There has been a question on my mind lately that I have also heard from many that struggle with their homosexuality as a Christian. Many gay and lesbian Christians have diligently prayed and spent many hours for years asking God to “deliver” them from their homosexuality. Many have asked God to transform them to have heterosexual attractions so that they can live in what they believe to be God’s plan and natural design for marriage between a man and a woman. Likewise, many of their family members have reached out to God, asking that their loved one be transformed into their natural state of heterosexuality. When my parents first learned of my attraction to the same gender, a weekly church group was formed who fasted and prayed for me to escape homosexuality and be “restored” to heterosexuality. Despite all of these prayers and pleadings for change, all of the stories and valid studies that I have heard and read seem to come to the same result. None are “released” from their same-sex attractions and none develop true romantic feelings for the opposite gender. Even when gays and lesbians decide to marry the opposite sex, when probed for the truth, they admit that they do not have romantic feelings for their spouse equated with their same-gender attractions. So the question becomes, “If God is against my homosexuality, than why won’t He ‘heal’ me to be heterosexual?”
Before you jump the gun and say that “God doesn’t choose to heal ALL diseases, disabilities and addictions,” let me remind you that there is not a single valid case of an exclusive homosexual transforming into an exclusive heterosexual. Because we know that God is fully capable of doing anything He pleases, than the real question becomes, why has God chosen NOT to change homosexuals into heterosexuals? If homosexuality is unnatural and sinful and heterosexuality is natural and blessed, than why has God not given healing to those who ask in faith?
I feel like this question deserves an exploration of multiple options which requires us to question why one is homosexual in the first place? So first, let’s explore the possible reasons as to why individuals are gay and how those reasons correspond Biblically to Gods’ healing power. Note that I am going to explore all the options that I have heard and do not agree with most that I will list. (Please let me know if I leave anything out.) Also note when I use the words “gay,” “lesbian” or “homosexual,” I define it as someone who has exclusive attractions towards the same gender.
Reminder- Below are the eight possibilities as to why one is gay which will lead us to the possible answers as to why God doesn’t transform homosexuals into heterosexuals:
1) Human choice: If being gay is a choice, than this assumes that people are naturally heterosexual and make the conscious choice to be homosexual. If this were the case, than we wouldn’t even be asking my original question. It would seem that the person wouldn’t even struggle or need Gods help on the issue. They would just simply choose to be straight if this is what they wanted for their life just as easily as they chose to be gay. So if being gay is a choice, why then has not a single homosexual chosen to be heterosexual? (Note that no Biblical explanation is needed for this possible reason.)
2) Broad spectrum temptation: The majority of Christians view homosexuality as an unnatural sexual expression, a deviation from God’s design for sex, i.e. sin. This covers the understanding that sin is anything in opposition to God’s law of love and not doing harm. Some Christians say “homosexuality is a temptation just like any other sin such as the temptation to commit adultery, steal or lie.” I beg to differ. The reason being is that the latter sins can be stopped despite the temptation. Not only that, but the person is born and able to act in opposition to their sin. The adulterer had the ability of loving their spouse or they wouldn’t have married in the first place. One couldn’t commit adultery without seeking the marriage to begin with, thus they have the natural capacity for committed love. The thief has the ability of keeping their hands to them self and not stealing. They are not stealing everything they come across and born without the capacity to not steal. The liar has the ability of telling the truth…. They are not lying every moment without the capacity to tell the truth. As I have stated before, the exclusively homosexual person does not have the ability to be attracted to the opposite gender. Due to this, homosexuality as just “a sinful temptation” is not comparable to any other sin. What human can completely stop themselves from loving? How can one compare love with harming people by cheating, lying, stealing and even murder? Romans 13:10 tells us that “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” So how then can love be a sin? [Side note: Please review my study on the alternate translations within Scripture which show how homosexuality as a whole is not condemned http://www.gaychristians.2freedom.com ]
3) Demon possession / oppression: Sadly, I have heard far too many Christians state that they believe that gay people are possessed by “a demon of homosexuality.” They assert that if the person admits they have a demon, than it can be easily cast out and they would become straight (assuming heterosexuality is everyone’s natural state)… Curiously, these same people also claim that homosexuals are so evil and attached to their demons that they don’t willingly allow for the demon to leave, thus the exorcism of such demons are unsuccessful.
