Is Homosexual Desire a Sin?
By Joanne Highley
Within the past month on the television broadcast of 20/20 there were three ministries that help people out of homosexuality represented and they put forth the message that people who have homosexual desire for the same sex will always have that desire and the need then is only to learn to choose not to act on those inherent desires. This is departure from the scriptures in that we are called to be holy as He is holy, to be purified, to be washed, sanctified ( set apart for holy use) and justified (made as if we had not sinned). As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
What is causing this radical departure from the scriptural model of Christian sexuality? A man came to our ministry and had been to the Exodus conference. (Exodus International is an umbrella agency of many Christian ministries who are working to set people free from homosexuality. L.I.F.E. is not a member of Exodus.) This man was told that he would always have homosexual desires and would have to learn to resist them. One of our women from L.I.F.E. was invited to a "pajama party" of women who are working to be set free from homosexuality in an Exodus ministry. Another man in our ministry was told at an Exodus ministry that he would have to hug all the men in the group when he arrived for the meetings. These are unthinkable stances here at L.I.F.E. But we have seen the seeds of this false view for many years.
The teaching of Elizabeth Moberly began this trend to address homosexuality as a development deficit caused by not getting healthy same-sex parental relationships. She went further to the belief that this deficit could be taken care of by healthy same-sex relationships. She went ever further in her book, "Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic: "At this point it may be asked why, if the homoemotional drive is the solution to the problem, the problem is not often actually resolved in homosexual relationships. The first point to note is that such resolution can take place, and may well have done so more often then is known." Her extremely false premise is that the homosexual drive is entirely made up of positive needs that are unmet leaving out the entire sin aspect of this problem. If her premise were true then healthy same sex relationships could address the problem. But sin enters in the ungodly reactions to pain in childhood that want to do something bad because of being so hurt. There is demonic power as well that makes suggestions when the countenance falls. Just like Cain of old, sin crouches at the door, but we must master it. Homosexuality is relationship addiction in which the relationship becomes god and that is the sin of idolatry.
One clue to this rash, unbiblical statement about homosexual desire being unchangeable has been the weakness on the part of Exodus and other ministries to teach separation of people from those who have remained in homosexuality. Joe Dallas, former president of Exodus, in his book, "Desires in Conflict" writes: "Some would consider it wrong to maintain relations of any kind with gay friends or ex-lovers, but there's no hard-and-fast rule saying you should simply cut off those who disagree with you. The acid test is always this: If you can maintain a relationship that doesn't compromise your beliefs, then do so. Discuss your differences, by all means, and be honest about where you stand. Then you can decide which relationships you can maintain and which you'll have to withdraw from." (Desires in Conflict, Harvest House Publishers, 1991, Page 66)
In Mr. Dallas' statement you can see he considers homosexual relationship to be friendship.. This is unthinkable in light of the scriptures. Romans I makes it clear that homosexuality is idolatry, hardly friendship, and the only consideration is not whether or not a relationship with gay friends and ex-lovers (as he puts it) will compromise your beliefs. The point is your beliefs are already compromised if you have a relationship with gay friends and ex-lovers. The Bible says in II Corinthians 6:14-7:l:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will be their God and they will be my people.'
"Therefore come out from them and be separate." says the Lord. "Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence to God."
It is this call to holiness by God Himself when He said,"Be holy as I am holy." that is the deciding factor in this consideration. We are to desire to do what is good (Titus 2:14) and not yield to the evil desires of our heart by saying these desires will always be there. That is making a place for sin. Homosexual desire is a desire to be in a romantic and /or sexual relationship with someone of the same sex and that is an evil desire. In I Peter 1:22 we are called by God to purify ourselves by obeying the truth and only after that purification can we love our brother sincerely. Sincere means to love in a pure, clean, untainted way. You should have no designs to use or abuse the person for your own pleasure or relief. And only after we love sincerely without deceit, hypocrisy and falseness can we love deeply from the heart. The problem with homosexual desire is the fact of wanting to possess a person to fill an emptiness in yourself. This is not love and it is not pure. It is abuse and even desiring someone in this manner is sinful according to Jesus' definition in His Sermon on the Mount: "If you look on a woman to lust after her you have already committed the sin in your heart."
