“How Do I Talk to My Friend About Her Son’s Homosexuality?”

My very dear Jewish friend and mother has a gay son. She insists that she knew from age 5 forward, that he was different and going to be homosexual. She loathes Christians who say that being homosexual is not genetic, but learned behavior, and is sinful. How can I best respond to her biblically, about homosexuality? Or to anyone I meet with this perspective?

I’m so glad you asked! I see several issues in your email.

She insists that she knew from age 5 forward, that he was different and going to be homosexual.

If she was sensitive to her children, it is not surprising that she noted he was different from very early in his childhood. There’s nothing wrong with being different. But it’s sad that she “knew” he was going to be homosexual because it didn’t have to turn out that way.

I believe there is a spectrum of masculinity in boys, and they are born at whatever place on that spectrum that is God’s choice, and gift, to them. On one end is the rough-and-tumble physical, athletic, emotionally insensitive boy. Our culture would deem him “classically masculine.” He loves to play ball or engage in various sports, to get dirty, and to play with other boys. On the other end of the spectrum from the athletic boy is the aesthetic boy: gifted in music, art, poetry, performing, enjoying reading and other quiet activities, and emotionally sensitive. Songwriter and musician Dennis Jernigan, himself a former homosexual, calls these boys the “Davids” of the church.

Unfortunately, our culture has too narrowly defined masculinity, labeling the sensitive, artistic boy different and gay. One man I know, provided with this perspective, exclaimed, “If someone had explained to me when I was 17 that I wasn’t gay, I was gifted, that would have changed everything!”

When a boy’s father, especially, gives him warm attention, affection and affirmation, supporting whatever kind of boy he is, he usually grows up accepting and comfortable with his particular kind of masculinity. When a boy knows that his daddy believes in him and is his #1 cheerleader, he can connect with the world of males and continue to develop without incident. But when a boy doesn’t receive the masculinity imprint from his father that makes him feel like he belongs in the world of boys and men, he can remain stuck at that place. (If he DOES have a great relationship with his dad but doesn’t make the connection with other boys, the arrested development can happen a few years later.)

How do I know this? From being in ministry to hundreds of men whose stories are heartbreakingly similar. There are a few wild cards, such as sexual abuse, that can produce same-sex attractions even when a boy has a great relationship with his dad and his peers, but most of the time it’s a very similar story.

[Incidentally, I see a similar spectrum of femininity for girls, ranging from the foo-foo girly-girl on one end, to the tomboy jockette, allergic to dresses, on the other. Our culture also too narrowly defines femininity, just as it does masculinity.]

She loathes Christians who say that being homosexual is not genetic, but learned behavior, and is sinful.

Well, being homosexual is NOT genetic. There is not only no evidence for a genetic cause for same-sex attractions, there is strong evidence for certain pre-conditions that characterize the histories of those who eventually take on a gay identity: the sensitive temperament, a lack of warm, affirming connection with dad, a lack of affirming connection with other boys, and a resulting lack of self-confidence in being male.

And yet it can feel like people were born that way.

Maybe this analogy will help. My friend grew up in the south where everyone in his family was prejudiced. It was just the culture of his family and pretty much all the people his family ran with. As long as he can remember, he always hated and feared black people. Everyone he knew hated and feared black people. He didn’t know there was any other way. But he wasn’t born prejudiced. He was shaped that way because of countless interactions and modeling. He told me, “You grow up being taught and thinking that black people are bad and evil and you believe that until the Lord reveals something else. Then you change and you were not what you once were—what felt ‘normal’ to you.”

No one chooses the feelings of a lack of confidence in one’s masculinity, of not belonging to the world of boys and men. Then, once the sex hormones start flooding his body in adolescence, no one chooses the resulting sexual/romantic attraction to a guy who possesses what a boy wishes he had or were. The feelings are not learned, but the resulting choices and behaviors are. The Bible, including the Old Testament passages, does not condemn the feelings, only the chosen behavior. (And sexual sin is always a choice.) So I would make a distinction between the feelings and the actions.

So homosexual feelings are not chosen, but acting on them is, and it’s sinful. It’s not a sin to be tempted (what same-sex feelings constitute), but it is a sin to step over the line and give in. You might mention to your friend something like the fact that it’s not a sin to be tempted to shoplift, but it is a sin to give in and steal. I would imagine she could get that.

How can I best respond to her biblically, about homosexuality? Or to anyone I meet with this perspective?

The first issue is to determine if they’re even open to hearing another viewpoint. It’s not a good idea to try and “correct’ someone’s values and beliefs when they are content in them, but Jesus told us to be salt and light. So we need to be careful with our words and offer another viewpoint with respect and gentleness, as Peter tells us (1 Pet. 3:7). You might say something like, “You know, there are lots of former homosexuals who see things very differently than what we usually hear in the media.”

I would suggest simply stating what God has said in His word: that His plan for sexuality is within the bounds of marriage between one man and one woman. Anything outside of His intention is not only sinful, it’s harmful, and that’s why he tells us to avoid it. God’s rules for sexuality are rooted in His love for us, and He knows that when we insist on doing things our own way, trying to meet legitimate needs in ungodly and illegitimate ways, we will suffer from negative consequences. We can point out that the biology of sex shows that God designed it for male-female coupling. (This argument holds true for an evolutionary perspective as well.) And when people who have been immersed in a culture of anything-goes sexuality insist that homosexuality is a viable option, gently ask what would happen if a group of gay-identifying people populated an uninhabited island. What would happen over time?

All you can do is respectfully offer God’s truth as revealed in His word, and trust God with the results. We live in a culture that has been shaped by a definite agenda designed to normalize and legitimize homosexuality, and suggesting people think differently than the culture demands can be like asking a fish what it’s like to be wet. A fish doesn’t know the meaning of “wet” because it doesn’t understand the concept of “dry.” And people don’t realize there’s a legitimate, though politically incorrect alternative view.

And it’s probably worthwhile to mention that someone whose child is gay can easily react very defensively to the offensive idea that homosexuality is preventable and changeable, because that would indicate they played a role in it. And that just hurts too much to consider. Parents usually beat ourselves up with guilt anyway; this issue can push the guilt factor to an unbearable weight. So I think it’s wise to be aware of that dynamic.

Hope you find this helpful.

Sue Bohlin

© 2009 Probe Ministries


“You Are Judging Gays”

I was browsing the web for so information on a term paper and was disappointed in your site. I wish you all would choose to follow Paul in his thinking by following Romans 2:1-2. Please do not judge me because I would like to meet you in Heaven one day! I just hope that a young person that is experiencing mixed feelings about their sexuality does not view your site and feel that they are undeserving of God’s love because that is the message that you all seem to be giving. Love me as I love you, unconditionally!

Thank you for your note.

Please define “judging.” The verses you mention in Romans immediately follow a strong indictment of homosexual behavior. Why do you ask us to follow Paul’s example when Romans 1 is full of strong language about how sinful homosexual behavior is? Is that judging? I don’t think so; there is a difference between comparing someone’s behavior to God’s laws, which are rooted in God’s character—and making assumptions about someone’s heart issues and motives, which is judging.

If you have found anything on our website that is judgmental of a person’s heart—as opposed to agreeing with the scripture about sinful behavior—I would appreciate you pointing it out to me. It’s interesting, I’ve had feedback from homosexual strugglers and those who used to be strugglers, and they didn’t find anything judgmental in our articles. Some of these people are my friends, because I work with a ministry that helps those who want to stop identifying as gay and receive inner healing for their same gender attraction.

Yet you are concerned that someone reading our articles would feel that we are saying they are undeserving of God’s love because they struggle with their sexuality? Please show me how you arrived at that conclusion!

These are not empty words. I really, really want to know what you saw. My concern is that you may have been shaped by the culture’s “new tolerance” that says that to disagree with the concept that all sexual expression is equal, and equally fine, especially if you ground your position in scripture, is being judgmental. If that’s the case, then I respectfully suggest that you do not understand what judging someone really means. If I am speeding and get pulled over by a police officer who says, “You were going 70 in a 45 zone, ma’am,” it would be inappropriate and untrue for me to complain, “You’re judging me!” He’s not saying anything about my heart or my character; he is comparing my behavior to the law.

Having same-gender attraction is not a sin; acting on it is. People in both categories are unconditionally loved by God, but the consequences for one’s chosen behavior do not negate His love. God is love, but God is also holy, and that’s why He offers cleansing and forgiveness and healing to those who seek Him for it.

I appreciate your time in reading this.

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“You Are Close-Minded and Prejudiced Against Homosexuals”

What is wrong with homosexuals? Are you against Jewish people also? Do you think the Holocaust was wrong?? If you do then you should understand that you are supported modern-Hitler ideas by being prejudiced against homosexuals. When did you decide that you were heterosexual? At what age? If you don’t know, it’s because you never had to decide. You just are the way you are. Homosexual people never decided they wanted to be gay. I have a hard time understanding why people are racist also. If you think racism is wrong, maybe you should think about your opinions against gays. I still cannot believe that there are people in this world still close-minded. I cannot wait until people like you get off of this earth, and make it a happier place. Thank you for your time.

I’m not sure what you read on our website that would make you conclude we are prejudiced against homosexuals. Perhaps you are confusing our position against homosexual practice, with bigotry against those who discover they have homosexual feelings. We condemn homosexual practice because God, who created sex in the first place, condemns it as abnormal and a perversion of His plan. We also believe in the dignity of human beings, made in the image of God, who are given the gift of choice of our actions, and that includes the choice over whether to act on homosexual desires or not. We do not condemn those who experience homosexual feelings, recognizing that those are not chosen; but we agree with the Bible when it says that acting on those feelings is sinful and wrong. Please understand, this is a difference between actions and feelings. One is wrong, the other is not.

We are not prejudiced against homosexuals, but we will proclaim the truth that people don’t have to be gay and lesbian. Offering a way out of a destructive, difficult lifestyle is loving, not prejudiced. But many people believe the lie that being gay is as unchangeable as being a person of color, when that is not true. It’s not easy to change, and many don’t succeed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Ask people in Alcoholics Anonymous; they’ll tell you the same thing about achieving freedom from the bondage of alcohol.

I think it is unwise to equate a belief that “homosexual behavior is wrong” with the belief that it’s okay to judge people as inferior because of the color of their skin. There is a huge difference between a person’s chosen behavior and the unchosen manifestation of genetics.

You ask, “What is wrong with homosexuals?” Our answer is, they are relationally and sexually broken people for whom there is hope in Jesus Christ. Those who recognize their brokenness and seek help can find it. But this answer comes with a humble awareness that we are all broken people in one area or another–or several.

Thank you for writing.

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“You Are Deluded and I Feel Sorry for You”

Sue, your work (I was just on your web page: www.probe.org/angels-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/) sounds like that of your so called “Bad” or “Ugly” angels. Helping people who want to leave homosexuality—you scare them to? What I’ve read here I’m afraid to say is almost complete utter bollocks. I laugh in your face and hope you do something worthwhile someday. I think the words in other religions are equally as valid as your “Holier than thou” book. Hey check out any books by Aleister Crowley and also: Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten. The Bible–Xeroxed for thousands of years, translated several times, usually (ie. King James) not very well. You are deluded, and I feel sorry for you. (only a little!) 🙂 Hey! Do the world a favor–lighten up and stop bible bashing.

Hello ________,

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and looked at a menu? You might have found items on the menu you weren’t interested in. My husband, for example, really dislikes fish and won’t ever order it. But no one in the restaurant tries to force the fish down his throat.

I understand that you think what I have written, and where I choose to devote my time, is utter foolishness to you, and that is your right. But it is available to those who are looking for wisdom and information from a Christian world view, and that is why I have it on the website.

You have a lot of opinions but not much in the way of supporting evidence. I, on the other hand, am such a convinced Christian because I have investigated the evidence, which you might find compelling if you ever approached it with an open mind.

Should you get to the point where you find your beliefs aren’t consistent with reality, and your life isn’t working for you. . . bookmark our website. There is truth and light here for those who seek it. For those who don’t—nobody’s forcing them to eat fish when what they want is tofu.

Cheerily,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“Were David and Jonathan Gay?”

Thank you for a great website and ministry. I also thank you for a place where we can come to get some help. So here is my question. I am talking to some homosexual men about gay theology. They are convinced that the relationship between Jonathon and David was a homosexual relationship.

Their basis for that is 1 Samuel 18:1-4, and 2 Samuel 1:26. I have tried appealing to context of these verses, the fact that both these men have wives and children, and the simple fact that even if this was true, it doesn’t change God’s law one iota. All to no avail. I have been attempting to do a word study on the word love, as it is used here, and in a heterosexual union, to see if there are any differences in usage, but my resources are limited, and I have not been able to pin anything down yet. I was wondering if you could help me at all in this area, and any other approach you think may be useful.