Many Bible verses can be found in which Jesus and His followers have the power through God to cast out demons. Usually it is by the request of a loved one that they be exercised, abandoning the possibility that one must want the demon gone for it to be cast out. It should be recognized that many successful healings of all kinds in the Bible were by the request of loved ones of the afflicted. Biblically we can see that God has given the power to humans through faith to cast out demons. So if homosexuality is a demon possessing or oppressing a person, than why hasn’t a single exorcism worked to make one heterosexual?
4) Mental illness: Although homosexuality was taken out of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in 1973, many Christians still believe that this is the problem. The practice of reparative or conversion therapy to rid oneself of homosexual attractions is still performed in most states. When one looks at the VALID data, it becomes clear that no complete transformation from homosexuality to heterosexuality is observed. The closest we come are those who are bisexual, already having the attraction to both genders, claiming “healing” because they chose to be with the opposite sex instead of the same sex. In all cases, same-gender attraction remained despite their choice to be celibate or partnered with either sex.
Biblically, we can see throughout the Scriptures that God calls us to cast our anxiety on Him and He will deliver us. Many have claimed that their relationship with God has strengthened them out of the pit of depression. Some even believe that several of the people who Jesus healed in the Bible suffered from serious mental illness. So we have Biblically established evidence that God has shown to heal some with mental illnesses. Knowing that God has the power to cure mental illnesses, than why hasn’t a single homosexual been cured (assuming that it is a mental illness.)?
5) Parental absence, gender inferiority, and trauma: [Added 01/10/14] Under the same umbrella of mental illness, psychological factors influenced by the childhood environment seem to be a popular reason to explain same-sex attraction. Most commonly, homosexuality is explained by being raised in an environment with an absent father. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America live in father-absent homes. This does not include the millions of fathers who are living with their family, but are emotionally absent. The Census Bureau also reports that around 9 million of the U.S. Population identifies as homosexual. If absent fathers are to blame for homosexuality, than why are the remaining 15,000,000+ heterosexual? Furthermore, many pro-ex-gay therapists claim that the fathers of gay males didn’t relate with their son which caused them to be gay. This seems like a confusion of which came first; the chicken or the egg. More than likely, heterosexual fathers didn’t relate with their son because they were gay. On a side note, I had a great relationship with my parents growing up and was close with both. In fact, nearly all of the gays and lesbians I know come from good solid homes. It was not until their sexuality was discovered that problems sometimes arose due to their opposition to homosexuality. A common tactic used by reparative therapists is to convince the gay client that their father was emotionally absent, even when they personally assert that their parental relationship was healthy. This twisting of perception can cause harm to the current parental relationship and puts unneeded blame on the parents of the same-sex attracted person. Additionally, if homosexuality is considered a sin, than why would God punish and condemn the child if it was caused by the wrong actions of the parent?
[Section added 01/14/14] Another deficit said to cause homosexuality is someone who experienced “gender inferiority” as a child and adolescent. The idea is that the homosexual needed to be loved and wanted by others of the same sex, but felt “different” and wasn’t able to fully relate to other heterosexuals of their gender. As the theory states, the only way they could express their need for relating to the same gender was by sexual means. The premise of ex-gay therapy in these cases is to build healthy non-sexual relationships with the same gender which will help them get in touch with their man/woman-hood and make them know how to act heterosexual. This may include playing football with males or putting on make-up and dresses with females. I recently saw a video of a gay man whose reparative therapy “action assignment” was to trim his trees and chat with muscle guys at the gym about women in order to get in touch with his masculine side. Supposing that homosexuality is caused by not “fitting in” with heterosexuals is once again a shifting of cause and affect. To the anti-gay, their homosexuality is caused by feeling different from their same gender peers. But could it be that they felt different from their same gender peers because they were gay? So it’s either “I am gay because I felt different,” or “I felt different because I am gay.” In my personal upbringing, I did not feel like I related to the heterosexual girls and did feel different from them. However, I didn’t sexualize my need for closeness with other females, as I always have had healthy non-sexual female relationships growing up. So to me, I felt like I didn’t relate with the heterosexual girls who had crushes on boys because I had crushes on girls. Sadly, this made me feel inferior because the majority of girls I knew were straight. For me, it would have been impossible for my inferiority to be the cause of my homosexuality because it was the affect of being a lesbian that caused me to feel inferior. So if being exclusively homosexual is caused by gender inferiority, than why doesn’t receiving affirmation from the same gender cause exclusive heterosexuality?
