In light of the homosexual movement—regarding soul winners or aspiring soul winners—any information for or against homosexuality being a choice should not prevent us from forging ahead with the mission of the gospel. Our motivation should be the words of Jesus in the Great Commission—which harmonizes with a world that is in greater need of the Savior than ever before.
To be fair, there are more articles that attempt to convince readers that people are born homosexuals than articles that show that homosexuality is a choice. There is a personal twist in this one.
I have the privilege and blessing of having an identical twin brother, and I know for a fact that he has had a healthy interest in the opposite sex. In the last couple of years, that would be his wife. Like myself, he is now happily married to a beautiful woman who loves him and takes good care of him.
I had never planned on revealing this, but I had struggled on and off for years with homosexual tendencies—which at times I wanted and at times did not want. It is true that what we feed our mind is what it will dwell on.
Early on—out of morbid curiosity—I fed my mind visible material which was not of the opposite sex. Curiosity was replaced with interest although I would rather have died than confide in anyone about it. The time when this was a great problem for me was when I was in my early twenties.
The reasons for my homosexual tendencies included a lot of complicating factors ranging from 1) intense withdrawals from prescribed medications I took sporadically at that time, 2) relationships to 3) difficult choices. It really had its beginnings early on in my life.
In Arizona, my family was living near crop-dusters before I was born. Although my parents did not know this at the time, the pesticides used on crops near our house were later shown to cause some birth defects and this severely effected my body's ability to provide necessary neurotransmitters and enzymes an adolescent needs. I was not aware until later in life that everyone else had all the normal neurotransmitters and enzymes needed for normal life.
For a while I took medication, and that medication had powerful withdraw and depressing side effects once I lost access to them. Taking the medication and not taking it, put me on a roller coaster of emotional confusion. Suffice it to say that at one point when I was 22, I formed the opinion that I must be a homosexual because I had distinct homosexual tendencies and inclinations.
This idea seemed to embed itself firmly in my mind, despite my mental scrambling to deny or disprove the unwanted conclusion. I was under no illusions in my knowledge of the Bible and what judgments had fallen on homosexuals (Genesis 19; Jude 7). I knew it was sin.
Fortunately for me there was someone I could confide in and, venting my frustrations to them helped. And God really helped me. As a result, I came to the realization that although there was a definite physical aspect to my homosexual inclinations, it was more psychological in nature.
This has been confirmed when I considered I had never thought of any my friends who were guys other than just friends. I never had mental images about them or thought about them as objects. They were people and they were my friends, and I could never in an unnatural manner consider them as anything else. When I experienced problems with unwanted homosexual inclinations caused by visible images, it was always abrupt and unexpected.
For instance, I would be minding my own business when suddenly (typically on social media) I would see a picture that would arouse my attention without my wanting it to. Other guys could look at the same picture and not be aroused at all. One moment I would be looking at someone's new puppy and scrolling downward, and I would abruptly see something that to anyone else would not cause any reaction at all, but it would cause arousal, much to my reluctance and annoyance. I am relieved to say that I am and have been incapable of thinking unwholesome thoughts about people I actually knew, and this has not changed.
I have discovered from personal experience that homosexuality is a personal choice. I can relate to the study about twins and homosexuality because my twin has always been decidedly interested in the opposite sex.
Freedom in Christ
Even though I have experienced homosexual inclinations in the past I did not have to obey them. I had a choice, and more than that, I had a God who could change me.
The factors that caused homosexual inclinations were the result, nay, the collateral damage of living in a sinful world. Everyone I know who is a homosexual has had some very traumatic and abusive incidents occur in their life—often at the behest of someone who viewed them as an object and not a person. We live in a sinful world, yet God can save us from any sin if we ask Him to.
The articles on twins show that homosexuality is a choice, and my personal experience has confirmed that.
When we minister to homosexuals, we must guard their dignity. Equally important is shattering the illusion that they do not have a choice. This gives them freedom.
Of course, there are individuals who are former homosexuals. The rationale of the world is that once a homosexual always a homosexual. That answer is false.
Successfully breaking free of homosexuality, once the tentacles of unwanted misplaced desires have fastened, is a form of death itself—death to self. It’s just like it would be for another sin that is soul-threatening, which we must die to rather than let it destroy our soul. We have to die to sin.
To say by the grace of God (and the grace of God is the only true way to freedom from sin) that we are no longer sinners is the old nature dying. If we are operating in our own effort, we are bound to fail...we need a Savior! And when we say no to our desires, it hurts!
