vow was wrong, then ask forgiveness. Explain that keeping a wrong allegiance goes against your higher allegiance to God.
“If you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” (Proverbs 6:2–5)
E. Root Cause
The reason we do what we do—even what surprises or disappoints us is rooted in our beliefs. As a child, your experiences produced feelings in you that in turn triggered thoughts about those feelings. Your thoughts created an outgrowth of accurate or inaccurate beliefs. In this way, your feelings about your experiences communicated messages to you about yourself, others and God. The messages you received in early childhood, especially those regarding your value and your sexuality, formed your “belief system.” Beliefs birth behaviors … that is, your beliefs determine your priorities, your choices, your habits and even your “relationship addiction.” But as your beliefs change, over time your relationships will change.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
(1 Corinthians 13:11)
“I cannot change my homosexual identity. Therefore I have a God-given right to experience sexual fulfillment, even if it is with a person of the same sex.”
Right Belief for Everyone:
My sexual identity is determined, not by my desires, but by my body. The reason my sexual desires do not line up with my sexual anatomy is because of my emotional hurts from childhood. But I have a choice whether to allow my woundedness to dictate my sexuality or to seek emotional healing. This healing will allow me to live fulfilled within my heterosexual identity—my true identity, which God says is good.
“Male and female he created them.… God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:27, 31)
Right Belief for a Christian:
My true identity is in Christ, who accepts me and loves me unconditionally. Christ is also living in me, healing my hurts, teaching me truth and changing my choices.
“ ‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.’ ” (Psalm 91:14–16)
IV. Steps to Solution
“Impossible … it can’t be done!” Yet on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister set a new world record for running the mile in less than four minutes. Until then, people believed that breaking the four-minute barrier was impossible, but once Roger proved otherwise, others quickly followed in his footsteps.
In reality, what you believe largely determines what you do. You may sincerely believe that homosexuality is an identity you are born with—some twisted curse of fate permitting no choice. And because of that assumed identity, you may believe you have a God-given “birthright” that gives you license to live the homosexual lifestyle.
However, homosexuality is not an identity, but is rather a behavior … and behaviors can be changed. You may have never known a “Roger” who broke the mental barrier of “once a homosexual, always a homosexual” … someone whose changed life is a testimony to the truth that it is possible for homosexuals to truly change. Whatever you may believe, the truth is: Anyone can change because …
“With God all things are possible.”
A. Key Verses to Memorize
“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:7)
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”
B. Key Passage to Read and Reread
In a well-known city, many people were part of an accepted “church” known for its “sexual freedom”—even to the extent of homosexual and heterosexual excesses. After a period of time a number of these worshipers were both physically and spiritually saved out of this accepted culture of sexual indulgence. As these new Christians sought to live the Christian life, they also experienced a raging, emotional battle between their sexually immoral past and their new commitment to Christ.
They needed warnings about the sexual traps that could so easily ensnare them. And they especially needed to know two realities: first, who they had become in Christ, and second, that their bodies were now owned by Christ. While this group of Christians was from the city of Corinth about 2000 years ago, the same is true today. Every person who has been joined to Christ—anyone seeking to overcome sexual sin—needs to know it is vital to live by faith and not by feelings.
1 Corinthians 6:9–20
Live by Faith, Not by Feelings
|• You were once not going to heaven—but you were headed for hell||vv. 9–10|
|• You were a homosexual offender—but not now||v. 11|
|• You have been washed—fully cleansed of sin||v. 11|
|• You have been sanctified—set apart by God and for God||v. 11|
|• You have been justified—set free and declared righteous||v. 11|
|• You are not to be mastered by anything—the Lord is your Master||v. 12|
|• Your body is meant not for sexual immorality—but for sexual purity||v. 13|
|• Your body is meant for the Lord—and the Lord is meant for your body||v. 13|
|• You will be raised from the dead—God’s supernatural power changes you||v. 14|
|• Your body is a member of Christ Himself—you are a part of Him||v. 15|
|• You must never unite a member of Christ to anyone sexually immoral—that would involve Him in immorality||v. 15|
|• You are one in body with a partner—when you unite yourself to that partner||v. 16|
|• You are one in spirit with the Lord—when you unite yourself to Him||v. 17|
|• You are to flee sexual immorality—including homosexuality||v. 18|
|• You sin against your own body—when you sin sexually||v. 18|
|• Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit—He is now living in you||v. 19|
|• You are not your own—you have a new owner||v. 19|
|• You were bought at a price—therefore honor God with your body||v. 20|
C. First Things First
Most homosexuals feel condemned by the Christian church. Certainly many Christians have been unloving, though they are called by God instead to love and care for everyone … including homosexuals. At the same time, Christians are called to declare God’s truth about sin so that people can turn to God and experience both His forgiveness from their sin and His power to forsake their sin. This is not an unloving condemnation, but rather an offer of hope. God offers His forgiveness along with the power to live a changed life. David, who at one time was involved in the sexual sin of adultery, learned the secret of how to be set free, but more importantly, how to stay free.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
David’s words and life let us know that a life of compromise never brings contentment, but staying true to God’s principles brings peace. The Bible repeatedly presents God’s scriptural standard regarding homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments.
The Scriptural Standard
• “All the men from every part of the city of Sodom … surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’ Lot … said, ‘No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing.’ ” (Genesis 19:4–7)
• “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22)
• “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.” (Leviticus 20:13)
• “ ‘Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.’ The owner of the house … said to them, ‘No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this disgraceful thing.’ ” (Judges 19:22–23)
• “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.” (Romans 1:26–27)
• “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders … will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)
“Biblical morality is no longer the mandate in our contemporary culture. The mandate against homosexuality has changed, just as the mandate for a woman covering her head has changed.”
“If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.” (1 Corinthians 11:6)
A cultural mandate is different from a moral mandate. Cultures change; morals do not. For example, in biblical times, respectable women always covered their heads when going out of the house. On the other hand, prostitutes uncovered their hair in order to attract men. In most cultures today, the practice of head covering is not the custom.
