"The move for 'gay bishops' and for 'gay marriages' in one denomination is just a blatant rejection of the biblical standards of morality and decency which can never be negotiable; one might as well have a move to ordain 'housebreaking bishops', that is, bishops who claim the right to practise breaking into people's homes! They could claim it is just their particular 'social ownership preference' - and why should they be discriminated against? Don't they have "rights"? They will still faithfully carry out the duties of a bishop but they claim their 'right of choice' in a free, autonomous and liberal society to be 'practising housebreakers'!"
The following is a question I was asked by a somewhat
tortured soul who is a homosexual. PLEASE READ this article to
the very end before protesting at some of the points which I feel
need to be made.
I hope we can all use compassion and kindness when dealing with some of these people even while recognising that sin is sin!
Here is a question which I was recently asked. I have tidied up the punctuation a little:
"I prayed for years for God to send me a fine woman even while - deep down - feeling that such a woman might not have been an answer to my problems. Nobody came along and for about four years I just prayed for God to send me a kind and loving partner. Doesn't every single human being long for that wonderful physical intimacy with just the right person?
But, increasingly, I had to face up to the fact that I really wanted a man and not a woman. I was wracked with guilt about this, but the feelings never went away although I thought that if I really met that certain woman and fell in love with her, those feelings would certainly go away. For many years I read and heard some horrible things which Christians said about homosexuals and thought some of it excessive. One preacher said he couldn't wait to get all the gays burning in hell - he had a special hate for homosexuals yet he did not apparently have such hateful feelings towards heterosexual adulterers, because I knew of three occasions that this preacher committed adultery, in fact half his congregation knew!
Well, two years ago, I met a man, not a woman, and we live together and we love each other. We both believe in God and neither of us can see any reason why we should ever part. My partner is a bit like me in that he tried to tell himself that it would all turn out all right when he met that certain girl but he was not admitting the truth. Neither of us are or ever will be promiscuous homosexuals - do we really do such great wrong? We now hear that some ministers believe pastors should go gentle on "loyal fornication" (couples living together but not married) and church pastors don't usually get involved in the sex lives of their young people, yet a few of these could be secretly very promiscuous. When Mark and I consummate our deepest needs, do we really do more evil than liars, blasphemers, adulterers or fornicators? Some Christians appear to think we do. Most Christians admit that we can't completely rid our lives of sin in this present dispensation and the truth is that some form of sin is a daily occurrence. Mark and I know we are sinners but we desparately need the close companionship which we both waited years for. Again, do we sin more than others?
The world of the apostles had lots of male eunuchs, they should have been celibate but many became the lovers of married men - that was adultery, but my partner and myself betray nobody except perhaps our beliefs, but we hope that God will be merciful. We both prayed for an ideal kind and loving partner and we see that in each other. Is it possible that you will reply with compassion and love or will you too just scream out condemnation?".
I hope that I can indeed show love, concern and compassion in this response to your question. Let me first of all say that I too have read some of the most hate-filled language directed towards people like you and your partner and I have asked myself if such rancour and hate could really come from a Christian!!
I see things in your question which are sad and tragic and I really do feel compassion and even sympathy for you and Mark.
You are absolutely correct when you say that perhaps the deepest human need is to find that certain very special person with whom one can enjoy the very deepest feelings of love, loyalty and companionship; since we are made of flesh and blood this invariably leads to the desire to enjoy the deepest moments of physical intimacy with that special person.
People, I believe, come into homosexual relationships for one of two reasons:
1. The complete absence of the possibility of enjoying a heterosexual man-woman relationship (when in prison, for example).
2. Because - from a young age - they have always felt more attracted to their own sex (rather than to the opposite one).
It is said that only those in the second group are genuine homosexuals. I don't know whether this is correct or not, neither can I be totally sure which category you (that is, the young man who wrote me) are in.
We must certainly consider the biblical dimension to this problem in a moment, but let me say a little more first.
I recently said that, 'The older sort of homosexual probably did very little harm' What did I mean by that? I was referring to a time well before the comparatively recent 'Gay Coming Out Movement' - when these matters were rarely discussed. It was a day where men (or women) who had these feelings seemed to find lifelong partners of the same nature. They were discreet, they did not talk about it, they certainly did not wear their homosexuality on their sleeves in the most brazen fashion of too many modern homosexuals! Such people knew they were sinners in the sight of God and did not normally attempt to justify their homosexuality - neither did they ever attempt to influence others that homosexuality was a perfectly respectable 'alternative lifestyle'(as in the modern manner). It was much easier to be compassionate towards such people. You (that is, the young man who wrote me) seem to be very much out of this mould.