I am cognizant of the fact that no matter what I say, it may do no good, as it appears their minds are made up. However before I give up, I would like to cover as many of the bases as I can.

The burden of proof to make David and Jonathan’s relationship more than friendship is on your gay friends. There is nothing in the text to indicate there was anything more than a godly, committed friendship between two men who deeply loved each other. You aren’t missing anything by reading a translation because there’s nothing hidden in the Hebrew.

However, there is also nothing you can do to dissuade them from reading what they want to find into what’s not there. The heart’s capacity for deception is far greater than we give ourselves credit for. You CAN say, “You are reading a gay relationship into the text but it’s not there, and there’s nothing I can say to make you change your mind because you want it so badly to be true. We’ll both find out in the end, won’t we? In the meantime, I am praying that God will show you the truth.”

It’s frustrating, I know. But you’re right, and they’re not, because they are caught in spiritual deception and what author Joe Dallas calls in his book of the same name “A Strong Delusion.”

I hope this helps.

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“Where Does God Say He Won’t Give Heterosexuality to Those Who Ask for It?”

On your “answering email” web page “God Made Me Gay” I read this question:

“Thanks for your answer! I have prayed to the Lord to make me straight! Why does he not answer?”

Your answer was long, but this was the core of it:

“Well, God would say to him, ‘Dear one, that’s what I intended you to be all along, and I still do. But we’re going to have to undo the damage that sin has caused in your life. There are matters of generational sin, unhealthy patterns of family relating–we need to refashion your life into the pattern of My original intent.”

The problem that I see with this is scriptural. Let’s take a look at what Jesus said:

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13-14

I am sure that the person who asked you the question has made a prayer like this one:

“God, please make me heterosexual. I ask this in Jesus’s name so that my life may bring glory to you.”

I think this sounds like a fair thing to ask of God, don’t you? And, according to Jesus’s words, he should do it, as he said that we WILL DO ANYTHING that one asks in his name. As it happens for many gay Christians who hurt and struggle, God does not answer this prayer.

Your excuse for God’s failure is that “[t]here are matters of generational sin, unhealthy patterns of family relating” which, apparently, defy God’s omnipotent power and boundless love and mercy.

My question for you is, which chapter and verse in the Bible state that God will not give someone heterosexuality if they ask for it in Jesus’s name because there are matters of generational sin, unhealthy patterns of family relating?

Great question.

“God, please make me heterosexual. I ask this in Jesus’s name so that my life may bring glory to you.”

I think you left out an important word. Often, what people really mean when they pray this is, ‘”God, please make me heterosexual NOW.”

I think this sounds like a fair thing to ask of God, don’t you? And, according to Jesus’s words, he should do it, as he said that we WILL DO ANYTHING that one asks in his name. As it happens for many gay Christians who hurt and struggle, God does not answer this prayer.

Jesus didn’t say anything about His timetable, though. He DOES answer this prayer, and has for many people, but He doesn’t answer it
overnight.

I think the “Please, please let me wake up straight” prayer (which I know has been prayed by so very many) is in the same category as prayers like, “Oh God, I am so afraid of this upcoming surgery/French test/job review. Please let me wake up and it will all be over and behind me.” Or, “Dear God, I hate being 10 and ugly. Please make me be 25 and all grown up and beautiful and happy.” There’s nothing wrong with the request, and God invites us to come to Him with every desire of our hearts, but He doesn’t promise to give us what we ask for within minutes or hours of the prayer.

Your excuse for God’s failure is that “[t]here are matters of generational sin, unhealthy patterns of family relating” which, apparently, defy God’s omnipotent power and boundless love and mercy.

I would suggest God is not failing. I would suggest that the issue is unrealistic expectations–that God should act like Tinkerbell and sprinkle magic pixie dust and make everything OK. But gender identity, sexual orientation, and a weakness for emotionally dependent relationships are complex issues that can’t be “fixed” overnight.

In fact, one of my dearest friends, a gay activist, had a most unexpected experience with God. Within moments of trusting Christ, she heard the voice of God thunder in her spirit: “YOU ARE NOT GAY!” She did discover that she wasn’t drawn to women as sex objects like she had been before, but within a couple of months of her conversion she found herself in a short-lived lesbian relationship. She was now a Christian, she knew God had said she wasn’t gay, but she didn’t have anything to work with except her old ways of relating to people and her old ways of making life work on her own. She wasn’t attracted to her new girlfriend the way she would have been before, but she was so desperate for connection and to feel loved that she entered into the only kind of relationship she knew how to have: one that was mutually exploitative.

