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#715 Is It All Right to Be Gay?

January 17, 2021

Dear Dr Craig

There’s so much to cover in this message but I’ll keep it as brief as I can. Basically I have been a devoted, ‘born again’ Christian my entire life who honestly couldn’t have been more committed to God. Studying Christian apologetics was my favourite past time. The hypocrisy of the Church really bothered me, as did the intellectual dishonesty, and honestly it was probably your articles that kept my faith in God strong. They were the only things that gave me the intellectual depth I needed.

But I’m extremely disappointed to read your articles on homosexuality. I can give you my coming out letter if you like, but basically would’ve given anything to be straight and pleaded with God to take my ‘impure’ thoughts away. This was despite hating them. When I finally accepted that ‘conversion therapy’ is harmful and that ‘praying the gay away’ doesn’t work (trust me- I tried! This has taken all of my mental capacity and it’s like living in hell on earth!), I reached absolute rock bottom. Yet I still tried to live a life free of hypocrisy and remained celibate. I’d make up for my extreme loneliness by engaging with friends, and when they started getting married I reached absolute rock bottom. It took me suicidal thinking to embark on the most painful journey of my life- to come to a slow path of self-acceptance. I hear it’s something all LGBT strive to achieve, but very few get there.

Homosexuality is by no means a choice, and the oppression make it that much harder. I honestly don’t think those who had the privilege of being born straight will begin to comprehend the struggle. All I want is a loving, committed relationship with one person, who I can get married to and unconditionally love. I’ve finally realised many other gay people want the same thing. 

Your comments on a homosexual ‘lifestyle’ are extremely homophobic! I can certainly speak for myself when I say that casual sexual encounters have not and will never do anything for me. It would only cause harm. Sex for me is still intertwined with love. If you read books like ‘The Velvet Rage’ by Alan Downs, you’ll come to the realisation that this stereotypical homosexual ‘lifestyle’ is to fill a void from a lifetime of hurt and societal oppression (of which, the Church has a huge part to answer for). Gay Christians struggles are so great that they need to ‘sin’ (for example- drink excessive amounts of alcohol) to suppress the ‘sin’ of same-sex attraction. I’ve spoken to many gay men in my journey, and have come to realise that deep down they desire love with a committed partner too. The ‘gay culture’ has stemmed from the huge voids and hurts in their life, and has become purely a coping mechanism. From that a struggling inauthentic culture has emerged. ‘The Velvet Rage’ elaborates on this further.

 I have been through tremendous pain, yet still refuse to give up on my faith in Christ. People can’t believe that I can still hold a faith in a belief system that has caused me such considerable hurt. But I guess I’ve had the intellect to work through intellectual dishonesty and Church hypocrisy, and have been able to distinguish a personal heartfelt faith in God to one that looks good on the surface every Sunday. I have so much more I can say, and this is such a sensitive and emotionally charged topic due to the extreme hurt and suicidality it has caused me.

 But I’m truly disappointed to read that someone so academically sound still writes with an underpinning bias. Again, all I want is a committed loving relationship (will always hope it’s with someone of the opposite sex- but same sex attraction is no more of a choice than eye colour that I don’t think it’s possible). I wonder why the Church- who happily remarries all divorcees and allows for IVF while being against abortions- can truly deny me of this. Unlike alcholism and the like, companionship and sexuality is core to someone and is a basic human need. Despite my best efforts, it took me to near suicide to realise that. And my story is not unique to gay Christians. There is honestly not a more painful thing I think any human can go through. 

I really hope that you give this more honest thought, as you’re one of the best we’ve got to save the Christian faith and integrity of what we believe! I am deeply concerned that Christianity is starting to lose the fight, particularly on controversial issues like this. This experience has made me humble myself so much and lose all dignity, so I’m happy to be as frank and honest about anything that you need clarity on. Too many gay Christians are finding the cognitive dissonance too great that they are ending their lives! And too many people are turning against Christ because of issues like this! I’m a doctor with experience in GP, psychiatry and palliative care (if I’m honest- probably to allow me to tackle the big life questions- as I had to grapple the idea of death from the moment I was born- another long story and reason my faith in Jesus is so real to me).

