I’ve been thinking a little more about the distinction between “homosexual identity” and “homosexual activity.” I’m confident that the latter is wrong, and trying to figure out what the correct response should be to the former. However, I think it’s a mistake to try to shape my beliefs about identity solely based upon my beliefs about activity; that strikes me as a backwards approach. Our identity in Christ is not defined by a list of do’s and dont’s; rather, the commands that God gives to us are a result of our identity.
So, I don’t want to reach the conclusion that homosexual activity is wrong simply because the Bible condemns it. I would like to first ascertain what God’s intention is for our sexual identity, and then see what that tells us about proper sexual activity.
The Bible tells us right from the beginning that God created humans as either male or female (Gen 1:27), and it was intended that they be united as one (Gen 2:24). Jesus confirms this in Matt 19:4-5 and Mark 10:6-8, and Paul repeats it in Eph 5:31. Both Paul and Peter give instructions for proper husband and wife relationships on numerous occasions (I Cor. 7, I Cor 11, Eph 5, I Tim 2, I Pet 3, etc.). We also see marriage touched on in Proverbs and Song of Solomon; and through the prophets, some of Jesus’ parables, Revelation, etc., we see the symbolism that marriage gives us of our relationship to Christ.
Based on what I see in the Bible, it seems pretty clear to me that God has distinct roles for men and women, and intends for our sexual identity to be heterosexual in nature, and for marriage to be between a man and a woman. To behave otherwise distorts the proper view of ourselves, each other, and God. Hence, the verses that condemn homosexual activity are consistent with the sexual identity the God intended for us.
I came across a good article written by someone who claims to be a gay Christian that pretty much says exactly what I just said, except his article is a lot longer. Very much worth reading though. http://www.gaychristian.net/rons_view.html
Now, what about someone who has trouble relating with a heterosexual identity, and finds themselves more inclined to a homosexual identity? How should this person respond to these homosexual feelings? Should they fight them, and try to develop heterosexual feelings? From what I’ve heard, this doesn’t work, and I’m inclined to believe that. Should they accept that they have a homosexual identity, but just not act on it? Based on what I concluded above, this would be accepting an identity that is inconsistent with what God intended. I guess what it all boils down to for me right now, the question I haven’t answered yet, is: “Is it okay to be comfortable with feelings that God did not have in mind when he created us?”
I certainly believe that God can and does change people. I also believe that homosexual desires are not part of God’s design. I think that when we find ourselves in a state that is not according to God’s design, we should ask God to change it, and do everything in our power to change it.
Lust, greed, and bitterness are contrary to God’s nature; it’s not enough to just tell ourselves that we won’t give in to the temptation; we should also be renewing our minds so that we don’t find sin attractive.
Physical sickness is not part of God’s plan either. When we get sick, or contract a disease, or are crippled, we don’t just accept it and move on; we take medicine, have surgery, and engage in therapy in an attempt to return our bodies to the state God originally intended.
However, sometimes there comes a point when we recognize that we will never attain (on earth, at least) the state God originally intended. There must be a balance between our desire to change and our acceptance of the reality that we cannot attain perfection. We shouldn’t give up our desire to change, but we don’t want to become despondant either.
Homosexual advocates may dismiss those who escape their homosexual tendencies as “not really being homosexual to begin with,” and they are wrong to do so. However, there are also people who made sincere efforts to change, even participating in Exodus International, but were unable to shake their feelings. Who am I to question their sincerity, to say, “they didn’t really try” or “they didn’t really want to change”?
I’m not suggesting that we say, “if you can’t change it, just accept it.” I’m asking, what is the proper response to someone who has tried to change and has not been successful?
Originally posted at overflo.org