Ramblings on homosexuality and new identity in Christ…
Biblically, homosexuality and (the less chastised and perhaps more prevalent) pornographic masturbation are sins. Christians, that are truly Christians, have their identity not in that they are a masturbator or homosexual but that they are in Christ. We were once many things; drug addicts, pornographic masturbators, homosexuals, prideful, etc (1 Cor. 6:9-11). However, our identity is not in those things. We are new in and through Christ! But, so is our practice.
Originally, God made everything very good. God made man and woman to reflect His image. But we sinned and the mirror was cracked and the world was cursed. However, God is remaking things in and through Jesus. He took the curse upon Himself on the tree and now all that come to Him in faith our being progressively renewed.
We, in Christ, are adopted (1:5)! Sons and daughters of God! Jesus came to fix the marred image, to redeem from sin, to die for the forgiveness of sin, to restore harmony with God. He came for the sick (Mark 2:17). We were all sick. We are all (whether masturbator, homosexual, or proud) called to be remade in God’s image (Col. 3:10; Eph. 5:1). We are all called to put off our old self (Eph. 4:22 see Eph. 5:3ff).
God sees us as wholly sanctified in Christ yet we are still progressively becoming sanctified. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who struggled with various sins, and said, To the made holy ones in Christ Jesus, called to be holy (1 Cor. 1:2). We must remember in the church that it is not unloving to say someone is sick and it is not unloving to say that someone is struggling with sin (again Jesus in Mark 2:17); even if they are a Christian. Though the way in which we say it is very important.
So, yes, call those that struggle with pornographic masturbation, pride, and homosexuality brother or sister. Yet, also call them to renew their fight against sin. Tell them you love them, you too struggle with various sins, but remind them of “the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:12-13 see Eph. 4:22). As Christians we must help our our brothers and sisters; we must bear each others burdens.
As Christians our identity is in Christ and thus we are to be imitators of God and thus it further follows that there should not be even a hint of any kind of immorality among us (Eph. 5:3). Tell them that if they are defined by drugs, by pornography, by homosexuality, and not by Christ then they will not inherit the Kingdom of God and thus should not be called brother or sister (1 Cor. 6:9-11). In fact, there are times to formally disfellowship someone for unrepentant sin.
So yes, I believe we can call those struggling with homosexuality brother. We are called as Christians to “fight the good,” put to death what is worldly in us, and struggle against sin. If my brother (or sister) is truly struggling against sin, whether homosexuality or drugs or pride or anger, they are brother, Christian, and not “addict,” not “gay.” That once defined them. But, not now!
I, for one, was lustful; it is sick to say, but a pornographic masturbator. But now, in Christ, I am new! I am brother, Christian, Son of God!
A lot of times people say they didn’t choose to be the way they are…
I also didn’t choose, in a sense, to have the many different dispositions that I have but that certainly does not mean that any disposition I have is justified does it? I think not. Most would agree that a disposition to thievery does not excuse the thief…
What thoughts do you have on this subject?