The other most popular supposed reason for homosexuality is being molested as a child. The logic is that if a boy is a abused by an adult man, they will grow up to be sexually attracted to males. Completely opposite, a girl that is abused by an adult man will grow up to be sexually attracted to females. So in the boys case, same-gender child abuse leads to same-gender adult orientation, but in the girls case, opposite-gender child abuse leads to same-gender adult orientation. The truth is that there are a lot of different outcomes to child abuse. They can be either heterosexuals, bisexuals or homosexuals. Some grow to be promiscuous and others in a monogamous relationship or celibate. In the very worst cases, they become adult child molesters themselves. Like parental relationships, child abuse does not seem to be a predictor of adult sexual orientation. Most of the gays and lesbians that I know were never abused as children. However, nearly every story that I have heard of a homosexual choosing to live in a heterosexual marriage despite their continued same-sex attractions have been massively abused as a child. It could very well be that in these particular cases, abuse led them to sexualize the same gender. If this is true, than perhaps they really would have been naturally heterosexual, so any perception of gay-to-straight change is just them going back to what they would have been without the abuse. (Note that I am NOT asserting that all same-sex attracted people who were molested are innately heterosexual, as many could have been gay despite the abuse.) This conflicted aversion to same-sex relationships is completely understandable, however should be distinguished from an act of child abuse.
Despite fatherly absence, inferiority issues and childhood trauma, many have grown to have healthy adult lives after working through their childhood deficits and processing their trauma. Millions of testimonies can be found online of adults working through these issues and attributing their emotional healing to their relationship with God. For those that lacked a healthy relationship with their earthly father, many find peace with the love and caring of their Heavenly Father. Likewise, through the horrific traumas caused by the sin of this world, God invites us to give our burdens to Him. Romans 8:15-17 states, “For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him.” Considering that so many claim restoration after parental deficits or childhood trauma, than why has God chosen not to also restore them to their natural intended sexuality (if heterosexuality is the only natural orientation)?
6) Disability: Many Christians see disabilities as an unnatural mutation, possibly “due to the fall of mankind.” Some Christians see homosexuality as a mental disability. Perhaps some problem in the brain has caused them to act in this “unnatural” manner. If we look to the Scriptures, we can see that Jesus and his disciples were given the power to heal people’s disabilities. Knowing that God has the power and is willing to cure disabilities, than why has there not been one instance of a gay person being cured to become a “natural” heterosexual?
7) Addiction: Some believe that homosexuality is simply an addiction. Many of the stories that you hear about gay people choosing to become celibate come from those who claim to have had a sexual addiction to gay sex. Stories of vast promiscuity and even prostitution is sometimes shared with these individuals. They are convicted to stop their behavior and believe that God has told them it is wrong to be gay. The trouble with this belief is that their promiscuity and prostitution is most certainly wrong because it is physically and emotionally dangerous, but this does not mean that the fact that they were engaged in this behavior with the same gender is the reason for their conviction. I believe that many confuse their conviction to stop certain harmful behaviors with feeling that it is a conviction that being gay is wrong. They associate the promiscuity and/or prostitution or other addictions with homosexuality, ignoring what it might feel like to have a committed monogamous relationship.
Secondly and most importantly, homosexuality bares no resemblance to any addiction such as alcoholism or sex addiction. To become an alcoholic, one must drink. To become a sex addict, one must have sex. Although some may be genetically more “at risk” to become an alcoholic or addict (of anything), one does not “become” gay by having gay sex. Some gays go their whole lives in celibacy, but still experience attraction to the same gender.
Addiction is one of the most common forms of healing we see in our modern times. With all the church support groups and 12-step programs (“Homosexuals Anonymous” has 14 steps! http://www.homosexuals-anonymous.com/the-14-steps) to help those in struggle, we can see many cases of deliverance from TRUE addiction. One might argue that the urges remain with these addicts throughout their lifetime, but I can say from personal experience that The Lord has blessed me with zero urges to drink (having over 9 years of sobriety from alcohol.) Due to this, I know that complete deliverance from addiction is possible. With this in mind, if homosexuality is simply addiction, why can’t those “sober” (without a romantic relationship) stop feeling same-gender attraction?
