September 23, 2012
What Should Homosexual Christians Do?
Dear Dr. Craig
Firstly I would like to point out, that personally I admire you and your work, and would like to take this moment to thank you in leading me to regain my faith in God.
I would also like to say, that I am a Catholic homosexual male, living in the UK. Having heard your podcast regarding the issue of being a 'Christian and being Homosexual' I cannot help but say I have issues, and indeed some questions.
The outlining of prohibition of homosexual acts to be found in the moral Old Testament laws is fully understood, in addition to this I understand the idea that for two such homosexual men to be considered 'married' would be a twisting of the structure of marriage as outlined within the Bible.
I quote you in saying we must 'live a chaste life' in order to not commit the moral sin of the homosexual act. And I can understand that this is the argument that would be put forward by many if not all Christians in terms of this issue, but what I fail to understand is the idea that all homosexual men - and I would assume women - must be forced to live such a life, and not enjoy sexuality. This of course is due to the fact of sexuality existing within the bounds of marriage. Furthermore I quote you in asking as a response 'what man doesn't?' to the question about men having the urge of sexuality. This obviously applies to homosexual men as well, and to myself in particular who currently lives on a university campus, thus being of an age where sexuality is almost constantly on my mind, thus making it extremely difficult for me to balance this prohibition with my faith, especially so when I consider both being a homosexual perfectly fine, and hardly ashamed to say I enjoy the act. So, in such a situation what am I to do, to remain chaste for the rest for my life, avoiding something I like, and live in an orientation I cannot help without sexuality in order to affirm my faith in God?
Another point to add would be the idea of monogamy amongst the homosexual community, and as being a witness, am in full knowledge that such a thing exists. It is indeed something I search for in life, and step away from such a thing as promiscuity. And then there is the idea of love. If I am to love a person of the same sex, and then work toward and eventually attain a monogamous relationship, are we still to abstain from the act, despite being in love, and living unmarried but almost identically to a heterosexual married couple?
This is quite important to me Dr. Craig, and I would be so incredibly gratuitous if you helped me in this struggle and balance between life/sexuality and faith, when I consider this to be the only hurdle in sticking to my church.
I’m so glad to hear that you’ve come back to Christian faith, Hayden! From your letter, I gather, however, that your Christian discipleship is not yet consistent, since you are unmarried and yet apparently sexually active. The Scripture warns against such behavior in no uncertain terms (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Living a chaste life as a single person is a part of Christian discipleship, whether you’re heterosexual or homosexual in your orientation. God asks no more of you than He does of any other single young man: to abstain from sexual activity and to keep your thought life pure.
Look to the Lord Jesus as your model. He was a man of flesh and blood like us and felt sexual urges just as we do, but in the power of the Holy Spirit he lived a pure life before God. As his disciples we are to follow his example.
So what should you do? First and foremost, you need to align your thinking with God’s. When you say that you consider being a homosexual to be “perfectly fine,” I’m not sure if you’re talking about your orientation or the activity. I agree with you that it’s no sin to have a homosexual orientation. That’s probably something you didn’t choose and aren’t responsible for. But you can choose and are responsible for how you act. The Bible is clear that sexual acts outside of marriage are immoral and therefore to be shunned. It’s impossible to resist engaging in a pleasurable activity if you consider that activity to be perfectly fine. So you need to remember that sin is abhorrent to God, severs your fellowship with Him, and takes you astray, out of His will and into pitfalls. You need to stay on the straight and narrow path to avoid disaster. If we keep in mind that sin is an affront to our Heavenly Father, who loves us and sent His Son to die for us, that sober realization can give us strength to stay on the path.
Second, I’d encourage you to seek Christian counseling to help you deal with your homosexual orientation. You may never completely shed your homosexual desires, but the testimony of many persons like yourself who have sought help is that one can reshape one’s orientation to a considerable degree. There is hope of change.
Third, you should hope to marry a Christian girl that God has in mind for you. You don’t have to live a life of sexual abstinence. Even given residual homosexual desires, through marriage you can still enjoy sexual relations with a person of the opposite sex. Forget the unbiblical idea of finding some other man with whom you can build a monogamous love relationship. Not only is that a fantasy that will lead you only to heartache and profound disappointment, but, more importantly, it is contrary to God’s will for your life, as we know from Scripture. Why would any follower of Christ flout his perfect will (Romans 12.1-2) and choose to forge one’s own path contrary to his will? Indeed, how could such a person be truly called a follower of Christ, since he is pursuing a path other than Christ’s?
Finally, Haydn, be sure that your return to Christian faith was more than just a change of mind intellectually. Coming to believe Christian truth claims is essential, but true conversion is much more than just an intellectual change. You need to be sure that you have experienced the regenerating power of God in your life. It is only through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit that we can hope to live a life holy and pleasing to God. Lived in the power of our fallen human nature alone, the demands of Christian discipleship would become unbearable and noxious. We need to draw daily upon the power of the Holy Spirit if we are to live victorious and joyous Christian lives.