Friday, November 9, 2012

Is Same Sex Attraction Sinful?

What does the Bible say about "Same-Sex Attraction"?

There are certain thoughts and feelings that a person has that are often hard to understand. A socialist cannot comprehend why a person would be a capitalist and a capitalist does not understand the socialist. This is idea is also true in the realm of sexual attraction. The thought of being sexually attracted to another man is considered disgusting to a man who is attracted to women. The purpose of this article not to answer whether or not it is healthy, normal or natural to be attracted to the same sex, but whether or not it is sinful.

Homosexuality, sex before marriage, rape, adultery and bestiality are all actions that fall under the category of “sexual immorality”. Sexual immorality is a sin and if not repented of, will cost a person their soul (Revelation 21:8, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21). Acting upon one’s immoral attraction is sinful whether it be a man having sex with a man, or a married women having sex with a man other than her husband.

This, however still does not answer the question on whether or not the attraction is sinful. One thought that sheds light on this question are the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. One would assume that this teaching would apply for same sex lust as well.

From the passages already discussed one can conclude that homosexual acts and lust are sinful, but what about the temptation to engage in homosexual behavior or homosexual attraction. This preacher is of the opinion that temptation to sin is not the same as sinning. My thoughts are shaped by the teachings of James 1:14-15 “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death”. 

The temptation itself is not the sin, but when one allows that temptation to become a mental fantasy it is sinful and when that fantasy becomes a reality, it will destroy. This would be the same for a heterosexual sinful desire as well. If a man finds a woman physically appealing he is not sinning. However, if he starts to dwell on what it would be like to be intimate with her, his thoughts have become sinful.

One person’s temptations are not the same as another’s. Some may be tempted by heterosexual sin (such as premarital sex or adultery) while others may be tempted by homosexual intimacy. Temptation in and of itself is not inherently sinful, even Jesus was tempted (Hebrews 4:15). Although temptation is not sinful, one should work to no longer be tempted by various sins as they grow in Christ. The danger in not keeping ones desires under control is that the desires/temptations may grow into fantasy/lust which often times grow into action.

Lust is sinful, immorality (whether heterosexual or homosexual) is sinful, temptation, desire and attraction are not necessarily sinful, but if left unchecked, may grow into something that is.

If you are struggling with homosexual attraction (or any sin) and you find yourself wanting to engage in evil behavior, talk to someone, pray, confess your struggles to God and to close Christian friends so they can help you. Don’t allow the desire to become a fantasy in your mind or even reality through sinful action.  All of us have various sins that tempt us and all of us by God’s grace are working to overcome them.  When talking about the sins of drunkenness, homosexuality, adultery, idolatry thievery and more, the apostle Paul writes, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). There is hope for all sinners in Jesus.

Cliff Sabroe