Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Homosexuality, part 2 (see previous post)

7. Homosexual inclination is not necessarily sinful. As God’s people (Israel and the church) have always understood the Scriptures, homosexual practice is sinful. When a person struggles with sexual desires (heterosexual or homosexual) which cannot be legitimately fulfilled, there are spiritual practices that can decrease temptation’s power, persistence, and victory (though they will not necessarily eliminate them in every case). I am responsible to engage these spiritual disciplines and practices. I believe that some homosexuals can be “healed” so as to be able to enjoy God’s original creation plan, while others may not be “healed” in this life, but nevertheless are called to a life of purity and chastity. The church should surround those who struggle with homosexual temptations with love, support, respect, and help, even as they should do for those who struggle with heterosexual and other kinds of temptation. This should be in an atmosphere of grace, acceptance, respect, and support of the person – not of the sin, whatever kind. Christians should have great compassion for those whose sexual inclinations must be resisted and unfulfilled throughout their life. It is tragic that some (both homosexual and heterosexual) will never enjoy a relationship for the fulfillment of these longings. We are all broken in different ways and should support each other with our struggles and God’s call on our lives as we await Jesus’ return and the restoration of all things. Hence we pray with passion, “May Your kingdom come!”

8. It is my opinion that the “jury is out” with regard to definitive and comprehensive identification of the reasons for homosexual inclinations/vulnerability. It seems probable that the influences toward homosexual inclinations are diverse and complex, but all expressions of the brokenness of this fallen world since sin entered. Although some may choose to experiment with and become addicted to sinful sexual practices of various kinds (including homosexuality), I suspect that most homosexuals did not make an initial choice resulting in their vulnerability/inclinations. I am certainly open to believing that some homosexual vulnerability may be genetic, even as some people are genetically more vulnerable to alcoholism. This does not eliminate the need to live a pure and self-controlled life in either case. This is not to say that the inclinations are sinful for the individual struggling with them, but that the origin of inclinations contrary to God’s design and will are continuing results of the sin of Adam and Eve, as are many other things in the fallen human condition. It seems clear that not all homosexual vulnerability is genetic, but in many cases springs from other causes – abuse, dysfunctional family, etc. – all of which are symptoms of the fallenness of this world. In these cases, the individual is not responsible for the cause, but they are responsible for their response and choices.

9. Persons are not defined by their “sexual orientation.” They are defined by God and His image. I am not my sexual orientation. I am a person made in the image of God, the object of His love and redemptive plan.

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