Not too long ago, we had someone reach out to us as Kuza and ask if it was possible for them to feel gay and be a Christian? I’m curious as you ponder that thought, what is your reaction? Do you think that someone can have that inner drive to desire someone of the same sex and yet still be a Christian? I honestly think that many Christian believers would say no, it is impossible to have those feelings, but yet love Jesus Christ. A growing number of unbelieving youth would say that you’re born gay, and you cannot change and to oppose your gay feelings is to be inauthentic. Other unbelieving and believing youth would also emphatically state that it is not African to be gay period, and nobody should have those feelings. It seems that there is a difference of opinion on this question and some confusion.
As these opinions and debates rage on, I think of the person who wants to follow Jesus but has these deep same-sex attraction desires inside of them that seem impossible to shake. Many feel so conflicted, condemned, and far away from Christ that they have even considered suicide. Our world can be very hostile towards someone who does not fit into the norms of society. A young guy that I met said he was a Christian and that he felt lots of pressure from friends, family, society, and even his church to stop having feelings of homosexuality. He was always told that Christians could only be straight. He got a girlfriend and even started meeting with a Christian counsellor to help him overcome all of his gay feelings. Bible study, scripture memory, prayer, and being anointed with oil didn’t seem to take away his desire for same-sex attraction. What would you say this guy? Can he feel gay and be a Christian, or is he confused?
The answer is yes; someone can be a Christian and still have a desire for same-sex attraction. Or you can feel gay and still be a born again Christian. When you consider all of the seven different areas of scripture that discuss homosexuality they call the sin the act as opposed to what I am calling the “feeling” (Genesis 19:5, Judges 19:22, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). For example, consider Leviticus 18:22, which says “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman.” What is being called sin is the act, the “lie with a male as with a woman” part. Not the desire or temptation to do so. In the New Testament, both 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 it says that it is sinful when men “practice homosexuality.” The idea behind this is that it is not the internal desire, struggle, or feeling that is sinful; it is the acting upon that crosses the line into sin.
The wise Bible student may be wondering about lust? I do want to stress lust; even same-sex attraction lust is sinful (Matthew 5:27-30, Proverbs 6:25, Job 31:1). Lust is an internal struggle that does not always lead to an act, but it mentally crosses the line. The desire, feeling, or struggle for same-sex attraction is something that someone may have, but it is not sinning unless it is acted upon either through lust or physical acts of sex. It is similar to someone who may have the temptation to steal some money, but unless that is acted upon, it is not sinning.
In comparison with lust, someone may think with greed about how they would spend that money, and it is a sin even though they have never actually physically stolen the cash. The main point is that I want us to distinguish between the temptation, the act, and the lust. The temptation is not something you can control, but through the power of Christ, the act and the lust can be overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Many people will tell the person who has same-sex attractions that they are not African, cannot be a Christian, and that it is a crime for them to act against their internal desires for the same of Christ. There is a lot of confusion for the same-sex attracted believer. Imagine getting saved and then having your former gay friends tell you that you’re not authentic because you’re not following your fleshly desires, your denial is a scandal, and that you’re a villain because you’re going after Jesus. We as the church don’t need to now add to that difficulty by telling them that they need now to completely lose their gay desires to be in our church, be a Christian, and hang out with us. That is adding to the scriptures as opposed to going by the scriptures. We, as the church need to wholeheartedly welcome believers with same-sex attraction because they are not embracing sin, they are embracing Jesus.
If we say that someone has to lose their desires to be gay to be a Christian, then we would ethically have to do that with all sins. We should tell someone that they have to lose their desire to lust, steal, lie, covet, or to look at pornography. These are impossible standards for us to put on anyone. Temptations and desires are not sin, but they can lead us to sin. Consider in the Lord’s prayer that it says “forgive us our debts (Matthew 6:12)” and then later says “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us (Matthew 6:13).” Debts need forgiveness because they are sin, but temptation does not need forgiveness, but deliverance. Deliverance, in this case, does not need the blood of Christ to forgive it, but it only needs help to overcome it. To further strengthen this argument, consider that Jesus was tempted as we are yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). If temptation alone was sin, then it could not be said that Jesus was without sin.
As I conclude this blog I would like to encourage you if you’re a person who is wondering if you’re genuinely saved and yet struggle with the temptation of same-sex attraction, remember that anyone in any condition can come to Christ (Romans 10:13). To not give in to your same-sex attraction means that you’re sacrificing the love, romance, and sex you could have for something much greater in Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:7-11). You are selling everything that you have to gain a much greater treasure found in Jesus (Matthew 13:44). For us, as the church, we’re to commend people that are sacrificing obeying their same-sex attractions for Jesus because it is a powerful testimony to our world that loves to obey the desires of their bodies. Let us stop telling them that they have to lose their desire for same-sex attraction to be a Christian. Let us welcome those who love Jesus more than their same-sex attraction and let us call those who still yet give in to the desires of their bodies to something greater, Jesus Christ.
If you would like to read more blogs on this topic of same-sex attraction, please read these blogs below:
Also, if you would like more help with dealing with sexual sin in general, please download the Kuza app and read the “Truth About Sex” devotional series. Lastly, if you’re reading this and you would like to become a Christian, then please click on the “Receive Christ” button below and then email us at [email protected] to let us know you’ve done that.
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