“God gave [those who suppress the truth] over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie.… Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:24–27)
The recent SCOTUS ruling on marriage has been the cause for many to talk on the issue of homosexuality. Christians have many different views on how to approach this ruling and how this ruling will affect the church in the future. Since I serve daily inside a prison setting where homosexuality is rampant , I would like to share what I have learned from those that live in that lifestyle. I also want to encourage the Christian Church to engage those in the LGBT community.
First I want to start out by saying that no one is born a homosexual. We are all inclined to sin, some in one way and some in other ways, but this in no way means that a person’s disposition cannot be changed … entirely changed by God. He says in Ezekiel 36:26–27 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Homosexuality is really a case of mistaken identity. Most people that live in the homosexual relationship are often confused with who they are and what truth is. Truth for them is difficult to discern when their minds are clouded and controlled with their sinful desires. Many often seek to justify themselves by making the argument that they were born with these desires and therefore it is natural. We know from the Word of God that homosexuality is not physically natural but could be considered “natural” just as sin is natural for a sinner. Thus, unnatural behavior can actually feel natural to those with unnatural cravings. The Bible is not ambiguous on this point. It unequivocally states that sexual relations between members of the same sex are unnatural, shameless and a perversion of His creation.
Those involved in homosexuality feel deeply, yet most often live painfully. They seek to hide their woundedness; nevertheless, their hearts are not healed. Woundedness that is often formed during their childhood that by an emotional deficit which occurs when a child fails to receive the love needed to develop a healthy self-image (the way we feel about ourselves). The fact that these feelings of emotional deprivation begin in early childhood explains why many homosexuals think they were “born this way.” They desperately need to experience the Lord as their emotional healer, for as long as their hearts are not healed, they will continue to experience feeling alone and confused, feeling “weird” and different from others, abandoned by God and denied a normal lifestyle and feeling rejected by family and condemned by the church and society.
Apart from cultural morality, church doctrine or biblical teaching, homosexual behavior is related to the cause of health issues. In the United States alone, objective facts show that homosexuality is painfully negative. According to generally accepted estimates, approximately 2 to 4% of the population is homosexual, yet they account for 17% of gonorrhea cases, 85% of the syphilis cases in some regions, 42% of new HIV infections and 55% of AIDS cases. Only 5% of AIDS cases came through heterosexual contact. Another 22% were transmitted through injected drug use. People involved in homosexuality are also five times more likely to be infected with an incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD) linked to cancer. Another not so surprising fact is that battering victimization occurs in 39% of all gay male couples: 22% of gay men are physically abused by a partner, and 5% are sexually abused by a partner. It has also been proven that people who participate in this lifestyle are also at a significantly higher risk for eating disorders, psychiatric disorders, anxiety, suicide, depression, anal cancer, substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes), premature death by 8 to 20 years, and death by prostate, testicular, or colon cancer. While statistics vary from year-to-year and represent only a snapshot in time, they reveal a timeless picture of the devastating impact of homosexuality. And though these statistics are painfully tragic, none of us should be surprised because God’s Word clearly communicates the negative impact of sexual sin on the physical body.
Deep in their hearts, most people know that any sexual deviation from God’s standard is wrong. Yet if you are that person experiencing the pain of sexual confusion, guilt and shame, you want relief! Taking on a new homosexual “identity” may bring them temporary relief if their sexual deviation becomes “who you are” instead of what you do. It gives them an out by allowing them to say, “I didn’t ask for it, but this is who I am.” But it camouflages truth with deception, and ultimately offers destruction. God in His goodness conveys truth and offers spiritual restoration. I encourage you Christian to engage those who are in the LGBT community, offer them the love of Jesus, stand on truth, and pray that they will fall in love with Jesus and in Him find their identity. There is no confusion in Christ and an identity in Christ will produce a behavior natural to that identity.