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A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality
  • World View versus Biblical View
  • Answers to Questions
  • Notes / Further Reading / Web Sites / Ministries

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A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality

Sue Bohlin

  1. The World's View vs. a Biblical View

    1. The World's View

      In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association, under pressure from gay activists, dropped homosexuality from its list of emotional disorders. (It is currently identified as "sexual orientation disturbance.") Psychologists are now taught to teach homosexuals to accept their gayness, not attempt to cure it.

      Whether biological or psychological in origin, the world's view of homosexuality tends not to differentiate between predisposition and behavior.

    2. A Biblical View

      1. The role of predispositions

        Many gays say that they sensed they were different very early in life, and they are encouraged to identify that feeling as meaning that they are gay. The two predispositions--a possible genetic component and environmental factors of abuse--would seem to stack the deck against certain people. There very well may be elements that dispose some people toward homosexuality.

        Does that let homosexuals off the hook? No. Predispositions make it easier to sin in a particular area. They do not excuse the sin. Alcoholism is an appropriate parallel.

      2. The distinction between temptation and sin

        We are never condemned for experiencing temptation, only for giving in to it. What's the difference?

        Unasked-for, uncultivated sexual desires for a person of the same sex constitute temptation, not sin. The Lord Jesus was "tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin" (Heb. 4:15). That means He endured the full force of homosexual temptation.

        The line between temptation and sexual sin is the same for homosexuals and heterosexuals. It is the point at which our conscious will gets involved. Sin begins with internal lusting and creating fantasies, choosing to concentrate on sexual attraction and feed it.

        Many homosexuals claim, "I never asked for these feelings. I didn't choose them." This may be true.

        The Bible never condemns undeveloped homosexual feelings, only homosexual practices. In reference to impure sexual thoughts, Martin Luther said, "You can't stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair."

      3. Why doesn't a person's homosexuality disappear when he or she becomes a Christian?

        Because we bring with us all of our old ways of relating and all of our emotional needs. Homosexuality is a relational problem of meeting emotional needs the wrong way, not an isolated problem of mere sexual preference. With the power of the indwelling Spirit, a Christian can cooperate with God to change this unacceptable part of life. Some people--a very few--are miraculously delivered from homosexual struggles. But for the majority, real change is slow. As in dealing with any besetting sin, it is a process, not an event. Sin's power over us is broken at the moment we are born again, but learning to depend on the Holy Spirit to say "no" to sin and "yes" to godliness takes time. "We . . . are being transformed into His likeness from glory to glory" (2 Cor. 3:18). Transformation (this side of eternity!) is a process that takes a while. "While we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened" (2 Cor. 5:4). Life in a fallen world is a struggle.

  2. Answers To Questions

    1. Do homosexuals go to hell?

      Homosexuality is not a "heaven or hell" issue. The only determining factor is whether a person has been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

      First Corinthians 6:9--11 says,

      Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (emphasis added).

      Paul makes a distinction between unchristian behavior and Christian behavior. He's saying, "You're not pagans anymore, you are a holy people belonging to King Jesus. Now act like it!"

      Those who go to hell are those who cling to their sin, refusing to confess and repent of it. Hell is the garbage dump of the universe, and those who identify with their garbage instead of their Creator become garbage--which is burned.

      If homosexuality doesn't send anyone to hell, then can the believer indulge in homosexual behavior, secure in his or her eternal security? As Paul said, "May it never be!" If someone is truly a child of God, he or she cannot persist in sinful behavior that offends and grieves the Father without suffering the consequences. God disciplines those He loves.

    2. If I've had one or two homosexual experiences, does that mean I'm gay?

      No. Even though any kind of sex outside of marriage is wrong, some young people experiment with it anyway--often at the urging of another person. Even if you enjoyed it, the "forbidden fruit" aspect may have been part of the enjoyment. Confess your sin, choose to remain chaste until marriage, and stay out of situations where you'll be tempted to have any kind of sexual activity. It is a myth that once a person has a homosexual encounter, s/he is gay for life.

    3. Can a homosexual become heterosexual?

      Yes. The Lord's loving act of redemption includes freedom from all sin that is yielded to Him. Some people experience no homosexual temptations ever again. For most others, homosexuality is reduced from a major problem to a minor nuisance that no longer dominates their lives. The probability of heterosexual desires returning or emerging depends on a person's sexual history. But the potential for heterosexuality is there in everyone, because God put it there, just like the potential to have one's spirit indwelt by the Holy Spirit is there in everyone because God put it there. Many people never experience it, however, because they do not turn to Him in faith. In the same way, most homosexuals will never become heterosexual because they are not interested in changing.

