Is it possible to be a gay Christian?
Question: "Is it possible to be a gay Christian?"
Answer: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). There is a tendency to declare homosexuality as the worst of all sins. While it is undeniable, biblically speaking, that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural (Romans 1:26-27), in no sense does the Bible describe homosexuality as an unforgivable sin. Nor does the Bible teach that homosexuality is a sin Christians will never struggle against.
Perhaps that is the key phrase in the question of whether it is possible to be a gay Christian: “struggle against.” It is possible for a Christian to struggle with homosexual temptations. Many homosexuals who become Christians have ongoing struggles with homosexual feelings and desires. Some strongly heterosexual men and women have experienced a “spark” of homosexual interest at some point in their lives. Whether or not these desires and temptations exist does not determine whether a person is a Christian. The Bible is clear that no Christian is sinless (1 John 1:8,10). While the specific sin / temptation varies from one Christian to another, all Christians have struggles with sin, and all Christians sometimes fail in those struggles (1 Corinthians 10:13).
What differentiates a Christian’s life from a non-Christian’s life is the struggle against sin. The Christian life is a progressive journey of overcoming the “acts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21) and allowing God’s Spirit to produce the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). Yes, Christians sin, sometimes horribly. Sadly, sometimes Christians are indistinguishable from non-Christians. However, a true Christian will always repent, will always eventually return to God, and will always resume the struggle against sin. But the Bible gives no support for the idea that a person who perpetually and unrepentantly engages in sin can indeed be a Christian. Notice 1 Corinthians 6:11, "And that is what some of you were. 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."
First Corinthians 6:9-10 lists sins that, if indulged in continuously, identify a person as not being redeemed—not being a Christian. Often, homosexuality is singled out from this list. If a person struggles with homosexual temptations, that person is presumed to be unsaved. If a person actually engages in homosexual acts, that person is definitely thought to be unsaved. However, the same assumptions are not made, at least not with the same emphasis, regarding other sins in the list: fornication (pre-marital sex), idolatry, adultery, thievery, covetousness, alcoholism, slander, and deceit. It is inconsistent, for example, to declare those guilty of pre-marital sex as “disobedient Christians,” while declaring homosexuals definitively non-Christians.
Is it possible to be a gay Christian? If the phrase “gay Christian” refers to a person who struggles against homosexual desires and temptations – yes, a “gay Christian” is possible. However, the description “gay Christian” is not accurate for such a person, since he/she does not desire to be gay, and is struggling against the temptations. Such a person is not a “gay Christian,” but rather is simply a struggling Christian, just as there are Christians who struggle with fornication, lying, and stealing. If the phrase “gay Christian” refers to a person who actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly lives a homosexual lifestyle – no, it is not possible for such a person to truly be a Christian.
Recommended Resource: What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung and 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley
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