Multitudes today are confused about Gay-related issues. It’s easier to “go with the flow” and steer clear of the intimidation to conform. The P.C. (politically correct) police are ever present.
Because few of us want to be perceived as “backward and bigoted homophobes” (as tolerance advocates often brand those with whom they disagree) or not in step with the “progressive, equality, non-judgmental” mantra, it’s easy to clam up and play it cool (“of course I’m for equality and non-discrimination”). But that’s not an option for faithful obedient followers of Jesus! As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned: “When we learn the truth, but choose to remain silent, that’s when we begin to die.”
Dr Alveeda King, Martin’s niece, told me in an interview for our video project “Is Gay OK? 10 Things Every Christian Needs to Know,” if her uncle were alive today, he would remain steadfast in defense of Biblical marriage and reject attempts to justify immoral conduct as a “civil right.” He’d remind us again of his oft-quoted words concerning the church’s role in society: “The church is neither the master of the state, nor the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”
1. TO CALL ONESELF AN AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN AND REMAIN A PRACTICING HOMOSEXUAL IS A DIRECT CONTRADICTION OF BIBLICAL TEACHING AND CONTRARY TO THE “ABUNDANT LIFE” PROMISED BY JESUS CHRIST.
Just as Christian hatred is an oxymoron, so too is the term “Gay Christian.” God offers forgiveness and freedom through His Son, which is the good news (gospel) of the Christian message. According to the Christian faith, once a person responds to the gospel message in repentance and faith, he or she finds a new start2 to then fulfill one’s destiny in life. Even as Saul of Tarsus - a murderer- became Paul the apostle, great saint and missionary leader, Christianity asserts the God redeems repentant people who may be “homosexuals, adulterers, drunkards, idolaters, or whatever” and transforms their lives! It happened in the “San Francisco” of their day – Corinth, and has been repeated all over the world.3 Jesus Christ didn’t invade human history as the world’s Messiah to merely make our selfish sinful lives a little better and more prosperous. He came to totally transform our lives and not only forgive our sins but free us from its power!
2. PRACTICING HOMOSEXUALITY IS MOST DEFINITELY SINFUL AND CONTRADICTING BIBLICAL TEACHING ON GOD’S ORDER FOR HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS AND FAMILY
We’re aware this is contrary to what some “religious,” “gay affirming” churches and leaders put forth (they reject the authority of the Bible and twist the meaning of passages), but they must be challenged and called back to faithfulness to the truth. The Bible consistently, unambiguously, without exception prohibits practicing homosexuality, and tells us to honor God’s design for sexual behavior between men and women.4 The purpose is that we enjoy a fulfilling sexual experience in marriage and ideally have children as an expression of our marital love. Stating this forthrightly is not “hate speech.” This is an expression of divine love because sinful behavior not only hurts our Creator, but is harmful to us (and others). God gives us laws for our own good!
3. HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT SIMPLY ANOTHER “ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE.”
In the Hebrew-Christian Bible there are multiple times in both the Old and New Testament accounts where homosexual and other immoral activities are explicitly condemned as dishonorable to God and natural order (the way things were designed to work) and destructive to those involved with them. An entire chapter in the Old Testament5 lists certain activities and calls them “detestable,” stating in no uncertain terms: “Stay away!” In the New Testament it uses five terms to describe both male and female homosexual conduct as “unnatural,” “perverted,” “degrading,” “shameful” and “indecent.”6 Not to be facetious, but is that hard to understand? Scripture throughout forbids us to be sexually involved in seven areas: 1. Parents 2. Children 3. Brothers and sisters 4. Another spouse, 5. Animals 6. Dead people 7. Same sex. These never change.
4. ALL OF US ARE BORN WITH A FALLEN NATURE THAT GIVES US A TENDENDENCY TO DO WRONG.
We don’t have to train children to lie, steal, harm others, act selfishly or demand their own way. Having a free will to make choices, all of us are accountable for our own actions. Biology can’t make us do wrong, although circumstances can influence us. To say otherwise leaves people as victims, not responsible for their behavior- a convenient excuse. Like a present day celebrity, married eight years with two sons, who shamelessly committed adultery with a younger country singer then left his wife to marry her. He later told his wife. “It wasn’t your fault. I’ve cheated from day one. It’s just who I am.”
”According to scripture and science, homosexuality has never been proven to be part of someone’s biological constitution so everyone decides his or her lot in life (although all of us are influenced differently). The bottom line: We do express understanding regarding people’s upbringing while not releasing people from taking personal responsibility for their actions.
5. THERE IS A MAJOR DISTINCTION BETWEEN PEOPLE’S BEHAVIOR AND PEOPLE’S RACE.
My black friends can’t decide to become caucausian. My wife can’t decide to become a full-blown man (though today some try!). One is chosen-the other unchosen. Homosexuality is something someone does- not something someone is. Each of us is personally responsible for our behavior (otherwise drunk drivers, rapists and child molesters are “off the hook, “ to play the “victim card”). To confuse this wrongly creates a new “minority” status and special “rights” for a very small segment of the population representing no more than 2 to 3% (not inaccurate, inflated figures of 10% or more).
