Recently I saw a television show that dealt with the issue of homosexuality and whether a gay person can go straight or not. It attacked the idea that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and that it is possible to change. Naturally the show, as do all secular shows, presented the conclusion that being gay is natural and perfectly normal for some people and that to not accept that is the sin, not homosexuality. Further, it promoted the idea that homosexuality is an inborn trait which nobody can change, and that God is okay with homosexuality, as it is all about "love". So what does God and His Word have to say on the issue?
There are two parts to this question, so first the issue of, "is being gay acceptable to God", will be addressed. In the television show that I watched, the passage in Leviticus was quoted. Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." The response to the person who quoted the passage was to point out that God also demanded death for not keeping the Sabbath, and had laws for slavery, and did the person expect those laws to still be kept? The writers of the dialogue were trying to say that the Old Testament Laws were no longer valid, therefore the whole idea of homosexuality being a sin was also no longer valid, as these laws had only applied to ancient Israel. It is true that we no longer keep the laws of the Torah, but does that mean that nothing applies? What is not understood is that the Torah is God's governmental laws for a nation, just as we have governmental laws to order our nation. They are no longer used, as the Lord is not the governmental leader (theocracy) of any nation. People have rejected God in favor of men as leaders and man's laws as our laws. While the penalties of the actions are no longer used in any nation (you may find a couple used in Muslim countries) the sins themselves are still considered sins by God. That part has not changed. If a particular action is mentioned again in the New Testament as being a sin, that only reinforces the validity of saying that action is considered a sin by God and that the Old Testament verses about that sin still are in effect.
What I am about to say is going to make some people mad. If you are offended, you will have to take it up with God, not me, because I am not the author of the Bible. I am just relating what it says. Before continuing further, I will say that I have (either presently or in the past) had homosexual or lesbian friends or family. I love them dearly and we have had good relationships. I am not their judge, God is, so I do not judge them, but try to show them Yeshua through my love and life. While I love them, I do not condone the sin, nor do I pretend to any more than I approve of co-habitation without marriage. Sadly if they continue in their sin unrepentant until they die, just as if perpetrators of the other sins listed in the following verses continue unrepentant, their sin will send them to hell and eventually the lake of fire. It won't be the sin itself that sends them there, but the lack of repentance. Repented sin is forgiven. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7.
In particular when discussing this issue, there is a question of the word "effeminate" and the phrase "abusers of themselves with mankind." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. " This passage clearly states that people who unrepentantly practice these sins will not enter the kingdom of God. I have visited sites where homosexual pastors or Christians try to explain this word and phrase away to allow them to continue to practice their sexual preference guilt free. I notice they stay far away from other verses of the Bible, which I will give in a moment which are far more accusing. The word effeminate essentially means the person who takes the female role in a homosexual relationship and presents themselves in such a manner. I am sure most people know what I mean by that. These are the men who take on female mannerisms in their deportment. Abusers of themselves are people who misuse their bodies in some way which is not natural to mankind. This refers to not only homosexuality, but bestiality, necrophilia, etc. God could not be more clear as to the consequences of practicing this sin without acknowledging it is a sin and repenting.
Whether or not people want to accept it, the Scriptures are clear about this sexual act. Lev.18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Lev. 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." First, this is not making any distinction between lust and love (which seems to be the crux of the homosexual defense). No mention of feelings is involved at all. It is the physical act that is being addressed. It is the physical act which is the abomination. The penalty for committing this abomination was death. Next, clearly this is not talking about temple prostitution (which is another explanation I have heard). It had nothing to do with pagan temple worship. It is a law for God's people's behavior, not a commentary on surrounding nations. Nor is this a non-applicable law because it is in the Old Testament. As mentioned above, while the punishments of the Torah laws are no longer used, as God is not the accepted Leader of any nation (even Israel), the sins are still considered sins by God. This is an abomination to God yesterday, today, and forever, and it is addressed as such again in the New Testament. (comments in parentheses are mine) "Wherefore God also gave them up (let them do what they wanted) to uncleanness (something that is an abomination to God) through the lusts (sinfulness) of their own hearts, to dishonour (revile and debase) their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, (denying what the Scriptures clearly say about this and saying God approves) and worshipped and served (idolize and devote oneself to) the creature (each other) more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause (because of their unwillingness to acknowledge the truth and their deliberate disobedience) God gave them up unto (deliberately turned them over to) vile affections (abominable lusts) : for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature (lesbianism): and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men (homosexuality) working that which is unseemly, (unnatural, not in accord with acceptable standards, grossly improper) and receiving in themselves that recompence (all the consequences that have ensued such as disease, death, heartache, broken families) of their error (the sin) which was meet (fitting and just). And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, (totally and deliberately reject God and what the Bible clearly says) God gave them over to a reprobate mind, (releases them to wallow in all the evil they desire) to do those things which are not convenient; (not naturally built to do - other methods had to be invented for sex) being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful (once turned over to a reprobate mind, sin reigns in many more forms in their lives): who knowing the judgment of God,(they are well aware what the Bible says on this issue) that they which commit such things are worthy of death (O.T. law still in effect), not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (not only delight in doing these sins, but delight in leading and corrupting others to do it with them)." Romans 1: 24-32.
