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His Master's Voice
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Written by: C. W. Booth

Saturday, February 09, 2013

True to Myself, or, Deny Myself -- Can a Christian be a Homosexual?

Another blogger wrote a heartfelt piece on her felt need to be both Christian and gay in order to be true to her nature. Such a notion as being true to one’s nature misunderstands the entire concept of conversion to Christ.

Jesus said,

“…If anyone wishes to [become My follower] he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

Whoever wishes to be a Christ worshipper will end up having to deny aspects of his natural desires of this life. If someone wants to keep or save aspects of their natural pleasures and desires of which Christ has condemned then that person risks trading earthly pleasures for eternal life, “for whoever wishes to save [sinful pleasures of their nature] will lose [eternal life]” (paraphrase is added by me).

Our will, our wants, our natures, are not who we really ARE when we dedicate ourselves to Christ. Our new life is only to be found in what pleases God, not in what pleases us.

I do not question that someone values their gay nature and also values their fondness for the Christian philosophy. Nor am I without sympathy for their internal conflict. However, it is simply not “wrong” or “unethical” for someone to deny their natural wants and pleasures in order to serve the risen God, Jesus Christ.

To deny one’s gayness or gay desires or gay nature so as to pursue Christ is not being untrue to themselves or dishonest with their nature, nor is it being a hypocrite. Such people have decided to worship God instead of their sexuality. Such people have concluded that Christ, and surrendering to Christ’s will, is more important than living for their own will.

Paul once wrote that it is a great honor to remain an unmarried celibate person in order to serve Christ (1 Corinthians 7:26-38). Jesus also stated that it is a special gifting to be a voluntary celibate in His service (Matthew 19:12). Denying one’s natural earthly desires and sexual nature in order to have fellowship with Christ is a high and spiritual calling, not a moral failing. Such is the very essence of putting off the old nature, denying self, and taking up the cross to follow the Lord.

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Below is the response I left on the other person’s blog.

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First, thank you for your honesty.

Second, we must be sure that when we refer to "being Christian" we mean more than just finding an appreciation in the Christian philosophy; being Christian means having dedicated our lives as slaves to Christ, having confessed our hopeless sinful nature to Him, and believing fully in Him as the living God who forgives sin when it is confessed. This is being "born again" in conservative terminology as opposed to simply liking Christian church (liking church but eschewing being born again is essentially being a cultural Christian but is arguably not being a genuine Christian convert).

All that said above, if we assume Jesus said that doing some things is just plain wrong, even if we like them to the very core of our nature, then as genuine Christians we come to the point of having to give up some of the things we really like. Those people whose nature it is to be addicted to alcohol will find it necessary to deny their nature and give up alcohol.

Those people whose nature it is to exploit young children sexually will have to denounce their nature and stop exploiting children if they become genuine Christians.

Those people whose nature is defined by their ability to advance in life by lying will be compelled by their love and respect for Jesus to dismiss their natural self and replace lies with honesty.

If a person finds their nature is to have a sexual attraction to others of the same sex, as a genuine Christian they will have to subdue their nature. That nature does not evaporate, just ask any ex-alcoholic whether their nature of loving alcohol ever truly goes away. But old natures can be denied and overcome for the good cause of life in Christ.

When someone who enjoys sexual encounters with the same sex becomes a genuine Christian (born again) all things in their nature that are opposite of what Christ demands must eventually be overcome. The desires may remain, but one's desires do NOT define who the person is. One's actions define who one is.

If someone gives himself or herself to Christ, that is who they are. They may want to sin in various ways, but they deny themselves that old desire, they put off that nature and put on godliness. Far from being untrue to their nature, such people come to see that not everything in their nature is good and they replace or overcome those elements of their nature for the sake of living for Christ.

Not everyone can or will do this, preferring to live for themselves instead. That is why not everyone who likes part of the Christian philosophy will ever genuinely convert to Christ.

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A previous blog I wrote on the sensitive subject of being born gay can be found here.


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