Sunday, August 05, 2012

Homosexuality and the Christian:  Coming out of the Closet

This week's media chatter has inspired me to write a couple of blogposts regarding homosexuality and the Christian.  These are just some thoughts rolling around in my head, not a complete look at the topic. 

As a intro, I have found there are a few basic things that unless agreed upon, prevent the Christian from having a meaningful conversation with the gay community and its supporters:
1.  The complete authority of the Word of God
2.  The sinfulness of homosexual activity (actually, of all extramarital sexual activity)
3.  The role of human feelings being subjected to the Word of God when determining God's Will

The first two are self-explanatory; the third is a sneaky thing that creeps into the lives of many professing Christians.  Many a person has sat in a pastor's office and has said, "I believe God is calling me to divorce my husband.  See, I wasn't looking for love with anyone else, but it just dropped into my lap.  It must be of God since I wasn't pursuing it."   More 'tame' versions of this logic abound in the church.  I like to remind myself that Satan is allowed to open doors, too.  Just because something occurs out of the blue does NOT mean that God is behind it. 

That being said, I'd like to scribble out some of my thoughts on two big questions:  1.  Are people BORN gay? (this post) 2.  Can a gay person be a Christian at the same time? (next post)

People seem to carry within them individual weaknesses toward certain sins.  I'm pretty sure this has to do with the spiritual "DNA" we receive from our ancestors.  The sins of the fathers DO affect the children.  So do those of the mother, and those of the grandparents, and those of those before.  I know a man whose first alcoholic drink was HARD liquor (ick!) and his immediate reaction was, "Where has this been my whole life?!"  Immediate addiction.  This is seen in chemical addictions obviously, but in other areas, too.  We pick up all kinds of stuff through the genetic code.  Talking with my friend, Joy Budensiek a few years ago, she told me upon meeting her biological mother for the first time, she was stunned by how many of her personal quirks, strengths and weaknesses were reflected in her mother.  I suspect that certain weaknesses can skip generations, and I pray often that God will remove any 'curse' of previous generational sins from the lives of my children.  This should make us run like mad from sin!  Our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren are touched by that foray into pornography, that hypocrisy, that 'you-name-it!'  God, please help us to allow You to place blessings into our children's lives, not curses!!

Now a little anecdotal reference to the above.  I have told this story to the amusement of my friends over the years, but I assure you, it was not only not amusing, but frightening at the time.  About 9 years ago, Nathan and I were sent to Las Vegas for a business conference.  Just getting off the plane in Vegas, we could feel the deep and heavy sinfulness of that American favorite.  The atmosphere was downright oppressive.  Our company placed us in the Venetian, a gorgeous hotel/casino on the Strip.  Now a hotel in Vegas is very intentionally laid out.  You must WALK THROUGH the casino to get to the elevators to take you to your room.  Dear reader, I cannot truly express how I felt the first time I walked into that casino.  My heart pounded!  I felt alive!  There was an incredible pull in my heart toward the risk-taking, the gambling.  (Not the slot machines, people- I'm not an automaton ;o)  I had never, ever in my whole life felt a temptation like this.  The days there were torture.  I hated walking through that huge room.  I drowned myself in the Word, and prayed to get OUT of Vegas!  I never touched a card.  I know nothing about poker, blackjack or roulette.  But I was born with some kind of strange pull to it that I never knew about until I was exposed. 

Was there a gambler in my family history?  I don't know.  Possibly.  All I know is I was born into this twisted and fallen world with a propensity for risk taking and thus gambling is very attractive to me.  In the same way, I think that some people are born with a tremendous sexual attraction to members of the same sex. But that should not be used to justify a gay lifestyle anymore than my innate love of risk taking should justify gambling. People are not born gay any more than I was born a gambler.    

My little anecdote may strike some as silly, as funny.  I think it's a bit bizarre myself.  But it's given me a compassion for my homosexual friends.  So many Christians blow them off, and say, "Well, that's just sick!"  Yep.  So is all sin.  It's really sick to trample the gift of the Gospel to want to do our own thing.  Our good friend Greg Makcen used to say, "What do you have that's so great about your life that you won't leave it for Christ?"  The answer:  nothing.  All sin is sick.  All sin is paid for by our great Savior!

I don't think God is going to grill us at the Judgment on what our temptations were, rather what we yielded to and embraced in our lives.  I DO know He demands our HOLINESS.  There is so much that His holiness demands of us that is simply impossible on our own.  Anyone struggle with the sin of pride this week?  How about bringing those thoughts captive?  How about fear?  How about ...?  How'd that go for you?  It is only as we are in Christ, surrendered to His will and leadership, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit that we can overcome temptation.


Elizabeth said...

Thanks so much for your excellent thoughts on such a 'sticky' topic- very well said! I once heard someone say that the same-sex attraction is like a lot of other sins and temptations Satan throws into our paths- you also have to resist it, the same way you do others. (Paraphrase, but you get the idea.)

Always enjoy reading your blog! :)

Gaults in Lesotho said...

I always enjoy reading your blog, Charity. I agree with what you have to say, but I think there's much more than just being "born with a tremendous sexual attraction to members of the same sex" or a temptation that Satan brings to them. There are many factors that contribute to causing the homosexual and lesbian orientations, including dysfunctional families and abuse. I'm sure you're aware of this. If you have never read the book "Craving for Love" by Briar Whitehead, you might find it informative in relating to homosexual friends.
You are so right that all sin is wrong in God's eyes. People with homosexual and lesbian orientations can be healed through God's help just as the rest of us can be healed (and forgiven) from our sins. Thank you for bringing up this topic--Christians need to face these things, discuss them, and help people instead of hiding our heads or ignoring what's going on in the lives of people close to us.

Charity said...

Thanks for reading, gals. Stephanie, you're absolutely right. Others' sins definitely affect us. Children who are sinned against in abusive/neglectful ways have an even harder 'row to hoe.' Thanks for bringing this up and for the book recommendation!