Oh, the innumerable ways people try to answer this question. Does God want gays to become straight? Does He just want them to lie to themselves? Does He want them to accept themselves for who they are? Does He want them to pursue loving, committed, same-sex relationships?
I mean, God is love. Doesn’t God want gay people to love?
The Christian answer would be YES. God wants gay people to love. He wants them to love Him… and to repent. But what does that even mean? What does that look like?
I am a Christian, and I have homosexual feelings. There are many voices from within the church that say this is impossible because if I were indeed a born-again Christian, I should not have homosexual temptations at all. They say that if the Holy Spirit were truly in me, I would be set free from homosexuality altogether. Rather than seeking out a solid biblical understanding of homosexuality when confronted with persons such as me, many people have just retracted back to their false legalistic views and ostracize those who struggle with same sex attraction.
Although I have same sex thoughts on a daily basis, I do not, in any way, feel compelled to ever return to a lifestyle of homosexuality. God has put His Spirit within me and created in me a new heart that views every aspect of life differently because I am finally able to see the world through life-seeking, living eyes of faith rather than the sin-stained, darkened eyes of death that I had always viewed the world through before knowing Christ. But here is where people start to get confused: although I am free from the stronghold that homosexuality had over my life, I have not been exempted from the continual temptations. There is so much confusion because many people have been led to believe, due to a plethora of false-teaching, that homosexual temptation should totally cease at the moment of conversion. Ironically, most of these people with this kind of “theology” are still tempted by sin in other various ways; but once again, they want to isolate homosexuality from all other sins and place on certain people a higher standard than the Bible places. There are some people who claim to have been instantaneously delivered from homosexual attractions in full, and I will not attempt to negate their claims. But this is not true for the majority of people, like me, who struggle with these feelings. The Bible never in any way says that we will not battle temptation; rather, it says very blatantly that temptation shall surely come! The Scriptures do not offer a promise that homosexual feelings will magically disappear when we recite a prayer or creed out loud. That kind of ideology fits much more in line with witchcraft than it does Biblical Christianity.
Having homosexual thoughts and temptations does not define our standing with God, but how we deal with these temptations should show us our standing with God. A Christian is called to repent from all sin, which includes the sin of homosexuality; so when a person is legitimately converted to Christ, they will see their sin, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, and turn from it.
The books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah beautifully lay out the renewing work that God would do in His people through His Son Jesus Christ. He said that He would take out their heart of stone which was evil and opposed to God’s ways, and in its place give us a heart of flesh which would yearn for His presence and overflow with love for Him. Because of this divine transformational process, true Christianity is not bondage, but freedom! The regenerated Christian does not unwillingly submit to the laws of God, but he or she now joyously pursues God and His holiness while forsaking their sin. The genuine Christian has a new nature which is completely opposite of that which they had from physical birth. They yearn for God, delight in the Law of God, and passionately want to do what is pleasing in His sight. Biblical Christianity is not about refraining from all the wicked things you love and doing all of the righteous thing you hate, but it is a miraculous transformation by which you now love the righteousness you once hated and abhor the wickedness that you once loved.
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”- Ezekiel 36:25-27
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”- Jeremiah 31:33
Though the child of God strives in repentance, we all fall at times; and when I say all I mean all. There is not a Christian out there who has had a perfect repentance, and if they think that they have they are guilty of the sin of pride. But as a whole, the person that is regenerated by the Holy Spirit will walk in a manner that reflects their growing love for God, and respectively their growing hatred of sin. The more intimately we walk with the Lord Jesus, we start seeing with greater clarity the consequences of our sins and the negative flux it causes in our communion with God through the Holy Spirit. This produces in us a great amount of godly grief when we do give into temptation, which in turn leads us to genuine heartfelt repentance.
Unfortunately, repentance has slowly been bled out of the gospel many people preach.
When a person claims to be Christian, and without remorse embraces and pursues their same sex feelings, it’s evident that they are either deceived, in a season of rebellion, or may not even really know Christ. I know that sounds extreme, but the Bible is very extreme in its message regarding what the overall lifestyle of a Christian will look like.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14.
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”- 1 John 1:6
“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”- 1 John 3:6-9
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”- 1 John 2:19
- Jesus Christ, who gave us our very being.
- Jesus Christ, who bore our guilt and sorrows.
- Jesus Christ, who purchased us with His own blood.
Knowing Jesus, even in the midst of our weaknesses and tribulations, is the goal and centrality of the Christian faith. Only in knowing Christ, loving Christ and chasing after Christ, can we effectively battle and put to death the things in us that strive so violently to strangle our souls.