God's power has to be involved when we say no to self. When we do this by the grace of God, our fallen nature dies a little more. We can be kind without making compromises to our faith. We can be Christlike without conceding on our convictions.
The Lies We Live With
Ingrained in society is the idea that homosexuals cannot change, and it is fast taking hold in many churches. I have had individuals tell me that it is a fact that homosexuals cannot change, and the persons telling me this really believed it.
This stance is not only incorrect, but a subtle yet direct attack against Christianity and a clever attempt to rob the gospel of power.
First of all homosexuality is not purportedly considered a sin by society at large even though God destroyed whole cities (Genesis 19:9-11) because of it. The Bible designates homosexuality as sin, and in the eyes of a sinful world, once a homosexual always a homosexual.
The big problem is when Christians—whether because of pressure or wrong beliefs—decide to go along with the world in condoning homosexuality. The finger is then pointed at these Christian's who, lowering the standards, are exemplified as model Christians.
If Christians, to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb, make the concession that homosexuality is not a sin, and that once a homosexual always a homosexual, they are saying that God does not have the power to change a homosexual. They welcome homosexuality into their churches and it is defended even though the Bible expressly forbids the practice. Is there power where there is compromise? No.
This is why homosexuality and Christianity cannot mix. If people do not change, what is the point of the gospel? If people defend others who will not change, yet both claim to be followers of Jesus, you have a serious case of false advertising. If this line of reasoning follows the path of least resistance, then the only conclusion will be that God does not have the power to change or save people from sin whether it is homosexuality, theft or lying.
And nominal Christians claiming this are sabotaging the very reason they should be gospel-proclaiming Christians in the first place—namely that God can save to the uttermost those who come to Him. If there is not change in the life, or if there is a denial of the gospel's ability to change people, the gospel is robbed of its power, and people then adopt the false pretense that God is unable to save mankind from sin. But God is able to save homosexuals, liars, murders, thieves and the like. And with salvation comes sanctification (change).
The intent here is not to set one kind of vice on a higher pedestal of infamy than any other kind of vice. It is not to portray those who practice these vices with horns coming out of their heads or bat wings.
They are people created by God...sinners in need of a God of love who wants to separate them from their sins so that He can save them!
Homosexuality is unique in one way from other sins. The fact that the pressure is on to sell the idea that homosexuality is not sin, causes many to believe it, leading to sin and impurity in the church. In churches that have bowed to pressure, homosexuality not seen as sin works as a spy whom no one recognizes once it is condoned, but whose insidious cloaked intent is to destroy true Christianity and the life changing power of the Gospel.
And when people cease to view it as sin whether because of pressure or false belief, you have the church condoning what God has forbidden. Churches falling under this become wretchedly blind and devoid of the life-changing power of the Gospel.
The veiled claim of homosexuality is that God cannot change or save, and if you do believe that homosexuality is not a sin, that would be true. But we need to base what we believe on the Bible.
The life-changing power of the gospel cannot change someone who refuses to recognize sin as sin. That person who is calling him or herself a Christian is misleading people by claiming one thing while the names he claims professes something else. God can save and change to the uttermost those who come to him, and that includes homosexuals.
Furthermore, if we claim that homosexuals cannot change, we are indirectly saying that God is impotent, and if He is impotent, He cannot be God. Is this not what the enemy of souls would want us to believe? He is behind the lie that God cannot change homosexuals, and he desires to fasten this lie as fact in churches as he has done in society at large.
To soul winners and aspiring soul winners, we must hold the standard high. We’re not trying to keep people of out the church, but to keep sin from gaining mastery over us, and defiling the Bride of Christ. By the grace of God, we can paint a living beautiful mural of what freedom from sin means in regard to peace of mind, health, joy and growing in God's image.
Such a mural spotlights the empty promises, lies, disease and spiritual death caused by homosexuality. We do not want to be the cause of controversy, nor do we favor making concessions regarding Bible truth.
When the subject presents itself, with holy courage and prayerful tact, we must assert that homosexuals can be changed and be saved by God's power. Jesus saves, is the loud call on the mountain top to proclaim that homosexuals can be changed by the grace of God and the power of His gospel.
In Hebrews 7:25 we read,
”Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
By the grace of God, this has been my experience. I know and love people who are homosexuals. And prayer on their behalf gives me hope for their healing, welfare and happiness. Let's be kindly courageous and avoid concessions. Let's encourage compassionate conviction and discourage compromise.
Let's be prayerfully Christlike!
B. Stone lives in South Korea and teaches EFL. His hobbies include cooking, writing, traveling and music on the guitar and piano. He is happily married.