Biblical Hope for Those Struggling with Homosexuality

“And such were some of you. 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.”

1 Corinthians 6:11

I recently watched as the host of a news program called Dr. Albert Mohler “crazy” for expressing his belief that Christ empowers people to change and turn away from all forms of sin, including the sin of homosexual behavior. Is she right? Are we as Christians crazy or hateful for believing that homosexuality is not only a sin, but also one that can be overcome? 

Although the voices of popular culture continually grow louder and more forceful in their attempts to reverse our convictions on this issue, it is the Word of God alone which must guide our thinking. Today as always, the Bible offers hope and victory for those tempted and enslaved by homosexual attraction and behavior.

Pastor John MacArthur clearly states Scripture’s unchanged teaching on homosexuality, “What does God think of homosexuals? Well, the answer is He loves them just like He loves you and just like He loves me. No different…It is God’s desire that they be saved, that they be justified, that they be sanctified, that they be washed. And that homosexuality and that homosexual behavior be only part of their past so that it can be said of them, ‘Such were some of you.’” (Sermon links listed below)

Below, I’ve compiled a list of solid biblical resources to help both those who struggle with homosexual desire and those who hope to minister to others in regard to this issue.

Articles & Booklets

Homosexuality: Speaking the Truth in Love by Ed Welch

The Words No Parents Wants to Hear by Tim Geiger of Harvest USA

Desiring God list of resources for understanding and addressing homosexual behavior in light of Scripture

Audio Messages

Struggling with Same-Sex Attraction by Ellen Dykas and Dave White (2009 CCEF National Conference)

When Sons and Daughters Say They Are Gay by John Freeman (2009 CCEF National Conference)

What Does the Bible Actually Say about Homosexuality? by Robert Gagnon (2009 CCEF National Conference)

Hope, Holiness, and Homosexuality by Dr. John Street (2010 Shepherds’ Conference)

What God Thinks of Homosexuals by Dr. John MacArthur

Thinking Biblically about Homosexuality by Dr. John MacArthur

Personal Testimony

Out of a Far Country 6-part Revive Our Hearts interview with Christopher Yuan and his mother Angela

Scriptural Clarity on Sexual Purity

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal
of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

If you’ve been following the news lately, you may be feeling heavy-hearted about the rapid changes taking place in our culture’s attitude toward homosexuality. As our society spirals deeper into moral confusion, it’s vital that true believers remain steadfast in believing and proclaiming the whole counsel of God, regardless of how politically incorrect those truths may be. When it comes to the church’s response to homosexuality, the old Adam and Eve vs. Adam and Steve jokes simply aren’t going to cut it any longer.

Over the past few days, Albert Mohler, John Piper, and John MacArthur have each modeled well how to handle this issue with wisdom and with love…

In an article for today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Mohler addresses the topic of “Evangelicals and the Gay Moral Revolution”:

Since we believe that the Bible is God’s revealed word, we cannot accommodate ourselves to this new morality. We cannot pretend as if we do not know that the Bible clearly teaches that all homosexual acts are sinful, as is all human sexual behavior outside the covenant of marriage. We believe that God has revealed a pattern for human sexuality that not only points the way to holiness, but to true happiness… 

In this most awkward cultural predicament, evangelicals must be excruciatingly clear that we do not speak about the sinfulness of homosexuality as if we have no sin. As a matter of fact, it is precisely because we have come to know ourselves as sinners and of our need for a savior that we have come to faith in Jesus Christ. Our greatest fear is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins…

Read the article HERE.

In a Desiring God blog post entitled “My Eyes Shed Streams of Tears,” Dr. Piper writes on the tragic progression of homosexuality within our culture from celebration to institutionalization and normalization:

Christians, more clearly than others, can see the tidal wave of pain that is on the way. Sin carries in it its own misery: “Men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:27).

And on top of sin’s self-destructive power comes, eventually, the wrath of God: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5–6).

Christians know what is coming, not only because we see it in the Bible, but because we have tasted the sorrowful fruit of our own sins. We do not escape the truth that we reap what we sow. Our marriages, our children, our churches, our institutions—they are all troubled because of our sins.

