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Letís Make Him Straight
By Barrington H. Brennen, MA, 2002,  Update March 2014

See another version of this subject entitled "Must They Change" April 2, 2014


Question: Dear Sir: In one of your recent articles, you talked about loving homosexuals as persons of infinite worth, while discouraging their homosexual lifestyle. Shouldnít we try to help them to live as heterosexuals? Shouldnít we try to make them straight? What should we do?

Answer: Dear Interested Reader: I like your question because it speaks right to the heart of a big problem many Christians have. That is, there are many false assumptions about Christianity that, believe it or not, can really drive us crazy, and have actually driven many up the walls of discouragement, despair, depression, and hopelessness. These false assumptions have also ruined or prevented the development of warm, loving relationships, and have prevented the transformation of many lives.

I am pleased with your concern for homosexuals and their transformation to a heterosexual lifestyle. But YOU cannot change them. It is the Holy Spirit who changes peoplesí lives. Too many Christians want people to change what they perceive are unacceptable habits before they can be treat them with respect. Many homosexuals, because of a hormonal imbalance, have been dealing with their homosexual desires from childhood and need great support and understanding from friends and relatives to overcome. I am not suggesting that a hormonal imbalance is an excuse to support homosexuality. Neither am I suggesting that all homosexuals began that lifestyle under hormonal influences and not by choice. I am suggesting that this helps us to better understand homosexuals. Dear friend, if you want to make a homosexual straight, you better get your own act together first.  I now know that some homosexual find it impossible to change their orientation. However, they can choose not to have sexual or romantic relationships.

Then, what are these false assumptions of Christianity that can drive us crazy? In their book "12 Christian Beliefs that Can Drive You Crazy," clinical psychologists, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, express relief from twelve false assumptions about Christianity. One false assumption that speaks to our concern in this article is "One day, Iíll be finished with recovery." This false assumption is taught in many pulpits every weekend in the Bahamas. Well-meaning ministers of the gospel, in trying to reach out to wounded souls, would say in an appealing way: "When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, you will not longer want to do wrong. You will no longer want to smoke, drink, or be a homosexual. You will lose your sinful desires."

The truth is that this is not what God promises, although God can and do perform such miracles. What God promises is that He will and can give us victory over our evil desires and habits. He does not promise to remove the reason we want to do evil, He only promises to help us not to do it. And we can cease from doing it. The removal of the reason for sinning will be eradicated only after Christ returns to renew the earth. The Apostle Paul talks about this serious battle of the never-leaving urges in Romans 7:14-25.

"And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. . . . Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is not longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. . . . "

I must hasten to state that Paul is not saying that it is okay to follow our desires. He is simply explaining the confusion that exists in all of us. But how does all of this apply to homosexuals? When a person expresses a desire to change from a homosexual to a heterosexual lifestyle, most Christians have a list of things he must do to prove his spiritual transformation. The list might look like this: 1) Start having romantic friendship with a person of the opposite sex. 2) Stop talking with a lisp. 3) Stop the effeminate walk. 4) Get married. 5) Have children

The truth is that these are no proof of spiritual transformation. These will be proof of eternal glorification in the new earth. The proof of spiritual transformation on this earth is how God is helping the former practicing homosexual to live a daily victorious life. He may never walk the way we want him to walk, get married, or have a desire for another person of the opposite sex. God did not say that he will automatically recover from the past lifestyle as a proof of his relationship with Him. God gives the power to immediately cease the habit and then asks us to trust him each step of the way. Most Christians believe that if the homosexual still has the desire, then he is sinning. The desire will take a longer time to diminish. The desires are not usually the problem. The problem is our accepting and cherishing the evil desires.

When we accept homosexuals for whom they are and support them in their spiritual journey, then they will find the strength to remain straight. Depression and suicide are high among homosexuals, especially those who are seeking change. This false assumption, I believe, is the main culprit for this dilemma.

Another false assumption about Christianity that can drive you crazy is: "If Iím spiritual enough, I will have no pain or sinfulness." Often we hear if a Christian is really walking with the Lord, he wonít get depressed or want to sin. Christians who believe this are often bewildered and sometimes become bitter against God. Once again, the absence of pain or desire to sin is not a reality in this present world. What is real is that we will sin and have pain, and because of the grace of God we are empowered to live above the pressure of the natural tendencies. We can be holy and righteous, but that will not make us immune from pain or the desire to sin.

Have you ever wondered why God left Daniel in the lionsí den. The great God could have worked a miracle and immediately removed Daniel from the lionís den when he was thrown into it. Or God could have killed the lions instead of sending angels to close their mouths. Daniel stayed all night in the cool, dark, dusty, rank den. I am certain Daniel was cold, hungry, afraid, and constantly praying: "God, I know you will keep these lionís quiet all night." The great thing about this story is that God remained in the lionís den with Daniel. Friend, God did not promise that because we are Christians we will not be thrown in a lionsí den. He just promises us to stay with us and comfort us.

Dear friend, I suppose you want to get rid of all the homosexuals and lesbians in this country. The secret is that this is only remotely possible after you would have accepted them as individuals first. This is the same principle for persons who are overweight. A 300-lb person loses the fat faster after he or she has fallen in love with every ounce. The fact remains there will always be people in our society we cannot totally agree with. While the government must pass laws to preserve dignity of living and public decent behavior, there is no law that can be written to transform lives and to prevent people from thinking or planning to do wrong. It is our duty as Christians to learn how to accept unconditionally the indifferent, the weak, the unlearned, and the troubled. Donít forget that we are all indifferent to somebody. So letís be more loving and accepting towards each other.

Call 242-327 1980 or write to Barrington H. Brennen, P.O. Box CB-11045, Nassau, Bahamas or question@soencouragement.org   




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