Are you saying being Gay is a sin? If this is so I would imagine a Gay person would find this prayer offensive. Being Gay is not a sin. Unlike your lesbianfriend I am finding it hard to respect your right to believe homosexuality is a sin – have you posted on this topic – it would be helpful if you could point me to it if you have….thanks.
Thanks for your questions and comment, Tapman. While I have mentioned homosexuality as being a sin I haven’t made it a central focus of this blog. Why? Because the principal emphasis of the life of any Christian should be examining one’s self, loving and sacrificing for others, and pointing everyone to Christ. I have my own sin to keep me busy, that’s is for sure. And I strive to have the thrust of this blog be one of spurring Christians to reach out to their gay neighbors without compromising God’s truth. Also, we are not to judge those outside the church (1 Cor 5:12-13). This is a discussion to be had among Christians.
Since you are a Christian, and there are many Christians who follow this blog Iet’s talk this through. There is great diversity among those who have experienced same-sex encounters and who consider themselves gay. So let me make an important distinction. Same-sex attraction alone is not sinful. It is likely the product of brokenness (with possible biological factors) brought on by the choices of others (peers, parents, abusers) and inflicted on the one struggling with the attraction. (See “Aren’t People Born Gay?”) Much of the time the attraction is completely unwanted, and certainly nothing that the person has chosen. If someone within our churches is brave enough to reveal that they wrestle with same-sex attraction, they should have arms thrown about their neck and pulled more deeply into fellowship. They should have the heart and listening ear of the pastoral staff and others in the congregation. While this certainly is not everyone’s experience, I read about a gay man who felt that with each genuine non-sexual friendship encounter with other men in his church, his sexual attractions toward other men dimmed. But whether or not that attraction fades, they need and deserve our love.
EVERY Christian experiences temptation (desire for something that doesn’t belong to us or that isn’t good for us) and most Christians will experience sexual temptation at some point. Initially, we don’t get to choose what we are attracted to (though repeated sexual experience does reinforce attraction). It is an involuntary response to certain stimuli. For example, when a large-busted waitress in a low cut shirt bends over to hand my husband a menu, he doesn’t choose to be attracted to what he sees. But he can choose what he does with that temptation. This is where the line is drawn between attraction and lust (sin). Should he allow his eyes to linger and replay the image in his head later? Or does he turn and look at me and say “Holy cow. This is going to be a difficult dining experience,” and then take measures to limit the temptation when she brings the drinks, and the food, and the check. (He did #2, by the way.)
So while same-sex attraction is not a sin, homosexual behavior is a sin. Those who try to get around that definitive declaration within scripture have to perform textual and interpretive acrobatics. You can find some who will explain away each reference to homosexuality in scripture using dubious methods. But an honest and educated reading of the text informed by the original language will reveal what a simple reading in English plainly states: God is opposed to any sex outside of a heterosexual marriage. The Rev. Tom Brock of Minneapolis, a celibate gay man, said that the church’s role is to call sexual sinners, including sexually active gay people, to repentance. ‘To tell people that you can impenitently live in sin and just be fine with the church is not a teaching of the New Testament.’
Those outside of the church get to make their own decisions about the way they live. Our responsibility toward them is to love them and to demonstrate what life with Christ looks like. However, those who are serious about following Christ will lay everything at His feet including our sexual desires.
While a biblical worldview will reject the narrative that homosexuality is a positive variation of human sexuality (which is so often how it is presented in the media) true Christianity also recognizes that immeasurable worth of every person- gay or straight. A true disciple of Christ will be the first to stand up for a teen being bullied, make her best meal for her lesbian neighbors when they are sick, and will open the door of her heart wide to her gay family member. While these two concepts seem to be in paradox, true Christianity will do both.
I struggle. I struggle with being harsh with my children, trying to control my husband, wanting to keep my money for myself, and exaggerating to make myself look good (among other inclinations). I have to repeatedly confess these things to God, my husband, and my close friends. To have these feelings is not in and of themselves sinful. But allowing these tendencies to drive my decision-making IS sinful. For me to say that God approves of any of the above is simply twisting what God has plainly forbidden in scripture. Like everything else in my life, these propensities have to come under Christ’s lordship. They may never go away, but they will rule me less and less as I mature.
I want to close with a quote by Bryan Magana from his post “I’m (kinda sorta yeah nor really) gay.” If you have a few more moments, read the entire post. Bryan is amazingly vulnerable and full of hope.
So am I gay?
Here’s the problem: it’s hard to cram a whole conversation’s worth of cultural context, theological concepts and personal convictions into “yes” or “no.” For Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction, the answer is really “yes and no.” Yes on the surface level (being attracted to the same sex) and no in the truest sense (as a new creation in Christ). So if someone asked if I’m gay, the best answer is “Kinda sorta yeah not really.” It’s a complicated answer. But so is the question.
A more important question to answer is one that Jesus asked Peter: “Do you love me?” My answer is yes. A thousand times yes! By the grace of God, my love for Christ is greater than my attraction to men. Love enables me to pursue holiness rather than homosexuality. Love compels me to serve God rather than my own selfish desires, however “natural” they may seem. Jesus makes singleness, celibacy and everything else that comes with same-sex attraction worth it. Indeed, the life I’m choosing to live can hardly be called a sacrifice…
God help me to live with the same purpose, passion and abandon.
Also see “Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality”