I've always struggled to understand this... I have a 19 year old son that I recently found out was gay. When I found out about the pain and self condemnation he was putting himself through for years, it killed me inside! He has very much struggled with this reality himself and feels ashamed. He is a conservative, devoted Christian. So the fact that he didn't choose this and can't help but feel the way he does... How can him being attracted to other men be wrong? I do understand that some may choose to be with the same sex but he didn't choose this, in fact he's been praying about it and fighting it but since he can remember he's always felt the same. So if his feeling are coming from a genuine place, and he finds love with another man, how can that be wrong? Isn't God Love? Thank you for taking the time to read and answer my question.
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Most Christians struggle with some desire or another which they have been pulled toward since childhood, and even after accepting Christ has not gone away. For some, it's greed - the lure of stuff. For example, imagine a girl who has loved shoes since she was a kid. She didn't 'choose' to like pretty shoes, but has always felt the desire to own more varieties or even just likes soaking up the scent of a new shoe shop and fantasizing about being able to buy them all. For others, it might be gossip. Since childhood, they may have felt the attraction of juicy scandal or knowing secrets. It wasn't a weakness they chose, but the desire to keep up with all the latest events of all their friends is constantly nagging at them. For others, it might be lust - whether for the same-sex or opposite sex. Someone might not 'choose' to have desires for beautiful women or handsome men, but experience them regardless even after coming to Christ. These desires often come with a sense of shame or self-loathing, Satan's tactics to destract us from the forgiveness of Christ. For some, a lifelong sin might be pride. Perhaps a man has the desire to be acknowledged, admired, and praised by others - with the temptation to find ways to force others into doing so. He didn't choose to have that personality or desire but is always tempted to act on it. Sin is a struggle, for all of us, since we still have bodies of flesh. Sin always feels more 'natural' than righteousness! Sin's greatest deception is that it generally feels great and tempts us that it is right. It isn't for no reason that James 1:14-15 describes giving into sin as an erotic encounter that begins with a simple desire and ends in death. Satan appears 'as an angel of light' (II Cor 11:14-15) As Christians, who walk by the spirit, we have to take those desires and thoughts captive and submit them to Christ (Gal 5:16-25) - but nowhere are we promised that those desires will just go away while we live on Earth. Incorrect desires are 'genuine feelings' - and often we do not choose to have them, but that does not make them correct. We can choose to nurture sin, by dwelling on it, fantasizing, giving into darker desires, etc. One way to think of sin is as an 'incorrect response to a God-given need.' Consider the case of a man who passes by a pretty woman on the street. It isn't wrong to think her pretty, but it is wrong for him to fantasize about her or act on that fantasy to take her, even if she consents to join him in bed. It isn't wrong to be hungry, but it would be wrong to steal a loaf of bread. Unfortunately, sexual desire tends to feed the more it is considered. The brain's neural pathways get set to make it easier and easier for certain thoughts to be repeated, and a dopamine rush given in 'reward' for those thoughts. In the case of homosexuality, twin studies have indicated that one can be born with a predisposition towards it that will make it easier for your mind to develop and nurture the trait. It functions in a very similar manner to alcoholism - not an inevitable outcome, but difficult to overcome if one becomes addicted. When struggling with any sin, if Satan cannot convince us that the sin is good, Satan will try to make us feel guilty or 'lesser' than other Christians who may not struggle in the same way. However, the truth is that all struggle with sin, and Jesus is always willing to forgive us! "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death." Rom 8:1-2 Related question: "https://ebible.com/questions/6832-when-the-bible-says-homosexuality-is-sinful-could-it-be-referring-to-the-lustful-desire-and-acts-toward-a-person-of-the-same-gender-done-in-the-absence-of-love-rather-then-the-love-felt-between-two-people-of-the-same-gender"
I am a 27 year old twin who has struggled with homosexuality since I was going through puberty at the age of 10. Being raised in church and knowing homosexuality is wrong, I tried as a normal kid (when I would be on a God high from camp, etc) to resist any lusts and keep my focus on His Word. This was and always IS the best thing one can do as a believer, especially when a struggle is being dealt with like homosexuality. It can quickly become convincing to someone that it's okay because it seems so 'natural'. I have made mistakes, gotten physically involved with a few guys and even had a boyfriend for about a year. I've never failed to recognize it's wrong to act upon same sex desires. God has displayed to me the dead end lack of fulfillment they give me when I take part. In a society that conforms more to the world than God now, most encourage and congratulate those coming out as gay and proud. Upon easing into the gay world, words cannot express just how dark and sinful it all is. I've met guys all over the globe who struggle and acknowledge it's wrong. Lest we forget sin is sin and though