God bless 

Jono 😊

P.S. a quote to consider- “I thought God wanted to use me to show gay people how to be straight. Instead God wanted to use gay people to show me how to be a Christian.”

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Dr. craig’s response


Thank you, Jono, for your heartfelt expression of the pain you have experienced! You are right that I have no idea personally of what the struggle that you and other homosexual Christians go through is like. The best I can do is to listen thoughtfully and try to learn from your experiences. I agree that God can use gay people to show me how to be a better Christian, not in the sense of compromising biblical moral teaching, but in the sense of being a humble listener, a sympathetic brother, and a loving person who accepts others with whom I disagree ethically.

That being said, there’s not a whole lot in your letter to which I can respond. The main purpose of my article “A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality” is to articulate and defend the view that while one’s sexual orientation may be beyond one’s control, nevertheless our behavior is not and that God has proscribed homosexual behavior. Since God’s commands determine our moral duties, we should obey what He says, no matter how hard it is.

Reading and re-reading your letter, I don’t find anything in it that rebuts that basic perspective. You say that you have followed “a slow path of self-acceptance.” That’s wonderful, if you mean coming to recognize that you are a homosexual and not trying to pretend otherwise. But as a committed Christian you cannot mean that you have come to think that homosexual activity is morally acceptable, for God clearly proscribes it. You say that “all I want is a committed loving relationship (will always hope it’s with someone of the opposite sex- but same sex attraction is no more of a choice than eye colour that I don’t think it’s possible).” I understand, but God proscribes same sex marriage. You “wonder why the Church. . . can truly deny me of this.” Well, it’s because God has established marriage as a heterosexual union.  If you do choose a heterosexual marriage, as you are free to do, it must be done with complete candor up front, or failure is probably inevitable. You may, like the Lord Jesus, be called to a life of singleness.

I, too, “am deeply concerned that Christianity is starting to lose the fight. . . and too many people are turning against Christ because of issues like this!” Believe me, I know! But I cannot compromise what seems to me clear biblical moral teaching because it is unpopular and hinders evangelism. I just can’t do it!

Now there is one paragraph in your letter that does respond directly to something I said, and that concerns my “comments on a homosexual ‘lifestyle’.” Let’s put those comments in context. In presenting a Christian perspective on homosexuality, my main aim is to persuade fellow Christians like yourself on the basis of biblical authority to refrain from homosexual activity. But I recognize that in a secular society, such biblical appeals cut no mustard. So I explore whether there might not be secular reasons for refraining from such activity. I observe that it is widely agreed that it is morally wrong to engage in activity which is either self-destructive or destructive of others. I then note the bio-medical evidence of how destructive (male) homosexual activity typically is. The gay lifestyle is typically attended by drug abuse, alcoholism, mental health problems, rampant promiscuity, and so on. As a medical doctor, you should be aware of the pathological damage that prolonged sodomy inflicts. You don’t deny the evidence that such a lifestyle is injurious to oneself and others. Rather you say, “this stereotypical homosexual ‘lifestyle’ is to fill a void from a lifetime of hurt and societal oppression.” In my article I explicitly refrain from pronouncing on the reasons for this destructive lifestyle. Maybe you’re right, though that has, to my knowledge, yet to be proved in a scientifically credible fashion. My point remains that anyone who chooses to embark on a gay lifestyle is playing with fire and typically comes to hurt both himself and others. That provides secular reasons to refrain from such activity. Is the provision of such reasons on my part “homophobic”? If by “homophobic” you mean hateful, then obviously not! On the contrary, it expresses a genuine concern for the well-being of others who may be tempted to enter this lifestyle.

I get the impression that you have not embarked on such a lifestyle, for which we can only thank God. In fact, I get the impression you’re still looking for a partner. I’d encourage you to follow the biblical mandate no matter how hard it is. The path of Christian discipleship is, after all, a path of self-denial. Jesus said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16.24).

- William Lane Craig