GAY PRIDE IS NOT THE ENEMY
Here we are at the time of the San Francisco gay pride parade. LGBTQ+ people will be proudly demonstrating and asking society to celebrate their gay and transgendered lifestyles. I know that the church will have mixed reactions to this display of pride. Some will turn their noses up at the idea that anyone could possibly be proud of such an abhorrent lifestyle. Others will be glad that their homosexual friends are finally able to find some peace and acceptance. They may even wonder if being gay isn’t as bad as the Bible seems to suggest. But as for me, I was that boy who grew up having only sexual desires for males and none for females, being made fun of and called “faggot” on the playground, going through life feeling there was something deeply wrong with me at my uttermost core. If, one day, I had decided I couldn’t take it anymore and I came out of the closet—the most vulnerable, dangerous, and potentially isolating thing I could possibly do—but was then welcomed with open arms by a community who loved me enthusiastically (something that no one in my life had done up till that point), I guarantee I would rally around that cause. I would link arms with those people and carry their torch. I would paint a giant rainbow on my chest and proudly walk in the gay rights parade.
Gay pride isn’t the enemy here. Imagine the freedom you’d feel if you found a group of people who celebrated the most reviled, hated, and despised area of your life? Wouldn’t you celebrate too? The real problem is that gay pride pushes people further into a lifestyle that God does not condone and, therefore, cannot be what’s best for that person. Even though a homosexual lifestyle may feel like acceptance, it actually won’t take away the pain from a lifetime of rejection and self-hatred. It covers over brokenness with sex acts, and it miserably fails to meet the deep needs within a person.
God cares deeply about our fulfillment and joy. So much that He had His only Son die in our places for it. Many marching in the gay rights parade believe that they were born gay and cannot change. But that just can’t be true. My sexual desires did change. For decades, my only sexual desires were for other males (I had none for women). But, that is not the case today. I have been happily married to a woman for 11 years. And, I know quite a few other people who have had the same experience of transformation. Take for example, my friend, Elizabeth: A seminary degree-toting, lesbian feminist with a long-standing conviction that homosexuality was a God-approved lifestyle, who wholeheartedly embraced her gay identity and lived within the gay community. A change in her sexual desires was nowhere on her radar. She had so embraced a lesbian identity that when she discovered that she was having sexual desires for a man, she actually felt humiliated, at first. But, changes happened nonetheless. Elizabeth credits encounters with a living and knowable God for this. Today, she has been married to the man of her newfound desires for 12 years. You should hear her speak of him as though he were one of the knights of the roundtable.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is nothing if not transformational. Dramatic change is possible when closely following Him. 2 Corinthians 5 tells us that anyone who is “in Christ is a new creation.” That the “old things have passed away” and that “all things have become new.” Jesus is in the business of setting people free to live their deepest and most fulfilling lives…physically, emotionally, sexually…in every way. And there are people out there, including myself, that have experienced a radical transformation in their own understanding of themselves and in their sexual desires. They’ve gone from gay to straight and remained that way.
With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)! So, we who follow Him ought to humble ourselves, pray and demonstrate an extravagant love to every person around us, regardless of their ethnicity, gender identity, height, weight, occupation, or any other distinction. At the same time, we also need to be mindful of God’s righteous standard for sexuality: one male and one female committed for life to each other within the bonds of marriage. We need to pull on heaven and expect God to manifest Himself to the men and women who struggle with same-sex desires and other perversions, and to transform their sexual desires. He certainly has done so for me.