The Non-Practicing Homosexual

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Table for One Ministries reached out to friends who had mentioned their accountability group included men who struggle with homosexuality. Intrigued by that situation, we set-up a meeting with two such men to find out more about what it meant to struggle with homosexuality and why they felt comfortable in their current church to speak about that struggle. Their names have been changed to respect their privacy.

Jim grew up in a “normal” Christian home with a loving family and support from both his parents. At a young age, Jim remembered being touched inappropriately by a male close to the family. While this abuse has gone unreported for decades, from that young age, Jim was curious about same-sex relations. As Jim grew older he knew those feelings were deviant and suppressed them, pretending on the outside to be just like any other male adult. He never once took physical action towards homosexuality; it was a struggle in his thoughts and visually in the world around him. Jim has a deep commitment to the Lord and through the years tried to stop having these deviant thoughts. One day in a church-sponsored accountability group he revealed his secret to the group. Immediately he felt a wave of relief that others knew his struggle and could support him as he continued to walk away from thoughts he knew were wrong. Through this group, Jim was empowered to end this struggle and has since gone on to have healthy heterosexual relationships. The church provided Jim a place to be accountable to God’s Word, and His Word finally changed Jim’s sexuality.

Sam’s story is different than Jim’s. Sam was raised by his mother, absent of a father, and for years struggled with feminine behaviors. To combat this, Sam continuously would do “macho” activities and sports to try and fool the world to who he truly desired to be. While thoughts of the same-sex were prevalent for Sam, he too was in church every Sunday like Jim and no one would have suspected he struggled with those thoughts. Sam came to the same accountability group as Jim and would confess his deviant thoughts to the group. Since then, Sam has actually become more feminine in his behavior. Yet, his desire to act out as a homosexual has lessened. He described this as becoming who God created him to be, while being what God desires him to be. Sam does not foresee a time when he will be attracted to the opposite sex, nor does he ever intend to let homosexual behaviors drive his attraction. Sam is what Jesus talks about in Matthew 10:12 “those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.” He is choosing not to act on any sexual behavior for the sake of the Kingdom and God is glorified.

Both of these stories point out something that is troubling in our churches today. The church may think there are no homosexuals within its walls, but it must assume there could be a few sitting in the pews every Sunday. It is troubling to think churches do not consider this an issue in their church. One study shows that while the perception is there are an overwhelming amount of homosexuals in America, there is actually only 4% of the total population in the LGBTQ[1]  community. The same study also shows that 11% of the population (25 million) acknowledges some same-sex attraction.[1] This information leads this writer to conclude that while the perception is same-sex attraction is a rapidly growing demographic, statistics reveal more people struggle with the idea of same-sex attraction than thought.

Therefore, it is the role of the church to education both these segments, but particularly those considering same-sex attraction a way out of that feeling. That way out is through knowledge of God’s Word, accountability to another Christian, and most of all the power of the Holy Spirit though the regenerated life of a believer to accomplish anything for the Kingdom. Targeting those who struggle with same-sex attraction but have not chosen the life of homosexuality will make a more fruitful ministry as these seekers are open to walking away from those feelings. While the 4% in the LGBT community have made a choice to act on those feelings and can change, a more challenging road of change awaits them due to their actions and current lifestyle.

So do you agree in such a thing as non-practicing homosexual? Is it possible to love God, honor God, struggle against same-sex attraction feelings, and be a Christ follower?
[1]. The Williams Institute, How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?, (accessed October 3, 2012).

Same-Sex Attraction Singles are in YOUR Church

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - Same-Sex Attraction Singles are in YOUR Church

In the Christian community we often find “super sins” that the majority of believers find to be so offensive that they are unwilling to reach out to anyone who has committed them. Homosexuals are often placed in this category of “super sin.” Many believe that the person with such an open sin against God cannot know God while struggling with or acting on that sin. Are these sins really so offensive that one cannot find God or even be a Christian and commit them or have committed them in their past? Is the same-sex attraction lifestyle one that it is not worth reaching unless a person has fully turned from that life to enter the church? Table for One Ministries asserts that church members are quick to welcome drug addicts, alcoholics, adulterers, even murderers before openly welcoming homosexuals. We at Table for One could not disagree more with this attitude of focusing on one sin differently than others.

Denominations have compromised Biblical integrity, for the sake of love, in order to welcome the LGBT community in its doors. The church should not bend its moral mandates in order to be open to all styles of life and preach the Gospel of love with no refinement of becoming like Christ. Christ came so that every person may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Christ died for whoever would believe in him would have eternal life and not die (John 3:16). So, when Christ commissions the church to go and make disciples and baptize them, the church must reach out to the LGBT community for the sake of making disciples and baptizing them (Matthew 28:19-20).

But how does the church interpret those in the LGBT community who claim to have a relationship with Christ and still continue to practice homosexuality? Several Scripture passages inform followers of Christ that they are not to judge another person’s faith commitment, yet their faith commitment can be measured by their actions and keeping the Lord’s commands (1 John 5:3). We protest that a commitment to Christ is only judged by God. Every person walking through the doors of a church should be treated the same, as a sinner separated from God and that separation can only be healed through acceptance of Christ. For a church to truly embrace the LGBT community, it must embrace the idea of bringing any type of sinner into its church. Only then can a church reach out to that community and others in aspirations of the Holy Spirit changing their sinful behavior.

Lastly, it is our belief that the only way a homosexual will change their sin is with the Holy Spirit working in their lives. For that to happen, the church needs to provide a place for homosexuals to learn about the truth of God’s Word and allow the Spirit to speak into their lives for change.

Some in the LGBT community who attend church will be those who professed Christ at a young age and still do. It is then the Church’s place to do what Christ has instructed–make disciples of each and every person within the church. It is the hope of any minister that those in their ministry will turn from sin and draw closer to Christ. Dealing with homosexuality is no different; the same prayer should be offered–that the person will turn from their sin and follow closer to Christ. The difference in this approach is to not isolate one specific sin which would only isolate the person. Giving the same grace to every sinner, no matter the sin, allows an environment for the Holy Spirit to work in all people’s lives to draw nearer to Christ.

So what do you think? How can the church be a place where those struggling with same-sex attraction can feel welcome to walk through the doors and hear the Word of God?