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  • Writer's pictureMatt Garris

Is Being Gay a Sin?

In view of society’s delusion with the great lie—that temptation is the same as sin—and its simultaneous fascination with homosexuality, Christians are increasingly being judged by the world by their answer to the question, “Is being gay a sin?” The Church is largely divided into two camps on the issue of homosexuality—traditionalists and progressives—and I think that both are wrong because their core beliefs on the issue are fallacies.

The traditionalists’ perspective is that generally that being attracted to a person of the same sex is a sin, that “gay people” go to hell, and that one cannot be “gay” and Christian. Meanwhile, the progressives’ perspective is generally that homosexuality is not really a sin because people cannot control their attractions, the Bible is outdated on the issue and the Church needs to evolve, it is discriminatory to believe heterosexuality is morally superior to homosexuality, and anyone who disagrees is not expressing Christian love to his or her neighbor.

I propose a third approach based on the four following principles:

1) Sexual attraction is not a sin. Most people experience sexual attraction. This can be heterosexual attraction, bisexual attraction, homosexual attraction, or a myriad of other combinations. If you are attracted to any person other than the one to whom you are presently married (man & woman for purposes of this discussion; “gay marriage” will have to wait until another day), this is temptation. Unmarried heterosexual attraction and all homosexual attraction are equally temptation and equally not sin. I will say it again; physical attraction is not sin even if it is homosexual attraction. Physical attraction becomes sin at the point it takes root in the mind as lust, and lust produces the fruits of fornication, adultery, or rape, whether heterosexual or homosexual .

2) Your temptations don’t define you. Being tempted by homosexuality does not make one “gay” any more than being tempted by fat stacks of cash makes a person a bank robber. You are a child of God, redeemed of Christ, living in righteousness, and resisting temptation.

3) Falling victim to your temptations periodically is part of the human condition. If we did not sin, we would not need a Savior. Sin happens (Romans 3:23). However, when it happens, we should not say, “This is just the way God made me and you need to accept me for who I really am.” We should confess our sins and repent (1 John 1:8-10). Those who fall into the sin of homosexuality absolutely should not remain there and revel in their sin. This is the reason the whole notion of “gay pride” is so wrong. Christians should not continue in sin (Romans 6).

4) Those tempted by homosexuality should not be ostracized. The temptations they face are real and unavoidable. For all we know, Jesus may have experienced a similar manner of temptation. You are in no way morally superior just because you are tempted to gossip and someone else is tempted by homosexual attraction.

I will conclude with some Biblical advice on how to keep temptation from becoming sin. Temptation becomes sin when it takes root in your mind. It may help to view temptation as little seeds scattered across the field of your mind. Just like in Jesus’ parable of the sower (Matthew 13), these temptation seeds also need fertile ground to take root. You cannot change that the seeds are being spread, but you can change the composition of the soil so that the temptation cannot take root. This is done by renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) through prayer, reading God’s Word, and worship. Finally, you must continue to resist viciously until the temptation departs. We see in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ temptation that He told Satan to go away and Satan departed from Him. Follow the example of Christ and be blessed!


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