It’s been several years since that experience, and she has since learned how to have friendships with women in her new church that are about giving, not getting, that are holy and glorifying to God, but it’s been hard work to get to the place she’s at, and she’s still having to work through all the garbage from her life that she brought into the Kingdom with her. She’s known since the time she became a Christian that she wasn’t gay, because God told her she wasn’t gay, but she also didn’t know how NOT to be gay, and learning takes time.

Were God to do a miracle that made a struggler into a non-struggler, he or she wouldn’t know who they were or how they got there. It would be like waking up with amnesia and discovering one was married to a stranger, employed in a job they didn’t have the skills for, and living in a city they’d never been in before.

My friend complained one day to me that she wasn’t attracted to women anymore, but she sure wasn’t attracted to men and she SURE didn’t know how to relate to either women OR men now because she’d had this major emotional earthquake that really complicated things. (Interestingly, as she developed her relationship with Christ and He started doing some hard work in her soul, she started reporting an attraction to certain kinds of men. It’s been like doing junior high as a 35-year-old.)

My question for you is, which chapter and verse in the Bible state that God will not give someone heterosexuality if they ask for it in Jesus’s name because there are matters of generational sin, unhealthy patterns of family relating?

Two responses: first, if you literally mean this, then you don’t understand how to read the Bible. We look at principles in the Bible, in the context of everything else that it says, to figure out what God’ s intention is. Otherwise, you end up with questions like, “Which chapter and verse tell us not to have abortions?” and “Which chapter and verse prohibit child abuse?” There are no such chapters and verses, but we can still discern what God wants us to know.

Secondly, when someone asks for heterosexuality, God’s response would be, “I already made you heterosexual. ‘In the beginning, God created them male and female.’ The problem is that you believe lies about yourself. You have an incorrect understanding of your identity: you are not homosexual, you are My child who struggles with same-sex feelings and the legacy of sinful behavior. It takes time to unravel those lies and misunderstandings and the destruction of sin so that you OWN the truth about yourself. It takes time to develop new habits to replace the sinful old ones. Walk with Me, surrender to Me, and let Me tell you who you really are.”

I hope this helps.

Sue Bohlin

© 2005 Probe Ministries.


“What Do You Think of Those Pro-Homosexual Bible Stories?”

I came across your website when looking for articles on Edgar Cayce. I then noticed your feelings towards homosexuals and me being a homosexual took insult to that. Now you state the bible is in fact the holy word, meaning it’s the word of God. God is perfect therefore, the bible is without errors or fault. Now I am not going to able to quote verse from verse, but I do know some things about the bible. In fact I went to parochial school for thirteen years. I know that in the bible there is a verse which states, man shouldn’t lie with other men, that is immoral. But I also know, that in the bible the very same statements we use in heterosexual marriage today, to love one another through sickness and health until death due us part, is also, used between two women in the bible. I believe it was Ruth and someone else, if you want I could research the specific verse and names.

I also know, there is a paragraph in Samuel 2 I believe, regarding the love held between David and Saul’s son Paul? I don’t know the name. I do remember the verse stating, how David stripped in front of Paul, David kissing Paul and how the love David held for Paul was greater than any other love he could hold for a woman. Now you’re going to probably respond to these statements by saying, it’s all how we interpret what God is telling us. How nothing can be specified towards condoning homosexuality. You’re also probably going to say that those acts were the acts of David and Paul not of God himself. When God made the bible, don’t you think he made it so that generations could understand his underlying meaning that no matter who or what his words came into contact with, his underlying meaning would stand out bold over anything else and that no matter what corruption or falsification may have occurred throughout the time, during the creation of the printing press, in translations of verses to different languages and etc.

Don’t you feel that God himself being so against homosexuality as you say, would not include promoting verses in the bible of homosexuality? And if this sin was so immoral, don’t you think God would have condemned it in more than one or two verses? That considering possibly ten percent of the population of the world is homosexual and probably more due to society’s prejudices. Wouldn’t he have driven a stronger message than just one or two vague paragraphs condemning it? One or two paragraphs that could have been misinterpreted or mistranslated. I was wondering what you feel about those two stories?

