What Works For Me In… Understanding How To Help Homosexuals & Their Families

Gary Blanchard (usayouth@hotmail.com), Associate Pastor, Wenatchee, WA Seventh-day Adventist District (Upper Columbia Conference) shares tremendous insights in this article–

 GOD HATES GAYS AND OTHER FAMILY GUY MTHS

Sometime ago a friend of mine sent me a clip from the comic T.V. series “Family Guy” where Peter the man of the house gets injected with the “gay gene.” To the amazement of his family and friends, his mannerisms, clothing styles and of course sexual orientation changed almost instantly. Eventually though his family can’t take it anymore and want their “straight” dad back. So his son and dog drug him and take him to “Straight Camp.” While there Peter learns from his Christian coach that “Jesus hates many people but none more than homosexuals.”

What is most disturbing about this quote, even though it comes from a comedy show, is that many actually believe it. But in Leviticus 18:22 the Bible says “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” Notice it is not the homosexual God calls “an abomination” but the act of homosexuality. Although eternal life is conditional on repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ, God’s love for all humanity is unconditional. [1]

But how should God’s people deal with this ever growing issue of homosexuality? From movies, to music, from education to legislation we are daily confronted with it. Homosexuality as in the days of Lot has become mainstream, politically correct, militant, and intolerant toward those who oppose it.[2] But the church cannot afford to remain silent. We have people in our congregations and communities who have legitimate questions and concerns. If we are silent now we run the risk of becoming irrelevant and irresponsible. The following are three loving, relevant and responsible steps we must take immediately.

LOOK IN THE MIRROR

First we must look in the mirror. Although it is estimated that only 2-3% of the population is homosexual, 100% of us are sinners! [3] The bible says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [4]The Bible compares the Law of God to a mirror. [5]When we take the time to compare ourselves to God’s holy law, we realize we to our sinners in need of a Savior.[6]

The Bible teaches that we are to instruct others who are struggling with sin but only after we have removed the “plank” out of our own eyes. [7] What cherished sin are you personally holding on too? Do you realize that any sin unconfessed to Christ, uncleansed by His blood and uncast out of the life will destroy your soul? [8] Interestingly, Jesus did not teach that homosexuality is the worst sin a person can commit. In fact, in one passage the Apostle Paul weighed homosexuality in at number five in the lake of fire lifestyles. [9]

Anyone who has traveled by plane knows that passengers are instructed in case of cabin pressure to first place the oxygen masks over their own faces before putting them over the faces of their children. In the same way, we must make sure that we through divine contact with Christ are walking in holiness ourselves before waxing eloquent regarding someone else’s short comings.

 

LOVE WITHOUT CONDITIONS

I’ll never forget one particular day at college; when a friend of mine confided in me that he was gay. I listened as he described his temptations, fear of judgment and what his friends and family would think. Through the years, I’ve learned there are three types of homosexuals. There are militant gays who want everyone to be supportive of their lifestyle and accuse anyone who isn’t of being “intolerant.” Then there are the moderate gays who just want to be left alone to live their life in peace and thirdly there are the meek gays who don’t want to be gay and are honestly searching for freedom. [10]My friend was the latter of the three but I am ashamed to say that on that day it was not only our conversation that ended but our friendship as well. It was too difficult for me to love someone I believed had such a “perverted orientation.” What my friend needed most was a friend…but my ignorance and lack of unconditional love kept me from taking this second step.

One of the best examples of unconditional love is found the story of the rich young ruler. [11] This young man was an idolater.[12] The Bible describes idolatry as worshiping what God has created rather than the creator [13] God had given him the gift of wealth but instead of using this gift the way Christ had specifically commanded him too, he horded it to himself and rejected Christ call to discipleship. [14]But amazingly the Bible says Jesus “loved Him” anyway![15]

