AN AMBIGUOUS ANSWER
Such a simple question—am I born gay or not? My soul deeply hoped so. Desperately I longed for it to be true. For then it would also be true that God made me a gay man. Logical, right? The truth is I really don’t know. And I don’t think the answer to that question would change the true Christian’s response. Here me out.
Yes, true Christians struggle with many types of lust—itchy urges, fire-burning passions, unrelenting and overwhelming desires—including homosexuality. Yes, even sex crimes. I’m living proof. I’m a Christian. One truly born of God. Yet my struggle continued. Until Holy Spirit taught me how to overcome from God’s Word.
THE SIN CONUNDRUM
Now there is a camp who believe we are born gay—how we think, choose, and feel sexually… is all in our genes. And yes, there may be some genetic aspects to our sexuality. But even so, that’s not God’s focus. God’s focus is redemption! Even the redemption of our sin-dead genes.
Some believe it’s in the science, and consequently it’s fact,. So, we can’t help ourselves because it’s all in the genes. Really? Science and pseudo-science. What’s true? What’s not? Whatever our sexual attractions happen to be… whatever gender or age group we’re consumed by… whatever… whatever… whatever… However we identify ‘as trees or unicorns’ it seems to all be in our genes. Really?
Trees? Unicorns? Having sex with a tree might be a little uncomfortable, don’t you think? But having sex with a unicorn—really? Have you seen a real unicorn? Check out the guy on Google. I personally don’t think he’s all that attractive.
Yes, I’m being silly. But I don’t intend to offend. I know that how we identify and the sexual attractions and behaviors we have might differ. But in my story, I’ve always known… I’ve always believed I’m a human male. And I wanted to be male only. And that my flesh (i.e., my body, in all its aspects) has, more often than not, been attracted to the same sex—to other men.
Regardless, a lot of people believe we’re born with these urges and passions. And such orientations and identities, desires and self-awareness canNOT be changed without causing serious harm: spiritually, psychologically, even physically… or all the above. We are from birth till death born whatever way our genes so determine. So, we must own, embrace, and express these attractions to be content and live a happy life. It’s our need! It’s our right!
I disagree. I strongly disagree! I contest!!! The liar is born a liar. Yes. So, he must lie. The killer is born a killer. Yes. So, he must kill. The gayman is born a homesexual. Yes. So he must act out accordingly. But what about redemption?
I think sexual desire is a want, not a need and definitely not our right. I know for many; homosexuality isn’t about the sex perse, the pleasure is just a benefit. It’s more about orientation and identity. One part of living as a human being on Planet Earth.
But is it sin? Does it offend God? Does it violate human nature? Holy Spirit has lead me, through God’s Word, to believe that homosexuality is sin, in all its depths. Yes, it’s one of the many sins humanity—the unsaved and the saved alike—struggle against.
Homosexuality always starts as temptation—the lure. And when cultivated temptation always, if not overcome, leads to SIN—the pursuit (Jame 1: 14-15). And as always the pursuit pursues to build a nest of SINS—the stronghold. Where we begin to live our lives SINNING—the prey. The sin and sins of homosexuality become the predator. Pursuing us. Capturing us. Never letting go. And we the prey, fall into sinning again and again, deeper and deeper. Until the pleasures are overrun with misery.
What trapped me in the sin, sins, and sinning of homosexuality was not the belief or the philosophical—i.e., the orientation or identity. What captured me was the desire for a man’s body and the pleasures it held. As a con, the manipulation and money (though stolen), were just tools to that end—pursuing the pleasures of physical desire and delight. And yeas the emotional connection. Oh, what a conundrum!
BORN OF GOD OR NOT
I was truly born of God at the age of twenty-eight. And if you have read my testimony from its beginning, you’ll remember it was a three-week to three-month conversation with God, more like an argument. An argument that ended in salvation. You see, God won! And saving faith was ignited in my heart with true repentance. Repentance of one specific thing. The sin of homosexuality—gay thinking, gay choosing, and gay feeling. The whole reach of homosexuality. Why?
Because homosexuality was the one thing I wouldn’t give up. The one thing I held in my heart as more important than redemption—than God. Though I didn’t even realize it. And I would have denied it furiously. But one person saw me. Really saw me. My Mom… (i.e., my stepmom, remember my birth Mom died when I was 12) …but Mom asked me as a young adult—Ron, are you really saved? She saw me as I truly was. Lost and sin-dead. She saw my true heart and she challenged my false beliefs. It took another season or two before I realized what she saw was true.
I was NOT a real Christian. NOT a true child of God.
I grew up believing in God. When I was six-years-old I came to understand that Jesus died for my sins. And because I committed lots of sins, I agreed that I must be a sinner. So, I asked Jesus to take aways my sins and come live in my heart. I also began to specifically ask God to take away my sexual interests for boys (remember I’m 6-years-old… I’m a boy too). I repeated this prayer over and over again, year after year. But NEVER did I or would I turn away from my unwanted interests in and lusts for boys and eventually men. I would only asked God to remove it from my heart. Until that argument with God at twenty-eight.
