Hey there. We need to talk about homosexuality and the sin that you keep choosing.
I imagine you’re feeling pretty worn out by the fight over your lifestyle choice. I get it. Urges are hard to overcome. Sometimes even when we know the right thing to do, the thing we want to do feels way better, at least in the moment. But in the long term, you have to admit, it hurts you and the people around you. There are lots of stories that prove that, if you’re willing to look past your feelings.
I get that it’s hard not to react when an organization like World Vision or a pastor like Eugene Peterson change their minds about this. We like to know that the people we’ve trusted are on our side, and it feels pretty gross when it turns out that they’re not. It makes us want to fly our flag even higher and shout even louder. It makes us want to double down on our sin. But we must fight those impulses. We must not allow our sin natures to get the best of us. We can choose a better way.
I know what you want to say. It’s not just feelings, the Bible says it’s okay! And sure, if you just look at a couple of passages out of context, it certainly might seem like the Bible wants you to just do what feels good. But we can’t just pick and choose what passages we want to follow. And the overarching theme of the Bible tells us that what you’re choosing is a sin.
Maybe you don’t even believe that it’s a choice. Maybe you think that this is just how God wants you to behave. But I can tell you, it’s not. Your choices are just that – choices. You can choose something different. I’m going to tell you a few ways you can choose something better for you, and better for the world by choosing something other than your fear and prejudice against LGBTQ people.
- Read something that challenges your beliefs. I recommend Torn by Justin Lee, God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines, or Changing Our Mind by David Gushee. If we’re not open to hearing from the people we are sinning against, sometimes it can be hard to see our sin. Listening to the words of those who are calling out our sin can be a big step toward confessing and making a change.
- Pray about it. Really take time to examine your heart before God about your fear and prejudice against LGBTQ people. God promises to forgive our sin when we pray.
- Go to church. Not just any church – look for an affirming church. Go and see how God uses LGBTQ people in the Body. Listen to a gay pastor preach. Take communion with a transgender woman. Discover the ways that the LGBTQ community is enriching the Church and join with them.
- Repent. It’s hard to admit that we hold prejudice and fear in our hearts, but when we believe that we can determine who is really a Christian based on their gender identity or who they fall in love with, that’s what we’re holding onto. The Bible tells us the perfect love casts out fear. When we repent of our fear, we can love. Jesus said that people will know we are disciples by our love. Repent and turn to love.
It may be a lot to take in. Maybe it wasn’t even what you were expecting. Know this, choosing not to sin in this way will cost you. You may lose friends and family, you may lose prestige, in some circumstances, you may even lose a job. But we can make that choice. We can turn away from our sin, and turn toward freedom. We can turn away from fear, and run toward love.
It’s your choice.
8 thoughts on “4 Ways to Overcome Choosing Sin when it comes to Homosexuality”
I really love this
I must say, that although I appreciate (what I hope and feel is) the heart of this article in conveying the fact that we ought to love and respect each other without judgement, I find that the author has used a most convenient device through a straw man/attacking the man argument in order to advocate for the affirmation of a lifestyle choice that is clearly contradictory to an orthodox understanding of Scripture. Christians can certainly love and respect members of the LBGT community without affirming their lifestyle choices, as I myself and many others do. As Christians we are called to live right and holy lives in accordance with the plans God has laid down for His creation. That includes surrendering our own sexuality and/or sexual orientations and desires before God. Only heterosexual monogamous relationships within marriage are recommended from the Bible. Although that may make it difficult for some of us, we must accept that God’s plans are greater than ours and that He ultimately has our best intentions in mind in this regard. Our moral compass comes from our hearts/consciences (Romans 1). The Scripture ought to serve as our source of truth, not the surrounding culture in which we live. A clearly rationalized theological argument is lacking in this article, hence the complete lack of Scriptural references. Although I agree, ours is not the place to judge others (Matthew 7:1-3), if we profess to be Christians we do need to affirm what the Scriptures teach on these issues (Genesis 1:37; Romans 1:20-32) and lovingly support our LGBT brothers and sisters to honour God with their lifestyle choices, as we all ought to do (I Timothy 1:4-6). Grace and peace.
I must add that I was incorrect in stating that there was a complete lack of Scriptural references.
What I intended to say was that there was a complete lack of Scripture references on the relevant topics discussed in the article.
You can not love and respect members of the LBGT community and deny them the same right to love and marry those whom they choose. That is not love and respect. What if someone told you that you could marry but it was sin to have sex with your wife. Love and sexual attraction is part of our identity. I understand that you believe the Bible is word of God and therefore the authority on all things. But I don’t think it is. Do we still advocate for slavery? Is your wife your property? That was the marriage of the Bible. Culture evolves. It’s only a matter of time before we will look back on this issue and wonder how it took so long. In the same way we look back at women’s right to vote and realize that it has only been about 100 years. It took that long for us to realize that women are of equal value. Hopefully it won’t take that long to accept LGBT people for who they are and quit quoting an ancient text as still relevant on this issue.
