Choosing Homosexuality

This is a tough post and may seem to be out of place with my other discussions on feminist notions (see previous three entries), but some feminists believe that a part of feminism means women loving women romantically (http://tinyurl.com/mdu3o). But a statement like that is not enough to say so this post delves deeper into the overall issue of homosexuality.

Many people have their notions about why people are homosexual:

    1. They didn’t get enough attention from a mother or a father.
    2. Their environment caused them to be gay (e.g., like a domineering mother or a father or a gay uncle).
    3. She was sexually abused by men, so she turned to women.
    4. She was sexually abused by women, so that’s why she likes them.
    5. Homosexuals are born that way.

I don’t claim to know the answer, and I don’t think anyone can say they do; everyone’s situation is different. The defining question though is “Is it a matter of choice or are you born homosexual?” Though I have my own opinion, let me first deal with the arguments that come with the answers to each.

“People have a right to choose whoever they want to love. If that person makes them happy then they should be in a relationship. It doesn’t matter what sex they are. As long as the two consent, what is there for anyone else to say?” Some extreme feminists have chosen to love other women because they don’t want any connection to men. They have even chosen to change the spelling of women to womyn or womin in an attempt to disconnect themselves from men. Those who believe homosexuality is inborn say no homosexual in his or her right mind would choose to be gay. There is too much discrimination that comes with being gay. Many would say that from an early age there were signs of same-sex attraction. An old friend of mine says she never had a boyfriend and even kissing a boy one time felt unnatural.

I don’t believe homosexuality is a matter of choice, like selecting an outfit or deciding where to dine. It’s much more complicated than that. And choosing to love another woman in an attempt to annihilate men from your personal existence is problematic, especially if you’re a Christian. Men are God’s creatures, created in his image and to love as such. But even though I don’t believe that women should choose lesbianism for the reasons listed above, I still don’t subscribe to the conclusions of the inborn theory.

No matter what factors have led anyone to believe homosexuality is a choice or is inborn, no distinction is given in God’s word. Right alongside homosexuality is adulterers, coveters, idolaters, liars, and a bunch of other activities that many people choose to engage in, for whatever reason (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 & 1 Timothy 1:9-10). I know that because of my pride I often have to fight hard not to tell a lie to make me look good. And I’m working hard with my oldest son, now 6, who has shown an issue with covetousness (greed) beyond what seems to be just normal kids’ envy.

Too many Christians have made homosexuality the worse activity of all, and homosexual advocates—Christians and non-Christians, have gone to the other extreme and taken homosexuality out of the realm of sin. Neither is okay to do. Whether you struggle with lesbianism, lying, stealing or getting drunk, the Bible lets us know the difference is how you see yourself: as one who has to choose to follow her own desires or one who has to choose her God-given power to fight her inclinations.

After naming the list of activities that we are told not to be deceived about, the Apostle Paul through the Holy Spirit writes, “And that is what some of you were (emphasis mine). But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (NIV). He writes this scripture to remind us that we have the power not to engage in the sin that we were once so entrenched in. And that power is not our own; it is only through 1) salvation in Jesus and 2) allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us. We do have a choice, and we are free to choose what we want, but God’s word makes it clear what God wants us to choose.

Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith

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13 responses to “Choosing Homosexuality

  1. Hey! Thanks for your thoughts. As a born again Christian Lesbian, who has always been a Christian by choice (made that choice at 4 years old) and who has ALWAYS been a lesbian (was madly in love with all of my female teachers from kindergarten on and was sure I was going to marry one of them) My testimony is that I am exactly who God created me to be. To God be the Glory for the things he has done!

    I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image and after God’s likeness and that includes every part of my, especially my sexuality. In fact, I thank God for creating me as a woman loving woman and giving me the call of allowing my light to shine brightly so those that see it (gay and or straight) may glorify him and learn of his unconditional love and sacrifice for everyone…whosoever will.

    As for choice it was my choice to accept who God created me to be. It was my choice to love myself when others told me I could never be loved by or find true love, not even God’s because I am lesbian. My choice is to love those that allow my sexuality to be a hindrance to them and who try to my sexuality a hindrance for me. My choice is to at all times be my full self even in the face of violence in words and deeds often at the hands of my Christian brothers and sisters.

