As Christians we should be acutely aware of our sinful condition and our need for Jesus Christ. By identifying ourselves by our by our temptations we begin to lose sight of the power in the victory that Jesus Christ won for all of us over temptation at the cross.
Sexual orientation is not a discussion in the Bible, but a psychological definition of sinful persuasions. In fact, sex was not ever intended to be an identity, but a gift of intimacy given to one man and one woman. Nowhere are we told that this group went about identifying as heterosexual and that group as homosexual and so on based upon their sexual desire. This has evolved over time under the influence of sin and our fallen nature.
Sexual sin however, is outlined. Homosexual behavior is one of those sins identified. Clear instruction is provided about same-gendered sexual relations. It is an abomination to God. We are not provided examples of those who simply have the desire, but don’t act on them. We are not given iconic figures of same-sex sexual unions ordained by God. The only examples of the sanctity of marriage are that between a man and a woman.
In an age where everyone is seeking acceptance, it would be crucial as God’s believers to have His approval if we are going enter a sexual relationship between two people and have His blessing. Without such an example we would be putting ourselves at grave risk in His judgment.
God created two perfect people and ONLY two perfect people. So any claim by anyone thereafter stating that “God made me this way,” would be inaccurate. Once sin infiltrated, we were all then stained with a fallen nature. Romans 5:8 says that while we are still sinners, God loves us. However He is not suggesting that we go on sinning.
It is important to note that throughout God’s Word there are only two orientations. Either we are oriented to Jesus, or we are oriented to the world. If I am oriented to food, to sex or to things, I’m clearly going to miss out on Jesus and the orientation He freely offers me.
While you are reading, I am laying the groundwork so that we can conclude the danger that comes from in the world, instead of apart from the world.
Here is a question I believe we can ask ourselves that may provide a great deal of clarity. In coming to Jesus, surrendering to Him, abiding in Him and seeking His forgiveness, how would it benefit me to continue to identify in my past or according to my temptations or desires? Would such an identity have me focusing on self rather than on the victory that Jesus purchased for me?
Why would I confess my sin as a homosexual and accept the redemption that Jesus promises me, yet continue to identify in the sin He rescued me from? In 2 Corinthians 5:17 I am told this: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Wow! What power, beauty and strength there is in be created anew. I’m not bound to my old temptations and desires. I’ve been given the right to claim my freedom in Jesus. But I must keep choosing it from one moment to the next.
Now I didn’t say that now I’m a heterosexual. I’ve just laid the ground level at the foot of the cross. Regardless of the sin temptation, this is where we are all in need of a Savior and His blood to wash us and make us new in Him.
Jesus doesn’t promise marriage to any of us. He doesn’t provide for sex outside of marriage. He doesn’t tell me to seek someone to love the way I want to love and consummate that relationship with sex as I determine as a fitting expression of my love. And He doesn’t tell me to identify by my temptation to do what my fallen nature naturally inclines me to. IE: Orientation due to my sinful nature.
If we as Christians were to identify by our temptations, we would then have multiple segregations within the church. The adulterating Christians could sit in this section and the homosexual Christians in that section, and the gluttonous Christians in this one and the murderous Christians in another. Now some readers would take great offense by associating the sinful desires of one with that of another that seems far worse. However God’s Word makes it clear that all sin is repulsive to Him. And all the previous referenced are sin if acted upon. If I’m tempted to overeat am I a “gluttonous Christian?” If I feel I’m oriented by adultery, am I an “adulterous Christian?” If I’m tempted to have sexual relations with children, am I a Christian pedophile?” Now it doesn’t seem to wise here to identify by our temptations does it?
Today, many are seeking to distract from our need of God through terminology and seeking for loopholes in God’s Word. To me that is a significant sign of legalism. It is here that I would like to offer a word of caution. Sin is sin regardless of what pretty little label we give it. Same-sex attracted, gay, homosexual … they all equate the same thing if acted upon. The resulting behavior is sin. Some would like to say… “Now hold on! If I have love and sex for just one person of the same sex, it’s not the same as if I were having sex with multiple partners.” Are you sure? Is there a verse that you would like to share that shows God’s approval for a monogamous same-sex intimate relationship? Because in all my searching in God’s Word… It’s not there. It still equates sin. It is also part of the many many kinds of sin that Jesus died for. There is no sanctity in a monogamous same-sex relationship if it is sinful in God’s eyes of which I have no doubt. This is simply another ploy by the enemy to separate and segregate and self elevate. We are all still sinners in God’s eyes regardless of how we look at and consider one another.
What’s in it for me to continue to identify as a “gay Christian?” Gay is not even in God’s Word. So how about if I identify as a “homosexual Christian?” Or maybe a “same-sex attracted Christian?” What does this label provide me? What is it saying to those around me? Do I have special rights? Do I get a disclaimer? Am I handicapped? Aren’t we all? Am I limiting God and His power to heal?
Let me continue to be clear by stating that I am in no way stating that repenting gays should claim a heterosexual identity. In fact let me be clear to state that I believe Jesus had no intention of any of us claiming a sexual identity, but strictly an identity “In Him!” Sex was never meant by God to be an identity. Simply a gift of intimacy. Not something that would dominate in such pronounced way in a relationship that He provided … that it would take over as an identity.
Orientation is determined by that in which we fix our focus. If I fix my focus on sex and desire for intimacy, I am going to be oriented by it whether straight or gay. But if I fix my focus on Jesus, instead of being oriented by sex or sexual desire or even companionship, I will be oriented to Jesus and seeking to do His will instead of my own. This is where the importance of abiding in Christ and surrendering to Him must be applied. This is where we begin to recognize the importance of living by His truths, rather than by our feelings or by what we think is owed to us or a given right. Sexual intimacy is a gift, not a right.
Now before you think that I am insensitive, let me be very clear that by not recognizing our sin temptations and doing as James 5:16 asks us to do by confessing our sins one to another and praying for the healing that is promised… whew… deep breath… we are long overdue in acknowledging the silent temptations and fear of judgment from others. We are all desperate for Jesus and should be able to express the temptations we face and struggle with without them taking over as an identity. This is where God’s family needs to come together and surround one another, lifting each other up for healing.
These contemplations should be considered by all, not just those who have had promiscuous relationships. I have been blatantly called out as “broken” and in need of a Savior because of a promiscuous past. But according to the Word of God, I am not singled out. I am lumped in with “ALL” sinners who are in need of a Savior. God’s Word and His bloodshed are universal.
Science and psychology have taken far too much credit for explaining that which is not founded or grounded in God’s Word. Our only hope is in Jesus, not in man. Studies, observations… they should all point back to Jesus and the truth, hope, forgiveness, healing and redemption He offers all of us as sinners. I suggest we drop the labels and recognize that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Through the surrender of our thoughts, desires and temptations that are not in accordance with His Word, He gives all of us the right to claim an identity as a “New Creation” in Him. Anything less than this simply weights me in bondage to this sin sick world. I want my rights to be in Jesus, not in a disclaimer that seems to somehow justify my sin sick condition leaving me in darkness.
Today so many of us are looking around to see what the majority thinks or are saying. Consider that throughout the Word of God, the majority were never right. We must look to Jesus … not to each other and what the current polls indicate. We need Jesus. He promises us a way out of ANY cultivated or hereditary sinful condition. Isn’t that incredible? What amazing love, grace, hope, redemption and healing He offers every one of us!
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