Forced to Be Gay
To the world, homosexuality is more than an orientation; it’s an identity. Being gay is like being black or vegan or republican. It’s part of your persona. Something to accept, embrace and celebrate. Coming out means becoming part of a community—complete with flags, parades and flashy bumper stickers. To the person who experiences same-sex attraction, the world says you’re gay. Now assume your identity. Be who you are.
Jesus says there’s another way.
See, Christianity has never been about being who you are. On the contrary, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Far from being who we are, Christ calls us to be who we’re not. Better yet, to be who we’re becoming.
Gay-rights activists will say we’re in denial. Exactly! But it’s not the kind that pretends homosexual desires don’t exist. It’s the kind that says no to that which does not align with God’s will, and yes to the superior pleasure of knowing, loving and following Jesus. That’s the gospel in action, and it’s not just for those who struggle with same-sex desires. It’s the story of every Christian. We strive to be less like ourselves, more like Christ.
True, there are some things we can’t choose. Sexual orientation is probably one of them. What we can choose—and the Bible is clear—is our identity. So while it’s OK to acknowledge our sins, we must never define ourselves by them; we must never adopt them as “who we are.” We are not our struggles. For the believer, it’s truer to say, “I’m a Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction” than to say, “I’m gay.” Who cares if it’s a mouthful? It’s true! Like the Apostle Paul, we must endeavor to identify only with Christ:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
To those who experience same-sex attraction: the world wants to force you to be gay, claiming the only alternative to adopting a homosexual identity is a life of unhappiness and warped self-perception. Don’t believe the lies. There’s freedom in the gospel that allows us to be better than who we are—the freedom to be found in Christ.
Bryan can be reached at The Happy Alternative