Battling temptations and homosexuality
Spoiler Alert: I am going to be bold on the topic of homosexuality in the following post. My target is to address those who believe it is correct to rationalize, justify and even commend homosexuals to give up the fight and act out on their temptations.
I am a sinner redeemed through the blood of Christ, and I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of the Southern Baptist beliefs. Therefore, I do not pick and choose the teachings of God to fit myself. Rather, I fit myself to the teachings of God. While this causes me to face my temptations with self-control and confront myself when I fail, I am going through the process of sanctification.
I am not narrow-minded because I believe in the Truth within the Bible, the whole Bible. I am not judgmental because I view anything that displeases God as a sin (disobedience to His instructions equals sin). I am not old-fashioned because I believe parts of the Old Testament still hold Truths we should obey. (No, the Old Testament law does not save us. Jesus Christ finished the law, but as Christians we are called to walk in obedience).
I am passionate about the social issue surrounding homosexuality because it hits close to home. I grew up in Oklahoma, the Bible-belt of America, yet I grew up knowing several openly gay people. I never once called them names, avoided them or looked at them with disgust. However, they did know my beliefs about their “lifestyle.”
I recently read a letter to the church from a woman who struggles with the temptation to be homosexual. She admits that acting out on a homosexual temptation is a sin, but she also explains that she needs the support from her church to encourage and teach her how to battle her temptation.
Now for the real post:
Here is my problem with the discussion about same-sex marriage “rights.” It simply is not an equality issue. It is a heart and sin issue. Homosexuality has been proven to be a temptation that can be overcome, but it is not a fast or easy process.
I have read several articles recently from writers who deal compassionately and more eloquently than I am on this topic. One group of articles came from an insight in the June 13 issue of the Baptist Messenger and a second from further reading by Joe Dallas in an article titled Answering the Gay Christian Position.
In Dallas’ piece, he talks about his own temptation for homosexual behaviors. Dallas explains that as he gave up his fight over his homosexual temptation, he began to place importance on pleasing himself than being obedient in self-denial. He created his own interpretation of the Scriptures in order to make them fit his lifestyle. In his article he quotes Francis Schaeffer, saying:
“Schaeffer is more specific: “Here in the midst of life there is to be a strong choice, by the grace of God. It is not a matter of waiting until we no longer have strong sexual desires, but rather — we are to understand what Jesus means when He talks about denying ourselves that which is not rightfully ours.”
The social group now known as the gay and lesbian community believe they are a social class who have been oppressed. Trying to compare the gay and lesbian community to women’s suffrage and slavery has no bounds. Yes, many “out of the closet” gays were and are bullied, and sure, they realized their choices did not give them “equal rights.” However, their choice to live in a homosexual relationship is just that, a choice. Women did not choose to be women, yet they were discriminated against. African Americans did not choose their race, yet they were enslaved. In contrast, who will stop the “criminal social class” from fighting for their “rights” as citizens after they chose to break the law? Who is to say that pedophiles will not rise up for their “rights” to marrying young children after they chose to act out on their temptation and attraction for younger ages? Dallas emphasizes this idea as he states,
“Should the authenticity of our sexual desires be the criteria by which we judge their rightness? If so, one wonders whether pedophilia, incest, or sadomasochism might not also be legitimized so long as they ‘seem right’ to an individual.”
To the homosexual “rights” activists:
Are you really helping them by lying to them? Humans were made to have partners, yes. But our partners are to be of the opposite gender. Fighting for the right to publicly display sinful actions without “criticism” does not make homosexuality okay. There is a difference between being criticized for your actions and being criticized for who you are. God made each person wonderfully, and He also allows us to face our own temptations. Whether we fight to glorify Him through those temptations, or give into them and create a false reality is our own choice. As for me, I will not hate my brothers and sisters who battle with homosexuality, but I will also not tell them that it is ever okay to act out their desires.
To the church:
Do not be swayed by false witnesses. Do not turn from the Truth. The fight for homosexuality should not be seen as a political battle, but as a spiritual one. It should not be fought with anger but with love. As the body of Christ, with family members and friends who have succumbed to the temptation of homosexuality, may we not shun them out of the church, but spread the Truth to them and pray that their hearts be softened and their minds be opened to the Truth God has provided us in His Word. For those who are still fighting for control over their temptation, may we encourage them and stand alongside them so as to not let them fall into this sin.
Be bold, but be loving. Be passionate, but be compassionate. Be honest, but be humble.
Be mindful of the battle of the mind and soul, and be prayerful to a God greater than our trials.