Legacy Church Blog

Filter By:

Should Gay People Try To Be Straight?

Should Gay People Try To Be Straight?

There isn’t a person on Earth who is safe to stay the way they are. That’s because there isn’t a person on Earth who is like God. None of us is without sin, and sin destroys. Thus, we all need to change all of the time.

We’ve touched on the fact that we just aren’t all that different, and that none of us is better than another. But when the word “change” enters the LGBT world, I fear we start to think things we don’t think about other people or about ourselves. Let’s walk through a couple of those differences and see what the gospel has to say.

Gay to Straight

If the church is going to treat gay people differently than everybody else, this is where it’s most likely to happen. There is a gut-level drive in many believers to try to make their gay friends straight. This might be because, for many, straight people are simply more comfortable to be around because it’s something familiar. It might be because of our widespread (and errant) belief that singleness is a problem that needs to be fixed. Regardless of the reason, I need to say outright that “gay to straight” is not only unwise, but it is damaging and counter-gospel. It goes against Jesus’s aims for our lives.

The thing is, idolizing the opposite sex will kill you just as quickly as idolizing the same sex. The opposite sex will not fulfill you any more than the same sex will. That’s because marriage was not intended to fulfill you. God is here to fulfill you. Further, being single is not a disease that needs a cure, but it’s an important and God-ordained role that we need in the church. It’s a measure of diversity without which we will have a collectively warped view of God as a church body.

We don’t strive for an alcoholic to switch his addiction to drugs. We don’t strive for a workaholic to idolize their family instead. We don’t replace one creation-oriented idolatry with another. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to strive for a gay person to be straight. The goal for all of us is to cease being so preoccupied with ourselves and with creation and to fix our eyes and hearts on Jesus alone. A gay person is no better off in the slightest with opposite-sex desires. But their whole world changes when they desire God instead of the same sex. I’m a living testament to that truth, and there are many others as well.

We don’t supplant desires for the same sex with desires for the opposite sex. We overwhelm same-sex desires with greater desires for God Himself, basking in His character, His promises, and His future home.

“Take It Away”

Another way we treat our gay friends differently than other believers is in our expectations of what it looks like for them to find life in Jesus. There is a notion, albeit usually unspoken, that believers who have same-sex attractions must get to a point where they never feel same-sex attractions again. I suspect this often comes from a measure of discomfort believers feel when a person desires the same sex. Comfort isn’t a good rudder for us, though.

I believe this is a double standard. Nobody expects a straight man to get to a point where he never desires a woman lustfully again. Rather, we expect him to overcome those desires and put them down by anchoring into Jesus and His promises in the middle of every day life. We expect lustful desires for women to wane, and we expect desires for God to wax. Surely he will continue to feel the tug of lust, but he’ll have another desire tugging more strongly, with which he can fight against lust. I think it’s right to expect the same thing of believers with same-sex attractions.

I can’t tell you how many times I prayed for God to just take my same-sex desires away. But He loves me too much for that. He loves you too much for that. God sent Paul a persistent, plaguing difficulty so egregious that he begged God over and over to take it away. But God didn’t take it away. He left it there. Why? Because He knew Paul, and He loved Paul. God used that persistent suffering to keep Paul from being conceited and to remind him of his dependence on Himself. He did it because His power was more vividly displayed in Paul’s weakness. He did it to make Himself known, to rescue more people from sin.

I wouldn’t love God if it weren’t for my continued attractions to the same sex. I wouldn’t depend on God if it weren’t for my continued struggles with depression and anxiety. You wouldn’t be able to see His strength through my life if I believed I had no need of it. My weakness is a blessing. Stubborn sinful desires are a grace. They keep me near to Jesus, and they keep you near to Jesus too.

