How should Christians think about homosexuality and transgenderism?

by 

Published: 27 November 2018 (GMT+10)
Dr-Tim-Jennings
Dr Tim Jennings

A reader sent in a video by a Dr Tim Jennings, a Christian psychiatrist, about homosexuality, transgenderism, and Christianity, and asked us for a response. We normally do not respond to videos, because of the time involved to watch and fairly interact with such media, but we felt the teaching value in this case merited an exception.

Dr Jennings calls out the Christian community for “a lot of ignorance and a lot of misinformation.” He believes that “We have to start with facts, we have to start with truth.” He asks, “Are you willing to look at evidence and facts or do you want to hold beliefs that are refuted by evidence, facts, and truth?”

But when he goes into these ‘facts’, we find that they don’t prove what he thinks they prove. Most of his arguments involve very rare abnormalities.

First, he brings out Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, where a person is genetically male (XY), but has no testosterone receptors, so the child develops to look outwardly female (but lacks a uterus and ovaries). Dr Jennings makes the first of many errors in his video when he says that all babies begin as females, and hormones, particularly testosterone, cause the baby to masculinize. At fertilization, every individual is either genetically female (XX) or male (XY) (yes—there are a handful of intersex chromosomal conditions, most commonly Klinefelter’s—but these are rare), and the baby develops as a female or a male according to the genetics. Dr Jennings inadvertently acknowledges this when he says that the male baby has testes even with AIS.

The next condition is chimerism, the extremely rare condition where one embryo absorbs his or her fraternal twin early in development, resulting in one individual with two distinct sets of genetics. He claims that this can result in someone with both male and female DNA. So someone could have a male brain genetically, and a female body, and so on. Then he claims that epigenetic markers affect whether the brain is masculinized in the womb or not.

His AIS and epigenetic arguments basically say that hormones can determine someone’s sexual identity. But then the chimerism argument says precisely the opposite—that genetics determine sexual identity. Which is it? Of course, this discussion of chromosomal and developmental conditions leaves out the fact that most people who identify as homosexual or transgender are biologically healthy males or females with no ambiguity or genetic defect.

Then Dr Jennings goes in a completely different direction and notes that sometimes trauma can confuse a person’s sexual identity, and gives an anecdote involving one of his counselees. In that counselee’s case, resolving a trauma led her to realize that she was not a lesbian after all, but heterosexual. But how can we tell someone who is ‘naturally’ homosexual from someone who is confused because of a trauma? And how can we even ask that question when it is now forbidden to even raise that as a possibility?

Dr Jennings then turns to Romans 1, and says that “exchanging natural relations for unnatural ones” means that naturally heterosexual people were engaging in homosexual relations as part of Roman fertility cult worship. He argues Paul wasn’t talking about people who are naturally homosexual. But sexual orientation as a core element of our personality wasn’t even conceived of until less than 200 years ago. In the Roman world, free men in particular would engage in both homosexual and heterosexual acts with a variety of partners—the only thing that was taboo was for a free male adult to assume a ‘submissive’ role.

Then he criticizes Christians with “imperial” and “legal” ways of reading the Bible. I think that’s extremely judgmental of him—my brain development was shaped in the womb to make me think in imperial and legal ways. In any case, he says that Christians think homosexuals should act like heterosexuals. That’s not true. Rather, Christians recognize that the Fall affects us in different ways in our bodies, our minds, and our relationships. All of us have to submit ourselves to Scripture which challenges each of us in different ways.

Dr Jennings says that we should present the truth in love, and this will leave people free. While I would agree with him about this principle, we would disagree vastly about the proper application. I do not believe it is loving to present a false gospel to any person that says that Christ is powerless to transform them—regardless of what needs to be transformed.

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Readers’ comments

King T.
Thank you for publishing this article. It is so timely! Just this afternoon I received a rebuke and an indirect warning of possibly losing my job if I did not show sensitivity for the presence of a gay colleague in my office.This comes about 2 and a 1/2 weeks after I had a run in with another lady colleague who professes to be Christian but have fully accepted the big bang and evolutionary story. There was some news article regarding transgenders who belatedly realized that they were still miserable after a sex change and wanted to switch back. The surgeon involved had noticed the rapid increase in the number of such cases and wanted to investigate why this was happening and how to spare them the pain and expense of reverting to their natural gender. His application to do research was rejected out of hand with no reason forthcoming. Same with a group of Canadians wanting to also investigate similar issues. So on discussing this case, I was pointing out to my colleague just how these transgenders are now caught in no-man's land : So with no one to talk to since reverting talk is now politically incorrect, the number of suicides among them is increasing as well. She then got her button pushed about the way "Christians" treat homosexuals and that we should be loving and accepting towards them since they were made that way. Though I did mention that un-repented homosexuals would not be in God's kingdom (showed her the text 1 cor 6:9) , I couldn't even get to point out that by identifying themselves with the sinful action, plus with "Christians" supporting them in that, they could not find a way to repent because they could not view their actions as sin in the first place. Someone reported this conversation to the boss who then belatedly rebuked me, with a warning!
Gina T.
Hi Lita. Thanks for your comment on Dr Jennings' report. My thoughts are that Dr Jennings is only looking at 'genetic' reasons to explain the confusion regarding sexual/gender identity. It is an extremely narrow approach. Dr Jennings is overlooking a far greater cause for the increase in confusion on sexual identity, so profoundly manifested in recent times. There is an incredible anomaly in our society which so few seem to recognise. We all abhor the sexual violation of children, and acknowledge how damaging it is. But we seem to overlook this when that damage manifests itself in later life. There is no way a four year old can rationalize being raped. It is a situation that our minds have not been designed to cope with, and consequently causes the thinking to become scrambled. I know of so many individuals who have had this experience and gone on to experience confusion regarding their sexuality. Why is no one acknowledging this?
Chandrasekaran M.
You say it is not true that Christians think homosexuals should act like heterosexuals. I agree that there is no point in acting or pretending to be a heterosexual I will be a constant stressful double life. Will this mean that when a homosexual turns his or her mind to believe in Jesus the Lord with all of his or her mind, he or she should continue to a homosexual? This will be a constant stressful double life in the other direction!
Lita Cosner
The person who trusts in Christ should live as a Christian. This means shunning all sin, including self-identification with sin. Some Christians are not attracted to the opposite sex--the answer for those people is to live God-honouring lives as single people. This is not an easy road, but many people attracted to the opposite sex who do not (for whatever reason) marry are also called to godly celibacy, so it is not a double standard. The person who is tempted to engage in sinful relationships of any type is called to repent of sin and turn to Christ who died for our sins.

