People experiencing same-sex attraction often feel like they are defined by their struggles. Steve Gallagher challenges that notion as he shows us what the real issues are with homosexual lust.
Steve Gallagher has joined me in the studio. Steve, thanks for coming in. We want to respond to an e-mail question that came in dealing with the issue of homosexuality. The writer wrote "Someone told me that a non-practicing homosexual - in other words, a man who lusts after men, but doesn't commit the act - is not in sexual sin. He just has to control his emotions and isn't really gay." The writer wants to know if that is true. Now let's deal with the second part first. Is a guy that's not practicing homosexuality really gay?
That whole line of reasoning comes from the gay activists who want to convince the world that some percentage - they want to say ten percent - of people are born homosexuals, so if you have those feelings then you are in fact a homosexual. But let me answer that question with my own questions: is a man a thief if he no longer steals? Is a man a liar if he only speaks the truth? We know the answer to those questions is "No." It's just a very simple straigh-forward reality if you're involved in homosexual behavior, then yes you could be construed as a homosexual; but if you're not involved in it, then no you're not a homosexual.
Even though you may have those temptations, or you may lust?
Yeah, the reality is that James said that "Each one is enticed and carried away by his own lust. Those three words - "his own lust" - represent an entire reality of mankind. Every person who has ever been born, except Jesus Christ, has his own lusts. One person is drawn to gossiping, another person's prone to alcoholism, another person has an inordinate desire for sexual things, and some have a tendency in their flesh towards homosexual behavior; but that does not mean that they are "a homosexual." What it means is there is a temptation to follow that line of activity, and if they start giving in to it and start giving over to that thinking, then that's lust.
Well, let's talk about lust. What does the Word of God say about lust? Is it ok for me to lust after guys, as long as I'm not acting out in homosexual behavior?
Well, the Bible says a lot about lust. All through the New Testament especially lust is discussed because it is that inherent tendency or attraction within the fallen nature of man to desire sin - that's what lust is, and of course especially sexual sin. Paul said in Romans 6 "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey Bay its lusts." In Romans 13 he said "Make no provision for the flesh in regards to its lusts." In Galatians 5 he said "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." He told Timothy "Flee from youthful lusts". So we see it over and over again, where lust is forbidden for the Christian - that it is something we should not be giving ourselves over to.
Ok Steve, so in reference to this person that asked this question - he understands that the lust is not something to be pursued and he understands that the behavior is not something that's acceptable, regardless of how much lust may be there - is there hope for him?
Absolutely. The Bible does not tell us to do things that God will not give us the power to overcome. Lust is a natural tendency, but it is not something that the believer has to be subjected to the rest of his life. God's power is available to any believer who is willing to walk in the Spirit and have the mind of Christ.
As you walk in that Spirit, then your experience and my experience is that lust will dissipate.
The lust will dissipate. It's not going to disappear. You'll always be dealing with it in one form or another, but it does not have to dominate your life and should not dominate the life of any believer.
Amen. Thanks Steve.
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