27 Feb Words of Grace – Same-Sex Attraction and the Church
We fallen humans are full of wrongly ordered desires. We Christians are still humans and we still struggle with wrongly ordered desires. These desires are for things that are not God’s will for our lives. This struggle is called temptation.
Being a Christian means we have the Spirit of God who enables us to submit our desires to the will of God. Being a Christian comes with a new desire that takes priority over all other desires and progressively orders them rightly to the will of God. This new and priority desire is for God.
We can’t pick and choose the wrongly ordered desires that we think are acceptable or unacceptable for Christians to have. We are called to fight all wrongly ordered desires by the Spirit with the weapons of submission to Christ and the positive pursuit of the new and growing desire for God. We are called to live in obedience to God instead of indulging these desires.
All Christians struggle to some degree with wrongly ordered desires related to sex. Mental lust, the desire for someone sexually or romantically other than our spouse, and thoughts of withholding sex to manipulate or punish a spouse are just a few forms wrongly ordered sexual desires.
Some of our brothers and sisters in Christ struggle with same-sex attraction. The struggle with same-sex desire is not to be put into the category of “unacceptable” while other wrongly ordered sexual desires like opposite-sex lust are put into the category of “acceptable.” 1 Corinthians 6:9 places wrongly ordered opposite-sex desire (the desire for sexually immoral and adulterous behavior) and same-sex desire (the desire for homosexual behavior) in the same category- temptation to sin which is be fought against for the sake of the soul.
To our brothers and sisters at Grace Community Church who are struggling with same-sex desire, we encourage you to fight the good fight of faith. We love you and embrace you as fellow-fighters against wrongly ordered desires. We thank you for not giving in to your desire by participating in homosexual behavior or advocating for same-sex marriage. We acknowledge that you may be living with unfulfilled desire, and that desire may at times be intense, confusing, and isolating. We pray for you and are here to fellowship with you. We join you in giving testimony to the power of God’s Spirit and the companionship of Jesus to rightly order our lives according to God’s will, which is that we abstain from sexual immorality in all its forms (1 Thessalonians 4:3). We promise not to treat you differently in your fight against same-sex sin than we treat others in their fight against opposite-sex sin. As you, like all members of Grace, live a lifestyle consistent with biblical and gospel-rooted morality, the table of communion and door of service are open to you.
Should any of us follow wrongly ordered desires into sin, let the others of us restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, keeping a watch on ourselves lest we too be tempted (Galatians 6:1).