Loving Gay People (part 2)
Yesterday, I told you I would state my stance on the issue of homosexuality. And here it is: I stand with the Bible.
Anti-climactic? This should come as no surprise. I am, after all, a historically orthodox Evangelical Christian (with some emergent sensibilities thrown in for those of you keeping score). In other words, in spite of anything you may have heard or read to the contrary, I’m a pretty conservative guy on most things. Homosexuality is no exception to that rule.
I do not believe a person can engage in homosexual intercourse and honor God with his or her body. For those who consider themselves homosexual by orientation, I believe celibacy is the path to pursue.
I do not believe a person chooses to be homosexual. I have many gay friends, and I’ve never heard one of them say he chose his orientation. I’ve read a lot about the subject, and, while I reject the notion that homosexuality is biological, I believe the factors that lead to a person self-identifying as a homosexual are so deeply imbedded at such an early age that the individual never remembers having made a choice.
To be clear: I’m not sure whether or not orientation is a choice; I do, however, believe behavior is within our ability to control. Homosexual intercourse, like any intercourse outside the context of marriage, is incompatible with godly living. So I would appeal to those who feel homosexual impulses with the words of the Apostle Paul, “Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Your orientation is not inherently sinful; your behavior is.
I also want to express my doubts about the effectiveness of so-called “reparative therapy” – the notion that someone can change orientation from gay to straight by going to see a counselor, praying and repenting of sin, studying her Bible, etc. I’m not saying it can’t ever happen; I’m just saying it hardly ever does.
Sexual orientation is so deeply embedded in a person’s psyche, that the very therapists who advocate reparative therapy can’t always agree on how to begin. If you can imagine how difficult it would be for someone to exchange heterosexuality for homosexuality, you can begin to imagine how difficult it must be for it to go the other way around.
Again, I’m not saying it never happens or can’t happen. God can do anything (well...almost), and I have no intention of putting limitations on him. Still, it is far from being as easy as some of our self-appointed Evangelical spokesmen have made it appear, and the cases of “successful” transformations are few and far between.
I want to say we should embrace and affirm homosexuals for who they are, that we should applaud them for having the courage to live their lives with integrity and openness. It would be far less complicated to acquiesce to public sentiment and support monogomous gay relationships in the same way we support monogomous heterosexual marriages.
But I cannot applaud or affirm homosexual intercourse...because the Bible won’t let me.