Biblical Change

Biblical change involves an idolater belittling the pull of this world by fixing their gaze on Jesus’s character, promises, and future home. Only with our eyes fixed on Jesus can we lay sin aside like the mere hindrance and distraction it truly is. A gay person should never try to be straight. They should seek to love Jesus above all things. Heterosexuality won’t save them. Marriage won’t satisfy them. Jesus alone is their rest, their completion, and their home. Don’t draw them toward yet another trap. Draw them to Jesus.

Posted by Matt Norman with

Superiority Destroys Your Love for Others

Superiority Destroys Your Love for Others

I’ve made the statement before that comfort is our greatest hurdle when it comes to loving LGBT people well. While I stand by that statement, a very close second place is the belief that God saved us because of something inherently good about us that other people do not have. It’s a form of legalism where we believe we, at least partially, earned God’s grace rather than it truly being a gift.

What this does is shift the credit for salvation at least partially to us. It de-emphasizes God’s mercy, patience, and power, and it de-emphasizes our filthy, dead hearts. Conveniently, it instead emphasizes our inherent goodness (a goodness we believe many others do not share). We believe God couldn’t possibly choose us solely because of His own mercy and wisdom completely despite us. Surely we at least deserved something!

Also, remember that you don’t have to explicitly profess something in order to believe it. This belief shows itself when we shake our heads at the poor person begging for money at the street corner. It shows itself in our impatience with our brother who keeps committing that same sin over and over. It shows itself when we don’t consider the lost to be worth our time because they seem over-the-top sinful and proud of it. We forget that we are exactly the same.

Did God save me because I’m better than other people?

This is one of those areas God takes particular interest in, and He’s very clear about it. Rather than choosing me because I’m better than others, God says explicitly He actually chose me because I’m worse than others (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). He chose me because I’m shameful, weak, and low. Why? So that neither me nor anyone else would ever boast in ourselves but only in Him. To move our eyes off of ourselves and onto God alone.

God says that His choice to save me had nothing to do with my desires or my actions but rather it depended solely on His wisdom (Romans 9:6-18). He says I was dead in sin and that it was solely His rich mercy and great love that made me alive together with Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-7). Why? To show off His grace and kindness toward us in Jesus. He says every single one of us were completely devoid of anything that would deserve being saved (Romans 3:9-20). He explicitly says nobody is saved by obeying the law but is saved solely as a gift apart from any means of earning (Romans 3:21-25). Why? To show off His righteousness (Romans 3:26).

My favorite passage, though, is probably 1 Corinthians 4:1-7. Paul displays for us the fact that we exist as servants, not masters, as stewards, not owners. He shows us humility rather than superiority. And in verse 7, he says

“Who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”

Even just considering the gospel message itself, what part of “I was so far gone that God had to crush His own Son to rescue me,” says I’m better than anyone? The gospel inherently says, “I believe I’m worse than you, not better.”

God has a reason for saving us despite ourselves

Notice the conspicuous theme we keep seeing over and over again. God has an agenda, and that agenda is to show Himself off as deeply and widely as possible. This is why salvation is His action alone completely despite us. It’s to keep us from boasting and to fix our eyes on Him rather than ourselves. It’s to get our eyes where they belong, where we find our greatest pleasure and rest.

Humility leads you to love others more

When you see yourself as having deserved salvation while others do not, it leads to an attitude that considers other people as frustrating obstacles rather than valuable people. But when you see that God saved you completely despite your best attempts, the only question you can ask is, “Why me?!” (Psalm 8:4). In that humility, you realize there is nothing about you that is any better than anyone else. It leads you to want them to have the same grace you have because you realize that you deserve it less than they do. It leads you to see them as people and not frustrations. It leads you to mourn rather than judge when they hurt and when they sin. It makes you empathetic.

When you live and speak a gospel you’ve subtly begun to believe you don’t need, it stops making sense to other people. But when you realize how much you still need Jesus’s continuing rescue and how little you deserve it, God becomes a lot clearer in the words you speak and the life you live.

Posted by Matt Norman with

12345678910 ... 2627