It is not easy, but Christ never promised an easy life for those who follow Him.
Dean D.
We are warned not to be deceived. Tim Jennings has not heeded Paul's clear warning. He has been deceived. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
Bill P.
Without going into detail I can say from experience that this Dr. Jennings is just saying these things to tickle the ears of people who want an excuse to continue to live this lifestyle or any lifestyle that goes against The Word of God. Several decades ago I would have listened to this man only to have an excuse to keep doing what I had been doing back then. I have known for a long time now that what people like Jennings say might sound smart and good but their words are full of deadly poison. Several decades ago The Lord had mercy on me, and saved me from certain death. Does The Lord love the sinner ? Yes !! Did The Lord die for the sinner ? Yes !! Does The Lord condone a sinful lifestyle ? NO !! (no matter what the sin might be. I make this comment with nothing but meekness and love from my heart, Repent (think again) His mercy is beyond our imagination. Anyone who seeks Him w/all their heart no matter what they are involved in He Is Able To Forgive and Save, changing from within starting with the heart. Keep up the good work.
Stephan B.
My son, who never exhibited any female attitudes or behaviors, 3 years ago claimed he is transgender. He first got this idea from a "counselor" in Portland. He fell headlong into his advice to change his sex. I am ashamed that I did not take my responsibility as a home school father to teach him about relationships with women. I had allowed a deep depression about my marriage to hinder my involvement with my boys. My son has now completely cut off communication with us accept for a recent letter telling us that he is soon getting married to his boy friend. There was also a sickening photo of his new self. No return address. God help us. We need people's prayers. His old name was Micah.
Nil L.
Thank you Lita for this response. I agree 100%.

Many christians, when they became chrstians had dificult issues to deal with, but because they are christians and admit that they are away from biblical truth, they are willing to work at it with the help of the Holy spirit that lives in them now. But as Paul also mentions it in romans 8, ...if the spirit dwells in you... That is always key to a real acceptance of the bible and our conditions that need to change.
Keep up the good work ! GB
Mat G.
People often argue that homosexuals can't help the way they are because they are 'born that way'. But I have seen a documentary filmed in a gay club where many of the members openly admitted that they were not 'born that way'. The devil gets at us in different ways and it is not for us to judge. But God will judge. So who is the real friend: the one who says, do what you want, it's no skin off my nose, or the one who says, take care, I think you are taking a wrong path? I have seen a lovely video where a man was saved from a lifestyle that really made him unhappy because, without being judgemental, a lady friend took the trouble to sit down with him and the Bible ... And I know of many cases where people have found true happiness after overcoming the homosexual lifestyle. :).
Paul M.
The real lie at work here is that people can't live with thoughts or feelings or motivations opposite to the bible. Every Christian wars with the old flesh, and goodness knows I have my daily, sometimes moment to moment wars with my own. I myself, have found no 'special formula' over my sin, but a deep well of forgiveness in Christ and an ongoing brotherly relationship trusting him and his death for my sins and the spirit's everyday guidance to be the greatest comfort in this life. I can not fail with Christ.
Chad T.
So what the Doc is saying is that any sexuality outside of the binary gender heterosexual is a biological or genetic defect or a mental illness! In a world where sin is turned into a sickness, no one can be evil just ill and ill people can't be held responsible for their action, can they, because that would be immoral? But if there is no evil there can be no good, and then anything is permissible and morality doesn't exist.
Mark C.
To Stephan B, about your son Micah.

Behind your painful prayers for your son is the heart cry of Hannah for her son Samuel. God responds to such a heart. Do not lose heart, but keep praying in confidence and faith, you are not alone.

