As humans created by God, we don’t have the right to define marriage, someone’s gender, or what’s right sexually—only God does.
For an overview of our study, please listen to the sermon here: https://towerviewkc.com/media/god-made-them-male-female
1. What should I do if my son or daughter shares with me that he/she is same-sex attracted?
- Continue to love them steadfastly (Matt. 5:44-46).
- Never cease to pray for them (Rom. 8:26-27; 1 Tim. 2:1; Job 42:10; 1 Thess. 5:17).
- And understand that your parental duty does not include validating the moral acceptability of their emotions or decisions (Eph. 5:11; James 4:17).
- It is not a failure to express, gently yet firmly, that engaging in unrepentant homosexual behavior may have spiritual consequences (Rom. 1:18-32; Rev. 21:8; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
- Reassure them that their feelings do not define their identity (Jer. 17:9; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Pet. 2:9)—and that, if their same-sex attraction persists, the Holy Spirit can still provide the strength to lead a celibate life. Emphasize that they have the ability to resist their desires (1 John 1:9; Heb. 12:3-17).
2. What should I do if my child tells me he/she is getting married to their same-sex partner & they want me to help pay for the wedding & attend? Is it ok if I attend a so-called “same-sex” wedding like this or not related to me? Can I serve as a bridesmaid or groomsman in one or it?
The perspective of American citizens has undergone a significant transformation concerning the definition of a legitimate marriage. In a recent USA Today publication (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2022/12/08/respect-marriage-act-same-sex-couples-relieved/10795048002/), individuals were surveyed regarding whether marriages between same-sex couples should be legally recognized as valid and equivalent to traditional marriages. In 1996, 68% believed that such marriages between two people of the same gender should not be valid. By 2009, this percentage had decreased to 57%. In the year 2020, only 31% held the view that these marriages should be considered invalid.
Now, the question arises: Is there such a thing as a same-sex "marriage" or same-sex "wedding"?
According to Genesis 1-2, as well as the broader context of Scripture, marriage is consistently depicted as a covenant commitment exclusively between one man and one woman. The creation account underscores that a woman was purposefully designed by God to complement a man in life. They are described as becoming "one flesh," presupposing a covenantal and sexual relationship between two individuals of the opposite sex.
The biblical mandate, then, to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28) is fulfilled uniquely by a man and a woman.
This doesn't imply, though, that a marriage without biological children isn't a valid marriage. It simply emphasizes that marriage, as designed by God, aims to be a covenant between two individuals whose union can naturally produce offspring.
However, it can become clumsy to repeatedly insert qualifiers such as "so-called" or "alleged same-sex marriage." For the sake of language efficiency, I will use terms like "same-sex marriage" or "same-sex wedding," even though I personally believe that such unions do not truly conform to the biblical understanding of marriage as outlined in the Bible.
The purpose of a wedding or marriage ceremony is to solemnly celebrate the union between a man and a woman. As Christians, it is impossible to celebrate or even acknowledge what we consider to be untrue. We cannot and should not endorse or support a union that the Bible identifies as sinful.
Even our physical presence or financial contribution—even if given silently—communicates a strong message that we approve of the decision made by these two individuals. It's a public statement of affirmation, even if we choose not to actively participate, send a gift, attend the reception, or sign the guestbook.
Instead, it is advisable to respectfully decline the invitation and extend an alternative invitation of your own. Invite the two individuals to your home for a dinner where you can listen to their story and, with hope, share the truth of the gospel with them (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
3. What should I do if my homosexual child asks if she and her partner can spend the night at my house / apartment?
Invite them into your home with open arms. However, kindly communicate to them that, if they plan to stay overnight, it is a requirement that they sleep in separate bedrooms / locations and assure you that they will refrain from any form of sexual intimacy. (Note: The same is true of unmarried heterosexual couples, biblically, too!)
4. Is homosexuality caused genetically? If so, how can it be called "sinful"?
Even though neither the American Psychiatric Association nor the American Psychological Association are typically associated with biblical Christian beliefs, they seemingly concur on this matter. The American Psychological Association, in particular, asserts:
“Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors” (http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.pdf).
The fact that something has a physical cause doesn't automatically make it morally justified (1 Cor. 6:12, 8:1, 10:23). For instance, an individual might have a natural predisposition towards aggression, but that doesn't excuse or approve of their violent actions (Matt. 5:21-26). Likewise, someone might inherently lean towards lethargy and passivity, but that doesn't mean their laziness is morally acceptable (Pro. 13:4; Col. 3:23; Heb. 13:16).