We must see that evil desires is the biblical term which includes homosexual desires. When we see this, then we know we must turn from these desires and plan to uproot the lies and ungodly reactions to pain that twisted and perverted our sexual desires in the first place. The homosexual desires are the motor of homosexuality. They fuel the fantasy, masturbation, pornography, cruising and homosexual activity. Ungodly homosexual desires are not friendship or love. They are not looking for your father's or your mother's love. They are evil desires based on a lie. The lie that was taken in place of the truth. The lie is that a person can be our answer, our refuge, our completion. Evil desires of homosexuality are believing the creature, man, is to be worshipped and not God. Homosexual desire is idolatry.
It is time that each of you who have very strong homosexual desire or any homosexual desire at all begin to turn from any idea you can never be set free from this. That is not true. Every person in the throes of any addiction will say, "I feel this desire is so strong that I don't believe I will ever be able to get rid of it." But the truth is the scripture says you can be set free. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1) As you believe you are set free by Christ, you have a place to stand to work against the old bondage of homosexuality. You will be able to get in touch with the old ungodly emotions that brought you into this sin in the first place. Then little by little, you will be able to reject the return to the yoke of slavery that sin puts on your neck. You will be set free as you see the truth about this sin. The desires will weaken and finally will not be a factor. But you must learn to stand alone and develop your own personhood with the Lord. This means rejecting acceptance for a while. Your view of acceptance has been tainted by having it connected to homosexual desire.
When you look at the roots and causes of homosexuality, it is obvious that it is rooted in the lie that someone of the same sex will be everything you need. This is a childish view that is borne out of the pain of rejection and abuse in childhood. Because of isolation, fear, abuse and rejection, a person can begin to fixate on the acceptance and connection with someone who will seemingly "love and care for and protect" the child.
So a childish fixation begins that seeks someone to hold you, say nice things to you or even to propose dirty activity which the child knows is wrong but trades off for the feelings of "connection" and/or "love". Such a lying trap of Satan! No wonder the Bible states in II Timothy 2:26:"Those who oppose him he must gently instruct in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth and that they come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil who has taken them captive, henceforth to do God's will." One commentator said "they awake to soberness". Yes, there is an intoxication involved in sexual desire and this scripture shows us that there is a trap to sin and it is Satan's trap. They need to come to their senses, meaning they had temporarily gone out of their mind with ungodly desires. We who have known the irrationality and unreality of homosexuality understand this condition. Our thinking does become futile (worthless, useless,frivolous, incapable of producing any results) as it states in Romans I, and our foolish (absurd, ridiculous, irrational) hearts are darkened (made devoid of light and truth) as we contemplate ungodly desires. If homosexual desire is not sin, why do the scriptures say so often that God searches the thoughts and the heart. In Genesis 6:5 it says, "The Lord saw the wickedness of men was great in the earth and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually." So the Lord destroyed all mankind in the Flood. In I Samuel 16:7 it says,"...for the Lords sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart." Revelation 3:23 states, "Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches hearts and minds and I will repay each of you according to your deeds." Philippians 4:7 says, "And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Luke 2:35 says,"This child (Jesus) is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be spoken against so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed." I Chronicles 28:9 states "...for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts." I Peter l:22 says,"Since by your obedience to the Truth through the Holy Spirit you have purified your hearts for sincere affection of the brethren, see that you love one another fervently from a pure heart. ( Amplified Version)
This teaching of freedom from both the activity and the evil desires of homosexuality that we at L.I.F.E. espouse is thoroughly substantiated in scripture and is truly the central position from which people can be set free. We must not deviate from it in the least because in all addiction the feelings of the person seem too strong to be overcome. But that is the lie in the emotions and it is constantly reinforced by demonic suggestion. "Go ahead, you'll never be free anyway" is the devil's whisper in your ear. God stands with you in clear opposition to that trap by saying "For nothing is impossible with God!" (Luke 1:37) "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36)
As you work to uproot old evil desires of homosexuality, do not be distressed by every thought or desire and think that God hates you or turns His back on you. Instead know that He is so pleased with any of us who work to be free from sin and believe that He is right there to strengthen and uphold us as we believe in His love and care. As we have been teaching lately, do not say "O, God help me." , when you have evil desires, but rather say "Thank You that You are right here with me and will give me everything I need for truth and godliness." Go on into believing He is with you and He will hold you up and not send a glare of disapproval if you have desires. He knows it takes time to work these through to a place of freedom. He looks on the heart and He loves the inclination of your heart to resist sin and draw near to Him. He understands all you are going through and you will be set free. Stay away from things that tempt you by going to the Lord and to your journal to write what the old emotions are that drive your evil desires. Believe God is right there to encourage you and cleanse your heart and mind with His precious blood. " The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13) "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." ( II Timothy 2:22)