Monday, March 25, 2019

IS SAME-SEX ATTRACTION (SSA) SINFUL? WHY ASKING THE WRONG QUESTION LEADS TO THE WRONG ANSWER

For legions of Christians (Ligons of Christians in some places and yes, this is inside humor if you aren’t aware of Ligon Duncan’s recent games on the matter) the big question often being proposed for them to answer is whether or not same-sex attraction, abbreviated SSA, is sinful. The problem, of course, is with the question, itself. You wouldn’t know that, however, because it is likely that you have been conditioned to react with a defensive posture on these issues instead of slowing down the process and investigating the questions, themselves.

Now, as to the answer to the question it is rather clear, yes, same-sex attraction is sinful. It is a perverted sexual lust pattern.

If the answer to the question is an obvious YES, why, then, is this question being asked? Why, repeatedly, is it even being debated?

I’ll tell you why. The reason is because if we can debate an issue as if its fundamental but unspoken premise is valid, then the questioner has basically won half the battle. And in this case, the battle is for the homosexuality’s lust pattern to be validated as a thing left to stay undisturbed by the new birth in Christ.

But why would a Christian want to do that?

A Christian would want to do that for any number of reasons but generally to appease himself or herself or some other person or group.

A non-Christian, however, who is under the misconception that he is a Christian, would want to do this simply because of his or her spiritually unenlightened mind which is left to its own devices. In this case, it is simply being conformed by the world’s ideologies. Thus, this person would integrate homosexuality or its slow acceptance in various forms, into his/her theology, believing, of course, that this is a form of Godly enlightenment when, in fact, it is just the opposite.

I might elaborate further in a bit on this but it is essential I get to the issue at hand which is asking the wrong question. So let me give an example:
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Question:
Is stealing a Toyota, sinful?

Problem: Embedded within the question is a subtle shift in value assumption. That is to say, the question suggests, often unbeknownst to the mind of its audience, that there is a possibility that certain cars could be stolen without committing a sin.


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Fundamentally, however, the ultimate goal is a ploy which is to phrase the questions so as to introduce the consideration of a special case.


Sinful Desires and Lust Patterns
 

Every human being has sinful desires including those who have been born again in Christ, thus, spiritually alive and reconciled to God. Each person has what are called lust patterns. 

A lust pattern is developed in a human being as he or she lives life, repeatedly enticed by certain sinful wants and even as a Christian, fulfilling those sinful desires. Let’s be clear, the desires are sinful, themselves. 


Colossians 3:5 states: 


Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

In this passage there are some key words relating to this issues of homosexual attraction which is given the cloaking label, SSA. The most prominent, here is πάθος/pathos. This is referring to a way of thinking and desiring from those thoughts, which are not guided by God. Essentially, carnal or fleshly lust.
 

This is precisely what Same-Sex Attraction is, fleshly lust. It is of little difference than a man lusting after another man’s wife. Possibly we should accommodate this, too, with the abbreviation OMWA (Other Man’s Wife Attraction). I say that because this kind of lusting actually happens to Christian men and quite regularly. But most of them know that such sexual attraction is not something led by God rather, it is πάθος/pathos.
 

And the appropriate response is to confess this adulterous lust to God and resume walking in the Spirit which ensures one does not abide in this pattern rather, they now walk by the desires of the Spirit.
 

Will it happen again? Sure. But we, as Christians, do not deal with our sinful desires by legitimizing them, we confess them to God the Father so that we may maintain fellowship and the fullness of the Spirit.
 

1 John 1:9 says: If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 

Also Ephesians 4:30 instructs us, Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
 

Permitting sinful lusts to live in perpetuity is not only sinning, because you are being led by πάθος/pathos instead of God’s Spirit, but it results in broken fellowship with God the Father and the grieving of the Holy Spirit in you which results in you not being filled/led by the desires of the Spirit.
 

But What about My Lust Pattern. How Am I Supposed to Live with It?
 