Conversely, biblical morality has never changed. New Testament truth is consistent with Old Testament truth. God’s truth is as true today as it was then. Saying that God’s standard has changed would imply that God has changed. However, the Bible says, “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
D. God Offers Hope
Perhaps you are not a Christian, yet you see a glimmer of hope in God and in the possibility that He could change your life. Your first step to real freedom is to acknowledge that you need God’s forgiveness. Actually, God has already offered you forgiveness and is ready to welcome you into His family. If you will choose to submit control of your life into the loving hands of the heavenly Father and trust Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior—giving Him control of your life—He will forgive all your sins and provide the power you need to overcome the illegitimate sexual desires tearing at your heart. If you have already trusted Christ as your Savior, yet you have continued to steer your own ship, then ask Jesus to chart a new course for you, and let Him be your true Lord—let Him be the captain of your ship.
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
|Prayer of HopeGod, I come to You in confusion, pain and brokenness.
I know that I am living a life that is bringing only misery and guilt, yet I have no power to escape the pull of my thoughts and feelings. I’ve tried to justify my desires, yet deep down in my heart, I know that homosexuality is a perversion of the sexual identity You created for me. Jesus, I ask You to come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior.
I give You control of my life.
Please forgive me and heal me.
Give me the courage to face my past, the desire to forgive others, and the ability to forgive myself.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your enduring love, Your everlasting compassion and Your commitment to help me become the person You made me to be.
I ask these things in the name of Your redeeming Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
“In the past I’ve tried to change from my homosexual lifestyle. Although I’ve just accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I don’t think I can change!”
When you truly have Christ living in you, He begins the change within you. Change is a process that occurs over time for everyone. But change is possible because Christ will conform you to His character. Instead of living out of your former “sin nature,” you are now able to live out of your new nature—Christ’s supernatural nature.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
E. The Birth of Homosexuality
The Formation of Your Beliefs
We all have three God-given emotional needs—the need for love, for significance and for security. If these inner needs were not met in childhood by your parents, you developed beliefs about yourself and God that reflected that painful void, and you attempted to fill your own emotional emptiness. Those who believe themselves to be homosexuals experienced childhood trauma or emptiness coupled with emotional pain that distorted their beliefs about themselves. Based on faulty reasoning, homosexuals believe that their needs for love, significance and security can be met only within sexualized relationships with the same gender.
• Your Need for Love
“I am unlovable.”
“If you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me.”
“Bad things have happened to me—I am bad.”
“I must be loved by someone in order to feel cared for.”
This person enters into an emotionally driven homosexual relationship, trying to cover emotional pain with pleasure and mistaking this relationship for love.
• Your Need for Significance
“I am insignificant.”
“If you really knew me, you wouldn’t value me.”
“I have failed—I am a failure.”
“I must be significant to someone in order to feel valuable.”
This person enters into an emotionally driven homosexual relationship, trying to gain value by attaching to someone who is highly esteemed and mistaking this relationship for significance.
• Your Need for Security
“I am unwanted.”
“If you really knew me, you would reject me.”
“I’ve lost hope in being accepted—I am hopeless.”
“I must find security in someone in order to have stability.”
This person enters into an emotionally driven homosexual relationship, trying to gain relief from identity confusion and mistaking this relationship for security.
How to Break Free
Imagine being locked inside a vault and thrown into icy waters. Inside the vault is a combination lock. You must break the code of the combination lock, open the vault and escape or else you will drown. Similarly, those who habitually engage in homosexuality find their minds locked in a faulty belief system. These beliefs threaten to destroy both body and soul. Realize that with the correct combination you can escape, but first you must crack the code of the lock.
Crack The Code
Your belief system is what you think about your own value, your relationships and your sexuality. Your belief system determines all your behavior. If your thinking is faulty, your findings will be faulty, and then the way you function will be faulty.
The Bible tells you not only that you can change, but also how you can change. The code to the lock is found in Jesus’ words, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).
Jesus is saying that the degree to which you apply His teaching is the degree to which you will experience the truth, which in turn determines the degree to which you will be set free. You will remain in bondage in the areas where you fail to apply truth, and you will experience freedom in the areas where you choose to apply truth. According to God’s Word, what is the truth about you?
• Your Need for Love
“I am unlovable … sex with my gay partner gives me true love.”
Sex with your gay partner gives you true bondage. You are loved … God is love, and He gives you true love.
— Jesus loved you enough to die on the cross for you.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
— Your heavenly Father loved you enough to adopt you into His family.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)
A sexual relationship with a person of the same gender is not love. Love is not sex—sex is sex. Love is a commitment that seeks the highest and best for another person. God loves you in this way and will heal your damaged emotions and give you the ability to develop loving relationships where sex and emotional bondage are not a substitute for love.
“[Love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking.”
(1 Corinthians 13:5)
• Your Need for Significance
“I am unworthy … sex with my gay partner gives me true significance.”
Sex with your gay partner gives you true guilt. You already have worth … God has already established your worth.
— You were worth creating.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)
— You are worth having Christ living in you.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
A sexual relationship with a person of the same gender does not give you significance. You are significant because Jesus put His very life within you and imparted His power to you. He is your source of power and significance.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3–4)
• Your Need for Security
“I am unwanted … sex with my gay partner gives me true security.”
Sex with your gay partner gives you false security. You are wanted.… The Lord wants you.
— The Lord will be your Shepherd through life.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” (Psalm 23:1)
— The Lord will walk with you through life.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)
A sexual relationship with a person of the same gender does not give you security. Your security is found in a love relationship with the Lord that can never be taken away.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Focus on the Positive Combination
• A New Purpose
“I’ll do whatever it takes to be conformed to the character of Christ.” God’s Word says you are …
“… predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” (Romans 8:29)
• A New Priority
“I’ll do whatever it takes to please my Lord.”