    As an out Black, Lesbian, Christian, mother, sister, friend who has been in the most loving and God glorifying relationship with my partner of 20 years and whose life work is fighting for the rights of lgbt people, I can share that my choice is to stand up for my brothers and sisters who have no voice for themselves, or whose voices have been silenced under the auspices of religion, hatred and violence. I have stood at the bedside of young men and women whose heads have been split open because they were gay or were thought to be gay. I have been at the hospice bed when a mother’s last words to her daughter dying of cancer have been “I can never forgive you for being gay”. I have had to beg nurses and doctors to let the same sex partner of a dying gay person to please allow the partner to be there for the last breath. I’ve been told “my religion does not allow me to believe in homosexuality so it would be a sin to let him/her back. And I’ve held that partners hand while their partner of 17 years lay behind a cold door dying alone. The 4 adopted children standing near by.

    I’ve been to the funeral of a 15 year old who was killed by his classmate because someone else told him that the 15 year old “might be gay and might like you”.
    I’ve been in the Pastors office after a young man killed himself after going to the pastor for counseling about sexual attractions he did not understand and the Pastor told him he was an abomination and destined for hell.

    I think if non lgbt folks had a better understanding of how “their” ideas and ideology about “our” lives affect our everyday living and survival and lack there of, then the needed conversation would open up hearts and minds. Once homophobic Christians realize that a gay/lesbian/bisexual identity is not just an identity of sex (as in the act) but it is more so an identity fluidity, and understanding of the vastness of God and his creations – It is a connection that is on some levels so deep that sex never has to enter the relationship. But it’s nice when it does.
    I have gone to court to testify on behalf of Gay Americans who are fired from our jobs daily because there is no Federal law that protects lgbt people in the workplace. There is no law that protects hospital visitation for our love ones – our life partners.

    They are no laws that specifically enumerate that bullying and bashing a gay child specifically because they are gay is a legal offense.

    There are no laws that specifically protect lgbt kids in foster care who often end up being deemed a sexual predator and can never have that removed from their record. Or have them placed in a fanatical Christian setting with the idea of “curing” them. Or that protects them from the homophobic justice system.

    Anyone who does not want to sell me a house because I’m gay can do so. Anyone who wants to deny me entrance to their public establishment can do so. Anyone who wants to take my tax money and use it to write laws against me CAN DO SO.

    So, the questions for me is in some ways is about choice – it’s about when are heterosexual Christians going to make the choice to be Christ like and bring themselves in right fellowship with their lgbt brothers and sister? When are Christians going to stand up and speak truth to power that God is Love and that Jesus is a radical brother who did not go with the status quo, but challenged it at every hand.

    My choice today is to love all of my heterosexual brothers and sisters in Christ in spite of the burden they place on me daily for simply being who I was created to be.

    What I would also like to say is that you “the audience” really have no idea if your child, niece or nephew will be or is gay, so please be mindful of all the things you say and do around them. There is no special handshake or way that folks walk or talk that makes them gay. You could be doing a world of hurt on a young person’s psyche by simply “preaching” what you now to be true. We all have our own truths. You can either plants seeds of love or seeds of destruction. That is your choice to make.

    When we ALL get to heaven what a day of rejoicing it will be!

    Peace and love
    SIMONE

  2. Loving God's Word

    Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks for having the courage to address this issue and stand on the basic truths of God’s Word in a time, prophesied of long ago, when people “will no longer endure sound doctrine”. You will get a lot of colorful opposition and disdain for doing so.

    Homosexual desire has existed since the fall of mankind but it is now one of the greatest deceptions (spiritual attacks) of our time and culture.

    As someone who has struggled with the deepest of homosexual desires throughout my life (I am not a young person…not all that old either) I am convinced beyond doubt that yes, it is essentially a choice.

    There may be several things that influence homosexuality, but it is mainly a spiritual and psychological issue. The adversary knows very well those who are most susceptible to it and how to create a stronghold over them. And as you inferenced in your post there is a reason God has placed it in the sin category.

    The argument arises as to whether or not people are born gay. But I don’t hear any arguments among Christians about whether or not people are born sinners.

    Despite the intense struggle I somehow always had the good sense not to attempt to deny or guise (as mysterious attractions I had no control over) these sinful desires before God, nor to make excuses for it. And it has paid off to the extent I have sowed into it deep in my heart.

    I accept His Word as truth and He has proven to me that His Word is unfailing in this area. I have also always known and believed that what God commands He has also given the grace and power to accomplish. Not only in deed (behavior) but in our hearts (desires).

    Deuteronomy 30:11-20 tells us: Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

    My acceptance of and submission to His Word has resulted in a very great blessing that I know is available to ANYONE who truly desires it: genuinely and honestly overcoming, moving past, and losing homosexual desires and developing deep, wholesome and natural attractions to the opposite gender.

    Yes I still struggle with homosexual desires to varying degrees (sometimes greatly, sometimes none) and many would like to argue that that means I’m really gay. I think the point is more that I am really a sinner and will always struggle with sin one way or another.