We all possess inherent tendencies that, if left uncontrolled, could lead to sinful, immoral behavior (James 1:12-17). However, attributing the origin of these tendencies to genetics doesn't magically transform one's actions from being sinful and wrong into actions that are holy and righteous. In short, the existence of a certain condition or predisposition does not prescribe what ought to be morally right (Phil. 3:19; Rom. 8:5-7; Col. 3:2).
5. Can an active, practicing, & unrepentant homosexual become a covenant member at TVBC?
- All are certainly welcome to attend TVBC—and we should extend a warm welcome if they choose to do so.
- However, it's important to clarify that such an individual cannot be granted covenant membership.
- A person who experiences same-sex attraction but is dedicated, by the power and grace of God, to living a celibate life may be considered for membership.
- Nevertheless, the situation changes when someone persists in willful, unrepentant sin, whether it be related to same-sex, heterosexual behavior, or any sinful behavior (1 Cor. 5; 2 Cor. 2).
6. Is it ok for someone to self-identify as a so-called “gay Christian”?
I can see why many individuals may answer positively to this question. However, I strongly believe it's a foolish choice.
In short: We should never define ourselves by our sinful desires.
As new creations in Christ (Rom. 6:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:17), justified through faith and embraced as God's beloved children (Gal. 4:1-7; Rom. 5:1), it's crucial that we do not employ our sinful desires as markers of our identity. While it's important to be honest and open about our struggles (James 5:16; Rom.7:7-24), none of us would readily introduce ourselves as a "greedy Christian," "envious Christian," or "lustful Christian." In fact, quite the opposite, Paul often introduced himself as a “slave of Christ” (Phil. 1:1)!
Still, there exists a large distinction between honestly discussing our failures (Paul as “chiefs of sinners” in 1 Tim. 1:15) on one hand and using language that attributes our sinful desires to our personal identity on the other. As someone aptly expressed it: “Although we acknowledge our sins, we are not defined by them.”
Additionally, there's a practical consideration to bear in mind. When someone hears a believer describe themselves as a "gay Christian," the common assumption is often that this individual is actively engaged in homosexual behavior or, at the very least, approves of such conduct (Isa. 5:20; Luke 16:15). Although many who employ this label may intend to convey same-sex attraction without indicating participation in same-sex physical intimacy, the intention and interpretation often differ drastically.
Therefore, adding an adjective to the word "Christian" that most people associate with sinful behavior can be highly misleading. It frequently sounds as if the person is justifying their ongoing struggles with sin.
Consequently, my (Darin’s) advice is to avoid using such language. Our primary identity as children of God is that of redeemed, forgiven, and born-again followers of Jesus (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 John 3:1).
In simple terms, desires that contradict God's design are to be resisted and extinguished, rather than celebrated or accommodated.
7. Can a person be healed of same-sex attraction by God? Can a person in due time experience the diminishing of same-sex attraction & the development of heterosexual desires?
One thing remains indisputable: none of us, irrespective of our struggles with sin, should ever settle for remaining unchanged. In fact, it may be a sign we do not know him (1 John; Romans 12:1-2).
It is through the grace and power of Jesus Christ, the truth of the gospel, and the transformative work of the Holy Spirit that all of us, including those who grapple with same-sex attraction, are in the process of being conformed to the moral likeness of Jesus himself (Phil. 1:6; Rom. 8:28-29; Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 3:18).
There exists undeniable personal testimonies from many individuals showing to the possibility of change. However, this transformation doesn't always happen, and when it does, it seldom occurs instantaneously. Despite persistent efforts, made possible by God's grace, some individuals continue to contend with same-sex attraction throughout their lives. They have chosen to obey Scripture by refraining from indulging in same-sex intimacy.
It's worth noting that all of us confront sinful desires—which may not necessarily be sexual—on a daily basis and from which we may not experience complete liberation until we receive our glorified bodies (1 Pet. 2:11; Heb. 4:15; Gal. 5:16-17). Regardless of whether we identify as heterosexual or homosexual, we are all intended to undergo progressive transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit. The extent of this change is something we can never predict with certainty but trust to our Sovereign God to make us like his Son!
There are those who argue that a person's so-called sexual "orientation" cannot be altered, and no efforts should be made to facilitate such change. The interpretation of the term "orientation" hinges on its definition. If it simply denotes that a person experiences persistent and main desires in a particular direction, it can be accepted. However, if it is defined in a manner that suggests that a person’s homosexual desires are normative and okay, forming a fixed and absolute core of their fundamental identity, to the extent that any attempts or hopes for change are both futile and risky, we must reject such usage of the term.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”