Since homosexuality is so out in the open and acceptable these days, and becoming legislatively justified, let’s look at the spiritual and psychological side of homosexuality. People who engage in homosexual behavior (and I state it that way for a reason, which I’ll explain in a moment) always give this rationale: “God gave me these desires. I was born with it. It’s natural and normal. It’s how God made me. So I’m proud of it.” The question is how do we respond to that rationale? Now we know what the word says about homosexual behavior.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…..will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. 6:9
I have to point out what the kingdom of God is.
…..for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17
The kingdom of God is the personal experience of who God is right now.
As far as 1 Cor. 6:9, we can throw Bible verses like this in their face and shake our fingers at them all we want to. “You’re going to hell for what you’re doing!” But that doesn’t help them to understand their behavior. We’re condemning them to fire and brimstone like we usually do, but we’re not helping them to understand themselves. So we have to go a little deeper.
Has anybody seen the movie “The Matrix”? What we see in the movie is not real, but the principle is very much real. We exist in an invisible realm of distortions called a matrix. Our sinful human nature, what the word calls the flesh, has created and continues to create distortions in our minds and to corrupt what God has created as good. So our view of our sexuality, what God has given us for our good, has become distorted. God created man and woman with emotional needs and a sex drive – the desire to be loved and to show deep affection to another person . And those needs are to be met within boundaries that God has firmly established. Our human nature has blurred the spiritual boundaries of our sexuality.
Our sexuality is not evil in itself. It is God’s gift to us. There is power in our sexuality. Our sexuality is our energy. There is a reason God made you predominately male or predominately female. Your accomplishing your mission in this life depends on it. But our sexuality and the desires that come with it must be constantly surrendered to the control of the Spirit. It’s when we become seduced by the pleasure of our sexuality, focusing solely on the pleasure and continually eat of its fruit that it becomes destructive, whether it’s homosexual or heterosexual. They say such desires are natural and normal, but what is natural has to be SPIRITUALIZED. Just to say it’s natural and that’s it is a rationalization for our illicit behavior. Paul calls it a speculation, an imagination.
We are casting down arguments (imaginations, speculations, reasonings, arrogant reckonings) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5
When God told Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, his message was, “Don’t eat from this tree, Adam, not because the tree is evil, but because you are not spiritually mature or spiritually intelligent enough to handle it yet.” “Eat” means to indulge. Our kids are being shown the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil when they are not spiritually prepared for it. Teenagers and adults are eating from the tree and do not have the spiritual intelligence and maturity to handle it. But that is the demonic agenda for our country. Take prayer out of the schools. Forbid any discussion of the Bible in mainline schools. Even phase the Bible education out of the church and make it more entertainment-centered and ritualized and liturgized and socialized. Then find a way to make indulging in their desires lawful, Constitutional, and they will accept it.
If you study the words “good” and “evil” in the context of the tree it doesn’t mean doing what’s right and doing what’s wrong. In the Hebrew “evil” in this context means pain, suffering, adversity, confusion, disorder. Good means pleasure. It is not an action. It is a perpetual state or condition. Sin is the action. Evil is the eventual state or condition of one’s life and affairs resulting from the action. Temptation is the thought. Sin is the action. When we sin, initially it brings good, or sensual pleasure. It’s good because it’s pleasing to the eyes and pleasant to the taste. It’s pleasant to indulge in. It’s pleasant for the ego. But eventually it will bring evil. That’s what’s meant by perpetual. It’s a cycle. Sensual pleasure, when it’s carried beyond divine boundaries, will always in one form or another bring pain and calamity into our lives. Then to escape the pain, to escape the suffering we seek more pleasure, different outlets of pleasure which eventually brings more pain and suffering and disorder.
When the serpent told them “You will be like God”, we have taken the same bait. If you pursue your pleasure you will be truly fulfilled. You will be happy. Pursue your happiness. God wants you to be happy. It’s right and it is your right. But it’s a counterfeit happiness – a distortion, that pleasure equals happiness. To confuse happiness with pleasure leads to slavery according to Galatians 5.
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Solomon would be the first one to tell you. Pleasure is not happiness.