    Before I ever had homosexual desires I was a woman. I was born THAT way. And in the end my “ultimate” heart’s desire now is sincerely to be with a man rather than a woman and I find that much more rewarding. I know this is available to anyone.

    The Word tells us that God will “give us the desires of our heart”. I believe the meaning of that verse is twofold: 1) When we love God and his Word His desires become our desires; and 2) He loves us so much that he wants to give us His very best, so as our desires line up with that He intervenes on our behalf.

    But if we love our sins more and they are the real desires of our hearts at any given moment (which is why we can go back and forth in and out of sin) that is what we will reap. He has given us free will.

    The spiritual agenda of homosexuality is to attempt to portray it as more powerful than the characteristic drive and purpose of the natural gender God has endowed us with. That is simply a lie.

    As difficult as it may be to overcome this type of stronghold it is not impossible nor as far away from us as the adversary wants us to believe. And further, the Word reveals to us that the commandments of God are not grevious but they are for our good and bring us untold joy and blessings.

  3. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    Hey girl,

    Thanks so much for your civility; your love truly comes through your post. You are so right that too many Christians have used religion as a reason to hate homosexuals. It is a disgrace for anyone to even think they have a right to bring bodily harm to anyone because they are not hetersexual. Violence is always uncalled for. And I think you know (at least I hope you do) that I don’t support that type of inhumane treatment. Everyone should be able to make a living and live where they want. Though I agree with you that there are many injustices against homosexuals and appreciate you calling folks to task who perpetrate and otherwise support these crimes, I still don’t understand the basis of some of your statements. You said “Jesus is a radical brother who did not go with the status quo. . .” Are you saying because he was radical, he approved of homosexuality? What is your understanding of the scriptures that I used? Or maybe a better question is, what is your belief about all of the Bible being God’s word and all still applicable for teaching and guiding our lives today? Look forward to hearing back from you.

  4. Oh, I absolutely believe that Jesus would be fighting for lgbt rights and full equality. He would definitely be hanging out with me and the queers, and all the other marginalized folks of the world. Because we are believers and absolutley love and worship him as deeply as any Christian. Also, I think he would definitely take issue with “the clergy” setting themselves up as the all knowing and understanding of God’s word (as if). Much like the Pharasees and Saducees (sp). you know…the church folk. God himself says in his word that His ways are not our ways his thoughts are not our thoughts. I accept that for all Christians. He also uses the simple to confound the wise.

    I absolutely believe in the full truth of the word of God, and I also know that through the Centuries there have been NUMEROUS versions of Bibles that have been in use and that the King James Bible is simply one version that King James used as a way to control his people for fear of being dethroned. It was about Justice, not Jesus. But, here we have it and that is why we must stay prayerful and meditate on his word day and night for revelation from God on how his word applies to our specific lives. We must rightly divide the word of God. That’s the God I serve.

    In reference to Corinth and Timothy – which are a part of the “always quoted” Biblical proofs against homosexuality let’s be clear that prior to 1958 the word homosexual did not exist within the Bible at all. A person in 1958 decided to replace “effeminate male” with homosexual. Historically in Greek and Hebrew effeminate male described a male prostitute (one who slept with women for goods exchange, and sometimes men) and the “effeminate” portion of the naming applied to the man doing women’s work – prostitution. We also know that young males that resembled young women, hairless and pubescent were a form of luxury entertainment for royalty and the like. Here again, not about sexuality but about power.

    So, I stand clear on context, historical and present and future, and I stand clear that the idea of “homosexual” behavior did not exist prior to 1864, when Dr, Uhlrich identified same sex behavior as an identity. It’s at this point that clergy, not Theological Scholars, started replacing the word and thus the meaning. Since we know the Bible was around long before 1864 then it is sensible that homosexuality would not have been mentioned in the earlier writings of the Bible. And we know what happens during translation…meaning is lost and twisted. We now have the NIV and The Living Bible and other translated versions, which gives us updated translation that apply to today’s world so changes are taking place all the time with the Bible. 500 years from now The King James will be seen as an outdated translation that will be on the shelf, dusty, and believers will be reading a new “version” of God’s word.

  5. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    I often hear people talk about King James commissioning a bible in his name as a way to control, but I don’t know where this idea comes from. My understanding is that yes, he was a horrible king, but had biblical scholars, those learned in the original bible languages of Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, to create a new translation from Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and earlier bibles. His motives didn’t affect the accuracy of the version named in honor of him. In fact its veracity has been highly scrutinized over the years. Could you please point out what part of the King James Version is not reliable?