Even when a situation is beyond our control, it is not beyond His.
Neil M.
Neil M
it is now considered morally wrong to try and change a gay person's mind about their mental gender but which makes more sense, to change the thinking or unnaturally try to change the body to engineer it to be what is was never born as?
There are many men who started out happily married to a woman and over many years had several children and a normal family life then later decided they were gay .That sounds like a change of mind.
Drue M.
The sexually confused are now caught in a double bind..political correct group think inhibits them from genuine help. they must now hold fast the party line, and be judged if they desert! similar to any fascism whether Islamic or otherwise...of course the worst manifestation are those who twist the Scripture to condone this or others abhorrent life styles...such "teachers" will receive the worst condemnation..let us indeed strengthen those things that remain.....the trumpet will sound!
Peter L.
Thank you Stephan B, for commenting and sharing. I am especially grateful to God that I know you are there because my son also identified as transgender three years ago, and you are the first actual evidence that I am not alone in what I am experiencing... being the Christian father of a transgender son. People can say, " I know what you are going through", but now I know that there is someone else on this planet who actually does. God bless you my brother, and don't give up.
Bonnie M.
I love the verse. John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. For us who love Jesus, lets strive to be samples of His love and how he acted on earth. When the woman was caught in the act of adultery and the prostitute washed his feet. What was his attitude? Did he berate them with a pious attitude, or show love and empathy. No-one will come to Jesus through a judgemental attitude. 'As high as the heavens are above the earth, so are His ways above ours.' We can never know what someone has gone through to bring them to a place where they make a decision, that were we in their shoes with their backgrounds etc, we may make the same decisions or worse. If we show the love of Jesus to others no matter there race, creed, sexual proclivity, then when they receive Jesus in their hearts, let His spirit work. 'Not by might, nor by power, but by his spirit.' We all came to Jesus sinners, and each day He cleanses us. How is it that we feel the need to 'set right' others, before they know Jesus love. James 3:17-18 The wisdom that is from above, is first pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy....
Who am I to condemn others when 'there but for the grace of God go I.' I believe we are born biologically male or female but I try to think, what if I was molested as a young boy or girl, or could only feed myself or family or support my drug habit through being a prostitute, even to the opposite sex. Who am I to judge? If we lift up Jesus love, His spirit will work in their lives. Do we have to be perfect to receive and maintain eternal life. Certainly not. I may not be homosexual, but my vices of selfishness in God's eyes could be far worse. Love is the most powerful.
Michelle T.
I think you need to be careful with the following statement in your article: "Dr Jennings makes the first of many errors in his video when he says that all babies begin as females, and hormones, particularly testosterone, cause the baby to masculinize." My understanding is that all foetuses are initially the same, and that male offspring (under the influence of testosterone) develop recognizable male characteristics; in the absence of a certain level of testosterone, the foetus continues developing as a female. This is true for animals as well as humans. Obviously your point is that the genetically XY individuals develop as males, but that doesn't mean Dr Jennings' statement is blatantly incorrect.
Lita Cosner
Male and female babies share the same developmental pathway up to a certain point. It is incorrect to say that this developmental pathway is female, just as it is incorrect to say that the fetus has gill slits. The shared developmental pathway looks kind of female, just like at a certain point it kind of looks like the fetus has gills. The truth is the baby is male or female long before it becomes obvious to the naked eye, and the 'gill slits' aren't gill slits in any sense. To say that babies start out female is not true, and it's not good science.
Abe M A.
Is there any consistent record of the 'homosexual believer' acknowledging satan's deceptive power in all facets/areas of life? I think if there is, this would almost be enough to refute/expose the deception of homosexuality, sexual identity, transgenderism. Anyone who is declaring to be a believer/doer of God's word cannot just acknowledge God for the existence of everything in this world. How does a 'homosexual believer', 'transgender believer' refute that satan (God's nemesis, the God they claim to believe/obey) has deceived them to the point of their life choice? =). Great article! Thank you! =).
Gennaro C.
Hi Linda. interesting issue with un (in my view) interesting though heavy solution. "Dr Jennings calls out the Christian community for “a lot of ignorance and a lot of misinformation.” He believes that “We have to start with facts, we have to start with truth.” Ant he is right 100%. In Mt. 19:12 I read: "For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others - and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven". The homosexual story is ages long, and for those affected it is not un easy one due to the lack of empathy by the side of the non affected. Jesus addresses the issue in a way that is plain and understandable, as far as we may answer to it. We are talking about Christians here, believers, who do have a hope in the eternal life; eternal, for ever and ever! The apostle Paul (2 Cor.4:17) says: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." I do have a daughter who was born with a bilateral hips displacement (60 yesrs ago) she grew up among several difficulties which - thanks to her faith in God - was able to overcome, even a marriage! The Christian homosexuals, another result of genetic enthropy, mai resolve their situation - though with moral pain - forgetting the present and looking to Jesus to grasp in faith the eternal glory. However, examples like those Jesus suggested, are abundantly found among the (real and honest) priests and nuns who made themselves "eunuchs for the sake of the heavenly kingdom."
Lita Cosner
Thanks for these comments, Gennaro, but I think that there are some important clarifications to be made. You are correct that it isn't easy for people who struggle with these desires and who want to follow Christ. We should certainly empathize and seek to help them walk in faithfulness. But it isn't helpful for them to continue to identify with their sin. Someone who struggles with the sin of lying, for example, doesn't call himself a Lying Christian. Someone who struggles to be faithful to his wife doesn't call himself an Adulterous Christian. Someone who struggles with same-sex attraction can say that he is called to live a life of godly singleness. He can say he is a "eunuch" for the glory of Christ. There's a lot of language he can use.