“We make it our goal to please him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)
• A New Plan
“I’ll do whatever it takes to rely on Christ’s strength, not on my own strength …
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
— to renounce the homosexual lifestyle and
to regard homosexuality as sin
— to renounce my “mistaken identity” as a homosexual and
to recognize and live out of my true identity in Christ
— to renounce tempting situations and
to refocus quickly on preplanned activities (exercise, hobbies, calling a godly friend)
— to renounce the codependent lifestyle and
to remove myself from codependent relationships
— to renounce old vows to my gay partners and
to renew my vow to God
— to renounce all my sexual sin and
to relinquish all parts of my body to Christ to be used by Him
— to renounce all relationships outside of God’s will and
to restrict my future relationships only to those in His will
— to renounce all “idolatry”—prioritizing my partners above the Lord—and
to repent by giving Christ first place in my heart
— to renounce all pornography—print, film, phone and Internet—and
to resolve to purchase only that which is uplifting and pure in heart
— to renounce my fear-based thinking and
to replace my fear with a new walk of faith
— to renounce my rebellious attitude toward authority and
to rely on Christ as the rightful authority over me
— to renounce any bitterness against God and
to repent by thanking God for the gender He gave me
— to renounce “one flesh” gay relationships and emotional “soul ties” and
to remove every keepsake that keeps me emotionally tied (letters, photographs, clothes, jewelry, gifts)
— to renounce all generational and demonic curses and
to reclaim the ground given to Satan by my wrong choices
— to renounce the “curse of words” spoken by parents and peers and
to receive the blessing of God’s Word that I am washed “whiter than snow”
— to renounce all unforgiveness toward those who have hurt me and
to rid my heart of the “right” to revenge
— to renounce my self-hatred and shame because of my great guilt and
to realize that Jesus died to forgive the guilt of my sin
— to renounce unhealthy responses to my wounded emotions and
to receive emotional healing by working through the pain of my past
— to renounce my misplaced loyalty to gay partners and
to reach out to a godly friend who will hold me accountable each week
— to renounce my obsessive love to those of my same sex and
to return to my first love, to the Lord, who first loved me
— to renounce the lies that I have sincerely believed and
to rehearse the truth by claiming Scriptures to heal my heart
— to renounce my emotional addiction to fantasy thinking and
to reason with God’s Word—lining up my thinking with His thinking
— to renounce the habit of separating my feelings from my thinking and
to restore the connection between my emotions and my mind
— to renounce living with lust in my heart and
to reflect Christ’s heart of unselfish love
— to renounce my habitual sin patterns and
to realize that they relieve my pain only temporarily
— to renounce my unhealthy relationships and
to recognize the emptiness that I tried to fill with them
— to renounce justifying my homosexuality as legitimate and
to readily accept responsibility for my sinful choices
— to renounce the idea that passion should dictate my decisions and
to realize that passion should not rule over principles
— to renounce being a “helpless romantic” and
to resist letting my heart rule my head
— to renounce that I can’t leave a “committed relationship” and
to realize that my highest commitment must be to Christ
— to renounce that I must be loyal to a gay relationship and
to realize that my loyalty is first to the Lord
— to renounce going against the Word of God and
to recite Philippians 4:8–9 when tempted:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.… And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8–9)
“We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
(2 Corinthians 4:2)
A New Purpose + A New Priority + A New Plan = A Transformed Life!
A transformed life is … God’s Gift of Self-Control
Like many thousands of ex-homosexuals who have transformed lives, you too can know and experience this truth:
“Homosexuality was not my identity, but rather the result of my emotional childhood wounds and the choices I made trying to soothe my pain. I can choose to turn from the lifestyle and seek healing for my woundedness—or I can choose to refuse to heal and continue to practice homosexuality. The choice is mine. I choose to persevere, make the right choices and rely on Christ’s strength because He has promised me victory.”
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
F. How to Find Freedom
Freedom never comes easily! History testifies that freedom is won only at great cost … and often that cost is death. Freedom from the bondage of sin has the same price tag. God wants you to stop (die to) trying to meet your needs in your own way. When you personally receive Jesus as your Savior, He comes into your life, and He frees you from both the penalty and the power of sin in your life. You have the victory over daily sin if you follow Jesus and rely on His strength for your every need. Through His Holy Spirit within you, He will meet your needs and empower you to win the war for freedom.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
Face the truth that homosexual behavior is a sin, forbidden by God.
“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.” (Romans 1:26–27)
Realize that you have a Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who sets you free from sin.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” (Luke 4:18)
Eliminate the belief that your willpower can set you free.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Exchange your lack of control for Christ’s control by yielding your body to Christ.
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:11–14)
Depend on God to meet all your emotional needs.
“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Open the door to healthy relationships, and close the door on homosexual relationships.
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning.” (1 Corinthians 15:33–34)
Maintain an eternal perspective and a focus on godly priorities.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
G. Formula for Freedom
All addictions have one thing in common: a magnetic attraction to do what you shouldn’t, even when you’ve told yourself you mustn’t!
The stronger your focus is on the negative—I must not think about Chris, I must not call Chris, I must not be with Chris—the stronger your desire to do it! In other words, know that …
“The power of sin is the law.”
(1 Corinthians 15:56)
The way to begin changing your behavior is to “accentuate the positive.”
• Focus on God’s love for you.
— Recognize the Lord’s everlasting love for you. He said,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
— Respect how wonderfully God has made you. Although David had sinned sexually and sinned greatly, he said,
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)
— Respond to God’s call on your life.
“God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
• Own your negative emotions.
— Allow yourself to feel your old emotions.
— Recognize which emotions are connected to past pain.
— Choose to reject the control your emotions have had over you.
— Pray for God to break the bondage to your childhood emotions.
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
• Refuse to act on your emotions.
— Refuse to be drawn in and obsessed when irrational emotions surface.
— Tell yourself “truth” when negative emotions push you toward inappropriate behavior.
— Put the truth into your heart by memorizing Scriptures such as Proverbs 29:11; Ecclesiastes 7:9; James 1:19–20; Psalm 4:4; Philippians 4:19; Romans 6:11.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
• Make forgiveness your priority.
— Confirm the emotional pain you’ve experienced.
— Confess your anger and unforgiveness as sin.
— Choose to forgive those who hurt you in the past, even if you don’t feel like it.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)
• Understand your triggers to sexual temptation.
— Identify what makes you vulnerable to sexual desire.
— Take responsibility for your own past failures.
— Avoid anything that stimulates sexual temptations (erotic books, movies, videos, magazines, people, places, circumstances, thoughts).
“Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” (James 1:14)
• Embrace your true identity.
— See yourself as a dearly loved “child of God.”
— Accept yourself and the gender God made you.
— Choose to be the person God created you to be.
— Learn your own likes and dislikes.
— Refuse to do that which makes you uncomfortable.
— Concentrate on pleasing only God.
— Hide God’s truth in your heart by memorizing 1 John 3:1; Romans 6:4; Isaiah 43:1; Ezekiel 36:26–27; Philippians 1:6.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
H. How to Establish Your True Identity
Deep in their hearts, most people know that any sexual deviation from God’s standard is wrong. Yet if you are that person experiencing the pain of sexual confusion, guilt and shame, you want relief! Taking on a new homosexual “identity” may bring temporary relief if your sexual deviation becomes “who you are” instead of what you do. It gives you an out by allowing you to say, “I didn’t ask for it, but this is who I am.” After all, who can fault people for being who they are and for doing what characterizes who they are? It would be like faulting a cow for chewing its cud and mooing. Additionally, finding a counterfeit group with whom you can temporarily relate helps cover part of the emotional pain. But it camouflages truth with deception, and ultimately offers destruction. God in His goodness conveys truth and offers spiritual restoration, giving you a new identity in Himself and working in you to produce behavior natural to that identity.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
• Renounce your false identity as a homosexual, and affirm your true identity as a child of God and a cherished possession of Jesus Christ.
• Choose to be who you are in Christ, and fight to be that person through praying, quoting Scripture, daily announcing who you are in Christ and putting on the armor of God.
• Refuse to identify with sin or addiction, and reject sinful thoughts by renouncing them and replacing them with prayer and praise to God.
• Pray against ungodly responses, and stay away from people and places that would draw you back into your false identity and former lifestyle.
• Journal daily in order to reinforce your identity as a child of God and to identify and deal with buried painful emotions.
• Establish firm boundaries between yourself and other people, and refuse to merge with them emotionally or otherwise.
• Speak up when people hurt or offend you, and do not give in to attempts by others to manipulate you through shame, guilt or anger.
• Choose to accept your body with all its unchangeable qualities and characteristics given to you by God.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
I. Common Questions about Homosexuality
Q “I really love my homosexual partner. How can I hurt someone I love so much by leaving the relationship?”
Selfless love always seeks the highest good for the one who is loved. If you really love someone, how can you bring God’s condemnation upon that person?
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” (Proverbs 27:6)
Q “My husband says he loves his family, but he still plans to leave us. Is his reasoning sound? He says he must be true to his homosexual inclinations.”
No. He needs to be true to his marital covenant. Desires that are forbidden by God are never to be followed; Eve should not have followed her desire to eat the forbidden fruit. One of Satan’s chief tactics is to deceive us by persuading us that our desires are never to be denied, but should always be satisfied. Nothing could be further from the truth. Desires contrary to God’s design must be perceived as enticements to sin and must be rejected. Our desires do not define who we are. God has defined who we are. We all experience inclinations and desires contrary to God’s will; however, we are called to be on guard and not to give in. Your husband is not to break faith with you, but rather is to keep his covenant vow to you.
“Guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” (Malachi 2:15)
Q “After marriage and children, I realized I was gay. I can’t give up my male sexual partner. A homosexual man is who I am.”
Your thinking is wrong. You are a married man who, according to God’s Word, is a “homosexual offender” rather than a “homosexual man.” You made marriage vows to a woman—pledging to be her lifetime partner—in an exclusive heterosexual union. Whether your temptation is to have sex outside of marriage with a woman or another man is irrelevant. The issue is not homosexuality or heterosexuality, but integrity. The core issue is your personal covenant to be a man of integrity. Through Christ you can give up any sin and walk away from any sinful relationship. Be faithful to your commitment—keep your marriage covenant—and align your thinking with God’s thinking.
“The Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.” (Malachi 2:14)
Q “Our son wants to bring his homosexual partner to our home for the weekend, but he won’t come unless they can share the same bed. We love our son and want him to visit us, but we feel hurt over his homosexual lifestyle. Should we compromise our Christian commitment in order to show we still love him?”
You are right to have “house rules” that honor God and line up with His rules. As God’s “ambassadors” and as responsible parents, you are called to obey God’s Word and to line up your decisions with His decisions. Your first priority must be to please God, not your son. You could say to him something like this:
“Son, you know we both love you dearly, so our love is not in question here. The truth is that we love you too much to participate with you in something we consider to be harmful to you. You know we consider our home to be God’s property, and our house rules do not allow anything displeasing to Him. We want to be with you. It would break our hearts not to spend time with you. We hope you want to see us too and that you will decide to come by yourself for a few days. Or, if you would like, your friend can stay in the guest bedroom, and we will extend to him every courtesy. Son, please know that we will never reject you.”
“We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
Q “Our daughter says that unless we accept her homosexuality, we don’t accept her and don’t love her. We do love our daughter, but we cannot condone her homosexual activity. Must we accept her lifestyle in order to prove we love her?”
No. Your daughter has bought into the lie that being homosexual is her identity—she believes the word homosexual defines who she is—rather than describes something she does. Therefore, she has wrongfully concluded that if you reject her homosexuality, then you reject her. If you make your decision based on the lie she is believing, you would be unwittingly validating that lie. If your daughter told you she was a dog because she could bark like a dog and that you didn’t love her unless you let her sleep in your doghouse, you wouldn’t buy into her inaccurate reasoning. Instead, you would talk with her about her erroneous conclusion and present information to support your position. You could say something like this, “Honey, the truth is I do love you and want a relationship with you. The truth is also that you are engaging in behavior forbidden by God that I cannot support. These two truths are not contradictory.”
You are faced with the same dilemma God has with the entire human race. He loves us, but He cannot accept our sinfulness—thus, the need for the cross. Jesus came to show us our sin and to show us His love. That is now your challenge with your daughter. Love her on God’s terms, not her terms. Speak the truth to her in love and do not compromise the values that could lead to her healing. Remember, it is truth—not love—that will set her free, but it is love that will open the door to truth.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Q “I was violated as a child and later became a lesbian. Now how can I stop other females from trying to pick me up?”
