Just a few of many questions to be considered in reaching out with God’s love to Gays/Homosexuals
Okay… So here you are reading about offering support and guidance to gays and lesbians. Perhaps you’re a little mystified that it seems to have taken an awful long time to have such information fall into your hands. Believe me, if it seems rare to you, it’s been waited for by many a confused soul for decades. Many have not lived to see this issue get the attention it has been due for so long.
God knows each and every heart and every genuine effort made seeking His truth and to live according to His Word. Why has the heartache lasted so long? Why has it always seemed like there are no answers? Why has homosexuality always seemed to have been the crowning sin? Why have we distanced ourselves from those in such a world of hurt, yet so in need of knowing Jesus Christ?
I was raised in a fundamental Adventist family. I attended Adventist schools for eleven years. I worked in Adventist institutions and attended church regularly. But I found no help for my seemingly natural desire of same-sex attraction. After nearly forty years away from the church, I would like to share with you the light that God turned on for me.
Grin and bear it, true grit and trust and obey have some interesting and common properties. But only in trusting and obeying is there any real relief from Satan’s deceptive attempts at making God look stern and disinterested in us.
I would like to introduce a (questionnaire) if you will, to provide background on the gay person (s) you may encounter.
1. Does God make anyone gay?
Two perfect people were created by God. Adam and Eve. After sin entered both of their lives, a degradation process of sin began, expressed in many human forms. Homosexuality is just one of them. God doesn’t make people gay. It’s an expression of our sinful nature. What He has created in each person is the power to choose when light has been given. Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
2. Is it possible to be born gay?
Science has not discovered a gay gene. But there are prenatal biological influences that affect the fetus which can certainly influence the characteristics and impulses of a child. People also have inclinations that include temper, alcoholism, drug addictions, etc. So it is fairly certain that many are born with same-sex attractions.
3. Do people choose to be gay?
The numbers of those choosing to be gay are probably miniscule. Most all the hundreds of thousands I have met would never have chosen to be gay. There are a few people who come in contact with homosexuality out of curiosity and sometimes boredom. Middle aged men who have lost intimacy by choice or neglect in their marriages have often wandered into homosexuality after having repressed their actions and desires for many years. They reach a point where they believe they would not be found out and therefore begin to search out encounters secretly and live a double life. There are some who find that intimacy with either gender brings them satisfaction and therefore become bisexual. There are many gays who have wished they had physical attraction to the opposite sex, but would consider it an impossibility.
4. Can gays choose to be straight?
I have never met a person who told me that they got tired of being gay, so they became straight. Or that they wanted to see how straight people live, so they became straight. I have known people who were openly gay who have been able to act in a heterosexual relationship, but have been continuously aware of their same-sex attraction or temptation. This is where I think the “grin and bear it” or “trust and obey” applications get put to use. More on this later.
5. When a gay person accepts Jesus and is baptized, isn’t he/she then straight?
No. When a person is baptized, they become a New Creation in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Many people of faith put expectations on those who have been gay and come to Christ. The most common of course is that they then think that this person should or will marry. But the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but holiness.
6. Is it possible to be gay and a Christian at the same time?
While many living a gay lifestyle believe that Christ exists, it does not mean that the teachings of Christ and the beliefs of someone who is gay is congruent, but rather contradictory. Keeping a gay identity is only allowing Christ to have a percentage of real estate in the mind. So the term “gay Christian” is an oxymoron.
7. What does orientation have to do with Christianity?
Everyone is born with a sinful nature. Each person has a pull toward something that Satan tempts us with. But if we claim our temptation as our orientation, a block is placed between us and the capabilities of Christ. Orientation is direction. God indicates that we are either for Him or against Him. Our orientation should be in Christ Jesus. We are oriented to the cross.
I like to think of it as holding a compass and altering our course when we see the arrow is pointing in a direction we hadn’t intended on going. When we alter our direction, we get back on course. We are then oriented toward our final destination. The Bible is our compass and Jesus is orienting our course.
8. What should our attitude be toward practicing homosexuals?
Love. A representation of Jesus. As in all sinners, we must look for what Jesus would look for in the person and connect. The sexual act in that person’s life is only one aspect that represents who they are. Get to know them. Let God shine through you. Let Him decipher their interest in Him. Whether outside or inside of church membership, God would have us nurture a soul. But prior to membership it is important to recognize desire. If there is desire to learn more, to study and to pray about revelation of truth, we must not abandon a contemplating soul.
However, that is not to say, that God may not lead to letting a person know that their desires and beliefs are not in alignment with that of the Bible and the denomination. After much prayer and consideration and time… God may lead in suggesting that the individual seek membership elsewhere. This decision must be under God’s divine guidance and consultation. For instance, someone who is overtly displaying disbelief and the lack of interest in the truth God provides. Flaunting sin and posing a threat to others belief in Christ’s truth.
9. Should practicing homosexuals be baptized?
No. A practicing homosexual needs to acknowledge God’s truth and show his or her acceptance of that truth. God’s forgiveness needs to be sought when one realizes their sinful condition. A genuine conversion must be witnessed. Homosexual behavior is clearly shown as sin in God’s Word.
