But if you foolishly think that the whole world needs to know about your homosexual feelings, you are dangerously wrong. In a world that has given civil rights status to the sin of homosexuality, it is not safe for the Christian to follow the ways of the world and “come out.” Your job is to come to Christ—again and again. The difference between you and an unbeliever who calls himself gay is this: You have the Lord. And your union with Christ is spiritual, unbreakable, irreplaceable, and eternal.
There is no dual citizenship in Christ. A Christian cannot have one foot in the world (embracing a gay identity) and one foot in the church.
The hopeless gospel of gay Christianity is a deceptive faith we must guard against.
Is it wrong for Christians to call themselves gay even if they don’t act on their sinful impulses? If this person is a Christian living in chastity, isn’t voicing his sexual identity a potentially helpful blessing, perhaps useful to ward off unwanted matchmaking or awkward questions from well-intended but misguided church members? And if all of this is true, shouldn’t our churches have support groups for gay Christians so that they can encourage one another and have a community of people who can identify with their feelings and struggles? After all, Pope Francis came out in October 2020 in favor of civil unions for gay couples, exhorting Christians to follow his lead using this argument: “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable because of it.”1
Even if you don’t go as far to the left as Pope Francis, it seems that the argument is a slam dunk: sexual identity is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life.
As someone who lived as a lesbian for a decade while advocating for LGBTQ rights and causes as an activist and tenured English professor in New York, and now as someone who is a biblically married pastor’s wife with children and grandchildren, I can emphatically declare that gay Christianity is a trap set by Satan, whether you are acting on sinful impulses or not. “Gay” Christianity—whether a person is sexually active or not—is a different religion from biblical Christianity. The Pope’s words find a sweet spot in a culture that says sexual identity (LGBTQ) is who you really are, and sexual difference (male and female) is a psychological choice.
Though the Pope elevates culture over Scripture, a true believer has no such right. Gay Christianity adds things to the gospel (specifically Freud’s idea that sexual orientation is immutable and describes who you really are) and subtracts things from the gospel (the Genesis account in which being born male or female is an eternal feature of our imagebearing). Gay Christianity presents the church with serious, even deadly, errors.
In order to address this issue, we need to look at two related aspects of the gay Christian movement within the church: a deceptive faith and a hopeless gospel.
Christians are called by God to “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10, NKJV). The Lord is speaking through Peter to ask a simple question: Are you really a Christian? How do you know?
Conversion means that we have surrendered our lives to Christ—the real Christ—the Christ of the Bible, not the Christ of our imagination. A surrendered person does not set the terms of that surrender. A surrendered person must know who he really is in God’s eyes. The Lord has given us one category of personhood: we are either male or female. That is, we reflect the image of God by living out our creation ordinance as a person born as a man or as a woman.
The idea that gay is who you are comes from Satan (via Freud). Gay is not “who” you are, even though you believe it represents how you feel. If you believe that gay is who you are, it is impossible to war against your homosexuality as a sin because this sin has morphed into other areas, like personality and persistence of attractions. As a Christian, your job is to learn how to hate your sin without hating yourself. And you simply cannot take a clear aim at your sin if you call yourself a gay Christian and you have interposed your sin into your personality, all because it is unchosen.
All sin comes to us through the fall of Adam. In Adam, we all are born desiring something that God hates. For some of us, that means sexually desiring members of our own sex. Christians are called to deal with sin—including our unchosen sin—in Christ and on Christ’s terms. For a Christian struggling against the sin of homosexuality, this means living in God’s reality and fighting sin using God’s weapons. There is no dual citizenship in Christ. A Christian cannot have one foot in the world (embracing a gay identity) and one foot in the church. But because the gay Christian considers himself a “sexual minority” in the church, he claims Christ’s comfort to victims and outcasts rather than forgiveness for the sin of homosexuality. This misguided view is a trap especially seductive for our therapy-driven culture.