Is same-sex attraction sinful?

Unpopular as the idea may be, homosexuality is definitely a sin in God's eyes (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Also, Jesus taught that to commit a sin and to desire to commit that sin are essentially the same thing (Matthew 5:27–28). Therefore, if the practice of homosexuality is considered a sin, the desire to practice homosexuality is also sinful. That would imply that same-sex attraction is sinful, because it is an attraction to something that God has declared immoral.

All people have a tendency toward one sin or another. Some people have a tendency to be attracted to homosexuality. Some people are attracted to and tempted by the idea of adultery. Others are attracted to excessive drinking and doing drugs, some are drawn to the occult, some are fascinated by the idea of stealing. Others are given to envy and coveting what others have. Some are drawn to the excessive gathering of money and possessions. Still others are attracted to anger and violence. Sexual immorality (whether heterosexual or homosexual), sorcery, drunkenness, and theft are all declared sinful in the Bible (Galatians 5:19–21; Exodus 20:1–17). Using the same logic that was just applied to same-sex attraction, attraction to these sins—a desire to engage in them—is also sinful. It is wrong to be attracted to something that God hates.

Sin does come naturally to us—that much is true. But there is no reason to think that just because something comes naturally, we should approve it. If that were the case, if we followed that thinking to its logical conclusion, we would all live like animals with no principles, no morals, no pursuit of education or higher thought. We would be "like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed" (2 Peter 2:12). But this is not what God desires for those made in His image (Genesis 1:27).

It's okay to fight your darker impulses. You are not being dishonest or failing to be true to yourself if you resist your sinful tendencies. Our feelings and desires do not have to define us—we have a will, and can make a choice to follow what we decide is right, rather than letting our bodies and our culture decide for us. We can make a decision to follow God rather than the world. Every Christian—not just those who struggle with same-sex attraction—has to do this. And, it's really, really hard. Resisting the flesh causes suffering, and if that were not enough, it brings painful rejection and persecution. The Bible acknowledges this, and also gives us an idea of what is in store for people who don't resist sin:

"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (1 Peter 4:1–5).

We will always struggle against sin, every one of us. And we will sometimes fail. But God's forgiveness covers our failures. Jesus lived a perfect life, and He can and will cover us and justify us before a holy God (Romans 5:1). All that is required of us is the acknowledgement that we need Him, and the belief that He is willing to forgive us and justify us—to put His perfect life in place of ours before the Judge. There is absolutely no person, no matter what sin they tend towards, who does not need Christ. God requires perfect righteousness, and no person is perfectly righteous (Romans 3:10–11).

There is an interesting story in John Bunyan's book, The Pilgrim's Progress. The Interpreter shows the Pilgrim two children. One is called Passion and the other, Patience. The two children are given a choice: they can have everything their heart desires—riches, sweets, toys, pleasures of all kinds—right now. Or, they can wait. Passion chooses to have everything now and laughs at Patience for waiting. But in the end, Patience has everything and Passion is left with rags.

John Bunyan explains the moral of the story: "These two lads are Figures; Passion of the men of this World, and Patience of the men of that which is come: For as here you see, Passion will have all now, this year; that is to say, in this world; so are the men of this world. They must have all their good things now; they cannot stay till next year, that is, until the next world, for their portion of good."

The things that God has in store for us are much, much better than the pleasures of this world. They are untainted by decay and sin and uncertainty. They are eternal. As Paul said, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18). Don't be deceived by the pleasures of sin. Whether your struggle is with same-sex attraction or some other sin, the attraction to those sins is Satan's trap to keep you away from God's good gift. For "each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death" (James 1:14–15).

Related Truth:

Is homosexuality a sin?

Does the Bible talk about lesbianism? What does the Bible say about being a lesbian?

Does the Bible say anything about bisexuality? Is being bisexual a sin?

Does the Bible say anything about transsexualism / transgenderism? Is gender dysphoria / gender identity disorder the result of sin?

Can someone be gay and Christian? Is it possible to be a gay Christian?

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