it's same sex actions or bearing false witness, any sin, we are not to wallow in the filth of a life we are to leave behind upon the acceptance of Christ. I believe God chose to identify homosexuality specifically because He knew just how big it would become and all Satan would seek to recruit through its hold. Lastly, as crucial concrete evidence that it's not right in the eyes of our Lord, I have seen God show me that it's not for me, one of His chosen. I am a pretty decently attractive guy. I stay fit, I take care of myself. I have three brothers (including my twin) and I live in a vastly conservative, predominantly senior community, attend an almost exclusively (LoL) senior church, and I'm 45 minutes from the nearest remotely metropolitan area. He's protecting me. I have tried to meet guys (even after my boyfriend); those I'm attracted to, fail to acknowledge me. He's protecting me. "This is not for you, won't you see. You're one of Mine." It rings through every day of my life. It's difficult since I'm part of the 59% of same-sex twins who is predispositioned to have same sex tendencies, but it's only difficult for me. It's not difficult for God. For the Holy Spirit that undoubtedly resides within me is all the strength I will ever need to accomplish that whichever God has planned for me. Thank you Lord that you have spared me from the fire that will claim so many. Help me to use my story to stand firm for you and teach others that they are not alone in the struggle and there IS a way to a better life, a life of fulfillment, a purpose driven life. It's in His Son's precious and Holy name I trust and give thanks, expecting great things. Amen
We live in a society that tells us a persons feelings and emotions are true and right, just because they are real and exist. Actually, feelings and emotions are symptoms of the condition of a persons heart... just as a congested nose, sneezing and coughing are symptoms of a cold virus in our body. This is what the Bible tells us about the heart: Ps 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Every single person born in this world is born with a sinful heart. Therefore, we are to examine every feeling and emotion that comes from it to see if it is from God or not. If a feeling or emotion goes against what the Bible says, it is not from God. The Bible is the absolute standard of truth by which we examine our heart, not the other way around. Many people today know what the Bible says but try to justify their feelings or behavior by rationalizing, "But thats how I feel" or "I was born this way"...therefore it must be all right. The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is not from or created by God... 1 Cor 6:9-11, Lev 18:22 As humans, we are not able to overcome a sinful heart on our own. Praise God, He provided a way through Jesus Christ, His Son, dying on the cross. There is no sin that God will not forgive from a repentant heart and no desire that He can't help overcome.. It does not mean the struggle against the sin or desire will necessarily go away, but God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us in our daily struggles. Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
To the parent who asked the question, my heart goes out to you; you are in a very difficult situation. Although Scripture clearly states (in 1 Cor 6:9-10, Romans 1:24-27 & elsewhere) that homosexuality is wrong, we Christians need to treat homosexuals with love. We need to focus on the person’s willingness to love (agape) another human because that is what God wants. Once we focus on the true AGAPE LOVE of their behavior, rather than the sexual sin or lust, our heart softens & our teaching is better received. When one is the parent of a homosexual child, this focus will not only reduce your angst about the situation, it will likely create an environment where you can then share Bible truth (like in Jennifer’s excellent answer). Homosexuals are surprised when a person shares joy about their ability to love another human because when they know you are a Christian, they usually expect nothing but condemnation. A Christian’s joy in finding something good about them can open their heart and mind to hearing truth. With love in your heart for the “student,” you become a true teacher, rather than a clanging gong. Lastly, on a slightly different note, and I hope this doesn’t sound too harsh: it’s frustrating to me when homosexuals say the reason they cannot change is because they were born with certain feelings. It might be true that they were born with those feelings, but even heterosexual people have attractions to people that they know are not good for them. For example, ever feel “chemistry” with someone you know you are not supposed to be with? I’m not talking about good chemistry between a husband and wife; I’m talking about lustful chemistry that puzzles us when we know we are not to be with a certain person yet we are drawn to them. Where does that powerful attraction come from? I truly don’t know…and whether we were born with something that creates that lustful chemistry for certain strangers, we must remind ourselves that people CHOOSE who they will love and/or have sex with. And remember, we can LOVE another and not have a sexual relationship with them. As difficult as that may be (esp for males), perhaps that’s what your son needs to do. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I know that when I felt that lustful chemistry, the only thing that worked for me was my 2-part plan: (1) control my thoughts (2) run away! I pray that God has a calling for your son that is fulfilling to the point where he can be alone without feeling lonely and he can be completely satisfied doing the will of God.
