10 Life-Giving Truths for the Gay Christian
by Matt Moore
Because somebody who doesn’t fit into the boxes of “God-will-make-you-straight Christianity” or “stay-gay-it’s-okay Christianity” MUST give a voice to this struggle.
I began blogging in 2011 for a specific reason: to bring a very private issue in my life to public light. Homosexuality, same-sex attraction, “being gay” – whatever you want to call it – has always shared the living room of my soul. Some seasons it has been a friend, some seasons it’s been a foe, but in every season, it’s been persistently present. Whether I have loved it or hated it or enjoyed it or been pained by it, it’s been here. It’s always been right here with me.
Coming to Jesus didn’t change that.
When I was made alive by the lavish mercy of God in the gospel, most people assumed one of two things. 1) I had “been healed” of homosexual desires, or 2) I believed in a gay-affirming version of Christianity and continued to practice homosexuality, just in a less promiscuous manner.
Neither of these presumptions was true.
So for the past four-going-on-five years, I’ve been writing and speaking about the tension between my faith in Jesus and my ongoing struggle with homosexuality. Why? Because somebody who doesn’t fit into the boxes of “God-will-make-you-straight Christianity” or “stay-gay-it’s-okay Christianity” MUST give a voice to this struggle. The Bible doesn’t teach that God gives heterosexual desires to all same-sex attracted believers. Nor does the Bible teach that God is cool with same-sex attracted believers acting out on their fallen desires in monogamous same-sex relationships.
The Bible teaches that God can give us heterosexual desires, and he might give us heterosexual desires, but he doesn’t promise to give us heterosexual desires. If he does, fantastic . . . and if he doesn’t, he is still worthy of our love and obedience (celibacy). I write and speak about my struggle with same-sex attraction to shine light onto this position because I believe it is the right position.
As the Lord has blessed my writing by bringing it to more readers, messages have ceaselessly poured into my email inbox from weary strugglers. They’re beat down by the battle. They’re hungry for encouragement. Hungry for power. Hungry for hope. They’re tired of well meaning ministers making them false promises of developing heterosexual desires. They’re tired of cheap-grace teachers telling them God’s okay with them engaging in homosexual relationships.
They crave the truth and power of the biblical gospel.
It is impossible to respond at length to every email I receive, so today I want to write a blog that I can use a future resource – a blog full of what I believe is the biblical, powerful, life-giving gospel. Over the next couple of minutes I’m going to share 10 biblical truths that I keep close to my heart at all times. These truths strengthen me to fight, with all my Spirit-might, to stay the path of true faith and repentance as I wrestle with same-sex desires. I hope that meditating on them will empower you or your struggling loved one (please feel free to share!) as much as they continually empower me.
10 Empowering Truths For The Same-Sex Attracted Christian
1) You are not an anomaly. You may have grown up in a culture that taught you homosexuality was the grossest and strangest of sins, but if you’re going to believe the Bible, you’ve got to toss that mentality aside. Your desires are jacked up, yes – but so are everyone else’s. Every person’s sexuality is perverted by sin. Don’t be fooled for a second into thinking you are more sinful than your “straight” friend who is tempted to fornicate, commit adultery, or watch pornography. All are inclined to sin sexually because all have been born with a corrupt nature (Romans 5: 12-21).
2) It’s not because you “lack faith” that this struggle remains. There is hellish doctrine floating around in some Christian circles that teaches people their struggle with same-sex attraction exists because their faith doesn’t. This teaching is unbiblical and spiritually toxic. You are not still attracted to the same sex because you’ve yet to believe “big” enough. You suffer this temptation for the same reason all Christians suffer various temptations: because your salvation is not yet complete. You are justified (made right with God), but you are still being sanctified (made like God). Total freedom from sin and temptation will come not on the day that your faith finally gets “strong enough” – but on the Day that Christ returns and gives you a new, imperishable body (1 Corinthians 15:53-57).