Also, the Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction can draw comfort from the fact that he is not the only category of person called to holiness even in the context of strong desires. The opposite-sex attracted Christian who has not yet been blessed with a spouse is called to a life of celibacy until marriage, regardless of heterosexual desire.
Jon T.
Jon T. AU December 7th, 2018 Also to Stephan B, Mark C and Paul M have summed up the situation very well. I was worried when one of my children went off the straight and narrow path and was not contactable for many years. I cried, I worried, then I prayed and trusted in our Lord and Saviour to save my child. Many years later my dear child gave her life to the Lord Jesus, for which I will be ever grateful. Put your trust in Him that Micah will be delivered from his present situation. I know it's not easy but be patient on the Lord, He knows your pain and anguish and answers prayer in His timing, which may be days or months or years away, He alone sees the big picture that we cannot see; He is faithful. As Mark C has stated very clearly, "you are not alone", so be of good cheer in the knowledge that it will work out in the Lord's time.
Jenny T.
I am saddened that there is no discussion about the very real possibility that some of these people are actually damaged by the same gender-bending chemicals that are assailing the wildlfe in our day. Not to mention the rampant infertility in human beings. When I was 4 I had no idea about sexuality, let alone whether I was gay or straight. Yet today many are claiming they knew from when they were so young that they were gay. This is not normal behaviour for a 4 year old, but may indicate gender dysmorphia, which I do believe is real and may stem from these gender bender chemicals. I think we need to differentiate between those who feel like they should be a different gender and those who are homosexual. I knew I was a girl at 4 and that I did not feel like a boy. I wouldn't categorise gender dysmorphia as homosexuality.
Lita Cosner
I don't think that gender dysphoria and homosexuality were conflated in the article; that wasn't my intention. I don't have the expertise to address the issue of environmental chemicals and their possible effects. I'll leave it to anyone who is interested to do their own research.
Bill L.
It is plain to see that people can rationalize whatever they like and Christians can use scripture to back up just about anything. We see that more and more in this day with issues such as transgenderism and homosexuality are presented wrapped up in emotionalism, which cause people to feel sorry for individuals and groups. As Christians we are to have compassion for their state but not accept it. But all this disorder in humanity comes from denying the Designer, Creator God and embracing evolution. God in His design has implemented cosmic order in His creation, it is designed to function with purpose and prosper in order. We can try and rationalize why people are like they are and make excuses and accommodate them, but God's divine order in creation as set out in the scriptures is the ultimate tenets to live by. God created man and women, Adam and Eve and told them to multiply, that's His divine order, so homosexuality, transgenderism, promiscuity and so on is going against God's divine order. So the arguments for or against human behavior issue should be framed around, does it fit the divine order as set out by the Creator God revealed throughout the Holy Scriptures?