Your question: "How can being gay be wrong if you've always felt attracted to the same sex, you're a devoted Christian, and it wasn't something you chose?". If for no other reason, homosexuality is wrong because God says it's wrong. It is upside down and opposite of His divine order and an abomination. The last thing I want to do is preach to you so please read Genesis 19, Isaiah chapters 3-5, and pay close attention to Romans 9. In Romans 9: scripture tells us "God also gave them up...... (V.24) " For this cause God gave them up....." (V.26) "God gave them over to a reprobate mind......" (V.28). I've never had to deal with this in my family and can only Imagine the torment that you are going through. The fact that your son is suffering over this may indicate he truly is a Christian and the Holy Spirit is dealing with him or in the least, his lifestyle is contrary to his upbringing. Advice? Love him, share the Word of God with him but never condone his chosen lifestyle. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:9-10)
I just want to share that I have struggled with lust of the eyes for years and was introduced to pornographic material as a very young teenager. It is a road that I wish I never would have traveled. I am a constantly growing Christian today and happily married to my wife Liz. I still have temptations, but it is sin everytime I give into those temptations. Homosexuality is a type of sin as well and giving into it just like giving into adulterous affairs of any sexual orientation is also sin. One cannot live a lifestyle as an alcoholic, murderer, liar, thief, adulterer, homosexual, etc... and enter the kingdom of heaven. It does not matter how much our flesh loves the sin. See (Romans 1: 6-28) This is what can happen to any of us if we continue a life of sin.
When Jesus went to the cross He had to pay for every possible sin of every one in the world so that any one could be saved. I really only have one answer and that is we all are broken, and a leopard can not change his spots. We are saved by grace without works, which means the minute we trust Jesus as our savior we are born into the family of God. John1:12 says, But as many as received Him, (the free gift of salvation,) to them gave He power, to become the Children of God, even to them that believe on His name. So if your son has accepted Jesus as His only savior He is saved and has eternal life because Jesus paid for all sin and our works have nothing to do with salvation by grace. I would offer to pray with your son and trust God, The flesh can not change the flesh. In our weakness God is made strong. Galatians 5:5 says, we are to wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. He just needs to take it to the Lord and leave it their. The Lord knows all about it and He alone is able to do the things we can not do. It may take time and I believe it will, but over time the lord can do wonders. We are all weak but He is strong. I would read Galatians 5:5 with him, and tell Him to rest in the lord and not struggle with it because as long as we struggle the lord can not work. I believe it when the lord said He has begun a good work in us and He will complete the work He started. I will pray for you and Him. John 3:18 He that believeth on Him is not condemned, he that believeth not is condemned already because He hath not believed on the name of the Son of God. Some sins we can overcome, but most only God can do. The flesh is just to strong for us. Paul struggled with sin in chapter 7 of Romans where he said he could not do the thing he wanted to do, and did the things he did not want to do. He said that is was sin that still dwelled in His flesh. But then in chapter 8 he is victorious and says who shall lay any thing to Gods elect. A good read for any one with problems of the flesh which we all have to a degree because none of us are perfect. That is why Jesus had to die for as there was no other way for us to be saved. One more verse of encouragement, Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not but believe on Him who justifieth the ungodly (al of us) his faith is counted for righteousness. When we trust Jesus as our savior, He gives us His righteousness, because we have no righteousness of our own, And in Romans 4:7-8 ir says our sins can no longer be imputed to our account. Why, because Jesus blood sacrifice has covered us from all sin. If it was not so no one could be saved.
All the opinions I've read seem sound doctrinally and are compassionate...so I won't add to that. My own experiece with God has been a wandering one; grew up in an evangelical home, but one that was so legalistic, so overly coercive that I didn't exist as an individual. Only the "rules" had value. Failure before God was a given; I understood at an early age that I was doomed (even though I had trusted Christ as Savior, my denomination taught that salvation could be lost). I could not be the Christian I should be. As a result, knowing I couldn't "win," eventually I said, "I might as well adjust to the fact that I'm going to hell & enjoy myself before I get there." There was incredible freedom for a time, not having the onus of those impossible standards hanging over me. Some may question this part of my experience, but one of the reasons I came back to God was that I frankly expected the back of His hand in punishment (& there was pain from my actions: natural consequence), but He kept showing up in my mind, heart & circumstances. And eventually I realized He was wooing me. Even so, my two almost insurmountable objections to surrender were the prohibitions of sex outside marriage & homosexuality (had both male & female gay friends I loved). What turned the tide in my thinking & changed my heart was this: I asked myself: "Do I really want a God in my own image (I could see that being my own god wasn't working that well--on so many levels), OR--even though I didn't fully "get" why those specific life choices were sinful--did I want a God who was NOT me, who loved me, true, but was OTHER. Whose thoughts were not my thoughts, whose ways were not my ways. I finally settled on letting God be...God. And entrusting all those unknowns & unanswered questions to Him. Although, our "happiness" is not #1 on God's list of concerns for us, I have never known such contentment. I have been chosen by and belong to THE GOD of the universe, of creation, of salvation, the one who meets all my needs (once I remember who He is, the One with all the power to conform me to the image of His Son, & let Him do it).