The difference is: We weep over our sins. We don’t celebrate them. We turn to Jesus for forgiveness and help. We cry to Jesus, “who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)…

Read Dr. Piper’s entire article HERE.

Even though we have reason to be concerned about recent changes regarding the issue of homosexuality in our society, we must never lose sight of this one fact–the Gospel of Jesus Christ still sets sinners free from bondage. In this audio clip, Dr. MacArthur reminds us of the hope contained in six simple words from First Corinthians 6: “and such were some of you”

 

Image: olly bennett

What About Our Sons?

 
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching”
Proverbs 1:8
 
Tuesday’s post on raising daughters to be women of purity sparked the following question from one of my readers: 
I see a lot of talk these days about keeping our daughters pure. And that’s great! But what about our sons?
What about our sons? That’s a question I wish more Christians were asking. I think it’s safe to say that in our culture young men need the help of godly parents now more than ever. 
 
In the following video from Randy Alcorn’s ministry, a group of Christian young men share their thoughts on the battle for sexual purity and what their parents can do to help…
 
 
One resource that will be helpful to parents in training sons to be sexually pure is a little book by Randy Alcorn called The Purity PrincipleRandy has done a lot of writing and speaking on this topic, and his advice is solidly biblical. Read an excerpt from The Purity Principle HERE.
 
Randy has written an article called “Guidelines for Sexual Purity” that will benefit all believers, whether single or married. It also makes a great teaching tool for parents. The article expounds on the following points: 
  1. Sex is good. God created it, God called it “good,” and it existed before there was any sin in the world.
  2. Like all good gifts from God, sex can be misused and perverted.
  3. The boundaries of sex are the boundaries of marriage.
  4. Your sexual purity is essential to your walk with God.
  5. You are vulnerable to sexual immorality.
  6. You are targeted for sexual immorality.
  7. Your body belongs to God, not you.
  8. Sexual purity begins in the mind, not the body.
  9. Since God doesn’t want you to have premarital sex, neither does he want you to do that which prepares your body for premarital sex.
  10. Once you let your body cross the line, it will neither know nor care about your Christian convictions.
  11. If you have sexual intimacy with someone outside marriage, you are stealing from God and the other person.
  12. God has your best interests in mind when he tells you not to have premarital sex.
  13. God would not tell you to abstain from impurity if it was impossible to obey him.
  14. Satan will lie to you about sex, but Jesus tells you the truth.
  15. You must learn to think long term, not short term. 
In past blog posts, I’ve shared additional information on raising children to value sexual purity. The following links contain more advice on this topic from Randy Alcorn, John MacArthur, CCEF, and more:

I hope these resources will be helpful to you as you seek to raise up young men and women of purity and integrity. Please feel free to share this post with other Christian parents you know.

Photo: M Nota

Ask Mel–Do I Have to Tell My Spouse I’ve Been Unfaithful?

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another…”

James 5:16

Is it more loving to conceal or to confess past unfaithfulness? In the following video, I offer a few thoughts on the inseparable link between confession and true repentance.

Have a question for Ask Mel? Send it to: preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Photo: Bethany Carlson

Taking the Guesswork out of God’s Will

“For this is the will of God…”

1 Thessalonians 4:3a

Do you ever wonder what God’s will is for your life? Wonder no more!

Never one to shy away from the tough questions, Pastor John MacArthur is going to explain God’s will for your life in 3 clear and simple points. Share them with your friends–these points will work for them too! 

Photo: rore_d

Answering the Age-Old Question

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from
sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control
his own body in holiness and honor”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

In his booklet, “Sex Before Marriage: How Far is Too Far?” Tim Lane of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation addresses the issues of sexuality and purity from a biblical perspective: 

Why does it seem like the Bible is so narrow in how you practice and enjoy sex? The answer is that God knows how powerful sex is. When sex is practiced outside of marriage, you are misusing it and there are personal and interpersonal consequences. Sex outside of marriage is incomplete, because it doesn’t have a binding union as its basis. So when you have sex outside of marriage, what you are really saying is, “I want to have physical union with you, but not the entanglements of any other kind of binding union.” Most people don’t consciously think like that when they are having sex before marriage, yet, that is what they are doing and communicating—no matter how much they say they care for their partner.