What does this have to do with homosexuals? Homosexuality is idolatry; it’s worshiping the gift rather the giver! [16] Sex like wealth is a gift from God and God has some clear guidelines regarding how it is to be enjoyed. The Bible is clear sex was designed specifically for a man and woman in the context of marriage.[17] Outside this covenant, sex becomes the sin of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, incest and or lust. However, if the homosexual like the rich young ruler chooses to worship the gift rather than the Giver we like Christ must love them anyway. This kind of love should never justify sin but rather attract the sinner to Christ and lead him or her to repentance.[18]

Although all sin has consequences the greatest being death, homosexuality brings intense suffering into a person’s life.[19] In His book Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover highlights some of these consequences. This list should deepen our love for homosexuals and inspire more earnest prayer in their behalf. “A twenty to thirty year decrease in life expectancy, chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease—infectious hepatitis, which increases the risk of liver cancer, frequent fatal rectal cancer, multiple bowel and other infectious diseases, a much higher than usual incidence of suicide.” [20] He goes on to write “epidemiologists estimate that 30% of all twenty year old homosexual males will be HIV-positive or dead to AIDS by the time they are thirty.”[21] Sadly hundreds of years before these medical facts the Bible already made the haunting connection between homosexuality and disease. [22]

LEARN TO ANSWER QUESTIONS

Several years ago I received a spontaneous call from a former academy student of mine who was attending a university and was under some pressure from his professor to give in to his homosexual inclinations. The professor told him that he didn’t have to live with guilt, that homosexuality was natural and even supported by scripture. This young man called me in hopes I could answer some of the questions that were invading his mind. Unfortunately I struck out again and was not prepared to give an answer to this young man. I stumbled around his questions like a politician on Election Day and after a long awkward silence on the phone we said goodbye for the last time. I recently learned he is now married to a man and lives somewhere on the east coast. The following are some of the questions he asked me over the phone and some biblical answers.

Is homosexuality really a sin?

Some religious leaders say “no.” After all they argue Jesus never spoke against homosexuality in all four gospels. However, Jesus never spoke specifically against slavery, rape or child abuse but he was definitely opposed to them. We know this because Jesus was passionately pro-scripture! [23] The Bible from Genesis to Revelation has nothing positive to say about homosexuality and clearly speaks against it. In Leviticus the bible calls homosexuality an “abomination” and lists it along with bestiality (sex with animals). Interestingly, the Bible declares that it was these particular sins that led to the ultimate defilement and destruction of the pagan nations![24]

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 the Bible warns those who continue in this lifestyle will “not inherit the kingdom of God.” In fact, the Bible describes homosexuality itself as a judgment from God.[25] It is common for so called biblical scholars to confuse people with Greek and Hebrew words which they twist to support homosexual behavior, however if a person will simply step back and look at God’s grand design for sex beginning in Genesis and throughout scripture one will see that marriage between a man and a woman is clearly God’s design. [26]

Is it sinful to have homosexual inclinations?

No! God does not judge us for our inclinations but our participation in sin! While it is a sin to look lustfully at someone of the same or opposite sex, being tempted to look lustfully or to behave immorally is not.[27] The Bible says that Jesus himself was tempted to sin and when scripture describes the judgment we learn that God judges people by their deeds not by their orientation. [28] Being tempted does not make you a sinner or even special for the matter. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 the Bible says that temptation is “common” to all of us on planet earth “but God is faithful” and will provide a way of escape for us.

Not long ago a friend of mine approached me and with a big grin on his face said for years he had been struggling with sexual temptation. “Every time I see a good looking woman I used to lust immediately but God has recently taught me to look these same women in the eyes, smile and say a silent pray for them and its beginning to work! I am not objectifying women as much as I once did.” Within days I talked with another friend of mine who is a moderate homosexual, who also talked to me with a big grin on his face. He told me how he was once burdened with a load of guilt because of his homosexuality but one day he decided to “let go of the guilt” and give himself fully to his homosexual inclinations. Two men, both happy, but one is still in the fight while the other has left the battlefield. The Bible says that we are to “fight the good fight of faith,” strap on “the armor of God” and “wrestle” against evil forces. [29]Just because we have inclinations toward a particular sins does not mean we have to give in to it. We are called to “overcome” our inclinations toward sin and live holy lives for God.[30] Someone once said that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality but holiness![31]

What influences Homosexual Behavior?

