Am I gay or am I Christian? Can I even be homosexual and Christian at the same time? If being a Christian means I am no longer homosexual, then what am I? What’s wrong with having a homosexual identity? If I’m not acting out homosexually, do I really need to give up the gay identity?
Permit me to rephrase the above allowing us to get to the heart of the matter: “Is it possible for a Christian to struggle with homosexual temptations?”
The Bible is clear that no Christian is sinless (1 John 1:8-10). Admittedly, the specific type of brokenness, desire, and temptation varies from one Christian to another, but all Christians struggle with sin, and all Christians sometimes fail in those struggles (1 Corinthians 10:13). However, a true faithful follower of Christ Jesus will always repent, will always return to God, and will always resume the struggle against sin. This, I believe, truly distinguishes a Christian’s life from a non-Christian. A true follower and disciple of Christ Jesus continually submits his or her heart to God for on-going renovation.
Difficult as it may seem, the answer is “yes” to the question: “Do I really need to give up the gay identity?”
There are two reasons why our old identity must die.
(1) The homosexual identity is based on our sinful past. As believers in Jesus, all of us a are commanded to put aside our old identity, whether that be homosexual, drug-user, adulterer or alcoholic. We are called to embrace a new lifestyle in Christ Jesus. Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires (and) put on the new self, Paul exhorts in Ephesians 4:22-24.
(2) The homosexual identity is based on our present temptations. While a man or woman may still be tempted homosexually, that does not make them gay or lesbian. Our identity in Christ is not defined by the things that tempt us. Our identity is not found by looking backward to our past or by looking inward to our fleshly nature. Both of these indicators will give us a false report about who we are. To find our true identity, we must look elsewhere. The Bible never speaks of homosexuality as a person’s identity but simply condemns homosexual actions. Ultimately, the Bible distinguishes behavior from identity.
Therefore, “Is it possible to be a gay Christian?”
If the phrase “gay Christian” refers to a person who struggles against homosexual desires and temptations, then yes, a “gay Christian” is possible.
However, the description “gay Christian” is not appropriate or accurate for a man or woman that does not desire to be gay, and is struggling against the temptations. Such a person is not a “gay Christian,” but rather is simply a struggling Christian, just as there are Christians who struggle with fornication, lying, and stealing.
Ultimately, any individual who is actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly living a homosexual lifestyle, or any behavior God has clearly defined as sin, is standing in a very dangerous place.
Why am I bothering to communicate all of this? Because learning the hows and whys of homosexuality and understanding God’s perspective on same-sex attraction will go a long, long way in increasing the effectiveness of the Church is sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
It is long overdue for many in the Church, and homosexual strugglers themselves, to stop singling out homosexuality as the worst of all sins. If a person actually engages in homosexual acts, that person is often thought to be unsaved. However, the same assumptions are not made, at least not with the same rigor and emphasis, regarding other sins such as: fornication (pre-marital sex), idolatry, adultery, thievery, covetousness, alcoholism, slander, and deceit. We must stop declaring those guilty of pre-marital sex as just, well, “disobedient Christians,” while declaring homosexuals definitively non-Christians.
As Christians, knowing, understanding, and embracing our true identity in Christ Jesus is critical and essential if we hope to grow in Christian maturity. Ultimately, no faithful follower of Christ Jesus should ever allow that which tempts them or issues of their past to dictate who they truly are in Christ Jesus.
Christian, your relationship with God through Christ is the cornerstone of your identity.
From All of Us at His Way Out Ministries…
All of us at His Way Out Ministries truly covet your prayers. You make it possible for His Way Out Ministries to reach around the world with a message of hope in Christ Jesus. Today, the need remains great but too often the resources are few. We desperately need you to help us in this effort.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, the I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.” Martin Luther