Since God made us all differently and there is no doubt that many men have certain areas of their personality which might be described as a little feminine and many ladies too have certain areas of their personality which may be quite masculine, then we are a mixture. When God said He made us 'male and female', He absolutely meant it - but did God ever guarantee that men will be 100% male or that women will be 100% female? I don't read that anywhere!! Maybe Bill is 95% male and maybe Alice is 75% female - does that sound like heresy? No, its not heresy, because even if Alice is actually only 75% female she is still substantially female and will be most fulfilled living a womanly life.
Many years ago I knew a young woman who had much experience as a nurse and she had moved on to being a Nursing Tutor. She told me that every year many babies are born who are not really totally either male or female and a decision has to be made as to how their parents will allow them to grow up. Often an operation will be needed in their first few months or year of life in order to push them more firmly in either direction (in actual practise such babies are usually encouraged in a female direction because of the difficulty of constructing a penis by surgery). These are sometimes referred to as 'inter-sex' children. I would have thought such things very rare and unusual, but whilst more extreme cases are uncommon, the unsure sexuality of young children is apparently far from uncommon. Nobody mentions it because no parent would want to admit that their new child had a somewhat unsure sexuality. Sometimes babies are born who have both a womb and a penis. Tragically, some little girls (in this case, quite rare of course) are born with an apparently normal vagina yet no womb. Other little girls are found to have an over-developed clitoris which later starts to turn into a penis. Again, some lads reach puberty and discover that their penis is inadequate and - even worse - they start developing breasts - these things are human tragedies and we must compassionately understand that such people will almost certainly develop, and go through, a sexual identity crisis. I guess that certain things are just not spoken about too much. So it really does appear to be the case that while we are certainly all made male or female, if one could actually measure these things in percentages, probably few of us are 100% so! Yet I don't think we need to worry overly about such things - the really important thing is that we are human beings made in God's image.
But it does not take too much relection to see that such individuals could genuinely find periods in their lives when they are attracted to their own sex!
Medical experts tell us that in adolescence many teens - as their hormones are settling down - briefly go through a stage where they are attracted to their own sex; but this is brief, in fact probably most never even notice it. This is why it is so dangerous to influence the young against normal heterosexuality. Interestingly, it has been claimed that when some older people are coming to the end of their active marital sex lives, they sometimes again go through a phase of homosexual interest.
It has also recently been claimed that modern men are more 'girlish' than their great grandfathers were and have a substantially lower sperm count! Why? Nobody seems to know. Is it pollution? Too many modern refined foods? I have even heard the suggestion that it is because we all drink more tea and coffee than we used to and we get the milk from cows which are fed with a female hormone so that they will produce even more milk! Is that correct? I have no idea, I don't claim to know; but if it is really true that modern men - in general - have a low sperm count and lower male hormone levels and stronger tendencies towards occasionally manifesting 'girlishness' then it seems to me that it will follow that we may see an increasing number of men who may be attracted to their own sex! (On the subject of lower sperm counts, here is an article which may be of interest). Yet the claim that homosexuals are 10% of the population (which has recently been bandied about) is surely erroneous and exaggerated; one still feels it is less than 2%.
Being aware of all the foregoing will cause us to be more compassionate toward homosexuals, although we can never condone sin. I'm afraid that we Bible-believing evangelical Christians are sometimes just a little too quick to scream out judgment and condemnation without getting all the facts first. Yes, we must condemn sin wherever we find it but it is wrong when Christians have a particular and special venom toward one particular group of sinners! While the practise of homosexuality is sinful, so also is the practise of deceit, lying, theft, adultery or heterosexual promiscuity! Why did I say the practise of homosexuality? Because if one discovered such tendencies in oneself, that itself would be no sin and there could be physical/biological reasons for it such as those we have considered. It was the Pharisees who were quick to wade in with their venom toward "sinners", whereas Jesus mixed with sinners. Why? Because He genuinely wanted to help them!
You (that is, the young man who wrote to me) said this,
"When Mark and I consummate our deepest needs, do we really do more evil than liars, blasphemers, adulterers or fornicators? Some Christians appear to think we do. Most Christians admit that we can't completely rid our lives of sin in this present dispensation and the truth is that some form of sin is a daily occurrence. Mark and I know we are sinners but we desparately need the close companionship which we both waited years for. Again, do we sin more than others?"