Clearly the description of men leaving the natural use of women and burning with lust for other men describes homosexuality. It is not a matter of distinction between lust and love, it is a matter of distinction between wanting to have sex with the opposite gender versus wanting to have sex with the same gender. The same holds true for the women. Again, it is not a case of "lust" versus "love", with love making it all right. It is a matter of the same gender having sex with the same gender. All Scriptures must be taken together on this issue. They are leaving the natural use of women (or men). It is the physical act, not just the emotions involved. It is also not a case of temple prostitution. The temple is not referred to at all. It is simply the unnatural use of sex between members of the same gender that God considers dishonoring the body. This could not be more clear in these verses and trying to ignore it or twist it to mean something else is just going to land people in the lake of fire. Understand I am not without sins myself, and this is (while not trying to treat it lightly) just one more sin, however God hates it greatly, as it is a sin against what has been created in the image of God, and what is the temple that the Holy Spirit inhabits when one accepts the Lord. The problem is that the gay community and its supporters are denying that it is a sin, and not only are unrepentant, but try to justify it, force others to accept it, and try to lead young people into it. ("have pleasure in them that do them") Repentant homosexuals who do not continue in the practice of this sin can get into heaven, just as any other sinner who repents and turns from their sin will get in (provided they endure to the end). Thieves know stealing is wrong. People know lying is wrong. These sins are acknowledged to be sins, however that is not the case with homosexuality. Gay people defend it as not being a sin. Understand it is not my call. It does not matter what I think. It does not matter what you think. It does not matter what anyone thinks. It only matters what God thinks, because He is the One calling the shots and the One who will judge us all. God does not care how I or anybody else feels about the issue. It only matters how He feels and He has made it abundantly clear. Denying it is a sin will not work with God, no matter how much a person wants it to be so. That is not my opinion, that is what God says. He says it is an abomination, which makes the person who practices it abominable to God, plain and simple. The truth is the truth, like it or not. Denying the truth is not going to change what God says. We all like to justify our sins, but it is to our own eternal peril that we do. I do not want to see the gay people I know and love go to hell any more than I want to see the fornicators (many of my friends and family have practiced sex outside of marriage), or liars (Who has not told a little white lie? I know I have to protect someone's feelings - e.g. Does this make me look fat?), or thieves (Stealing is taking a pen from work, not just robbing a bank), or murderers (Do you intensely dislike anyone? God said that we are guilty if it is even in our heart), or drunkards (Did you have one too many at that last party?), or those who covet (Who hasn't experienced that one at one time or another? I know I have. I have to confess it and repent it.). I know sinning jeopardizes my salvation and I have to continually acknowledge it and repent. But I admit it is a sin and that I am sinning. Homosexuality is a sin that is not acknowledged by homosexuals and unfortunately it is a sin that the Christian church has either accepted as being permissible by God, or focused on as being a sin to the exclusion of every other sin. Neither is the correct response. It is clearly a sin and should not be condoned, however it is hypocritical on the part of many Christians to be so hyper condemning and treat homosexuals as untouchables, who do not even merit common courtesy, when they have a serious problem themselves. One sin in the church that really rankles me is gossip, and some of the most pious people are the guiltiest of practicing it. It is usually epidemic in most churches and is a sin that is not only unacknowledged, but will jeopardize a lot of people who practice it unrepentantly. Most homosexuals do not pretend to be Christians, therefore Christians should not be worried about their homosexuality. It is the sin of not accepting Christ that will ultimately send them to hell. The other sins are only going to determine their level of punishment in hell. It must also be remembered that unbelievers do not have to clean up their lives before coming to the Lord, that is not how it works. We need not make them give up homosexuality before coming to the Lord. However the sins must be repented and purged from our lives after accepting the Lord, if one is to make it into heaven. Our job is not to tell homosexuals that they should stop their sin; our job is to bring people to the Lord and let the Lord clean up their sins. Granted they must be shown that they have to acknowledge they are sinners, but that does not mean having to harp on their sexual orientation. There are plenty of ways of sinning that they may be perfectly willing to acknowledge and confess that they are sinners in need of forgiveness. We are to be wise in our witnessing and should approach things in a way that will win them, not drive them away. Too, Christians should be looking at the beam in their own eye, as they are responsible for keeping their lives as free from sin as possible, so as not to look like a hypocrite.
