They are close to us -friends, family members, maybe even a child. And they are gay. We love them and we want to understand them. “I was born this way,” they say. And some, even, “God created me this way.” Is there any truth to these claims? Can a person be born gay? Is homosexuality a sin? And, can a Christian be a homosexual? This is the controversial topic of our day.
First, for the sake of clarity, let’s define the term homosexual. As an adjective, it means to be sexually attracted to people of one’s own sex. And it is evident, that this is not only possible, it is moderately common. As a noun, homosexuality refers a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex. This hits a different note: not only is this person sexually attracted to the same sex, this has come to mean that they are naturally gay. But what does the Bible teach?
I am a Christian. I am also a Christian with an ugly past. I have struggles with sin, as anyone else. But, I am not the only one. Sin is a universal disease that plagues every human being at conception. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). To understand homosexuality, we must begin here. We are all sinners.
“I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps.51:5).
The word iniquity comes from a root word that means to bend, twist, or pervert. And what David was saying is that he was born with a spiritual bent; that by nature, his will, heart, and mind were bent towards sinful desires. God gave humanity a godly sexual capacity. But David used his sexual capacity for evil. He lusted after another man’s wife [Bathsheba] and took her for himself (2Sam.11).
Did David desire Bathsheba? Yes. Was his passion for her intense? Certainly. Does this justify his adultery? No! And, this is how we must understand the bent of [some] men and women towards the same sex. Did God create them gay? No. But were they born gay? Yeah, kinda. God did create a good sexual desire within us all. But Adam’s sin has twisted these good desires into bad desires. So, yes, a man or women can be born with a sexual bent. And for various unknown reasons, this can grow into a sexual desire for the same sex.
The point is this: David’s desire for another man’s wife wasn’t [morally] right, and a homosexual’s desire for the same sex isn’t [morally] right. David concluded that his issue began at birth. So also, I conclude that homosexuality begins at birth. To a degree, they were born this way. And this is the primary reason why we all need justification and regeneration. We all have sinful desires that are bent, twisted, or perverted. Some people are bent towards greed, others towards pride, and some towards sexual lust. And, yes, at times, it shows up in the form of homosexuality.
Can we blame God? No! He created us but He didn’t create the sin in us. Our sin nature was passed on from Adam. And we are accountable for our own sins. This may not satisfy your intelligence. But questioning God about His eternal plan for creation is out of your league. You may want to reject this understanding of God. But remember, in doing so, you are proving the Bible. The Bible teaches that it is the nature of sinners to reject God as revealed in scripture (Rom.1:18, 21, 25, 28). And for this worldwide rejection of God, God gave us over to our sin. Though any single sin is worthy of death; though any single sin separates us from God, and though any single sin will send anyone to hell, the Bible uses homosexuality as the chief example of our Total Depravity…
“For this reason, God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Rom.1:26-27)
God calls the shots. If He says that something is wrong, then it is wrong. Anyone who has honestly read the Bible knows that lying is a sin (Ex.20:16; Eph.4:25; Rev.21:8). And anyone who has honestly read the Bible knows that homosexuality is a sin (Lev.18:22; Rom.1:26-27; 1Cor.6:9-10). Sometimes I want to lie. That doesn’t mean I should. You may lust for an individual of the same sex. That doesn’t mean you should.
This is why the New Birth is necessary. “You must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven” (Jn.3:3). Liars, thieves, drunkards, homosexuals (etc.) won’t get in. They won’t fit in. Neither would they want to be there. God is Holy and so is His heaven. It is free of lust, greed, pride and all other things that sinners want. Until God gives us a new nature, we don’t want Him. We may want our version of God, who, in His “grace” condones whatever form of lifestyle we choose; but we do not want the true God as revealed in the plain reading of the Bible. For He is holy, righteous, and just!
When we come to Jesus for our salvation, we aren’t primarily turning from our sins; we are turning from all that we are. We are acknowledging that something is wrong with us(Ps.51; Matt.15:17-20). And so, when we come to the cross, we bring our old man with all its corrupt desires. We put it to death with Christ (Rom.6:1-11). Like a seed that falls into the ground and dies, we become a new person. Our crooked desires don’t go away in a moment (Rom.7:15-25). But God does plant a new seed in us: a desire for Him; to be pleasing to Him; to love what He loves, and to hate what He hates (2Cor.5:17; 1John 3:9). This new desire for Christ compels us to straighten that which is crooked; to realign our sinful desires to God’s will (Eph.4:20-24).
Can a Christian be a homosexual? I guess it depends on what you mean by this. If you mean that a Christian can be a man or women who practices homosexuality; or a man or women who willfully embraces these desires in them, then no (1Cor.6:9-10). But if you mean a person who struggles with such desires, but works on putting them to death, and aligning them with God’s will, then yes. Since God has changed their will, heart, and mind, they will live in continual repentance. God will free them from these desires -for some immediately, and others with time.
It may be a struggle. But as God freed me from addictions and countless sins that lead to death, He can free a homosexual from their desire for the same sex. He rose from the dead and is Lord of all. Christ came to make the crooked path straight. He is able to make a gay man or women, straight.
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. (Isa.40:3-4)
-By Jonathan Michael Dean