Temptation sucks. It can be hard to resist, tiresome to endure, and when succumbed to, the guilt of our failure weighs heavily on us. I hate temptation…. absolutely loathe it. But my hatred of it has not caused it to disappear. Whether I like it or not, temptation is a reality that all of us are going to have to deal with as we live out the remainder of our time in a fallen, sinful world. Avoiding the reality of (and consequently not preparing for) temptation is like being distracted and unknowingly stumbling upon the front lines of battle…. it’s just stupid— and self destructive.
I’ve met with and talked to quite a few different guys this week. We all share one particular thing in common, our battle with homosexuality, but it was interesting to see how differently each of our lives played out as we all took different directions in the ways we coped/dealt/lived with this thing. While I obviously took the route of recklessness… some, with just as much diligence, pursued meaningful gay relationships. Some pursued straight relationships. Some even walked the path of church and religion… and somewhere along the way the weight of their desires seemed too heavy to bear anymore and they just gave up.
But no matter how different our personalities and coping mechanisms were, or how diverse our backgrounds and upbringings were, we all ended up in the same place… in rebellion against God.
The Church must prepare itself to answer the many questions that same-sex attraction and homosexuality present. A friend of mine sent me his thoughts on how he has dealt with these issues in his own life. He says:
"The issue of homosexuality is one that has recently become a front-line war zone in our culture. Both sides of the issue have offered their opinions about how same-sex marriage will affect our society, as well as the other various issues surrounding homosexuality.
At the gym yesterday I was talking to a lady who was interested in becoming one of my personal training clients. She was rather…. eccentric…. and started giving me an over-detailed story of her life. At one point in her story, she told me she been in a horse-riding accident a few years back which left multiple scars on both of her arms and disabled her from almost all physical activity for quite a period of time.
After telling me how gruesome the accident was, she said, “It’s by the grace of God that I’m standing here!”
I responded, “You and me both.”
She said, “Oh, you were in an accident, too?”
I responded, “Oh, no. But by the grace of God, I am who I am.”
Last night while talking with a friend on the phone, I really felt that the Lord was urging me to tell him that he needed to stop focusing so intently on his same sex feelings– his mind and heart was so occupied with his feelings that his view of God and himself was being severely skewed. I told him that his confusion, depression and anger were all stemming from the fact that homosexuality was on the big screen in his heart 24/7, not Jesus. As soon as I said this, I knew without a doubt that the Lord was talking to me too.
Found this on The Christian Post. Piper sums it up well.
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
What are the most basic things a person needs to believe in order to be saved?
Paul says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” He says, “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.”
So I take texts like that and begin at the core-the death of Jesus. He died for our sins, which means I must believe I am a sinner. A person that doesn’t believe he is a sinner can’t be saved. If there is nothing to forgive, Jesus didn’t do anything for me. If he didn’t do anything for me, I’m not believing him for salvation. If I’m not believing him for salvation, then I’m not saved. So you must believe you are a sinner.
My goal was to already have blogged once or twice this week. Like I said in the previous post, I want to start utilizing this blog on a more personal level–writing on diverse topics, contingent upon whatever is on my heart at the time I sit down to do it. But my writing time has been taken up this week with working on my book, which I am actually so excited to be able to say since I have made almost no headway on it since May. Writer’s block has been ever before me and my thought processes concerning the topic(s) of my book have been paralyzed— its’ been so frustrating. I was so sure that the Lord led me to write this book, and connected me with people to help me along the journey, but the past few months I’ve been doubting that He even wants me to embark on such a task—due to my apparent lack of ability to do so.
But this week He showed me what was wrong with me. Depression.
God has used this testimony of this man, a pastor and one of my new friends, to open my eyes even more to the reality that same sex attraction is not limited to any particular “style” of life or “type” of person. People from all different backgrounds struggle with these feelings, and I think that’s something that needs to be realized. It’s not just the people that are “out” and proud that have homosexual feelings, but many people….some of whom truly love Jesus Christ….have these feelings as well. This man’s story is much different from those which I’ve posted in the past… and I am certain multitudes will be able to relate to it.
Here is his story:
Eating my own words in this post, and it doesn’t taste very good. I have a feeling that much of my future will consist of doing this…. realizing the errors in my reasoning and trusting the Lord to take me from glory to glory in the levels of my understanding and in my sensitivity to the compassion of His heart. Day by day, the Lord is bringing me to a deeper understanding of the souls of the people that I desire to help—- and He’s giving me a more real and strong love for them than I have ever had before.
New Podcast I did on Sermon Audio: “Gay Christians”.
I cover the question, “Can someone pursue a lifestyle of homosexuality, yet still go to heaven if they say they believe in Jesus?” … this is a sensitive subject and I try to approach with humility and trust in God’s wisdom, not my own.
[The first 8 minutes or so I read an interview with a prominent Christian leader who believes that someone can pursue homosexuality without remorse and be a genuine Christian, so this one's a little longer than the last one.]