That 1994 Fall day Holy Spirit began to show me the simplest truth: I was asking for the wrong thing. I thought repentance was about asking for forgiveness. Really, repentance is a ‘turning away’ from something to Someone. So, please remember, homosexuality doesn’t send a person to hell. Only rejecting that Someone can send a person to an eternal death. Rejecting Jesus as Lord and Eternal Life is a death sentence (1 John 5:).
WHOEVER HAS THE SON, HAS LIFE; WHOEVER REJECTS THE SON, REJECTS LIFE (The Reality, Not the Illusion)
Homosexuality was just the one sin that kept me from that kind of heart surrender. You see, only true repentance of the heart of sin, not the many sins, can lead to Eternal Life (Acts 11:18). We can be sorry about our sins. But only asking God to exchange our heart of sin for Jesus’ righteous Life can truly lead us into a Life of saving faith.
Now listen. Don’t get hung up on false guilt. Been there done that. No matter the prayer you’ve prayed for salvation, only Holy Spirit can show your heart to be unrighteous or righteous. For each of us the question is always: do we know who we were before salvation and do we know who are are after. Ask Holy Spirit to show you if you are unsaved or saved? Unforgiven or forgiven? An enemy of God or God’s friend? Only Holy Spirit, using God’s Word, can confirm the true answer within your heart. Is your heart sin or righteous?
You see, God set off a revolution in my heart that Fall day in 1994. First, convincing me that I was sin and in need of repentance. Second, showing me why I was captive to so many sins like lying, stealing, homosexuality, and the list can go on. Third, teaching me why I kept on sinning.Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the truth about my own heart.
I was a sinner—not one committing sins, but one who is sin, and because I am sin I struggled with sins (e/ of us have our own set of sin-struggles), and because I am a sinner, struggling with my own revolving set of sins, I'm constantly sinning, sometimes the same unwanted sins again and again.
As a boy, then as a teen and young adult homosexuality had captured my heart in all its depths. Thinking gay. Choosing gay. Feeling gay. Wanting and pursuing gay sex. But it was just one of my many moment by moment sins every day. However, homosexuality was also the one sin that continued to keep my heart of sin from true repentance and saving Life.
Then I got saved! Truly born of God.
THE GREAT EXCHANGE
So, here’s how I settled the conundrum within my heart. It didn’t matter if I was born gay or not. What truly mattered was how Sovereign God identified me. By my many sins (e.g., as a liar, a thief, and a homosexual) or by Jesus’ righteous Life. Why?
The Bible teaches we are all born sin. In other words (Romans 3:23; 5:12-21):
- Human nature is sin. We are all born on Planet Earth as sinners, because our daddies carry the sin gene. All the back to our first parent Adam.
- Human identity is determined by how God identifies us. And He identifies us by the sins we struggle with.
- Before I got saved, and became God’s child, Father God identified me by the sins I struggled with (you too). So, God would’ve identified me as a liar, a thief, and a homosexual. There are others, but these are the sins dominated my sin-dead life.
- Human destiny is how sinning dominates our past, present, and future. In other words, because I was sin, struggling with the sins of lying, stealing, and homosexuality, My destiny was sinning to live out those sins over and over again… e.g.,
- my thoughts were overwhelmed by same sex attractions and gay sex.
- my choices followed suit sinning the same sins again and again… and
- my feelings would be dominated by these same sins.
That’s every sinners destiny—we are sin, dominated by sins, so we continue sinning Unless—REPENTANCE ignites the heart with saving faith and something miraculous happens.
- God exchanges our human nature to sin for Jesus’ righteousness. And we get a new heart. A righteous obedient heart (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
- God now identifies us by Jesus’ obedient Life living within us. Our core is no longer sin, and sins no longer identify us. But Jesus is our new identity. He lives within our hearts, taking the place of sin and sins.
- God then continues His good work (Philippians 1:6), by exchanging our struggles with sinning for right living. This work takes a lifetime.
Jesus’ righteousness becomes our new nature. Jesus’ righteous obedience becomes our new identity. Jesus right living becomes our destiny. And we spend the rest of our lives learning:
- Our new nature—as captives of grace, we spend our days learning and basking in that we’ve been made righteous (Romans 5:1-11)… we have been made holy (Hebrews 10:10, 14)… as true Christians our old sin-hearts have been exchanged for righteous, holy hearts… the core of our new nature is Jesus’ Life of obedience… and—
- Our new identity—as captives of grace, we spend our days learning to respond from Jesus’ perspective, about God and others, about ourselves and our struggles—about everything and everyone… learning that we are obedient saints, not sinning sinners empowers how we live—i.e., how we think, choose, and feel—how we experience living from God’s Life… and—
- Our new destiny—as captives of grace, we spend our days learning to overcome sinning, for we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37)… we are overcomers, learning to pursue God amidst sin’s hunts, haunts, and habits… we can’t change the fact we live in sin-broken world and that there’s always temptation… but as we can learn to pursue God’s POWER & PATH, His PERSPECTIVE, His PRESENCE & PEACE instead of sin’s pursuits & pleasures, sin’s preoccupations, sin’s passions and problems… we can learn to live as overcomers, for that’s our true destiny!
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey (Me). “And you will live in (peace)... You will be my people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:25-28, NLT If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come... For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21, ESV