    4. How do I respond to gays in my life?

      First of all, keep in mind your own besetting sin(s). It will help you avoid passing judgment on another's besetting sin, and feeling smugly self-righteous. Billy Graham said, "Never take credit for not falling into a temptation that never tempted you in the first place!"

      Take your cue from the Lord Jesus, who did not avoid sinners, but ministered grace and compassion to them--without ever compromising His commitment to holiness.

      As a Christian, you are a light shining in a dark place. Be a friend with a tender heart and a sweet spirit; the biggest problem of homosexuals is not their sexuality, but their need for Jesus Christ. At the same time, decide in advance what your boundaries will be regarding what behavior you cannot condone in your presence. One student excuses herself from a group when affection becomes physical; she just gets up and leaves. It is okay to be uncomfortable around blatant sin; you do not have to subject yourself--and the Holy Spirit within you--to what grieves Him. Consider how you would extend friendship to people with other kinds of besetting sins. (God considers a lying tongue and a prideful heart abominations, too!)

    5. What about gay Christians who have no problem with their homosexuality?

      In Shadow of Sodom, Paul Mooris wrote,

      But if I were a Christian homosexual, I think this one question would disturb me most: am I trying to interpret Scripture in the light of my proclivity, or should I interpret my proclivity in the light of Scripture?

      The only way Christians can take the above position is by explaining away the very clear biblical passages. Often, they elevate love as the only virtue worth pursuing, thus attempting to sanctify homosexual "love." However, God's holiness cannot and must not be ignored in the pursuit of love, and homosexual acts are grossly unholy because of their unnatural, immoral nature.

    6. What about gay rights?

      As American citizens, homosexuals are already granted the same rights as all others. What gay activists are seeking are actually special privileges to pursue lifestyle choices they have made. They may not have chosen to be homosexual, but they have chosen certain behaviors for which they demand not only acceptance but legitimacy. As Christians, aware that sinful choices always have negative consequences, we stand on the word of God in seeking to overcome evil with good. Gay activists have been deceived by the Enemy, and this is actually more of a spiritual battle than a political or cultural one. Real Christianity polarizes and enrages people when the gospel is proclaimed; we should not be surprised by the heat of this battle which will not go away. We must be committed to both love and truth; we must also be committed to prayer.


  1. Science 253 (1034:30): Aug. 1991

  2. Psychologist Michael Bailey (Northwestern University), and psychiatrist Richard Pillard (Boston University School of Medicine) published their results in December 1991. This was mentioned but not specifically cited in Newsweek (24 February 1992).

For Further Reading

Arterburn, Jerry. How Do I Tell My Mother? Nashville, Tenn.: Oliver Nelson, 1989.

Comiskey, Andy. Pursuing Sexual Wholeness. Creation House, 1989.

Dallas, Joe. Desires in Conflict. Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 1991.

"Homosexuality: Born or Bred?" Newsweek, 24 Feb. 1992.

Konrad, J. A. You Don't Have to Be Gay. Newport Beach, Calif.: Pacific, 1987.

Moberly, Elizabeth. Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic. Attic, 1983.

Nicolosi, J. and Jason Aaronsen. Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality. 1991.

Van Den Aardweg, Gerard. Homosexuality and Hope. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Servant, 1985.

Wood, Glenn, and John Dietrick. The AIDS Epidemic: Balancing Compassion and Justice. Portland, Ore.: Multnomah, 1990.

Worthen, Frank. Steps Out of Homosexuality.

Web Sites
Stonewall Revisited, part of Christian Leadership Ministries' Leadership U., has a number of wonderful testimonies of people who have left the homosexual lifestyle and have received healing and restoration in Christ.
The Christianity and Homosexuality Home Page is an excellent resource, also featuring testimonies in addition to several articles on the subject.

Ministry Referrals
Exodus International
P.O. Box 77652
Seattle, WA 98177-0652
Love in Action
P.O. Box 2655
San Rafael, CA 94912
AIDS Resource Ministries
12488 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90631

©1998 Probe Ministries
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