    I am not familiar with this person who, in 1958, decided to replace effeminate male with homosexual, but just because the word itself wasn’t in the Bible doesn’t negate the concept being present in the Old Testament and New Testament (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; and Romans 1:23-31 included). I am a true believer in using concordances and Hebrew-Greek bibles to get the original meanings of the words, and so when you look at the original meaning of effeminate, it did mean male prostitute, as you pointed out. But the verses in Timothy and Corinthians also respectively speak of those that “defile themselves with mankind” and “abusers of themselves with mankind” (KJV) which both mean homosexual in the original language; The King James Version was translated in 1611. This could not be one of the King James corruptions that you speak of since this version was completed some 300 plus years before this person you say changed effeminate to homosexual. And it wasn’t only clergy but the church fathers (who are considered clergy and theological scholars) that spoke against homosexuality before 1864, when you say a Dr. Uhlrich ushered in the idea of homosexual behavior, and thus before 1958:

    “Every lust was against the spirit and neither fornicators nor homosexuals. . .will inherit the Kingdom of God.”—Clement of Rome, 96 AD
    “Men play the part of woman, and women that of men, wives and husbands. . .O miserable spectacle! Horrible!”—Clement of Alexandria, 195 AD
    “The coupling of the males is a very shameful thing.”—Tertullian, 200 AD (All quotes taken from A Dictionary of Early Christian Belief by Bercot.)

    You say that the NIV and The Living Bible are more applicable to us today, but the NIV is a thought-for-thought translation and incorporates commentaries from the translators; and the LB is a paraphrase. Neither of these translates word for word from the original language, like the King James. I use them, but would in no way consider them superior texts.

    Finally, without a doubt, I, too, believe Jesus would be hanging out with you and the queers, as you say; Scripture verifies that. When the Pharisees asked him why he was hanging out with sinners and tax collectors, Jesus said, “On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (NIV).

  6. As an educator, this issue is problematic for me because I think you have to love and appreciate critical pieces of peoples’ identity in order to teach them well. Sexual orientation, preference and identity are critical pieces of everyone’s identity. As a teacher, if I get hung up in this issue I cannot build the neccessary personal relationships that is required to teach diverse students. I think, however, there is growing scientific evidence to support biological evidence of homosexuality.

  7. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    Would you say you have to love and appreciate the identity of a person who is a piromaniac or misogynist? I don’t think it’s a matter of loving and appreciating, but respecting people’s identity and this helps us teach them well. It’s not a matter of getting caught up in an issue. When I taught in a community program and in community college, I had students who were quite comfortable sharing their sexual preferences (whether homosexual, virgin or nymphomanics) with me, and this was because I respected them and they knew my views. My views didn’t create a wall but added to the dialogue of all people’s ideas.

  8. I cannot compare the two because in one case it is criminal and the other there is an imbalance of power and abuse is present. But your experiences talking to other adults is much different than mine educating kids. It does create a wall. I have seen it many times, when kids feel rejected because of their sexuality by a trusted adult (teacher, counselor) and they go home and kill themselves.

  9. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    My hyperbole was purposeful because of your blanket statement that we must “love and appreciate critical pieces of peoples’ identity in order to teach them well.” I just disagree with that. And I think it’s a crying shame that a teacher would reject a child because of anything about them. Those of us who have great influence on others’ lives must be careful how we treat others. And those of us who are Christians must make sure to speak the truth in love; this is required of us (Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 4:6).

  10. Rhonda,

    It is rare that a teacher would overtly reject a student because they are gay or black or any other identifier. But we’ve all been in a situation where we felt that the teacher had a problem with our ‘blackness.’ So, I would suggest that gay students can also sense when a teacher has a problem with their ‘gayness.’ Again, I think in order to be a good teacher you have to love and appreciate the major identities of every student.

    P.S. If this blog is about and for Christian black women why are we even talking about homosexuality.

  11. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    Marla,
    I think I’ve said all I need to say regarding the first part of your comments. As for talking about homosexuality, this is an issue that black Christian women deal with, especially if they identify themselves as feminists.

  12. I am not sure if you are a Christian woman and a feminist that homosexuality is an issue for you that you are dealing with. I see no connection between the three. Did you see the two recent stories about kids who were teased at their schools for being “gay” and went home to kill themselves? This is why teachers must love their “gay” students so that they feel safe at school.

  13. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    Yes, there are indeed Christian women who are feminist and homosexuality is an issue for them. What do you mean that you don’t see a connection among the three? And, yes, I saw one recent story about one young man who was teased at school for being “gay” and killed himself. Children are cruel and tease for many reasons and, unfortunately, the teased children have killed themselves for other reasons too. I have already agreed with you that teachers should love their gay students. I just disagree with the fact that the teachers should appreciate that they’re gay. Maybe I misunderstand what you mean by appreciate.

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