10. What should be done about people refusing church doctrine, but still coming to church?
God works with souls in His timing. He knows each heart and when the Holy Spirit’s most opportune moment is. As long as there is a desire to listen and to learn, there is hope. A soul may attend church week after week. You don’t know what God is saying to them. If they do not pose a threat in their behavior to other believers, God is still working in that soul’s life. If God does not give up, why would we?
11. Can homosexuality be cured?
Seeking a cure is much like how we look at terminal illness. Everyone seems to want a pill, injection, or magic moment where every trace of the illness is undiscoverable. We are all unique in Christ. We all seek to keep sin in remission. Jesus is our healer. In Him and in Him only are we safe. We will not be completely cured until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. But until that day, we must abide in Him and continuously give our will to Him.
12. How do I know homosexuality is sin?
Throughout God’s Word, every mention of homosexuality is in a negative sense. Not once does our loving Father, direct or advise same-sex intimacy. The God of all time and of all creation, who defines the perfect plan for both man and woman, does not hide His intentions of completeness and wholeness. His intentions of ordained and sanctified unions are clear.
13. How do we handle the sometimes strained communication with the sinner and the churches history or seemingly lack of concern for this “type” of sinner?
There is healing in forgiveness. Holding on to bitterness and wrongs that we have experienced will only keep us from healing. There is healing for the sinner and there is healing for the church.
A slowness and an ignorance of knowing what to do and how to do it, has existed in churches for decade upon decade. This has in many people, only intensified their journey in trying to understand what God asks of them. An apology is clearly in order from the church on behalf of the poor representation of Christ for so very long. As God forgives us, we in turn must be like Him in forgiving one another. Hanging onto grudges and bitterness will itself turn into sin.
A gradual return of those who have waited to see the representation of Jesus and the healing He offers is at hand. We must seek God’s continual guidance and direction. We must listen to one another and to God. He calls each and every one of us to seek to be more like Him. Communication, truth and love must walk hand in hand.
14. After a gay/homosexual person repents to Jesus and takes a stand to live sexually pure for Him, are they still tempted with same-sex attraction?
My experience to date, is that this element of conversion and the Christian life, seems to be one of the most feared topics of the issue.
When Christ came to this earth and took human form, He was tempted to the very end of His life. Such is the case for any sinner and particularly those who have proclaimed their beliefs and victories in Jesus Christ.
Acknowledging our need for Christ and seeking forgiveness for our errors and wrong doing does not remove us from the whisperings of the evil one.
He is angered that we now claim the cleansing power of the blood of the lamb that was shed for us. He is angered that we have become wise in the power of salvation.
This is where every redeemed needs prayers, support and continued guidance. Many may fall under the powerful urges of the flesh if they do not continually submit their will to the will of God. Some may even believe that God is not hearing their prayers because their feelings are speaking so loudly to them. However the mappings of our past must be confronted by the new declarations and victories we are claiming in Jesus.
Continued prayer, continued surrendering, claiming His promises, setting significant time aside to study and grow in the personal relationship with our heavenly father is crucial. Without this relational development to Christ, we do not have the abundant protection that comes with personal growth.
I am growing more each day. Satan continues to seek to regain ground. I must be adamant in my walk with Christ and as Jesus said, I must also say; “Get thee behind me Satan.”
He looks for moments of weakness and discouragement. The church body must see their role in being supportive and loving family members of Christ. Always willing to reach out and lend an ear or join in prayer. I am so very blessed that many have held me up and never given up on the power of Jesus in my life. This is an area of contemplation that is of significant importance in the return of the prodigal.
15. There appears to be a hypersensitive element in many people who have lived gay or homosexual lives. How is that handled?
Many gay men have the ingenuity of a man combined with the sensitivity and creativity of a woman. Throughout history, gay men have contributed hugely to the arts due to their ability to see things with great detail and depth. This sometimes is achieved by over reacting to or being highly sensitive to things that might not go further than skin deep with a heterosexual male.
In turn, missing from many lesbians is this creative and sensitive nature, but more of a harsh and straight forward set of communications.
There is much here that could be examined biologically and psychologically, but for the short version some considerations should be present.
Be kind, gentle and considerate much in the way a husband would be toward their wife. This does not mean hiding or disguising truth, but being more passionate about it and portraying it sensitively and with the spirit that Christ shows His love and patience with each one of us.
Take inventory when counseling. Recognize the demeanor and comprehension and effects that truth and revelation is having on the soul being won. In this you will see where honesty needs to be tempered with some people. Ask questions about how the person has understood what you have spoken to them. Choose your words carefully. Make sure that you are clearly understood and that something is not picked up in communication that is not intended.
Gays/homosexuals have had a unique set of circumstances to deal with in their lives. Rejection, hatred, ridicule, abuse, injustice, etc. These elements must be in mind while counseling wounded souls. You may be presented with a hard shell and a bitterness that will need to be broken down by Christ. As the soul witnesses your genuine interest and disappearance of fear and rejection in you, Christ will begin to change each of us as we let Him guide our mutual experience in Him.
Healing is in forgiveness.
If you are interested in a seminar or congregational presentation, I would be pleased if you would contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org