How do I convince a gay person that he wasn’t born gay? I tried asking if he had any bad experience when he was young and he said no. I did find out that he was a “mama’s boy.” Does that affect a person’s emotional behavior?
– C. from Unknown City
Part 1: Dilemma for gays
Part 2: Is there freedom and how can we minister?
Dilemma for those with same sex attraction (Part 1)
The causes of homosexuality are complicated and layered and I certainly am not an expert. I’m not sure anyone knows it all on this subject. I personally believe that homosexuality represents sexual brokenness. But regardless of original roots, I’m not sure trying to convince a person they were not born that way has any value.
Let’s look at it from their shoes. Gay men and women usually DO feel they were born that way or at least they feel a deep confusion about why they are saddled with these feelings that seem to go down to the core of their being. Often they will say that from the time they were very small children they knew they were “different” but didn’t know why until they were older.
I will tell you something else. Most gays (or at least a great many) would trade in their homosexuality to be like the other 97% of people if they thought that was possible. They often feel hopeless to change, and so they eventually accept and then embrace that lifestyle because the struggle and loneliness are too much to bear.
Once I asked a gay relative of mine if there was a button on the wall that he could push that would reverse it all and make him heterosexual, would he want to push it. “Yes, of course” he said, “Anyone would, but there is no such button.”
Part of your question asks about causes. You wonder if being a “mama’s boy” was part of it. You also asked him if he had a bad experience. Whether he did or not; that is a deeply personal question, and he may not be comfortable laying out his life before your eyes. So it is important to be sensitive when probing another person’s life – especially in such a delicate area. Plus, even if an “event” created a trigger in this person’s life, he is still stuck with the results.
Is there freedom and how can we minister? (Part 2)
The trigger for each person may vary, or the trigger may be unknowable. It may be brokenness in a parental relationship or maybe demonic activity based on generational curses or sexual sin such as molestation or sexual abuse. Or, it may be none of these, and may simply be a condition that represents one aspect of our fallen world. Many have received healing for their sexual brokenness, but let’s be honest and practical; there are multitudes of homosexuals who will deal with same sex attraction all the days of their life. Healing doesn’t always come even with the greatest effort.
I believe your question was really prompted by a desire to say or do something that will help in the healing process. You know that Christ is the forgiver, deliverer and healer and you want this friend to seek all of that. It might be helpful to you to think about homosexuality from a different mindset. Remember that the sin is not BEING a homosexual, the sin is participating in homosexual activity. That’s a big difference. Even if a person goes to the grave with same sex attraction, it is possible to serve Christ with purity and integrity. It is a road many are taking.
That said, there is a very important thing you can do to help, and it has nothing to do with passing on information or proving anything. You can extend genuine love without judgment. Most gays have experienced enough judgment to last them a lifetime. I’m not aware that any person ever left their homosexuality because of someone else’s judgmental attitude.
Homosexual activity has been treated differently than any other sin by the Church. It has been elevated to the top of the pile: the worst sin in the world. The Church has therefore not extended real help to those who struggle with this issue. Maybe there are some that could be helped in the stage where they are confused and struggling if they felt safe to discuss this within church circles.
We all have a long way to go as we reach out with understanding yet without condoning sin. We need God’s help and genuine spiritual discernment as we tackle this tough issue. But that’s okay. “With God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
For more information I highly recommend a short, richly packed book call Is God anti-gay? by Sam Allberry. He speaks with great authority because he deals with same sex attractions and he is also a Church of England clergyman. His biblical perspective is stellar.