As I said earlier, every Christian has a lust pattern. That is to say, he or she has their favorite ways of sinning based on the unique make up of their flesh and personality along with influences throughout their lives.
 

Let’s take Hannah as an example. She grew up in a home where the father was not respected by the mother. She picked up that nasty way of approaching male/female romance and has developed a lust pattern of henpecking dominance over her boyfriend and potential mate. In fact, this is her trend in life with most men. And this is only one aspect of Hannah’s sin pattern developed in a semi-dysfunctional home. As a Christian it is likely that she will be combating this pattern most of her life.
 

Now let’s look at Jason. Jason had access to the internet early on in life with little supervision. He quickly found pornography and through adolescence and into adulthood used pornography for entertainment and fulfilling various sexual lusts. In doing so, he not only established a pornographic lust pattern but as well, certain deviants sexual tastes. But now he is born again and seeking to live for Christ but those sin patterns visit him quite regularly.
 

Finally, Rebecca grew up in a home with a gossipy mother and a father who did not bring to her attention the inappropriateness of this but further, passively went along. Becky, as her friends call her, was trained to pry into the business of others and of course develop various adjudication skills. Eventually, Becky became a heavy hitter in the gossip ring herself and regularly calls her mother. for long gossip sessions. 

But recently Rebecca got saved and her potential husband has brought this to her attention and she agrees, it is sinful but also confesses it is hard not to snoop into people’s business because this is the way she has lived for so long as well as being highly judgmental. She has a sin pattern that will seek to creep into every aspect of her desires and life unless she decides to yield to the desires of the Spirit of God.



The Fullness of the Spirit is the Answer
 

The answer to sinful desires is not throwing our hands up and saying, “Well, that’s just the way I am”, and then walking in the flesh. Look, if you have a homosexual lust pattern, that is your lust pattern but the answer is not identifying with it as who you are nor legitimizing it in a covert fashion by asking if it is a sinful desire. Yes, it is a sinful desire.
 

Lusting after another man’s wife is a sinful desire and believe you me, there are plenty of other men’s wives who, merely by existing, stimulate the lust pattern of other men. She hasn’t done anything wrong but the man with the lust pattern who fails to confess lust like that when it occurs, continues in his sin, out of fellowship with God and not led by the Holy Spirit.
 

Greed is another lust pattern. Some Christians have a problem with greed and will all of their lives. The answer is not to say, “Well, I guess I am just resigned to having Greed Attraction.

The answer to all of our sin patterns is our identity with and in Christ who has deposited his Spirit in us so that we may be led by the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. We put to death our sinful wants and *homosexuality is one of those sinful wants. We identify πάθος/pathos as a no-go path, a no-go identity and take the path of being filled by thus, led by, God the Holy Spirit with his wants and desires. 

*(As a note. Homosexual desires are not a spiritual problem, they are a psychological dysfunction and can be successfully resolved through psychological therapy in many cases. Thus, this sin or lust pattern, may be something you can actually significantly minimized if not completely resolve, by way of psychological therapy. But, resolving the psychological issue causing homosexual lust does not make one filled with the Spirit. It simply resolves a psychological dysfunction.)

Every Christian Has the Same Problem with the Same Solution
 

If you are experiencing a homosexual lust pattern, be clear, that is sinful. But you must remember, every Christians faces his or her own lust pattern(s). Imagine a Christian reared in a debauched environment with all kinds of psychological issues in which the flesh repeatedly beckons him or her to endless lusts due to patterns of it developed while growing up. They are in far worse circumstances in that respect but the answer to homosexual lust or any lust is always the same. It is sinful, it is to be confessed and then one is to walk in the fullness of God the Holy Spirit thus, being led by his Godly desires.
 

Will the flesh fight back? Ha! Are you kidding? Of course the flesh will certainly fight back for its wants. That is what sin does which resides in our flesh. The sin nature originates in the flesh and while we live in this flesh, we will always experience that problem.
 

Asking the wrong question is where one starts on the path toward a wrong answer. I hope this is of value to my readers.

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