I have a question that I believe you can help me answer. I am a Christian who struggles with homosexual desires. Since I have accepted Christ as my Lord and saviour, I no longer regard myself as gay or homosexual, but instead I claim the new identity I have in Christ. I have a friend who is also a Christian as far as I know, and I do believe he is, who also has these same desires. He doesn't believe that homosexuality is a sin, and has bought into the pro-gay theology. I don't know if he really believes that homosexuality is not a sin, or if he just wants to believe it is not, I can't judge his heart, but he presented me with an argument that I have a hard time with. He said that even if homosexuality were a sin, as a Christian, covered by the righteous sacrifice of Christ, he could continue to practice that lifestyle in harmony with his faith, and because of the work of Christ on the cross, it really wouldn't matter. In conjuction with what Paul said "all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial", I am having a hard time refuting that argument. Yet I don't believe that he is correct. Am I wrong, do I not understand the power of grace? If so, then why shouldn't I act on my desires and be perfectly comforted in the knowledge that God has already paid the necessary price for my actions? Thank you for your time.
I salute you and honor you for taking the position you have, choosing to take the identity of a child of the King rather than someone who is at the mercy of his desires. That is a HUGE step toward freedom from those desires, and towards healing!
I do share your concern for your friend's rationalization, for that is what it is. Let me share an image that has really touched me from the heart of my friend Randy Thomas, the director of Living Hope, a ministry to those leaving homosexuality (www.livehope.org). He says that when he is tempted to indulge in a sin, especially of a sexual nature, he imagines himself at the foot of the cross looking up at the Lord Jesus, Who is suffering a horrible death for him. If he allows himself to think, "This sin doesn't matter, You're going to die for it anyway," it's like picking up the nail and the sledgehammer and pounding it into His body.
Another friend suggested an amazing concept to me. Even though Christ's death was 2000 years in the past, He died for all sins, past present and future. All of my sins were future at that point. That means that every time I choose to sin, I am making Him pay for yet another sin that He didn't have to, and every time I choose NOT to sin, that means that's a sin He didn't have to experience and take onto Himself for me. So, by my choices today, I can affect the number and burden of the sins He suffered and paid for 2000 years ago. Isn't that astounding?
Concerning the power of grace: Paul already answered that very question in Romans 6:1-2: "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Seeing grace as the license to sin is a slap in the face of our Savior. And not seeing homosexual practice as sin is an act of self-deception. Here's a question to pose to your friend: what is glorifying to God about homosexual practice? Consider the biology of sex, for starters. Consider the spiritual meaning of sex between a husband and wife (Ephesians 5), as well. There are very good reasons God limits sex to heterosexual marriage.
Concerning the argument "all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial," people have to do some serious theological gymnastics to get around God's condemnation of homosexual sin. There is no way it is permissible because every act of homosexual sin, just like every act of heterosexual sin, is immoral, and God stands against all immorality. Scripture is very, very clear that God's intent for sex is restricted to within the marriage of one man and one woman, and everything else outside of those confines is sin. Joe Dallas' fine work A Strong Delusion is an excellent answer to the pro-gay theology that he understands well because he was an apologist for it before repenting of it. I heartily suggest it to you and to your friend. In fact, that book was the reason one of MY friends finally made the decision to leave lesbianism behind--it was such a powerful statement of truth.
I do hope this helps clear things up. I pray that God will overwhelm you with the peace that comes with His truth, and you will enjoy the confidence of trusting Him no matter what others say.
In His grip,