My son accepted Jesus as his Savior as a young boy. He is now in his early twenties. In his late teens, he confessed to my husband (his father) and me (his mother) that he was homosexual. He is a practicing homosexual. His father and I told him that we still loved him and that we would always love him. My husband and I had already suspected our son was homosexual. He was always a very sensitive child. He never was interested in “boy” things like sports, boyish toys like cars, etc. He did not like rough and tumble activity. He told us that he did not choose to be the way he is. He told us he has always felt this way.
Scripture states that homosexuality is an “abomination” to God. Will God forgive my son for his lifestyle? Did God make him this way? The Scripture states that God is in control of all things and that he “knits us together in our mother’s womb.” How am I to deal with this? I have struggled with this issue for several years.
One of the difficulties we all face today is the effect that the propaganda favorable to the homosexual lifestyle has had in our culture. We hear it so often that we all are affected by it. What they want us to believe is that it is in no way their fault that they are homosexual. You yourself say that your son “told us that he did not choose to be the way he is.”
In answer to your questions two things need to be said clearly:
(1) The first is that there is a sense in which we can all say something similar to what your son said. I did not choose to be male rather than female. I did not choose to be born in the 20th century. And neither did I choose to be born with a fallen sinful nature. In other words the claim that the homosexual is a special case is a false claim. No, the fact is that we are all by nature (Eph. 2:3) sinful beings deserving the wrath of God. And the particular way in which the depraved nature with which we are born expresses itself does nothing to make us special cases. The man who can’t stop committing adultery is just as truly an abomination to God as the homosexual is (which you clearly recognized in your note to be true). And while a person can, in a sense, say that he (or she) “has always felt that way” about his (or her) particular sinful tendency, this is no excuse. In my ministry I recall a young man who finally committed suicide because he said he just couldn’t stop molesting children.
(2) The second thing that has caused confusion about this issue is the widely disseminated claim that while homosexual acts may be wrong it is not necessarily wrong to indulge in homosexual desires. And here, again, it is a tragic fact that some once-great churches have adopted this viewpoint. Since Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, condemned adulterous desires as well as adulterous acts (Matt. 5:28), we of the OPC see no reason to deal differently with the homosexual. If homosexual acts are wrong, so are fantasies.
(3) The third thing is that Jesus Christ has the ability to deliver sinners from both the guilt and the power of sin. The tragedy of our time is that so many have caved in to the homosexual propaganda. They have begun to say that the homosexual person may only have “minimal” responsibility for his “condition.” Some once-great churches have even said that the homosexual person may just have to learn to live with this “condition” without hope of changing. Our denomination was once a member of an ecumenical organization that began to make concessions to such unbiblical thinking. We left that organization because we still believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is “the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). It is our conviction that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; [and] behold, all things are become new.” This is not true for some only, but for all who are saved by the power of Jesus. And to suggest—as even some churches today do—that this is not possible is to deny the honor of Jesus.
Your final question is “How am I to deal with this?” The answer is that you simply need to remain a steadfast Bible-believing Christian. Permit me to say that I have a child who was very wayward for decades, even to the point of being excommunicated from the OPC. My wife and I always made it clear that we love her, but we never gave her any reason to think that we could agree with her sin. We prayed for her, but at the same time we upheld the Bible and the authority of the church in being faithful to the Bible. And guess what: the Lord, in his own time and way brought her to repentance and renewal. I do not write this to suggest that God will always do this in every case. No, the Bible does not teach that God will always do what we want him to do. Think of Abraham’s prayer for Ishmael (Gen. 17:18), who apparently never repented. But it does teach us that our only hope for our children is in God’s power to change them. In other words, it comes down to the question of our own faith: do we really believe in the sovereign, wonder-working God of the Bible? Do we really want to see our children changed by God—and believe that nothing is too hard for him—or do we really want to change the holy nature of God so that he will be more permissive toward evil?
Notice how the apostle Paul brings these things together in one powerful statement: “Do not be deceived! Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11). You see: no special treatment for the homosexual, no concession to any type of sin, but a gospel with such power that members of the early church who had been enslaved to all of these types of sin were delivered from them. Some of them were homosexuals before. But they were no longer such after they were liberated by the Lord Jesus. It is our conviction that this is still true today.
If I can help you further, please let me know.
"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.
The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.
At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)
The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.
While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.
You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.
Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been editedall personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expandedto make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.