Every time I proclaim some kind of 'series,' I rue the day. I then begin to have all kinds of other bloggable thoughts, but feel restrained until I FINISH THE JOB. I've been wrapped up in homeschool prep, but here on this quiet Saturday morning, let me wrap this topic up.
The question I posed previously was "Can a Christian be gay?" There are actually three thoughts that come to mind here. If I consider active homosexuality to be a sinful behavior, a disobedience of the Word, then the answer is no. 1. No, an active homosexual cannot be walking by the Spirit at the same time. 2. Can an active homosexual repent and receive the saving mercies of our God? Of course!
Now we come to the third thought: What can a new believer expect to happen to his/her same-sex attraction? Will he/she be delivered? If not, were they really saved? Remember the verse "such were some of you?" Do they need to stay under the spout 'til the glory comes out? (as they used to say ;o) Perhaps homosexuality is conquered through complete surrender, through entire sanctification. Doesn't true sanctification make us Christian robots, with never a temptation, never a care?
I JUST had this conversation with a dear friend who struggled for years with smoking. She was wondering out loud why God had not delivered her. Having observed Nathan teach new converts over the years, it seems some are delivered instantaneously from sinful lifestyles, others are not. Inevitably, those who are testify brilliantly to the power of God, and those who are not sink a little lower into despair in their presence. In small group settings, I've even seen them turn on each other and question the other's walk with God. Years ago, Nathan had to intervene in one exchange as it was utterly demoralizing (definitely not edifying as the role of the church should be). I thought I would share what he said:
"Person Struggling with X, if I wanted to build muscle, what would I need to do? Add resistance, that's right. We build muscle by pushing against something. Spiritual muscle is built the same way. Each time you acknowledge your utter dependence on God, each time you say NO!, muscle is built. With time, you will be stronger and stronger. Person Delivered Immediately from X, God doesn't place on our weight bar more than we can bear. God knew you would be crushed spiritually by your addictions, and He decided to deliver you in His great mercy." In other words, any instant deliverance that God works in our life is not a point of spiritual pride/superiority, rather a point of praise for the mercies of God.
I believe it is entirely possible for a growing Christian to still be attracted to the same sex, possibly even for life. I would guess that with time, strong Christian support, and a total commitment to holiness, the temptation may subside, but I don't think we should expect them to suddenly be attracted to the opposite sex instead. (In fact, the new temptations would still be... yep, temptations! They will still have to learn to RESIST!) Again, God has called us to holiness. To a life lived apart from sin. Instead of me criticizing the kinds of weights someone still has on their bar, perhaps I could be a spotter instead. Cheering them on, helping them when needed, teaching them wisdom from the Word. That's called edification: it's what the Church is supposed to be about.