Once boundaries have been crossed in childhood, it’s typically difficult to establish proper boundaries in adulthood. Realize that God made you female, and that is good. If you do not want to be identified as a homosexual, you will need to evaluate such issues as your clothing, the way you carry yourself and your body language. The key is learning to be feminine without sexualizing your relationships. Select someone you would want to emulate and elicit that person’s help in changing your appearance. Beginning now, practice saying, “I am uncomfortable with your actions, and I am not going to be picked up by anyone.”
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” (Matthew 18:15)
Q “I want to give up my lesbian lifestyle, yet my girlfriend won’t leave me alone. I still have feelings for her, and she is making it very difficult for me to stay true to my Christian convictions.”
If you sincerely love her, you will seek her highest good. According to the Bible, homosexuality is not God’s best for her. Her highest good is that she stay away from anything that would bring God’s disfavor on her. The same truth applies to you. If she truly loves you, she will not pressure you to do something that violates your conscience and leaves you guilt-ridden. Tell her you are not rejecting her, but are rather rejecting homosexuality. Let her know that you care about her too much to continue involving her in what is not right and what will bring disaster to both of you. True sacrificial love will be blessed by the Lord.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
Q “Why should I be concerned about legalizing gay marriage since it won’t affect me or my family? Why not let them have their homosexual marriages and we will have our heterosexual marriages?”
The reason for concern is the imminent impact of gay marriages in three arenas: family, spiritual and personal.
The Family Arena
• Because a man and a woman are different and distinct from one another, they complement and complete each other physically, emotionally and spiritually.
• One of the purposes for marriage is to produce children. Only a husband-wife marriage provides a “natural” way to produce children—the uniting of a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg within her womb.
• The male/female marriage was designed by God to produce and rear children in the ways of the Lord. A same-sex relationship leads to confusion for the children, for it does not give a proper example, nor does it prepare them for their future mate and family.
A marriage relationship between two people of the same sex cannot be blessed by God—it is physically impossible for homosexuals to become “one” physically in order to produce children because their physical anatomy makes such marvelous oneness utterly impossible!
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ ” (Ephesians 6:1–2)
The Spiritual Arena
• The Bible describes marriage only as a union between one man and one woman, not just a commitment or a contract or a sexual relationship between any two consenting adults.
• The Bible describes Jesus as a bridegroom and Christians (the church) as His bride; therefore, the marriage relationship between a man and a woman represents our relationship with Jesus.
• God designed the husband (man) to be the loving leader of the wife (woman), as Jesus is the head of the church. A same-sex relationship cannot show this headship pattern.
“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)
• The marriage relationship between two persons of the opposite sex is a picture to the world of the coming together and the union of two opposites—God and His people, the Creator and His creation.
A marriage relationship between two people of the same sex cannot be blessed by God. It is physically impossible for homosexuals to represent the dichotomy (the two different parts that make a whole) within the spiritual relationship that Jesus has with every believer—the bridegroom and the bride. (Read Ephesians 5:22–33.)
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ … Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:18, 22)
The Personal Arena
• God has declared that homosexual activity is a sin. Legalizing sinful behavior does not make it less sinful and does not lessen the consequences of that sin.
• God defines marriage as a relationship reserved only for one man and one woman. To go against God’s design can only cause confusion and lead further away from His perfect plan for our lives.
• The person trapped in the homosexual lifestyle does not need a license to descend into deeper bondage through a same-sex marriage. Rather, this person needs earnest prayer and practical help to become free.
• Those who decide to stop living as homosexual couples do not need another hurdle—the hurdle of obtaining a divorce—when they decide to walk in the freedom Christ offers.
The marriage relationship between two people of the same sex cannot be blessed by God merely “in the name of freedom.” When marriage is redefined in the name of freedom, who is to say that marriage must be limited to two people rather than to three or more? Or why not broaden marriage to include polygamy and marriage to immediate family members? Or why not marriage to an animal or marriage to a child? The truth is: We are never free to redefine marriage when it conflicts with God’s holy standard. To redefine marriage against God’s standard hurts the individual and can lead them further into the bondage of sin.
“Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ ” (John 8:31–32)
Therefore, here are some of the reasons you should be concerned about same-sex marriages:
• They are in direct opposition to God’s established guidelines for how we are to live our lives.
• They are diametrically opposed to what God says constitutes marriage and the family.
• They are a trap to further ensnare men and women into a sinful lifestyle.
• They are a vice, making it harder for gays and lesbians to leave the lifestyle.
• They are a counterfeit, distorting the plain truths of God and promising fulfillment that will never come.
• They are a means for the “father of lies” to deceive people.
Don’t fall into the enemy’s trap or be deceived by his counterfeit logic. Take God at His Word and live according to His way.
“The man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25)
J. How to Help a Homosexual
Why do we extend a helping hand to the alcoholic or to the prisoner, yet shun the homosexual? Is there some inner fear or personal inadequacy that condemns and judges this particular sin more than others? God hates all sin, yet He still loves the sinner. The Christian who has the compassion of Christ will extend compassion to homosexuals without condoning their lifestyle. Be available for God to use you in the life of a homosexual as the link to His love and power for victory.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
• Harbor no judgmental attitude toward a homosexual.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
• Hear what is being communicated without interruption.
“[There is] a time to be silent and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7)
• Have unconditional love and acceptance for this special creation of God.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)
• Head the person toward intimacy with God.
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
• Help the person to see that their true identity is in Jesus Christ.
“To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
• Hand the person specific Scriptures to memorize.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
• Hedge the person with the protection of God through prayer. (Satan knew that God had put a “hedge” around Job.)
“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.” (Job 1:10)
• Hold the person, not yourself, responsible for change.
“Each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
Helpful Hints for Family and Friends
No matter how confused or adamant your homosexual loved ones may be, or how inadequate you feel when trying to help them, continue to reach out to them. God will not let your efforts go unrewarded.
“If one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
Handle difficult, painful conversations calmly and avoid overreacting.
• Create an atmosphere where your loved ones feel the freedom to be completely open with you.