There are many potential influences but none of them predestines a person to homosexuality. The first is the “sin gene.” Though there is zero scientific evidence for a gay gene, the Bible does teach that every human being born this side of Eden is born with a sinful nature.[32] The Bible says “behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” [33]Interestingly, the word for “iniquity” is the same word used for a shepherd’s staff that was bent at the top. Like that staff we were all born bent toward sin. But there is hope for each of us. The Apostle Paul was heading the wrong direction in life. He was filled with hate for Christians and set out to do them harm but God saw his crookedness, got his attention and led him to a “street which is called straight” [34]

The second influencer is pornography and sexual experimentation. In her book entitled Pornified, Pamela Paul studies the effects of pornography on men in particular. She describes three descending levels. First porn leads to objectification, where a man begins to see woman as object for his sexual pleasure, second it leads to desensitation where a man becomes unsatisfied with normal and natural sex and begins searching for more perverted sexual stimulation. The third stage is degradation. This is where a man becomes unnatural in his lust for sexual pleasure. It is here that the seeds of bi-sexuality, homosexuality, and pedophilia begin to take root. [35] Although most homosexuals are not pedophiles, it is a statistical fact that the majority of child molesters are in fact homosexual. [36]

 The third influencer is Postmodernism. Have you ever wondered how 2-3% of this world population who claim to be gay can have so much influence on society and government? Well because we are living in a postmodern generation. From the beginning of time to the 1700, people considered God to be the sole arbiter of truth but after the “enlightenment” of the 1700 and our advancements in technology and science, reason began to take center stage as the arbiter of truth. However, sometime in the 1960s, perhaps as a result of the assassination of JFK or the Vietnam war, people began to look for truth somewhere other than reason, after all it was reason that gave us the nuclear bomb and made us efficient at “steam rolling paradise and putting up a parking lot.” People than began to consult with emotions or feelings as the sole standard of truth. This in a nutshell is the postmodern philosophy. [37] If I can feel it and I like how it feels than it is true for me. Our society holds in high regard the feelings and emotions of others even if those feeling take them to ungodly and or unreasonable places! Interestingly God is not against reason or emotions. Throughout the Bible we discover him expressing both but God wants us to let His Word be our ultimate standard of truth. [38]

The fourth influencer is Fatherlessness. From a very early age young boys crave a masculinity birthright from their fathers. They not only want to learn from them what it means to be a man but they also want to be affirmed in their masculinity. If they don’t receive this they will hunger for it for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately this hunger can get intertwined with sexuality later on or early in life. The following statistics support the point. In 1994 they surveyed 117 gay men and here are the results…

86% said they spent little or no time with their fathers during childhood

50% believed their father’s didn’t love them,

45% said their fathers belittled or humiliated them,

Only 18% said their relationship with their father was affectionate and warm. [39]

Interestingly before the first coming of Jesus, John the Baptist pleaded with the fathers of that generation to turn their hearts back to the children. [40] Apparently this message must be sounded again as we stand on the verge of the second coming of Christ.

What about Gay Marriage?

First of all there is nothing wrong with two men loving each other for life. We find several example of this in the bible, Jonathan and David, Jesus and John, Paul and Timothy, to name a few. But their love for one another was brotherly not erotic! Nowhere in the Bible does God change his definition of marriage. In Genesis 1:26 it reads

“And God said Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Clearly God “blessed” the union of “male” and “female” who together had the ability to procreate. Moreover, this passage clearly states that this joining together in marriage completes the image of God. Gay marriage is not only a counterfeit to the truth; it disfigures the very image of God.