There is one problem with your statement: it is using pure human reasoning! Are you doing as much harm as a compulsive liar or compulsive thief or a regular adulterer? No, you probably are not, but God wants better for you! You are obviously well aware of the claims of Christ and the doctrines of Christianity; while you claim to be contented in your love affair, you would not have contacted me unless you had very deep doubts. It remains the case that homosexuality is roundly condemned in the Holy Bible. It is just not true, as some liberal Christians have claimed, that only male prostituition is condemned in the Bible. The Scriptures which you need to look at very closely are:
Leviticus 18:22 Deuteronomy 23:17-18; Romans 1:21-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 2 Peter 2:6-8; Jude 7 and Revelation 22:15. "Dogs" in Rev 22:15 is widely believed to be a reference to homosexuals.
In Romans 1, Paul appears to be saying that homosexuality is a most damaging sin which a God-rejecting society always seems to increasingly manifest. Homosexuality attacks the family structure which is so pivotal to God's working with Mankind. And yet Jesus also made it plain that it will be more tolerable on Judgment Day for the homosexuality-oriented society of Sodom and Gomorrah than it will be for those who hear and understand the gospel message but decide to reject it!!
So, as a homosexual, can you be forgiven? OF COURSE YOU CAN!! But God wants you to turn from sin right now!
Another homosexual young man contacted me twice a few months ago. He said he desperately needed help to move away from his homosexual relationship with another man, but he wasn't prepared to quit living with this other guy. I said the first step, for a homosexual, is to quit living in the same house as the subject of their illicit lust. I want to make it easy for you: maybe Mark will always remain a close friend, but certainly not somebody you should be living with. You will surely reject this at present but I hope you will increasingly think about what I am saying to you and contact me again!
As already stated, If a man or a woman notes homosexual/bisexual tendencies lurking just beneath the surface, that - in itself - is not sin and may well be due to factors outside their control such as those we have been considering, but we all have moral choices to make every day of our lives; when an experienced thief becomes a Christian it does not mean he will never be tempted to steal again, but he will certainly renounce theft as a way of life, the same principle would apply to the converted prostitute or whatever else. Homosexuals who do not know God will see no reason not to practise their sexual preferences, but when such a man - or woman - comes to Christ, they must understand the moral standards which Christians aspire to!
The move for 'gay bishops' and for 'gay marriages' in one denomination is just a blatant rejection of the biblical standards of morality and decency which can never be negotiable; one might as well have a move to ordain 'housebreaking bishops', that is, bishops who claim the right to practise breaking into people's homes! They could claim it is just their particular 'social ownership preference' - and why should they be discriminated against? Don't they have "rights"? They will still faithfully carry out the duties of a bishop but they claim their 'right of choice' in a free, autonomous and liberal society to be 'practising housebreakers' - after all, its just the way that God made them, isn't it?! Moreover, they might insist on ordaining other housebreaking priests!! When we hear this expressed in this manner, it sounds absolutely absurd, if not hysterically funny. Why? Because the Word of God makes it clear that breaking into people's homes is against God's law - Jesus would never have accepted such an argument! But neither would Jesus have accepted the argument that its fine for His disciples to be practising homosexuals - its not fine and we have to boldly tell people this!
We must accept and understand that if people will truly follow Jesus Christ they cannot also go along with every passing philosophical and social wind of society! Indeed, the leaders of the Church were instructed to be very moderate and temperate in their behaviour: 'the husband of one wife', for example. (Carefully study 1 Timothy 3:1-13, and note the temperance of behaviour which Christian leaders must aspire to in this Church age).
CHRISTIAN LEADERS ONLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE OUTRAGEOUS IN THEIR BELIEF IN THE CHRIST AND OUTRAGEOUS IN THEIR PERSISTENCE IN COMMUNICATING HIS NAME AND MESSAGE TO OTHERS.
But they have no right to be outrageous in any other area of life; on the contrary, such leaders must be examples of all humility, modesty, quietness of life and temperance. Above all, no Christian leader should ever do anything which might bring shame or reproach on their office or bring the Word of the gospel into disrepute.
I really hope that the young man who contacted me and his companion (whose real name, by the way, was not Mark), can eventually move away from their lifestyle.
'Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolators nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.'
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11, NIV).
Robin A. Brace
(Copyright Robin A. Brace, 2004. You need my permission first if you want this article on your website. Thank you)
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