God said, Now man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil. What he was saying was, “Now man has stepped beyond the boundaries that I have set for him.” What God created as good, our sexuality, is now distorted and perverted in our minds and is being used to bring about our destruction, our suffering, our physical, mental, emotional calamity.
I’ve discovered what the Tree of Life is. The Tree of Life in Genesis is Wisdom. Proverbs 3:13-18. Intimacy with God is the Tree of Life, and according to Revelation 22 the Tree of Life has twelve fruit. Human sexuality is a key application of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree symbolizes pleasure and pain. When we eat its fruit outside of God’s intended purpose it will eventually lead to emotional and physical suffering and relational chaos. Homosexuality and same-sex unions defy God’s natural order. Male, female. Sperm, egg. That’s God’s natural procreative order. It does not exist in any way, shape or form in the animal kingdom, which should give us human beings a clue. But heterosexual intercourse outside of the marriage covenant is no more right. It is lust, not love, and it’s just as destructive. God’s love is built on his truth, and truth establishes boundaries. God, who is truth, dictates it is not okay to be ruled by one’s sexual desires, whether it is for a man or woman, heterosexual or homosexual. Man-made legislation is giving us license and opportunity. Uncontrolled human desire opens the door for other destructive patterns, including sexual confusion in the mind of a child that is brought into a same-sex relationship. Kids are confused enough in dysfunctional heterosexual relationships. Now you bring sexual confusion into the picture and they don’t yet have the spiritual intelligence to rightly judge and control their own desires.
There is another major distortion we must be aware of that is being programmed into the minds of our young people. It is identity distortion. The distortion is that because I choose homosexual behavior, or because I’m even tempted in the direction of such behavior, that I am that behavior. I’m gay. You’re gay. I’m a lesbian. You’re a lesbian. So because I believe I am what I seem to desire, I am locked into it, it is what God made me, so I might as well accept it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Homosexuality is a behavior, but it is not what you are. According to Genesis 1, at your core you are a spiritual being created in the image and likeness of God. That’s your true identity. But you are betraying your spiritual identity by accepting a distortion of your sexuality and willfully engaging in that behavior. You say, “I’m gay”. No, gay is not what you are. Gay is a behavior you are choosing, an impulse of your corrupt human nature that you are acting upon that defies God’s natural order for your life. But it is not who or what you are, and it’s not what’s going to make you happy. Just because you have an impulse, a desire, doesn’t mean you have to act upon that impulse. You have to judge every impulse with spiritual intelligence. Wisdom, God’s wisdom, is what brings happiness. Not pleasure.
One critical thing I learned in pastoral care and counseling is to separate the person from the behavior. And this is why I say “people who engage in homosexual behavior”. We must be extremely careful how we NAME or IDENTIFY a person. I can’t bring myself to call someone gay. Whenever I have called someone gay, and it’s only happened maybe two times, my spirit gets pricked. Now I understand why. I have just identified that person improperly. It is spiritually improper for me to say so-on-so is gay. That’s not who they are. It is more reasonable for me to identify the behavior and say “So-on-so engages or has engaged in homosexual behavior.” So I’m recognizing that the behavior can be changed while still preserving the person’s spiritual identity. To say gay is what this person is, is to say gay is this person’s nature. Doing so subtly condemns the person in my mind to the permanency of the behavior. I don’t know about you, but I will not do that.
The freedom to indulge our passions is not real freedom. It is a counterfeit freedom that leads to slavery. Yet political forces are telling us the opposite and encouraging it, and offering this counterfeit freedom to us legislatively in the name of “fairness” and “equal opportunity, “national security” and “the children”. The media is feeding it to us daily. Indulging your passions is okay. But real freedom is achieved when our desires are subjected to the Spirit and kept within spiritual boundaries. Discipline. Self-denial. Not self-hate, but self-denial. It isn’t the way of the world and never has been. But it’s the path to the Tree of Life which is hidden in the midst of the garden of the soul.
If a person chooses to live a homosexual lifestyle, it is their choice. To forcefully legislate religious businesses and organizations to accept it in the name of “fairness” and “equal opportunity” is wrong.
Tony Harper is a friend of mine who I work with. I was given full permission to post this on my blog. None of the work above is any of my doing or effort.