I think it’s a red-herring to try to get to the bottom of another’s ‘whatever’, but rather once we challenge ourselves on OUR own universal humanity characteristics, then all the other issues take care of themselves. So we take a Luke 18:19/Rom3:10 when Jesus challenged the rich young ruler, “"No one is good--except God alone”. Now if we want to do a comparison study on which not-goods are worse’r than the other not-goods, then we’re not even in the ballpark of what the “good news” message is even all about. Suffice to say we each have our own challenges, and not acting on stealing, lying or adultery is ours alone to master (as it’s standing outside our door –Gen4:7) and would another be burdened less than us on any of these, then God’s grace is still sufficient for them (and us). I for one can’t believe God made anyone inclined to sin, so even if DNA was somehow corrupted from God’s template of a perfect design, then being born that way counts for squat. After all, a pre-born baby is in a stew of mum’s hormones and environmental chemicals is no way to start the first 9 months after conception. If you’re son feels a burden to “pray the gay away”, then good luck with that one. All we know for sure is that he, as well as any of us (Christians), can go forward in God’s perfect plan and be participating in the Kingdom of God (is at hand), even today. If he feels that he’s called to get married, then he’s signing up to serve his wife in the capacity that only a man can do. Otherwise, he can take Paul’s advice and recognize that it’s good for a man to have a single focus on our Lord and Savior (1st Cor 7:8).
I can certainly imagine the pain of self condemnation and guilt for I've lived with that with other longings/needs. Remind your son of Paul; how he had to carry the thorn in his side. He finally learned that God's grace was all he needed. I believe that this cross your son has to bear is will what will strengthen his need to lean on Jesus. Each time the desire becomes strong is when his knees need to hit the floor. Even if he sins he need only take it to the Lord. Ask him to PRAY Psalm 23 everyday and God will show him that he's got his back.
First of all, let me say that I feel for you. Loving your son is what you should be doing and therefore concern for him is only natural. I write this answer fully aware that all have sinned and that I must be careful to not point out a splinter in someone else's eye when there may be a plank in my own. That being said, I also would want someone else to point out the plank in my eye if they saw it. There is no doubt that homosexuality is a sin. 1 Cor 6:9-10 says: "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherent the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolators nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slandered nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." The good news is that all these can be forgiven. Verse 11 says " That is what some of you WERE. (Emphasis mine). But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Some would say then that once your son became a Christian then all his future sins are forgiven as well as his past sin and therefore his lifestyle now has no bearing on his salvation. That may or may not be correct, I certainly would not take a position on that question. I believe Paul was trying to combat that thinking, though, in Romans chapter 6. Verses 1-2 say "What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Skip to verses 11-14 says: "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but grace". Because you love your son, I believe you have the responsibility to share these concerns with him. In Luke chapter 17, Jesus referred to the days of Lot when he said "Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it and whoever loses their life will preserve it." Lots wife looked back to her old life and was turned to a pillar if salt. When we accept Christ as our Savior we should be willing to give up our old life and live for Christ. Not saying it will be easy. Jennifer above did a great job of pointing out the perils of addiction, etc. But at this point, it is a choice. One you son can make and with prayer and commitment I believe the Holy Spirit will help him do so.
Anything that destroys the health of the body is opposed by God. Check your Bible and see that God wants us to live a long healthy life. All his recommendations in the book point to a healthy lifestyle. Mentally and physically. We need to give it all up to Jesus to help us overcome.