8) Genetic/Biological: If being gay is biological and the person is born in the condition to make them attracted to the same gender, than it is fair to say that God would have to change their biological makeup to make them heterosexual. Going back to the disability aspect, we can see that Jesus had given sight to those born blind and given hearing to those born deaf. So those born with any condition, genes or not, can be transformed into their natural intended state by the power of God. We know that many diseases are genetically based or formed in the womb. Jesus healed a multitude of people in the Gospels. It is not far-fetched to believe that Jesus could have healed those with genetically based conditions. On a side note, although a gay gene has yet to be discovered, science has uncovered that homosexuality could be related to the amount of certain hormones in the womb as well as inborn epigenetic influences that signal the brain. In addition, it has been recently uncovered that identical twins do NOT possess 100% identical DNA as previously thought. Many argue that there cannot be a gay gene since some identical twins are a gay twin and a straight twin. But the new research confirms that copy number variations in the twins DNA code have noted differences. Thus, the gay gene could still exist, but be more of a needle in a haystack to find. Psalms 139:13 states, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” We know that God has the power to bring the dead back to life and can do anything He pleases to do. Why then has He seemingly ignored the millions of prayers of gays who believe in faith and want to become straight?
The possible answers…
So we have established that God is capable and willing to cast out demons, cure mental illnesses, disabilities, addictions and genetic conditions (among many other healings.) After reviewing all the evidence, there are two possible answers to this difficult question. The first possible answer is that God hates homosexuals with such a passion that He refuses to listen to their prayers, even when they seek Him. Furthermore, not only does He ignore their prayers, but the prayers of those who love them. He refuses to make a way of escape for their abominable sin, leaving them without hope. Because one commits adultery even when they look at another with passion, than even if they remain celibate or marry the opposite sex, they are still sinning in the eyes of God by their longing of romantic affection for the same gender. God created homosexuals with their final destination in mind, which is eternal burning hell, whether they want to love Him or not. This is one possibility (which I do not believe at all!)
The second possible answer is that homosexuality is a natural variation of humankind and not in need of changing. We see in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the tempting he will also provide the way of escape so that you may be able to endure it.” If there is no way of escaping homosexual attraction, than how can it be considered a sinful temptation if we are promised to be given a way out by the faithfulness of God? Gods very nature is to lead us NOT into temptation but deliver us from evil, so then how can we consider homosexuality a temptation of evil if God Himself provides no way of escaping it? Many have committed suicide due to not being able to change their homosexuality, so obviously this was more than they could handle.
Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 we read “To the unmarried and the widows I say it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn in passion.” Considering that celibacy is a Spiritual gift, those without the gift have a great need for romantic companionship. For the heterosexual, it is obvious that marriage is the “way out” from burning in passion. But what about for the homosexual? Marriage with an opposite sex spouse will not satisfy, but in fact do harm to the unloved spouse.
Could it be possible that the union of marriage between a man and woman in the Bible is a blueprint for same-gender couples? We see examples in the Old Testament of Gentiles following the commands of Moses and God has said to have accepted them due to their faith in following His commands despite them not being “the chosen” Jewish people by heritage. To the vast majority of Jews, any acceptance of Gentiles by God was a completely rejected concept just as we see the majority of mainstream Christians rejecting the notion that God could bless any gay relationship. Later in the Scriptures we see that Gods Word came “first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Similarly, could it be that the foundation of marriage as a life-long monogamous partnership be a model for same-sex couples as well? First to the heterosexual, then to the homosexual minority? Could it be that homosexuality as a whole is not condemned in the Bible, but rather harmful forms of homosexual sexual expression such as rape, prostitution, ritual sex, etc.? This would certainly explain why God has chosen NOT to answer the millions of prayers from gays and their loved ones pleading to become straight. The human race is saturated enough with sin which the grace of God delivers through the acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So the bottom line and final answer is this: Either His grace is sufficient or there must be nothing broken to fix.
To explore the alternate translations of the Bible passages that appear to condemn homosexuality, please visit http://www.gaychristians.2freedom.com To read about all the healings of Jesus, visit: http://stronginfaith.org/article.php?page=9