Jesus didn't just come only to save and reconcile man back to God but He came to restore the divine order of the Father of creation through salvation, both for mankind and the cosmos.
Richard B.
In response to King T. and Dean D. 1 Cor 6 9-11goes on to talk about drunkards, slanderers, THE GREEDY, in the same bracket. None of us on here or in the wider Christian community are sinless. Thank God that the same scripture also goes on to say..."You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" Grace, not works. Am I advocating people should continue in their homosexual sin? No. But only in the same way I would speak against greed as well. Sometimes I am greedy, heck I've also been drunk as a Christian in the past, and who knows, might in a moment of weakness be drunk again one day, but will I still be with my God in heaven? Absolutely. Why? Because I am justified in the name of the Lord. Saved by Grace, through faith and not by works. Sealed by the Hoy Spirit as a downpayment guaranteeing my inheritance. Thank you Lord, for your grace and mercy.
Malcolm T.
At the end of the day, we have two choices, Believe what God says or believe the wisdom of this world. I choose to side with God when He says that sodomy is sinful and if we engage in sinful behaviour then we will need to repent or be damned. The Devil always desires to undermine God's word. "Hath God said"? I was once engaged in sinful practices but excusing it and blaming my genes didn't help, repenting and returning to God was the only way.
Ken G.
Excellent, brief response. Good work by Lita, as always.
Dan M.
Sin starts with imaginations. People become what they imagine. God destroyed the previous world with a flood because of wicked imaginations. We need to keep our minds pure. Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Derek O.
Dear Lita
I really think you missed the point Dr Jennings was trying to make. His perspective is entirely consistent with the CMI view of the world. (If you looked elsewhere, you will note that he defends a 6000 year old earth). Firstly he wanted to point out the long history of bigotry toward non-heterosexual people or the appearance of it. It is unfortunate that the sheer extant of this sordid history of behaviour is constantly downplayed by those of us in the church. We have a shocking history of abuse against homosexual people. Secondly he was illustrating in clear terms exactly what CMI has been teaching for decades. "The whole creation groans..." Sin in the world has caused all kinds of defects in us. You took upon yourself the task of arguing against his basic premise, which you would agree with wholeheartedly in any other context. Do you honestly believe that it is not possible for the genetic decay to lead to homosexuality?? Thirdly, he agrees that for some people, homosexuality is not genetic and can be unlearned. And then for others homosexuality can be chosen and learned. Fourthly it was not his purpose to discuss how homosexuals should be acting. He DID have more to say about how we as christians should first have this broad perspective and recognise there is more going on that just assuming all homosexuals are 'sinning'. I'm actually not sure why you take issue with his presentation? Allowing for the fact that he does not talk at length about how homosexuals should be behaving when they into knowledge of God, his view is entirely consistent with what yours should be. Firmly based in a biblical worldview, and rationally thought out. Gospel centred. Derek
Lita Cosner
Derek, I decided to publish your viewpoint, but have to say, it seems like you listened to an entirely different video than I did.
Jeff W.
A strong argument could be made that the central point of Jesus' teaching is 'the kingdom of God'. That kingdom operates according to principles based on God's being, His character, His attributes. Christ Jesus is the King of that kingdom; He is in a real sense its incarnation: perfect godliness in a human being; God in human flesh. The message of, the message about, Christ, has as its central point 'the kingdom of God', which has Christ as its center. If this is so, then standing up for the principles taught in Scripture is standing up for Christ. Defending the principles taught in Scripture is defending Christ. And being persecuted for the principles taught in Scripture is being persecuted for Christ. In first century Palestine, the Jewish people-- believers in Christ and those who opposed Him-- accepted the vast majority of Old Testament truth. There was no opposition to Christians who held to Scripture's clear teaching of the 6-day creation of a young Earth, for example. Nor was there opposition to those to held to 'the Creator made them male and female'. Persecution was limited to other matters. But in our day persecution comes against those of us who, by God's grace alone, remain faithful to the testimony of Jesus: the whole of the Bible. This persecution comes in many forms-- attacks on our jobs, property, health, children, relationships, civil and human rights, etc. These things are painful and we struggle. But we can lift up our heads; our redemption is drawing near. Our faith is being proved and will result in a wonderful inheritance by grace. Let us follow the examples of the cloud of witnesses by which we are surrounded, letting 'goods and kindred go; this moral life also'. Christ Jesus reigns, and His kingdom and His ways will ultimately utterly triumph.
Tom J.
The evidence is overwhelming that the God of the Bible thinks homosexuality is an abomination. Not just another sin but an especially grievous sin. The question then is,. why would He think that?
For starters,. how about the sinful blatant arrogant willful disrespect it shows towards God's created design?
Glenn L.
As a minster/pastor I've been confronted with a number of sexual deviancies: homosexuality, adultery, pornography, cross-dressing, attraction to children, bestiality, lesbianism and fornication. If one opens the door to one of these, you begin to lose your biblical apologetic to question the next. In other words, if you open the corral to let one horse out; sooner or later they'll all come out. Tenderness as one counsels with the Father Heart and a holy fascination for Christ Jesus is still largely the answer. Everyone of us to called to consider ourselves dead daily and assume our position in The Lord Jesus Christ.
Ed N.
Lita: In my job as a university professor, I come in contact with many openly gay male homosexuals. In every case, I have found them to be almost painfully polite and a genuine pleasure to be around as people. And these individuals definitely display feminine characteristics which I have no doubt they were born with. Would I condemn the person born with diabetes? No. Tell them they need to eat like everyone else? No. As a young man, I took a simple position. Black and white. Homosexuality is unbiblical and homosexuals need to find Jesus and he will transform them into heterosexuals. It's a pretty simple equation. But Jesus doesn't transform diabetics. We do have a thriving insulin making industry. But these days, I struggle with the idea of telling a homosexual that they have to live a celibate life. Our sex drive is in fact one of the strongest urges built into a person. To ask homosexuals to ignore their sex drive is akin to asking them to stop eating or drinking. Are they living an unbiblical lifestyle? Undoubtedly. But I really am uncomfortable with just tossing out bible verses and taking the high position that they need to change their lifestyle. It pains me to say that and I think we as Christians need to be far more sensitive to this issue. Do I outright accept homosexuality? I do not. But I could never see myself trying to change the sexual orientation of the many decent and thoroughly nice homosexual males I encounter every day. This is a very difficult issue which I still have not resolved in my mind to this day. I wish I could sense some of that struggle in your article.
Lita Cosner
Ed, Think of someone with heterosexual desires who has not been able to find a spouse with whom to enjoy a marital relationship. What does God call that person to? To lay down the urges (even though in this case the desire for a family and marital relationship may be godly), until such time as God grants that desire--or perhaps for life. Is that person condemned to a joyless life forever struggling against their sex drive? That paints a bleak picture. Rather, the unmarried Christian who commits to a life of celibacy until marriage for the glory of Christ finds Him sufficient.

Think of the married person with desires for someone other than his or her spouse. What does God call that person to? To lay down their urges to commit adultery, to submit their desires to Christ, and to repent of their sinful thoughts, and to commit to live a life of godly faithfulness to their spouse.

In fact, every person, unmarried or married, is called not to ignore our sex drive, to use your way of putting it, but to submit it along with every other aspect of our life to the rule of Christ. When we do, we find that Christ's way is better, and leads to a more fulfilled life.