Married sex is very powerful. It communicates the intense, personal nature of the marriage bond. The Hebrew word for sex is yada, which literally means to know someone personally. Sex is a form of disclosing yourself to another—becoming vulnerable and open in a very personal way that leads to an intimate knowledge of another. Every time a husband and wife have sex, it is a way of recommitting themselves to one another. They are saying that they belong exclusively to one another and no one else. To have sex in a casual way goes against the grain of what sex was intended to communicate. It was never intended to be a casual, recreational activity that can be done with someone outside of the context of deep commitment and love. When you use sex like this, even though it might feel great, in the long run there is bound to be hurt and pain.

Tim Lane discusses the purpose and content of the booklet…

You can read the text of “Sex Before Marriage: How Far is Too Far?” HERE or you can purchase copies of the booklet from CCEF to share with others HERE.

Illustration: B S K

Men, Prayer, & Pornography

 

The True Woman blog has posted some terrific resources this week for both single and married women alike. The first post I want to draw your attention to is an article written by Candice Watters called “How to Pray for a Future Husband. Here’s an excerpt:

What if God answers your prayers differently that you want Him to? He is able to transform the desires of your heart to align with His, and to satisfy you, completely. We may never be able to understand this with our finite minds, but the Holy Spirit makes it possible to grasp it in our spirits, so that we may pray with Jesus, “Thy will be done.”

I’m amazed that God doesn’t ask us to begin there, or require us to deny that we have real requests and desires. Not only does Philippians 4:6 instruct us to “let [our] requests be made known to God,” Jesus modeled that in his prayer in the garden…

It was only after He prayed, “if there is any way, let this cup pass,” that he prayed, “not my will, but yours be done.”

The whole point of prayer is to grow in relationship with God. The more we talk and listen, the more He shapes the conversation. As we grow closer to Him, our desires shift from what we want—what we think we most need—to what He does. His desires become our desires.

Read Candice’s entire article HERE.

Another great post called “A Hope-Filled Conversation on Guys and Pornography” contains an audio interview with Tim Challies (author of the book Sexual Detox) and his wife Aileen. Tim and Aileen tackle several tough questions that Christian women often ask about men and pornography such as:

  • If a man isn’t interested in having sex with his wife, is that an automatic indication that he’s addicted to pornography? 
  • If a single woman is dating, should she try to figure out whether her boyfriend’s addicted to pornography? Do single women have any hope of getting pure men? 
  • How can we as women help men with this struggle?

This post also contains links to several additional resources which will provide help to anyone dealing with the damaging effects of pornography.

Listen to the interview HERE. 

Photo: jamie brelsford

Pleasures Superior to Pornography

 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Matthew 5:8

In his teaching series for young people, The Blazing Center, Pastor John Piper challenges believers to overcome the temptation of pornography by fighting for a superior pleasure:

More from Piper on winning the battle against pornography: 

Faith is not just an intellectual assent to doctrines. Faith is an affectional embrace of the Savior for my deepest longings.

Unbelief, on the other hand, is a failure to be satisfied in Jesus. It’s a failure to go to him as the living water and the bread from heaven and the light of the world. It’s a failure to go to him as a satisfaction that’s deep enough and strong enough to satisfy me when I am tempted to go in a sinful direction to indulge an appetite—say, an appetite for companionship or food or sex. The satisfaction of Jesus—that is, belief in Jesus, embracing Jesus, loving Jesus, being content in Jesus—is going to be the power that severs the root of that impulse.

Read Piper’s entire answer to the question, “How does unbelief contribute to the need I feel for pornography?” HERE.

Video: kyle otto
Photo: stugstug

Shedding Light on Secret Sin

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

2 Corinthians 13:5

David Powlison of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation provides a thoughtful answer to a difficult question, “Can I be saved if I am living in constant secret sin?” Although this question deals specifically with guilt produced by ongoing sexual sin, Dr. Powlison provides wise counsel for anyone struggling with enslavement to any type of sin.

Check out the book Sex and the Supremacy of Christ HERE.

You can read Dr. Powlison’s chapter, “Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken,” HERE.

Photo: Jesse Therrien