“Imagine being told by someone that in order to escape Hell you had to become sexually attracted to your best friend of the same sex.” That was the challenge that was given to me by a man who has become a dear friend of mine, and a trusted confidant – a man who has walked away from his same-sex romantic and sexual desires. He still has no attraction to the opposite sex and doesn’t expect that he ever will. But, in his words: “I choose to be defined not by my sexual attractions, but in my obedience to the will of Christ.”
His challenge has helped me better understand an orientation and predisposition that is admittedly very difficult for me to grasp. It’s changed the way I approach the same-sex attracted in our culture. And I’m of the belief that it can be very beneficial to the church as we seek to reach and engage a portion of the population that is told by pop culture to hate and distrust us.
When Gregory Coles wrote a new book called, “Single, Gay, Christian: a Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity,” I had reservations largely because of the title. Identifying yourself as “gay” typically means that you are surrendering and yielding to a life of gratification found in same-sex romantic and sexual relationships. As it turns out, Coles simply prefers the term because he thinks it better represents an orientation that he did not choose, all while he is choosing not to act on the attractions and desires coming from that orientation. It’s a bit of a dangerous semantics game, but I see where he is coming from.
But there is an error in the otherwise worthwhile book that needs to be corrected before any believer heeds his counsel. He writes, “Other people’s hearts are none of my business.” That simply isn’t true from a Biblical perspective. It’s true that mankind is incapable of judging the heart. But as an ambassador of Christ, I can be (and should be) extremely concerned about the worldly temptations and desires Satan uses to lay siege to men’s hearts in an effort to destroy them.
Rachel Gibson, another same-sex attracted Christian, writes it this way:
[W]e also need to live Hebrews 3:12–13: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” These verses plead for us to care about how sin destroys our brother and sister’s heart. How can that be none of our business?
Precisely. This is why Christians who embrace the LGBT cultural crusade, who ally themselves with the promotion of same-sex romantic and sexual relationships, are betraying the Gospel they claim to serve. They aren’t showing love. They are selecting one group of people – those whose orientation tempts them with same-sex romantic and sexual attraction – and abandoning them to their lusts and desires.
Jesus never did that. He never intended His followers to do that. Instead He commanded us to teach them what we teach and admonish all believers to live out: die to self and live in obedience to the will of Christ.