Christ does not call us to be heterosexual (many heterosexuals will face eternal punishment in Hell)--He calls us to be saved from our sins by trusting in Him. Have you simply shared the Gospel with your acquaintances?
Cathy A.
Thank you for a very thoughtful article, and for all the comments above. Reading this thread is so refreshing, full of kindness and truth in love. Moving forward from facts to strategy, I am interested in people's thoughts on fleshing out the benefits of God's divine intention as a witnessing strategy, (One man, one woman for life, or celibacy) as opposed to focusing on the behaviours (there are many) outside of God's divine intention.There must be some good science out there that has investigated this approach. (ie. longevity, happiness etc etc.) I just don't know about it. This approach may be more successful in 'saving the lost' - like honey to the bee.
Howard C.
I have to agree with Lita Cosner. The same rules apply to those who have overactive sex drives of the heterosexual kind. They have to quell their nature to bring it into line with what is required of them by the scriptures. This rule should apply for every aberration in humanity, but we have to remember that we did not get a choice as to how our person was created. We did not get to choose our strengths or our weaknesses. If we could look around ourselves with real clarity, we could see every kind of mental, and physical aberration on display throughout the whole world. God doesn't make mistakes, so it has to be his will that these people exist, and they perform some sort of function. I believe in a world that exists through opposition, there has to be a counterpart for everything. Good-bad, high-low, hot-cold. Grace is where the difference lies. Unmerited undeserved favor bestowed upon some, not all. It becomes God's call as it always was. You can resist that way of thinking, but it won't change anything.
Doug L.
I see a lot of responses along the lines of "let's not judge, we're all sinners." Well, we are supposed to judge. "He that is spiritual judges all things," and this is talking about Christians, not God himself. But assessing something as wrong, i.e. sinful, is different from being hateful or condescending towards someone who's caught up in it.

There are two important issues here, maybe even three. First, yes as individuals we need to be gentle and caring towards others. But it's not caring if we lie by omission. In other words, if asked, we need to tell truth, namely that male homosexuals are explicitly condemned as committing a death penalty offense as commanded by God. So it's a very serious issue to deal with in order to maintain social order. It does no one any good if we pretend it's all OK. That doesn't mean we can be hateful towards the individuals caught up in that sin but it does mean we should not be silent either. There's a right way and a wrong way to speak.

The second important issue is about that human legal system. God commanded that the death penalty be enforced on men committing this sin. You only have to look at Sodom and Gomorrah to see the result of unfettered male homosexuality. It ultimately results in unrestrained violence and chaos to the point where God has to step in forcefully. So government must restrain it. Do I advocate the death penalty for homosexual men? Absolutely! Because God commanded this of human government. Lesbians? God did NOT explicitly include women so neither do I. There may be some parallels to male homosexuality, and both are not good, but lesbianism is a very different thing (in my experience) so I don't advocate going beyond what God explicitly commanded.
Lita Cosner
Doug, homosexuality was a death penalty offense in ancient Israel, but in Corinth, Paul was able to say "such were some of you"--i.e., that there were people in the congregation who had committed this sin, but who had been transformed by Christ. So that suggests that today the death penalty does not apply (as that was to be part of ancient Israel's legal code), but that we are to preach the Gospel.
BOB M.
Our head pastor made a shocking statement to the congregation, he said "I have spoken to many homosexuals here in church, and not one of them said that they CHOSE to be gay". If I had been quick-thinking enough, I would have said to our pastor, "they were all lying to you if they said that they never chose to be gay. EVERYONE chooses to sin. I could follow the same reasoning and say 'I didn't choose to be a thief, I was born that way'" to try justifying the sin. Even pastors are being deceived and lack the courage to call sin what it is. No wonder very few people are coming to salvation in our church, there is no talk of the need for repentance. Sad, please pray for our pastor, the Lord knows his name, and pastors are called to watch over our souls and held to a higher accountability. God bless Creation Ministries International.
W Wade S.
“The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah wasn’t homosexuality. It was the public condoning of homosexuality.”

The subversive element in (male, in particular) homosexuality — which goes against God’s natural order in obvious physiological, biological, psychological (etc.) ways — is that it perverts the natural and licit love between males. That includes between father/son, brother/brother, friends, comrades-in-arms, co-workers, teammates — all of which are essential for a healthy, secure, and harmonious society. David and Jonathan is a classic Biblical example of this platonic male love, and revisionists constantly seek to categorize their relationship as homosexual. This is all part of Satan’s strategy to cause confusion. It was successful throughout the ancient pagan world, where young boys were often routinely initiated into the homo/bi-sexual lifestyle for the pleasure of others. But we as Christians must reject the Devil’s lies, stratagems, and confusion. Even at the cost of persecution — which has already begun — from those intent on “doing what is right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6 and elsewhere).
Ainsley B.
Why are Christians so fast to attack people who stand up for Christ’s attitude of self-sacrificial unconditional love toward all sinners? Tim Jennings, first and foremost, promotes Christ’s self-sacrificial unconditional love toward "all" sinners, yet you attack him and deny his freedom to love homosexuals equally. Perhaps our inherent "legal" thinking, where we desire to accuse, condemn and punish others, is a part of sin that Christians need to repent of. When Jesus (God) was hanging on the cross being murdered by sinners, he did not attack anyone’s opinion, instead he gave everyone freedom to think and act as they desired, and, he continued loving and forgaving them. Why are Christians so opposed to Christ’s method of self-sacrificial unconditional "love"?
Lita Cosner
I guess we would disagree on the definitions of 'attack' and 'unconditional love'. I would define what I did as "expressing disagreement", not "attacking". And I believe in loving all people, and a fundamental part of that is sharing the Gospel and calling people to submit their lives to the Gospel. Everyone is challenged by the Gospel in different ways--the liar has to be transformed into an honest person, the adulterer has to be transformed into a faithful person, and the murderer has to be transformed into a loving person. All of us have passions and desires that have to be brought into submission to Christ for His glory. Yes--the person with homosexual desires who wishes to follow Christ has a hard road, but not harder than anyone else. We all must put to death the sinful desires of the flesh.