LIVE A HOLY LIFE

Here’s the million dollar question. Can a homosexual really change? Absolutely! Through the blood of Christ and the internal working of the Holy Spirit any sinner can change and live a holy life. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 it reads

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you, but you WERE washed but you WERE sanctified but you WERE justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (Emphasis mine).”[41]

Apparently Paul’s church plant in Corinth was made up of former sexual deviants who through Christ and the Holy Spirit “WERE” changed. Interestingly, this passage outlines three steps an individual can take to experience change. First one must be washed in the blood of Christ through confession of sin. Second one must cooperate with the Holy Spirit as he sanctifies or makes them holy from the inside out. Finally one must by faith believe that regardless of their past or present inclinations towards sin they now stand perfect and blameless in the declared righteousness of Christ (Justified).

Do not listen to anyone who tells you God cannot change your inclinations and help you live a holy life! The Bible says that people who place limits on God’s problem solving abilities are ignorant of scripture and the “power of God”  [42] The bible says “For with God nothing is impossible.”[43]

But it is also essential that an individual who is struggling with sexual temptation get involved with a ministry specifically designed to help them and hold them accountable to sexual purity. [44]Exodus International www.exodus-international.org is an umbrella organization that sponsors over 200 ministries designed to help “meek” homosexuals find the freedom to live holy lives.  Perhaps the most successful of these ministries is “Desert Streams, Living Waters.”[45] Some other helpful online resources include www.inqueery.com and www.NARTH.com. Thousands have taken advantage of these ministries and found freedom from the gay lifestyle. Some have even gone on to marry and raise healthy families. [46]

As God’s church we must look in the mirror, love unconditionally, learn to answer questions and live holy lives ourselves!  This is not the easy road or the “path of least resistance” but it’s the path God has called us to walk. Jesus himself said “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”[47] I am convinced from scripture that the producers of Family Guy got it wrong when they said “God hates many people but perhaps none more than homosexuals,” the truth is “God loves many people but perhaps none more than homosexuals.” After all wasn’t Jesus an enemy of sin but a friend to sinners?[48]


[1] Acts 10:21, John 3:16, Romans 5:8

[2] Genesis 19,

[3] When God Goes to Starbucks, Paul Copan p. 95

[4] NKJV, Romans 3:23

[5] James 1:25

[6] Romans 3:19, Gal 3:24

[7] Matthew 7:3-5

[8] 1 John 1:9, Prov 28:13, Romans 6:23, Steps to Christ p. 34 (3 Chapter Repentance)

[9] Matthew 12:31-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

[10] Paul Copan, When God Goes To Starbucks, p. 106

[11] Mark 10:17-22

[12] E.G.W.,Upward Look, Ch 15, Consecrated Money, p. 29

[13] Romans 1:25

[14] Deuteronomy 8:18, Genesis 1:27-28

[15] Mark 10:21

[16] Romans 1:24-25

[17] Genesis 1:27-28, Deuteronomy 8:18

[18] Romans

[19] Romans 6:23, 1:28,

[20] P. 51

[21] Ibid, p. 57

[22] Romans 1:27

[23] Matthew 4:4, 7, 10, 24:27

[24] Leviticus 18:22-25

[25] KJV, Romans 1:26

[26] Genesis 1:27-28

[27] Matthew 5:28

[28] Hebrews 4:15, Revelation 20:12

[29] 1 Timothy 6:12, Ephesians 6:11, 12

[30] 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 2:21-22, 26

[31] Video on Homosexuality

[32] Video on Homosexuality,

[33] Psalms 51:5

[34] Acts 9:11

[35] Chapter 3, “Me and My Porn: How Pornography Affects Men

[36] Starbucks and Jesus

[37] Walt Mueller, Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture, chapter 3, Postmodernism

[38] Isaiah 1:18, Ephesians 4:30, Psalms 119:105,

[39] Paul Copan, When God goes to Starbucks p. 100

[40] Luke 1:17

[41] NKJV

[42] Matthew 22:29

[43] KJV Luke 1:37

[44]  James 5:16

[45] Jeffery Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Chapter 13-Christian Treatments

[46] Paul Copan, When God goes to Starbucks, p. 105

[47] Matthew 16:24 (KJV)

[48] Luke 7:24

1 Comment

Filed under Bible Study, Changed Lives, Family, Outreach, Pastoring, Preaching, Sexual Issues, What Works For Me in...