by Jack Cottrell (Notes) on Monday, June 11, 2012 at 1:41pm

QUESTION: If homosexualism is wrong, what should be the Christian’s attitude toward it?

ANSWER: Here are some general considerations. ONE. The first thing is that we must distinguish between a homosexual disposition and homosexual behavior. A homosexual disposition is a real sexual preference for or attraction to persons of one’s own sex. Such a person is “a homosexual” (gay or lesbian), whether sexually active or not. On the other hand, homosexual behavior refers to sexual desire and sexual contact between persons of the same sex. Homosexual desire, i.e., lust, is sinful, but is not the same as the homosexual disposition. (In the same way, heterosexual desire toward a person not one’s spouse is sinful [Matt. 5:28], but this is not the same as the heterosexual disposition.) Homosexual acts are sinful and should not be practiced by anyone, whether they have a homosexual disposition or not.

This is very important: BEING homosexual–i.e., having a homosexual disposition as such–is not sinful in and of itself. As a condition it is abnormal or unnatural, but not sinful.

Is this disposition innate or acquired? Does it arise from nature or nurture? Many today, especially in the gay community, claim the former and attempt to justify homosexual behavior on the basis of genetic research and brain research, which (they say) shows the homosexual disposition to be innate and therefore normal. “God made us this way!” However, many aspects of our present physical universe (including our own physical bodies) are not normal because the Fall (Genesis 3) has brought a curse upon the whole of creation (Romans 8:19-23). Thus, even if it could be shown that the homosexual disposition is due to some innate condition, that does not make it normal and does not excuse homosexual behavior. “This is the way God made me” does not apply. (The fact is that no convincing evidence for the innateness of homosexuality has been established.)

TWO. Sometimes an effort is made to persuade us to accept homosexuality as “normal” because such a large percent of the population can be considered homosexual. What percentage might that be? For a long time the statistics set forth in the “Kinsey Report” (Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 1948]) were cited as fact. Alfred Kinsey proclaimed that 10% of the U.S. population are more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between ages 16 and 55. This is about the same as lefthandedness, which everyone accepts as normal. Though his statistics were drawn only from the white male population (many of his subjects were prisoners and prostitutes!), the 10% figure has often been cited as being true of the total U.S. population in general—in order to inflate the gay culture’s political clout and to increase the illusion of normalcy.

We now know that Kinsey’s research was seriously flawed. See Judith Reisman & Edward W. Eichel, Kinsey, Sex, and Fraud (Lafayette, LA: Huntington House, 1990). More recent and more objective studies have shown that the numbers are far less than Kinsey thought. The turning point was a 1993 survey by the Battelle Human Affairs Research Centers in Seattle, which found that only ONE PERCENT of men are gay. This was widely reported, e.g., by Newsweek (2/15/93) and TIME (4/26/93). Speaking of gay men, the TIME article said this survey “abruptly shrank their population to a tenth of what it was once touted to be.” See also the Family Research Council’s report #260, “Homosexual Groups Back Off From ’10 Percent’ Myth,” by Peter Sprigg (11/8/04), www.frc.org/get.cfm?I=IF04A01&v=PRINT : “A coalition of [31] leading pro-homosexual activist groups has now admitted in a legal brief that only ‘2.8 percent of the male, and 1.4 percent of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.’”

THREE. We must be aware of homosexualism as a cultural and political force. The “gay liberation movement” began in June 1969 with the “Stonewall riot” in NYC. This marked the beginning of homosexual militancy and their campaign to be accepted as completely normal. This took many forms: political activism, gay magazines, gay bookstores, advocacy groups such as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, ACT UP, Queer Nation, Human Rights Campaign Fund, GLAAD, etc.

A major turning point in the homosexual movement was the gay community’s successful manipulation of the American Psychiatric Association. They persuaded the APA to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders in 1973. An immediate result is that the early 1970s were the years when homosexuals were “coming out of the closet” all over America. Today the homosexual culture is one of the most outspoken, one of the most militant, one of the most agenda-driven, and one of the most anti-Christian movements in American society.

Liberal forms of Christianity reject the Biblical condemnation of homosexualism. This is why the mainline denominations push to ordain practicing gays and lesbians as ministers, and why they support same-sex marriage. The Disciples of Christ’s pro-gay organization, GLAD (“Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples”) is typical of most of these denominations’ advocacy groups.

FOUR. What is the Bible’s message to homosexuals? We must confront them with both the LAW and the Gospel. First comes LAW: Homosexualism is wrong, whether promiscuous or monogamous. Homosexuals usually do not want to hear God’s law: “Don’t call it sin!” Their motto is “Gay, PROUD, and healthy.” Here is their version of “Amazing Grace”: “‘Twas guilt that taught my heart to fear, And pride my fears relieved; How precious did that pride appear, The hour I first believed!” (This is not a joke.)

However, we must lovingly but firmly continue to insist that all homosexual behavior is wrong. Just BEING a homosexual, though unnatural, is not sinful as such. Those in this condition are not to be condemned just for being in this condition. Giving way to the unnatural desires caused by this condition, however, is sinful. One is responsible for his acts, even if not responsible for his condition.

Then comes GOSPEL: The good news of the gospel is for homosexuals as much as for anyone else. God offers forgiveness for homosexual acts. See 1 Cor. 6:11 (cf. v. 9): “And such were some of you; but you were . . . justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” God also offers healing for the homosexual condition. See again 1 Cor. 6:9-11, especially the reference to our initial sanctification, wherein the Holy Spirit begins a healing of our sinful nature. See Rom. 8:13; Eph. 3:16; Phil. 2:13; 1 John 4:4.

Such change may not be instantaneous, and it may involve a very great struggle. In some if not most cases the underlying power of the homosexual condition may be demonic; thus deliverance may be necessary. But the power of Jesus’ blood and of the Holy Spirit is amazing!

Individual Christians and local churches do not have to be experts in all aspects of homosexual counseling in order to extend love and hope to homosexuals. Agencies are available for this purpose. But we do seriously need to develop a desire to help this segment of our population, and a willingness to lovingly accept and minister to those individuals who will humbly submit to God’s Law and accept His gospel promises.

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    • If the sin in question is the sin of unbelief, then definitely, yes, because unbelief results in losing one’s salvation. My understanding is that no other sin will automatically separate a Christian from the grace of Jesus Christ. We are STANDING in grace (Rom. 5:2), like standing in a room which we have entered. Committing a sin means that we fall down in that room, but do not fall out of it. Another analogy is that being in grace is like being on a boat in deep water. You can fall down on the boat and hurt your knee, and you can also fall off the boat. Thus my answer is, no, we do not NEED to ask for forgiveness when we sin, as if every sin separates us from grace, and thus as a condition for being restored to grace. On the other hand, yes, we do NEED to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness as an expression of repentance and as a necessary element in our sanctification process. I believe I have already published an essay on this very subject. You can search for it here.

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