Note: Even this 2-3% may be less because some cite a prison experience, college experimentation or one-time, drug-influenced encounter as part of “homosexual’ background.
6. THE CAUSE OF HOMOSEXUALITY IS COMPLEX YET THERE ARE COMMON, AGREED UPON CONTRIBUTING FACTORS.
- The person’s self will
- Dysfunctional home environment
- Spousal and child abuse
- Seduction by peers and authority figure (studies show approximately 85% of lesbians were abused or molested and 40% of gay men were seduced or molested by older gay men when they were young boys).
- Media influence
- Absence of a father
- Childhood experience/experimentation
- Confusion about identity/misunderstanding “artistic bent”
7. SOME PEOPLE ARE DEFINITELY MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO HOMOSEXUALITY THAN OTHERS (PROCLIVITY VS. PRACTICE).
Some individuals are “wired” more towards these artistic areas: music, singing, dance, poetry, cooking, clothing-design, hairstyling and painting as opposed to football, baseball, basketball, hunting, wrestling and other athletics. These differences are healthy and make for diversity in the human family. Yet, if a dad who enjoys contact sports ridicules a son who doesn’t, or if a parent doesn’t affirm a daughter’s femininity, a child can feel misunderstood and rejected and most vulnerable to outside, negative influences.
One of my sons was more athletic, the other more artistic. I tried to affirm their bent with unconditional love, while helping both develop their masculinity. Today my oldest son is about to be married and a type A leader running aggressive, political campaigns. My younger son is married for over a decade with two adopted sons and pastor of a thriving church.
8. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DESIRE AND DEED.
Many good people lay in their beds wrestling with “feelings” and fantasies regarding homosexuality. Just because someone is tempted in areas does not mean they are guilty of sexual misconduct. “You can’t stop birds flying around your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair!”
Also, because someone has homosexual desires and states they don’t “feel” there’s anything wrong with acting upon them doesn’t make it right. Objective standards not subjective feelings have to govern our lives or else people can justify all kinds of behavior – pedophilia, rape, or child molestation. Brown University student health plan is now going to cover sex changes (Gender Reassignment) if a girl wants to morph into a male or vice versa! Scriptural standards not experience or feelings must be our guide or the moral confusion will only get worse.
9. WHILE JESUS CHRIST NEVER SPECIFICALLY USED THE TERM “GAY” OR “HOMOSEXUALITY” (HE NEVER USED THE WORDS “PORNOGRAPHY,” “HEROIN,” “INCEST,” OR “SPOUSAL ABUSE” EITHER), HE TAUGHT, MODELED AND CALLED PEOPLE TO LIVE A MORALLY STRAIGHT LIFESTYLE AS ONE’S DUTY TO GOD.
For over 100 years, this is precisely what the Boy Scouts of America has sought to emulate by calling young boys to pledge remaining “morally straight” as their “duty to God” (Boy Scout Oath). If, because of outside pressure, this honorable institution capitulates to allow open practitioners of the homosexual lifestyle as Scoutmaster role models and Scouts, millions believe this will result in the demise of Scouting as a safe-haven preparing boys for manhood.
Gay men certainly can display admirable qualities and dedication but the affirmation of their homosexual identity undermines the Boy Scout mission and oath. Jesus taught “it’s better for someone to be cast into the sea with a millstone around their neck than to cause a young person to be led astray” (see Matthew 9:42 in the Gospels). Additionally, since studies show that homosexual or bisexual men are nearly ten times more likely to molest children than heterosexual men (see Archives of Sexual Behavior – FRC.Org), scores of parents will simply “bow out” and leave BSA to die a tragic death.
10. GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE AND IT IS HIS PLAN TO SEE US CHANGE TO FULFILL OUR DESTINY.
Jesus Christ “welcomed and accepted” everyone but called them to change unrighteous lifestyles – the adulteress, the multi-“lover” Samaritan, the corrupt tax collectors. He said: “Go and sin no more!”7 And when they obeyed, they discovered the same life of freedom, peace and joy available to us today!
11. HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR CAN BE CHANGED AS EVIDENCED BY MULTITUDES THROUGHOUT AMERICA AND IN THE BIBLE.
I personally know a woman who left a lesbian lifestyle after 42 years and a male former homosexual who today is married with numerous children. Organizations helping homosexuals find freedom through compassionate counseling are filled with the testimonies of thousands of real people who really have changed. Consider also high profile celebrities who’ve done likewise.
- Actress Anne Heche left her homosexual partnership with Ellen DeGeneres to marry a man, as did singer Sinead O’Connor when she married Nick Sommerlad.
- Three time MVP in the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) and two time gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes actually did it in reverse! She was married with an 8 year old when she decided to divorce her husband for her “lover” Alisa Scott.
Going from “straight to gay” or “gay to straight” undermines the theory that sexual orientation is inherited and unchangeable. You might call this “inconvenient truth.” California has even passed a law forbidding anyone to counsel anyone until age 18 that change is possible!
Larry Tomczak is the senior pastor of Christ the King Church in Atlanta. He is the author of six books, including Divine Appointments (Destiny Image).
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