Do you have a Bible verse for "he gave everyone freedom to think and act as they desired"? I certainly can't think of one. Christ died for our sins to free us from sin and to give us the freedom to walk in obedience to Him. Otherwise why would He give us instructions in His Word?
Mark & Hazel L.
Point not mentioned is the TOXIC metals & plastics BPH in the air, water (bottles) & Fast food accumulates in mothers organs & enters fetuses( Alcohol fetal syndrome) scrambles damages hormones.
Lita Cosner
As I stated in response to Jenny, I haven't done enough research to comment on this either way, but will leave it to people to do their own research.
Dean L.
It's a bit surprising to see Dr. Jennings making the same mistake that many non-medical people make. He appears to be trying to link the existence of certain genetic and physiological abnormalities to transgenderism, thereby confusing the normal genetic and physiological condition of the latter with the obvious pathology of the former. People with sex chromosome abnormalities end up manifesting them with physical abnormalities. This is not the case with transgenders at all as the only abnormality (pathology) they manifest is not physical, but mental. I would have expected that someone with Dr. Jennings' education would know this.
Dean R.
So what is abnormal gets pushed as normal when it clearly isn't. I think even evolutionary ideas acknowledge that homoseuxuality is abnormal & a product of dysfunctionality (Jane Goodall?), but then proceed to proclaim that it is OK. Thats what happens when everything is relative and nature becomes a silent god much like an idol.

God on the other hand does not lead us into confusion about our wonderfully made bodies and minds and the sublime complementary design of male and female created in His image. And that he has come to save/redeem us from this powerful delusion of sin and the curse that goes beyond 'just nature' speaks of His patience, long suffering and power over the ages when humanity has been so careless and rebellious.
Bonnie M.
I like what you say Ed N and I like how you say it. Humility is a great thing and helps us to be open to God's spirit and how He would have us be. We don't know the answers and to seek in humility. To lean not to our own understanding. The verse about first dealing with the beam in my own eye, often comes to mind when I think to judge others. I am sure when we all get to heaven and see how God looks at things, we will be greatly surprised. Jesus said he came for the sinners, not those who think they are so perfect. I have found such kindness displayed among those with homosexual tendencies etc who often display the fruits of the spirit of love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness etc far more than the condescending attitude of so called 'Christians'. I strive to ask myself in my interactions, 'What would Jesus do?' If he could love the prostitute, the tax collector, the leper, how would He treat the homosexuals, the selfish, the vain, the proud and obnoxious? How much He loves me, who can be many of the before listed. Unconditional love. Love never fails and is the most powerful in all of our interactions, to be asking Jesus to lead and guide. What works for one person may be poison for another. 'If anyone lack wisdom, let them ask of God, who gives to all liberally.'
Lora G.
Is it a sin to have more than one wife? Polygamy? Is is sinful to get a divorce? Is it sinful to live with someone before you are married? God allowed these things because people were stubborn. If god can allow things then we should to. God will convict and change individuals as see sees fit. Only god knows all things about why a person is the way they are. We are not to judge, only to love. He who has no sin can cast the first stone.
Lita Cosner
The answer isn't to ignore homosexual sin because there are a lot of heterosexual sins, but to call everyone to believe in Christ and live in a way that is glorifying to Him, as laid out in the Scriptures. He who has no sin will judge one day, which is why this message is so important.
David G.
It is obvious that the very rare medical conditions that afflict some are used to ship the story that 'gender' is somehow different from sex. Humans have a sex. End of Story. Some have a developmental or genetic abnormality. Separate issue. Then I read one comment about an accusation of their attidude in the workplace. As people we are not to judge, humiliate or denigrate another. We are to treat all with kindness (Paul is clear on this). However, the political discussion is different but even that must be done kindly. I work in a part of Sydney that is the centre of weird sexual claims...but I still treat everyone with human dignity.
RAFAEL P.
If anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new. Through resurrection Jesus is the firstborn of this new creation in which a Christian's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. In that temple, Christian serves as a faithful priest, offering him/herself up daily as a living sacrifice, acceptable to holy God (whose character is so forever, and unchanging). We are called to a discipleship of Divine grace, whereby the indwelling Holy Spirit empowers the new creation to live according to its new nature inherited by faith and secured by obedience. Just like Jesus, for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, so we as disciples are privileged to follow the Author and Finisher of our faith by dying daily to old things of the past that He payed with his precious blood to set us free from. The miraculous result of Gods grace is that we thus lay hold of the joy set before us, which is the new nature of His likeness and image that is being perfected in us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. We yield to His grace and comfort by the choice to set our minds and hearts on things above (where He is at), not on things below (where the lusts and desires of our old nature are at). Thus our co-operation of yielding our will to His in daily walk, frees Him to continue the real time sanctification, that brings us up to speed experientially with the salvation that Christ eternally and existentially finished on the cross. It is so much easier for us, who are recipients of boundless grace, regardless of our peculiar circumstances to say "not my will but Thine be done" than for the Champion of our salvation, who on becoming sin for us sweated drops of blood in saying those words. In the end He obtained His joy, - us !
Jim H.
In Romans 1:18-32, Paul gives us a litany of sins, but the last verse rarely garners any comments. "Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them," with the emphasis on giving approval to the sinful practices of others. Dr. Jennings should be very careful when attempting to rationalizing sin.
J S.
Lisa, good article. I think you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence on transformation. We serve a supernatural God who is powerful. If the mainstream church has been failing in anything regarding homosexuality, it is in offering an actual solutions. However, I humbly want to speak to your response to one of the comments below.You said, "Some Christians are not attracted to the opposite sex--the answer for those people is to live God-honouring lives as single people. This is not an easy road..." Though I agree with you that the Christian life is not easy road, it is suppose to be a victorious one. What you said may be true in some cases, but I don't think it should be our default response. Because homosexuality is not a genetic issue, it's a spiritual one. The solution to any spiritual problem is to fight it in the Spirit and not the flesh. We have the answer given to us over and over in scripture. Fasting and prayer. We need to fast and pray and have faith. I have personal testimony of the power of this but more important than my own stories is that scripture makes these things very clear: 1. Christ expected his follower to fast (Matthew 6:16), throughout the Old and New Testament fasting + prayer generated powerful responses from God, 3.Jesus fasted 40 days before really getting started, 4. Matthew 17:21!. The 3 issues Jesus pointed out was that the disciples had a lack of faith, prayer and fasting.
As you quoted later to another commentators, Paul said, "such were some of you..." in 1 Cor 6:11. This indicates transformation, not celibacy.
When we have a form of godliness by deny its power we miss out on what sets Christianity apart from every other religion: we serve a Living, Powerful God. Like you indicated, Christ is not powerless to transform.
Lita Cosner
Of course, some people are delivered from their homosexual desires. There are many people with that testimony; I had the privilege of interviewing Rosaria Butterfield, for instance. But even if those feelings persist, they do not trump God's Word. All of us are called to submit all our desires to Christ and live to glorify Him.
King T.
@Richard B from GB, Thanks for reading of my comment. The point of that comment is that the colleague I was speaking to got so angry and upset that I was not allowed to even get to the point of "THAT IS WHAT SOME OF YOU WERE". I am fully aware of that most important addition that Paul put there and in fact that is the basis of my approach when attempting to talk to people about homosexuality.

As Lita has made abundantly clear in her replies to some other commentators, the single heterosexual Christian faces the same problem as the homosexual affected person: They have to refrain from indulging in their sinful sexual desires. So I am fully aware of the fact that we are all sinners and in need of mercy and that we need to treat others who are sinning with grace and patience since that is how God treated us before the lights went on.

This ties in with what Bonny M. has said and which raises a very important issue in all of this. Her comments sound so much like a great many Christians, including the lady I was speaking to: "Do not judge" is the main refrain because a "judgmental attitude" will not bring anyone to Christ. However, when even the slightest mention of homosexual sin is seen as being judgmental and invokes anger, how exactly are you going to "lovingly" broach the subject?
I am still waiting for the answer to that.
I would be happy to "love" the person to accept Christ but how do you tell them that their behaviour is sinful?
I've long ago already addressed my gay colleague's concern about "things that he does not agree with in the bible" by simply telling him that he must come to Christ as he as and Christ will sort it out - and then I promised to never again bring it up and that's how it is. I treat him as a friend just as all others in the work group.
King T.
I think quite a few of the commentators who use the words "do not judge" or "be sensitive" or "be gracious" etc, in order to rebuke others from being harsh and overbearingly legalistic and seemingly wanting to allow homosexuals to be, perhaps need to take a much bigger perspective of this particular issue. I recommend reading Leviticus 18 and see ALL the sexual sins that God mentions in there as being the reason why the LAND has vomited out the Canaanite inhabitants. Please make sure to read right till the end and see what God thinks of ALL those sins. Then apply this one test: Let all those who commit those sins say that they have been born that way and then see just how accepting you are of that. Then go one step further and include the sin of sexual exploitation of children under 6 years old - things like the rape of 2-year old toddlers in order to be cleansed of HIV. Then apply the same test - say that those people who do that were simply born that way and should be lovingly accepted in church - where church is not the building but the body of Christ - and we should not "judge" them, i.e. we should not point out to them that they are sinning. Then come to the realization that we were ALL born that way - fully inclined and totally bent on sinning and in need of someone pointing out our sins (because we might be blind to them) and calling us to the grace of Christ and the cleansing of the Spirit. If there is no bad news ( sins and consequent eternal fire ) then there is no need for good news either and people can just go on doing whatever they please.
Lora G.
But then why don’t we have articles about the sin of living together before you’re married or of polygamy? Homosexuality is always the sexual sin that is written about because most of us can be proud that at least we don’t commit that sin. If you can live as a polygamist and still have god use you and be held in high esteem for having faith in god (Abraham, Jacob, David) then the same should be allowed for homosexuals.
Lita Cosner
Because some professing Christians aren't pushing for polygamy or living together outside of marriage; they're pushing the homosexual agenda.

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