Homosexual Lust (Excursus 4)

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Audio (4:53) |

In response to my teaching on "looking lustfully" (Matthew 5:27-30), I received this question:

"Am I correct in interpreting your words as saying that God accepts homosexual love?" -- Joanne

Here is my response:

Dear Joanne,

Here in California, where I live, when people talk about homosexual love, they are talking about sexual desire for someone of the same sex. I don't believe that God accepts homosexual lust, that is, a burning sexual desire for a member of the same sex. No more than he accepts heterosexual lust, burning sexual desire for one you are not married to. They are both wrong and damning.

But I believe God can enable those who have homosexual leanings to learn how to love purely with "agape" love. Just as he can help those heterosexuals burning up with lust for women who not their wives to learn to love women in a pure way.

Each of us has different weaknesses. Perhaps 3% to 5% of men seem to have a sexual attraction to other men and develop a lifestyle characterized by homosexual lust. A much larger percentage of men have a serious problem giving into heterosexual lusts. These are both weaknesses. Both are "abnormal" if we define "normal" as the way God has created us to be -- whole.

But our God is a freeing, delivering, redeeming God. The wonder of the Gospel is that he loves us. As messed up as we are, he loves us. And more than that, he has extended himself way beyond what we deserve in order to pull us up from the dregs of sin in which we have lived.

"He himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. By his wounds we have been healed!" (1 Peter 2:24)

The gospel is good news to sexual addicts of all stripes -- whether lust in the heart or acted out lust. For it tells us that, finally, we are accepted.

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you." (Romans 15:7)

This does not mean that our sins are acceptable. They are not. But that our sins, even the deep sins of the heart, are cleansed and forgiven through Christ's sacrifice for us, and so we are accepted.

If we can believe the Gospel that God accepts us, it will begin to remove the intense sense of shame and guilt that we feel. This will begin to evaporate as we lay hold of the truth. And a clear conscience will gradually be restored (Hebrews 10:22).

And as our minds are renewed, and we begin to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to reject lust and strive for real love, agape love, our hearts will be purified by the Holy Spirit. This is a process of renewal (theologically we call this "sanctification") that doesn't happen overnight. But it does happen.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is more powerful than lust! That is good news!

Sermon on the Mount: The Jesus Manifesto, by Ralph F. Wilson
Sermon on the Mount: The Jesus Manifesto
is available in paperback and ebook formats

Incidentally, for those who are struggling with homosexuality, there is a wonderful Christian organization called Exodus International (www.exodus-international.org) with chapters in many cities. Recent research has found that the approach Exodus uses has brought substantial though modest evidence of change in many individuals.1

Reference

  1. Tim Stafford, "The Best Research Yet," Christianity Today, September 13, 2007 (www.ctlibrary.com/49779). Discusses the findings of Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse, Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation (InterVarsity Press Academic, 2007; ISBN 083082846X).


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

Sign up now!To be notified about future articles, stories, and Bible studies,why don't you subscribe to our free newsletter,The Joyful Heart, by placing your e-mail address in the box below. We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.
FirstLast
E-mail
Country(2-letter abbreviation, such as US)
Preferred FormatHTML (recommended) Plain text