• Don’t communicate condemning attitudes or personal embarrassment.
• Don’t take action that would cause alienation, but rather offer hope and encouragement.
• Communicate your love both verbally and physically, and know that a warm embrace communicates a heart of love, not license to sin.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
Empathize with their pain and take seriously their struggle.
• Realize they have been tormented by conflicted feelings that have led them to wrong conclusions and wrong interactions.
• Listen to them, realizing that they may believe their homosexual orientation is unchangeable, and suggest a joint effort to become educated on the subject.
• Resist the notion that you have been betrayed by them, but instead respect them by extending genuine sympathy and compassion for their feelings.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
Let them know in tangible ways that you accept them.
• Understand that they did not ask for their homosexual feelings and only when they give in to them in thought or action do they sin.
• Give unconditional love and acceptance to help them overcome their fear of rejection—especially if they want to share what they may have never told anyone before.
• Do not focus on their sin but focus on their need to be understood, to feel accepted and to have healthy same-sex relationships.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)
Present their need to reject their identity as being “homosexual.”
• You may say, “Reject the lie that you are a homosexual—that homosexuality defines your identity. Let’s work on this together.”
• Lovingly and gently convey the truth that although the word homosexual describes how they have felt, in actuality it describes not who they are, but how they have related.
• Acknowledge that, while we tend to label people by their habitual behavior, their God-given nature is not the nature of a homosexual. There is a huge difference between temptation and behavior—between struggling and sinning.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5)
Freely identify with them by becoming transparent and vulnerable.
• Confide to them some of your own personal weaknesses and struggles, revealing your own human frailties.
• Demonstrate that you care and can feel with them by being vulnerable about your own hurts and by having a dialogue with them, rather than delivering a monologue at them.
• Identify with their pain as you relate to them about your own pain, and ask open ended questions such as, “How long have you been struggling?”
“Mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)
Uphold their dignity by relating to them as persons.
• Remind yourself that your loved ones have not turned into strangers that you don’t know, but are the same persons you have always loved.
• Look at them through God’s eyes of love, and view them as valuable people who need love, truth and compassion.
• Reject the idea that your loved ones have suddenly become perverted, but know that they are people who are believing a lie, people who are being driven by childhood woundedness and misdirected emotions.
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Look to Jesus and rely on Him and on His victory over evil.
• Realize that there are powerful spiritual forces working to destroy your loved ones, and commit to learning biblically rational and compassionate responses to gay arguments that condone homosexuality.
• Pray with other family members or friends that the Lord’s truth, love and redemption will flow through you to your loved ones.
• Expect your patience and love to be tested by your loved one’s frustration and anger as well as by the lies that come from the homosexual community.
“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
|“I gave God all the refuse of my life—all the anger, hatred, murder, slander, lesbianism, bitterness, resentment, judgment—whatever—and He took it and turned it into rich fertilizer for others’ lives. You see, in God’s wise economy, there is never a wasted time in our lives. God will work it all together for good. As one of our dear sisters said recently, ‘God showed me He will turn my incest into incense.’ Hallelujah for such a God!”—Joanne Highley
Let’s assume that at one time you had been a criminal, but later your heart changed and you became a law-abiding citizen. Yet now a prosecutor puts you on trial for being a hardened criminal, asserts that you can never change and seeks to lock you away for life. Later in the trial your legal advocate proves through DNA that the current accusation against you is false. Ultimately, the judge declares the charge against you as “a case of mistaken identity”—and you are finally set free!
If at one time you engaged in homosexuality, but later yielded your life to Christ, you need to know the truth: You are not a hardened homosexual. You may have had an accuser saying, “You can never change.” In light of the testimony against you, you may have bought into that lie. But just as DNA never lies, the Bible never lies … and the Bible states that many homosexuals have changed (1 Corinthians 6:11). In fact, your Advocate summons a parade of witnesses who were once homosexuals—but now they are not. And in his closing statement, he declares that you were once a homosexual, but now you are not! Finally, your righteous Judge declares the charges against you “a case of mistaken identity”—and you are gloriously set free! Now live in the light of your new identity and walk in the light of your newfound freedom.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
|Biblical Answers to Arguments on Homosexuality|
|How can two people who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who minister in the name of Jesus, who teach the Word of God and who worship from the heart be on opposite sides of a moral issue—an issue that the Bible addresses? How can one person adamantly say that something is natural and right, and the other vehemently state that it is unnatural and wrong? The answer is quite simple: people interpret the Bible differently, and people see “truth” differently. The practice of homosexuality has polarized many. Where can the answer be found? What is truly God’s heart on homosexuality? Every person needs to pray, “Lord, teach me the truth … and teach me to correctly handle Your Word of Truth.”“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)
“God prohibited homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22, and yet in the same book He also prohibited eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:10). Since Christians today eat shellfish, the Old Testament laws concerning homosexuality must no longer be valid either.”
Some people teach that God instituted the Old Testament dietary law for the health of His chosen people in order to provide protection from illness during their difficult journeys. (For example, if not properly prepared, shellfish can cause hepatitis, pork can cause trichinosis.) Others teach that the laws were a way to separate themselves from their pagan neighbors and to stress holiness. Nevertheless, all dietary laws were repealed by Jesus, who, in Mark 7:19 declared all foods clean. However, the ban on homosexuality was never repealed, only reinforced.
“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made … for adulterers and perverts [homosexuals] … and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:8–10)
“The Old Testament laws regarding homosexuality were laws that pertained to ritual purity, not moral behavior.”
Two main passages in the Old Testament that prohibit homosexuality are Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. Neither chapter discusses ritual purity; however, both chapters give general prohibitions—prohibitions against incest, child sacrifice, bestiality, adultery and homosexuality. Neither chapter connects homosexuality with pagan rituals as the reason for prohibiting homosexuality.
“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22)
“The city of Sodom has been unjustly slandered in the Bible. The men from Sodom wanted to get to know Lot’s guests for the purpose of hospitality, not homosexuality.”
According to the King James Version of the Bible, the men outside Lot’s home wanted to “know” his guests—but with such force that they almost broke down the door. Lot called this act “wicked.” (Read Genesis chapter 19.)