3) Your identity is not in your fallen desires. You are not defined, even in part, by your fleshly inclinations. Don’t identify and view yourself through the lens of your sexuality, but through the lens of your union to Jesus. You’re not some different species of Christian. You’re not a gay Christian. You are just a Christian (2 Corinthians 5:16-17). You are not the fallen desires you inherited from your first father, Adam. You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
4) You are not alone in your suffering. Sometimes it feels like you’re the only Christian that suffers to the degree you do, but this couldn’t be more off base. You are not the only one who bears a heavy cross in this life. Your brothers around the world face various, yet equally difficult sufferings. (1 Peter 5:9). Don’t give into self-pity; every Christian battles the flesh and has to die to themselves in various ways as they follow Christ (Luke 9:23).
5) God sovereignly rules over your temptations and will not allow them to ultimately defeat you. Your ceaseless wrestling with these desires isn’t beyond the grasp of your omnipotent Savior. It may feel at times that the evil inside and around you is going to ultimately overtake you, but Christ who is in you is greater than all the evil, sin, and temptation in and around you (1 John 4:4). Though God allows you to be tempted by these forces, he does not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability to withstand (1 Corinthians 10:13). You can resist and you can have victory. So fight! And when you don’t fight as you should and you stumble (this will happen), don’t wallow in the defeat or fear God’s judgment. You are justified by the blood of Jesus. All your sins are covered. So get back up and keep fighting. He who called and justified you will not allow your sin to ultimately defeat you. He will sustain you to glory (Romans 8:30).
6) God can transform your sexuality. God is not powerless to give you natural sexual desires – even if just for one man or woman whom he’s destined to be your spouse. Though heterosexual desire isn’t a promise of the gospel, it is not bad to hope for it. And though heterosexual marriage isn’t a certainty for anyone, it is not bad to pray God will bless you with it! He has done it for others and he can do it for you. The Lord is a pro at speaking into existence things that don’t exist (Romans 4:17). Nothing is impossible for him (Matthew 19:26).
7) Singleness isn’t a curse. If God doesn’t give you marriage and he calls you be single for the duration of your earthly life, know that he is doing this for your good and joy. God cares for you. If it were better for you to have marriage in this life, he would give it to you. For mysterious reasons that you aren’t entitled to know, he may deem singleness the best fit for you. This isn’t a curse. It’s a freedom and a blessing through which you will serve the Lord more efficiently than you ever could in marriage (1 Corinthians 7:32-38).
8) You can live a full and joyful life without sex. If you’re unmarried, your obedience to God in this season of life entails celibacy. Restraining yourself from sexual activity can feel – well, restraining. And it is. You are biologically wired to express yourself sexually, but right now, if you’re not married to someone of the opposite gender, it’s not an option. Is this hard? Yes. Does this sacrifice rob you of fullness of life? Heck no. Jesus, Paul, and many more like them lived full and joyous lives in the grace of God . . . yet they didn’t have sex. It is the pleasures of knowing God – not sex – that truly satisfy the human soul (Psalm 16:11). Eternal life is not found in being romantically or sexually fulfilled, but in knowing and communing with God and his Son Jesus (John 17:3).
9) God will redeem your struggle for his glory. Though the battle with same-sex attraction can be a gruelling one, know this: God has a divine purpose for allowing it to continue in your life. Maybe it’s to keep you reliant on him. Maybe it’s to make your more empathetic toward the struggles and needs of others. Maybe it’s to keep you in tune with the brokenness of this world so you keep your eyes on the prize: eternity with Jesus in a new and perfect world. Whatever the case, know for certain that God allows no thorn without a divine purpose (2 Corinthians 12:17). God is using this struggle for your good (Romans 8:28).
10) It won’t always be this way. Your struggle will end. The sin inside of you responsible for these attractions will once and for all be obliterated by the redeeming power of God. When Christ comes again, you will no longer just want to be like him but you will be like him (1 John 3:2). You will be sinless. You will be perfect. Hold fast to the hope set before you and stand firm in the gospel of your salvation. He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Matt Moore is a 25 year old writer who has spent the last few years engaging the culture in discussions about sexuality and faith. In 2010, Matt converted to Christianity from a lifestyle of homosexuality. He greatly desires, through his writing, to help the gay community see the world and themselves from a biblical perspective and to know the hope that is available to them in Christ. Matt lives in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Tennessee. He blogs at MooreMatt.org and you can follow him on Facebook.