The second part of the question was, can a gay person become straight? Above it was seen that when a person decides to pursue homosexuality, God turns them over to a reprobate mind and their lusts. That means that God has removed His protective hand and allows not only the sinful nature of man to come to the full, but it also means that He allows demonic influences to have unrestrained access. While many people do not want to acknowledge it, a great many of homosexuals have been the victims of sexual abuse in their childhood or adolescence, or at least the victims of domineering people who have caused emotional damage in them. Sexual abuse is an occult form of introducing human control over another individual (generally initiated in childhood), as well as demonic control in an individual. When a child is sexually abused, demonic influences enter their lives, and since it came in the form of sexual abuse, more often than not homosexual abuse, this demonic influence remains in their lives until removed by Yeshua (the Lord Jesus Christ). Emotional abuse of a domineering individual can create a negative response toward the gender of that individual, so a woman who has domineered a young boy in an excessive manner might make him turn to male comfort and companionship, especially if he has not had a male role model in his life. Once a sexual encounter occurs, demonic influence can take over. The same holds true for females with abusive male figures. They may turn to lesbianism. I believe many women turn to lesbianism these days, merely because society has made them unacceptable as potential mates in that they do not fit the Hollywood stereotype of thin, beautiful, blonde (and dumb) women who flaunt their sexuality. Men are being told that they should only want the Hollywood model, that this is what they deserve (no matter what they may be like), and therefore any woman who is not pretty enough, thin enough, or young enough (not to mention if she is too smart) finds herself with no life companionship with the opposite sex. With more and more men becoming gay, and women finding themselves rejected by the seemingly fewer and fewer straight men that are left, many are turning to each other for companionship and comfort. Once they step over that line and have sexual encounters, they too open themselves to demonic influence in this area. And for the record, every sin we commit opens us to demonic influence, not just sexual sins. Sin separates us from God and leaves us openly unprotected in Satan's realm, even when we are Christians.
As it appears that homosexuality is, after a person's initial introduction or choice, partially a result of God turning a person over to it and partially a result of demonic influence, but not, according to Scriptures the result of being born that way, it would seem that just as any sin can be forgiven and overcome, so can this one. 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." To be cleansed from a sin means that it is forgiven and expunged from our record. Does that mean we will never be tempted to that sin again. No. Some sins follow us for life and tempt us. The alcoholic does not stop being an alcoholic simply because he has not taken a drink in a long time. A drug addict needs to forever forsake his drug addiction, a pornography addict his pornography, but that does not mean the desire will not pop up every once in a while. God may cleanse the homosexual of all desire immediately, or He may leave it there as a cross to bear for quite some time to help the person grow spiritually. There is one action that must be taken though, if a person is to be relieved of the inclination. He must remove the demonic influence. If a person does not take action to remove the demonic influence, which does require more than repenting his sin to God, the temptation will not go away. One must rebuke the demon, command it to leave in the name of Yeshua (Jesus) and remove anything to which the demon can attach himself to be able to stay around. All influence of that sin must be removed from the person's life, as just one object or action may open up the demonic influence again. One thing is certain, the sin should never be physically engaged in again, no matter what the temptation. What if it does? Does that mean the person should give up, leave God, and go back to his or her previous lifestyle? No. Go back and read 1 John 1:9 above, confess, repent, and remember that committing the sin opens one up to demonic influence again, so that demonic influence must be removed again. When we fall into sin, we need to repent and get back on track again. How long will the struggle continue? Maybe a lifetime. Some of us will struggle with other sins that long, so there is no guarantee a homosexual won't struggle with his sin that long. The important thing is to repent and try your best to not fall again. Can a homosexual truly become a heterosexual? By the grace of God, yes, but probably not overnight. The closer the person comes to God, the more they will find themselves conforming to what God wants, and He created mankind to be heterosexual.
Addendum: I have just learned about the Queen James Bible. I guess I am probably behind the times, as I do not ascribe to modern day versions, so don't pay a whole lot of attention to all the new versions coming out, as they are all bad. See my article on the King James Bible in the archives to understand why I say that. Anyhow, back to the subject. The Queen James Bible is, from what I understand, the King James Bible with eight verses removed. The eight verses removed are ones that are offensive to homosexuals (see my article above to see the verses), as they clearly teach that homosexuality is an abomination to God. Now, I must ask a question to homosexuals who argue that God is not against homosexuality. If you truly believe that this is acceptable to God, then why did you have to create a new Bible that cuts out the offending verses? Clearly you are patently aware that God is against it, for you had to remove the offending verses, so that they would not convict you. So now you are guilty of another sin as well.
Deuteronomy 4:2 "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye
diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD
your God which I command you."
Deuteronomy 12:32 "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."
Revelation 22:18-19 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the
prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall
add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this
prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out
of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
As another addendum, same sex marriage is now acceptable in a number of states. Is this a problem? Obviously if homosexuality is a sin, so is homosexual marriage. God created marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. Period. Matthew 19:4-5 " And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?" Mark 10: But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh."
While the state may have the right to allow two people of the same sex to enter into a legal contract, which protects the rights of the individuals in that contract, that does not give the church the right to put their stamp of approval on these unions saying that God will approve and bless them. He will not. And the minsters and churches who join in approving and performing this blasphemous act are asking God to pronounce judgment upon them, for as God has told us, as we get close to the return of Christ, 1 Peter 4:12-19 " Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that,
when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding
joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy
are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their
part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and
if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the
gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the
keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." We will be reproached and persecuted and suffer for standing for the Word of God. It eventually will literally become a fiery trial (and it already has for many Christians in other countries). For those who compromise and do not stand for God's Word, be aware that before judgment falls upon the world, it will fall upon the church, for judgment begins with the House of God. Those who walk with the world instead of God, will suffer as the world will, to cleanse them of their unrighteousness.