Overcoming Lust When Gay
How are Christians with same sex attraction supposed to deal with lust?
This question is prompted by some videos recently made available from an evangelical pastor, Danny Cortez, and his teenage son, Drew (picture above), who has same sex attraction. Pastor Cortez and his church are stepping away from their denomination (the SBC) and are now affirming same sex relationships, conforming with the broader culture.
this definition of lust applies to all whether men or women, gay or straight
The attention surrounding same sex attraction provides an opportunity for us to acknowledge that we do not generally do a good job in teaching about sexual purity. Churches and leaders that are vocal in attacking homosexual practices need to go further than that and provide practical help to everyone—gay or straight—on how they can overcome sexual sin.
Focusing on the sin of lust rather than on observable sexual sin levels the playing field and the following effective definition of lust can help us get to the root problem:
Sexual lust—the illicit sexual buzz—is a willfully allowed pleasurable
gratification of wrongfully directed sexual desire that takes place deep inside.
Note that this definition of lust applies to all whether men or women, gay or straight.
We all have misdirected sexual desires and thoughts and need to acknowledge and teach that these are not sin. Only when such desires and thoughts are acted on does sin take place. When gratified in the heart it is adultery in the heart as Jesus described.
Those who seek to please God must recoil from misdirected desires and thoughts—to reject them. This is a hard teaching whether our desires are geared to the same sex or the opposite sex because we are tempted to dwell on wrongful desires, to gratify them internally and to thereby experience sinful pleasure.
In Danny’s video he tells a story about a lesbian who told him that the idea of passionately kissing a man would be as repulsive to her as it would be to Danny. I get that. However, this does not mean that a lesbian is free to lust for another woman. As Christians, the object of lust is not the issue. It is the lust itself.
Let’s assume that Drew can do nothing to change his same sex attraction—that he is stuck with it. Despite this, Drew has the same responsibility as that of all believers—he needs to overcome lust.
As Paul wrote: “We are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live”
For a person with same sex attraction who believes—as I do—that gay sex, whether married or unmarried, is sinful, this means a life of celibacy. Like others who are unmarried, they will not experience sex.
Thankfully, in all of this, the transforming power of the gospel is generously available. Walking in the Spirit can effectively free us from the bondage of lust whether our desires draw us to illicit conventional sex, homosexual sex, sex with self or any other form of sin.