Anonymous, loving cannot be wrong on any level. If a man loves another man, praise God. If he acts upon that love in a sexual way, that is where the controversy begins with many Christians. Homosexuality has been in existence about as long as mankind has been roaming the earth. There are instances of love between two men in ancient Roman and Greek literature as well as references of love between two women. The same for ancient Egypt. It is plainly stated in Scripture that men lying with men, in the same way as with a woman, is a sin. It is noteworthy, though, that Jesus never specifically mentioned homosexuality in any of His words recorded in the New Testament. I often wonder why this subject was not addressed by Jesus. It begs scrutiny and interpretation. With all of this being said, I fail to understand why there is so much animus against gays as many Christians fail to heed the words of Jesus concerning divorce and sexual relations outside of marriage. If a man lies with a woman, he is to take her as a wife, even if he is already married. Jesus ate and associated with sinners. He also loved them; all of them. God made your son; God knows your son; Jesus loves your son. I sympathize with your son's struggle. We all struggle; every day with so much. You will love your son regardless of the outcome of his struggle and it won't change your relationship with our Lord and Savior. I pray for you and your son.
Most of the responses to the original question are comprehensive, therefore, I can add little with the exception of the reminder, that the secular worldly definition of "love" is completely different from the "agape" love. Worldly love = lust / sexual relations (nothing more). When we study the gospels, we see through the Lord's earthy ministry, the meaning of "Agape Love" (love we are not born with and cannot know or understand outside a personal relationship with Jesus Christ - John 3: 5-7).
In Leviticus 18:22 says,”You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” Romans 1:27 says,”Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what’s shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” God doesn’t make a mistake in anything He says or does. If you’re a true Christian and battle with homosexuality, you need to remember when you started having those sexual tendencies and ask God for forgiveness. Then you need to renounce to those desires and surrender your body and sexuality to God. Last, you need to take authority and command that evil spirit of homosexuality to leave you and never come back. You have to say it out loud and mean what you say. Demons can tell if you say something with authority or disbelief. Take authority! Luke 10:19 says,”Behold I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Keep your walk with God clean and close to Him. Guard your eyes and heart from perversity that lies in the internet, television, etc. Keep yourself clean and God will raise you up.
I feel that you should have a chat with your son and talk Him through the reasons being a homosexual could ruin his path to The Lord, and how this is a sin. This may hurt Him, but this should help change His thoughts and hopefully path. If the thoughts stay and the feelings don't change, try to at least support Him rather than holding a grudge against his desires. May The Lord be with You and your Son, Amen.
We all struggle with lust one time or another - or all the time for some. When we give in to the thoughts to fantasize in our minds that’s when sin comes. We have to “hold every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5 - We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.). Means stop sin in it’s tracks! Also means avoid watching things/listening to music/hanging out with people - who will make this struggle even worse! Then we can fulfill God’s commandment to “Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16).”
Lust is lust plain and simple and it is a sin. In my younger days before I came to know Jesus as my personal Lord and savior. I lusted for just about any woman and went from flower to flower. Then one day I met Jesus and I put away that lustful desire of the flesh. Paul wrote it is better for a man to marry than to burn in lust. Heterosexual relationships is natural and was intended to be so. Casting down these thoughts rebuking the spirit of lust is a process that can and will be accomplished with the Lord's help. Nothing is impossible for our Lord to do. You can not be a follower of Christ and be a drunkard, a pedophile, homosexual, adulterer, a playboy, witch, drug addict, necromancer, or practice beastiality. 1st Corinthians 6:9 through 10 You can attend church that does not make you a follower of Christ. Jesus said: those that love me obey my words. John 14:23 Not one of us are perfect but certain sins our Father will not tolerate the constant practice of with out repentance. Repentance is more than confessing sinful behavior. It is arresting sinful behavior in your life and changing. Practicing any sinful behavior is a proof that a demonic spirit has charge of your life. Prayer and fasting casts off any sinful behavior and even diseases. You will have whatever your willing to sacrifice to get from God. Obediance, prayer and fasting are powerful weapons against any stronghold in your life. Jesus will set you free when your serious enough to be set free. All sins can be repented off and over come but you have to want the kingdom of God more than the ways of this world which are accepted or tolerated by most. I fasted one day a week for a year before I was healed of epilepsy. I fasted to have the power to live celibate as a single man before marriage. I fasted before I found my loving wife in the Lord. Prayer, fasting and obeying God in all things bring untold blessings and deliverance from fear, anxiety, depression, mental disorders and diseases, addictions, bad habits, cancers and even homosexuality. You can even fast for God to save those you love that need saving. Just pick one day a week and don't eat a thing as the weeks roll by it get easier and easier. The Lord rewards us for all we sacrifice for the kingdom of God to be revealed and increased in our lives. If you love me, you will obey me says the Lord. John 14:23 This kind does not come out without much prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21 "These are some keys to the kingdom."
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