A nearly identical event occurred in Judges 19:16–28 when men came to an elderly man’s home and demanded, “Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him” (Judges 19:22 KJV). Like Lot, the man refused. However, because they insisted, he sent out his concubine instead. The result? “They raped her … throughout the night” (Judges 19:25 NIV).
The Hebrew word for “to know” in both of these passages means “to have intercourse with.” In fact, the New International Version translates these passages “to have sex with” rather than “to know” because the sexual meaning is obvious.
Sodom was certainly known not for its lack of hospitality but for its wickedness. (See Genesis 13:13; Isaiah 3:9; Jeremiah 23:14.) Ultimately, God destroyed the entire city because five righteous people could not be found (Genesis chapters 18 and 19). The Book of Jude clearly states that the sin of Sodom was “sexual immorality and perversion” (Jude 7).
“The New Testament teaches that the Mosaic Law has been done away with; therefore, the law against homosexuality is no longer applicable. Adults should be sexually free to do what they want.”
Although Christians are no longer under the Law of Moses, according to Romans 6:14–15 and Galatians 3:24–25, the Holy Spirit unmistakably inspired numerous New Testament writers to continue to condemn homosexuality as sin (Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 and 1 Timothy 1:8–11).
“Since Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, He did not consider it sin.”
Although Jesus did not directly address the topic of homosexuality, four points must be considered. First, Jesus never endorsed homosexual union, only heterosexual. Second, in Matthew 19 Jesus spoke of only the male-female relationship as God’s intention for marriage. Third, He preached celibacy as the only alternative to heterosexual marriage. Fourth, even though He repealed other laws, Jesus never repealed the ban on homosexual behavior.
“Love is the main theme of the Bible. If people are loving one another, then homosexuality can’t be wrong.”
Love is a significant theme of the Bible as seen in John 13:34 when Jesus said, “Love one another.” The issue is not the rightness or wrongness of “loving one another,” but rather is whether the expression of that love puts you into opposition to God’s definition of love. The Bible makes it clear, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
While the Lord tells us to love one another, He also tells us that homosexuality is sinful behavior. We cannot pick and choose which of God’s commands we will follow and which we will reject—we must accept all that God commands. Sexual expression is expected between a husband and a wife, but is forbidden between individuals of the same sex. God’s command is not burdensome to those who love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
“It is obvious that David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship.”
First Samuel 20:41 says that David and Jonathan “kissed each other and wept together” … and for good reason! They had been longtime friends and had just learned that Jonathan’s father, Saul, planned to kill David because David’s popularity threatened King Saul’s power over the people.
In the ancient world, the kiss was a common friendly greeting. Both Paul and Peter often encouraged believers to “greet one another with a holy kiss” (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 1 Peter 5:14). This greeting was not a sexual kiss. Likewise, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss (Mark 14:44). Men kissing men was commonplace.
Even today it is quite customary in non-American cultures, such as those in France, Russia, Iraq and Iran, for men to kiss each other as a form of greeting (similar to the American handshake).
“The apostle Paul held views that were dated and that related only to his culture. Therefore, Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality is culturally irrelevant today.”
Paul’s view of homosexuality is not based on an outdated view of human sexuality that “just happened to fit” within his culture. Paul’s view is based on his accurate understanding of God’s previous commands about sexual expression. Paul agreed with the Law of Moses that God condemns homosexuality (1 Timothy 1:8–10). Paul also recognized that God’s original intent for sexual expression was between a married man and woman (Genesis 2:24) and that homosexuality is a deviation from God’s original design (Romans 1:26–27). Ultimately, the Bible’s prohibition of homosexuality was not merely temporary, but morally timeless.
“People are more important than rules and regulations. Loving people should be our highest priority, whether it is through a homosexual relationship or not.”
In the first of the Ten Commandments, God clearly stated, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). If you are more important to your friend than God, then you have taken a place that only God should have.
“God is a God of love, and He would welcome someone having a loving homosexual relationship. The Bible says, ‘Love one another, for love comes from God’ ”(1 John 4:7).
It is true that God is a God of love. First John 4:16 says, “God is love.” The Bible also says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” A perfectly logical God would not encourage all forms of sexual expression (such as marital infidelity, incest and homosexuality) when He has stated numerous times that those are sinful—those actions are contrary to His moral character. God’s command for you to love will never contradict His call to sexual purity.
“The church has not shown love for homosexuals, but rather has shown condemnation and hatred toward them.”
In many situations this is true. A Christian should have a heart of compassion toward homosexuals, focusing on their unmet needs while still upholding biblical principles. While believers are also told to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), many have miserably failed to express kindness. However, the church’s failure to show love does not nullify the truth of God’s principles—obviously two wrongs don’t make a right. The church’s lack of compassion does not change the fact that God looks upon homosexual behavior as immoral.
In truth, Christ is willing to forgive anyone for anything, but He also declares to the one who is immoral, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11).
“Shakespeare said, ‘To thine own self be true.’ A married man who comes to grips with his gayness—to be true to himself—should be able to get a guilt-free divorce.”
There are two problems with this premise. First, a person is never called to give himself to a lie. The truth is that he is designed by God to be a heterosexual man who needs to come to grips with his emotional woundedness, which is drawing him into homosexuality. And second, a man who is true to himself is a man who keeps his word. A marriage commitment is a covenant that lasts for a lifetime. As a married man, if you are true to yourself, you must be a faithful marriage partner until death—not until divorce. Your solution is not divorce, but is rather deep healing.
“ ‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.… So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” (Malachi 2:16)
“Since there are many gay churches, homosexuality must be sanctioned by God.”
Don’t be deceived. Sin always seeks a respectable face, and what better face than that provided by the sanctuaries of churches! Many homosexuals seek sanction from a condemning society and solace for their troubled souls by claiming God’s commendation of their lifestyle. These gay churches are sadly deceived because God’s position on sin never changes. He does not condemn homosexuality as wrong or unnatural at one point and later commend it as righteous or natural. There is no right way, right place, right circumstance, right condition or right time to do what is wrong!
“Reject the wrong and choose the right.” (Isaiah 7:15)
“It is cruel and unfair to expect me to change my homosexual orientation … because change is impossible.”