You cannot love and respect your children while denying them the right to stay up until 2300 every night and eat ice cream for breakfast. That is not love and respect.
Yes, it is a satirical statement in response to yours, but I don’t believe that you can define what another individual constitutes as love and respect. From a Christian perspective the God who ordained marriage has the right to define it as He wills, instilling certain limitations upon it with unbridled love and respect for His children.
I am not sure where you are coming from about denying others the right to love or marry whom they choose, as this issue was not discussed heretofore. Nevertheless, I personally hold a Libertarian perspective and find such an issue irrelevant from a civic and societal standpoint. The state may define marriage as it wills; however, in doing so, it crosses the line between separation of church and state as marriage is ultimately a religious institution (preferably the state ought to grant civil institutions to consenting adult partners from a neutral and irreligious perspective).
The overall issue here is that the author purports to write from a Christian perspective. In doing so, one ought to first consider the teachings of the Christian texts which speak directly to these issues. It is incongruent to affirm homosexuality and/or transgenderism while espousing to hold to a Biblical belief system. Thus, if one holds such disregard for certain teachings in the Scriptures, one may as well reject other fundamental truths taught in Scripture as well (such as the Virgin Birth, Christ’s earthly miracles, the Resurrection, etc.). As followers of God, we ought not pander to the zeitgeist, but rather look back to the teachings which have guided us for millennia.
While I agre that love and sexual attraction are part of our identity, as Christians we believe that our fundamental natures are corrupted, and thus we are prone to inordinate desires (both misplaced heterosexual attractions and desires, along with homosexual ones, and beyond), which do not align best with the plans God has designed for our sexuality. When we profess to believe in Christ, we are called to surrender all of ourselves to God, laying aside the parts of ourselves that we hold most dear, even our own lives at times (Matthew 10:39; Matthew 16:24-26; Galatians 2:20).
In short, those that have no issue affirming the LGBT movement are certainly more than welcome to hold those beliefs in a free thinking society, but to argue that point from a Christian perspective is unfounded.
Additionally, the beliefs of those that disagree with LGBT lifestyles ought also to be respected in a free society. The increasing issue du jour is that many LGBT supporters are not simply satisfied to have others viewpoints be silenced, but also want those that oppose them to “repent” of their own beliefs and recant them (e.g., so called “tolerance training”).
In regards to your comments on marriage and slavery in the Scriptures, I would add that when approaching the Bible (like any other text), it is important to take into consideration the cultural, linguistic, historic, ethnic, religious, geographic, political, etc. contexts before making suppositions about what was or was not condoned. Our own 21st century cultural biases and understandings are also frequently misplaced when interpreting texts and applying the teachings of Scripture. Here are some links that deal specifically with slavery:
As for marriage, the Scripture teaches plainly that men and women are to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Furthermore, husbands are called to love their wives in the same way that Christ loved the church—literally dying for it.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but nourishes it and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.” Ephesians 5:25-30
I also want to add that I do believe that the truths of Scripture will never cease to be relevant (Isaiah 40:8; 55:9-11; II Timothy 3:14-17). And we all still face the same daily struggles and challenges that people have faced since day one (e.g., sickness, sadness, heartbreak, sin, etc.). We all still need a Saviour to deliver us from this brokenness.
Finally, I believe that we can have a thriving society together through the mutual respect of each other’s opinions and beliefs, which we all have a fundamental right to.
Thank you very much for your thoughts, and May God bless you richly.
I do write from a Christian perspective, and I have come to the belief that same-sex relationships are not sinful. And I do believe that continuing to call a loving, consenting relationship sinful harms people in ways that do require repentance. At the very least, I would encourage those who hold that view to take a serious look at why Christians are changing their minds regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality. The resources linked above do an exceptional job of explaining that it is more than merely following the “trends” of the culture, but that there are legitimate questions about a “plain reading” of Scripture that leads to a view that LGBTQ people are automatically sinful because of their gender expression or marriage partners.
Thank you very much, Alise, for sharing your thoughts and commenting back. I have taken this issue into consideration more in recent years, especially after having friends within the LGBT community. I have also been driven to search the Scriptures on it as well. I must admit that to some extent it seems rather unfortunate that the lifestyles that so many feel inclined to (or feel are natural to them) would be called sin by God. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to be faced with such circumstances, and I do not intend to belittle or demean that reality. I do trust, however, that God IS good, and that His prescriptions for sexuality are well intentioned for the greatest good and benefit of all people everywhere. Thank you for the resources and thoughts you have shared. God bless!
*civil unions [not civil institutions]
*others’ viewpoints [not others viewpoints]