God never calls you to be holy and pure without giving you the power to be holy and pure. First Thessalonians 5:24 says, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” What is impossible in your own strength is entirely possible in His strength. Luke 1:37 affirms, “Nothing is impossible with God.”
With grateful appreciation to Joanne Highley and L.I.F.E. Ministry
Arterburn, Jerry, and Stephen F. Arterburn. How Will I Tell My Mother? A True Story of One Man’s Battle with Homosexuality & AIDS. Nashville: Oliver-Nelson, 1988.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2001. Vol. 13, no. 2 (Year-end edition), 2001. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats/hasr1302.pdf (accessed August 12, 2003).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS Update: A Glance at the HIV Epidemic, n.d. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/facts/ wsw.pdf (accessed June 23, 2003).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2001 Supplement: Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP) Annual Report—2001, October 2002. http://www.cdc.gov/std/GISP2001/GISP2001Text&Fig.pdf (accessed June 23, 2003).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tracking the Hidden Epidemics: Trends in STDs in the United States in 2000, n.d. http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/Stats_Trends/Trends2000.pdf (accessed June 23, 2003).
Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook, 2003. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html (accessed August 13, 2003).
Cole, Sherwood O. “Biology, Homosexuality, and Moral Culpability.” Bibliotheca Sacra 154, no. 615 (1997): 355–66.
Crabb, Lawrence J., Jr. Understanding People: Deep Longings for Relationship. Ministry Resources Library. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987.
Dallas, Joe. Desires in Conflict. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991.
Dallas, Joe. A Strong Delusion. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1996.
Davies, Bob, and Lori Rentzel. Coming Out of Homosexuality. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993.
Dotinga, R. “US: 1 in 3 Gay Men Have Incurable STD.” March 6, 2002. http://uk.gay.com/headlines/1923.
Fowler, Richard A., and H. Wayne House. Civilization in Crisis: A Christian Response to Homosexuality, Feminism, Euthanasia, and Abortion. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988.
Frank, Anne. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Translated by B. M. Mooyaart-Doubleday. New York: Pocket, 1953.
Gagnon, Robert A. J. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. Nashville: Abingdon, 2001.
Garofalo, Robert, R. Cameron Wolf, Shari Kessel, Judith Palfrey, and Robert H. DuRant. “The Association Between Health Risk Behaviors and Sexual Orientation Among a School-based Sample of Adolescents.” Pediatrics 101, no. 5 (1998): 895–902.
Glenn, Gary. “Homosexual ‘Love Crimes’ Pose 50,000% Higher Risk of Violence than ‘Hate Crimes.’ ” March 15, 2001. http://www.afamichigan.org/releases/20010315a.htm.
Greenwood, Gregory L., Michael V. Relf, Bu Huang, Lance M. Pollack, Jesse A. Canchola, and Joseph A. Catania. “Battering Victimization Among a Probability-Based Sample of Men Who Have Sex With Men.” Am J Public Health 92, no. 12 (2002): 1964–69.
Help for Parents and Friends. New York: L.I.F.E., n.d.
Highley, Joanne. “65 Roses, Emeralds, and Compost Pile.” Words of Life, November 1992, 1–2.
Highley, Joanne, and Ronald Highley. Life Ministry Counselor Training Syllabus. New York: Living In Freedom Eternally, n.d.
Hogg, Robert S., Stephanie A. Strathdee, Kevin J. B. Craib, Michael V. O’Shaughnessy, Julio S. G. Montaner, and Martin T. Schechter. “Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men.” International Journal of Epidemiology 26, no. 3 (1997): 657–61.
Hunt, June. Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
Hunt, June. How to Forgive … When You Don’t Feel Like It. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
Hunt, June. How to Handle Your Emotions. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.
Hunt, June. Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.
Ketterman, Grace. Depression Hits Every Family. Nashville: Oliver-Nelson, 1988.
Laumann, Edward O., John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and Stuart Michaels. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Life Ministry. The Best of Words of Life. New York: L.I.F.E., forthcoming.
Lutzer, Erwin W. The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Need to Know About What’s Really at Stake. Grand Rapids: Moody, 2004.
McGee, Robert S. The Search for Significance. 2nd ed. Houston, TX: Rapha, 1990.
Moberly, Elizabeth R. Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic. Cambridge, England: James Clarke, 1983.
Petrov, Anne. “10 Things Gay Men Need to Know.” January 2, 2003. http://www.gaywired.com.
Sailer, Steve. “Interview: Stereotypes of Homosexuals.” August 23, 2002. http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20020823–120858–6977r.
Sandfort, Theo G. M., Ron de Graaf, Rob V. Bijl, and Paul Schnabel. “Same-Sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders: Findings From the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS).” Arch Gen Psychiatry 58, no. 1 (2001): 85–91.
“Study: Gay Men at Greater Risk for Eating Disorders.” April 15, 2003. http://www.gayhealth.com.
Thomas, Randy. Interview by June Hunt. Hope In The Night, June 18, 2004.
Valleroy, Linda A., Duncan A. MacKellar, John M. Karon, Daniel H. Rosen, William McFarland, Douglas A. Shehan, Susan R. Stoyanoff, Marlene LaLota, David D. Celentano, Beryl A. Koblin, Hanne Thiede, Mitchell H. Katz, Lucia V. Torian, Robert S. Janssen, and for the Young Men’s Survey Study Group. “HIV Prevalence and Associated Risks in Young Men Who Have Sex With Men.” JAMA 284, no. 2 (2000): 198–204.
Webb, William J. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2001.
Wilkins, Tim. When Your Child Says “I’m Gay.” Raleigh, NC: Cross Ministries, n.d.
Wilson, Earl D. Counseling and Homosexuality. Resources for Christian Counseling, ed. Gary R. Collins, vol. 15. Waco, TX: Word, 1988.
Wood, Glenn G., and John E. Dietrich. The AIDS Epidemic: Balancing Compassion & Justice. A Critical Concern Book. Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1990.
Worthen, Anita, and Bob Davies. Someone I Love Is Gay: How Family & Friends Can Respond. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996.