I’m so glad you wrote; I hope I can clear up some misconceptions you might have about what the Bible actually says about homosexuality and same-sex love.

But I also know, that in the bible the very same statements we use in heterosexual marriage today, to love one another through sickness and health until death due us part, is also, used between two women in the bible. I believe it was Ruth and someone else, if you want I could research the specific verse and names.

Apparently, you’ve been listening at some weddings you’ve been to! <smile> You’re right, there is a verse from the book of Ruth that is often quoted at weddings, Ruth 1:16–“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.’”

This is unfortunately a good example of people wrenching a great-sounding verse out of context and using it despite what it meant when Ruth said it. Probably not too many brides know that these words are the promise of a young widow to her mother-in-law! 🙂

But as you can see, this woman’s pledge of loyalty is not the same as the “for better or for worse” wedding vows we hear at weddings. The fact that it’s heard at weddings doesn’t mean that Ruth and her mother-in-law had a lesbian relationship. In fact, the book is about a love story between Ruth and her future husband Boaz. (Their son was Obed, whose son was Jesse, whose son was David, which brings us to your next question.)

I also know, there is a paragraph in Samuel 2 I believe. Regarding the love held between David and Saul’s son Paul? I don’t know the name. I do remember the verse stating, how David stripped in front of Paul, David kissing Paul and how the love David held for Paul was greater than any other love he could hold for a woman.

Good call on the location of the Samuel 2 passage; you’re very close. There are actually three passages you’re thinking of here.

In 2 Samuel 1:26, David is lamenting over the death of his best friend Jonathan: “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women.” I am familiar with the assessment of this marvelous statement of inspiringly loyal friendship and love as a homosexual relationship, but the text doesn’t support it. There is nothing in the stories of David and Jonathan’s friendship that even hints at a homosexual relationship. But the friendships of men who have shared intense experiences can indeed be in a very different, very wonderful category than husband-wife relationships. Men who have fought together in battle, for example, often report a type of closeness with each other that some never experienced with their wives because it was a different kind of love and relationship.

In 1 Samuel 18:4, “Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.” This was not a sexual disrobing; this was Jonathan’s (the king’s son) way of honoring his dear friend David by giving him his royal robe, his armor, his sword, his bow and his belt to show him that he believed David to be a greater warrior than he was. He probably also knew that David had been anointed the future king of Israel, and this was his way of saying “I’m on your side, David!”

Also, in 1 Samuel 20:41, it says, “When the lad was gone, David rose from the south side and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, but David wept the more.” This is a very emotional farewell scene where Jonathan is sending David away because he found out that his father, King Saul, has determined to kill him. The fact that the men kissed each other is not indicative of an erotic kiss, but the way that men greeted each other and said goodbye in that eastern culture. It is still the same way today. Surely you have seen some of the recent video footage of Middle Eastern men greeting each other by kissing on the cheeks (or sometimes an “air kiss”).

If you read the story of David and Jonathan from start to finish, I think you will find that it is the story of a godly, warm friendship between two men, not a homosexual relationship. There just isn’t anything there in the text to warrant such a reading.

When God made the bible, don’t you think he made it so that generations could understand his underlying meaning that no matter who or what his words came into contact with, his underlying meaning would stand out bold over anything else and that no matter what corruption or falsification may have occurred throughout the time, during the creation of the printing press, in translations of verses to different languages and etc.

Well said, and yes I do believe that. However, to quote Paul Simon in “The Sound of Silence,” “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” This is particularly true of the Bible, I believe. It’s not that hard to figure out what God means; the Bible is not written in difficult, mystical language. When it’s poetry, it’s poetic, but the important doctrinal statements and commands are written in very clear terms.

Don’t you feel that God himself being so against homosexuality as you say, would not include promoting verses in the bible of homosexuality.

Yes, I do, and thus the burden is on those looking for verses condoning homosexuality to find them without twisting certain words out of context. Including cultural context, such as the eastern custom of men kissing.

And if this sin was so immoral, don’t you think God would have condemned it in more than one or two verses.

Well, actually, as a parent, when I told my children something was wrong, I meant it the first time. How many times does God have to say something to make it true? Just once, I would suggest.

However, He does condemn homosexual behavior in more than one or two verses:

Old Testament

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom–both young and old–surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them’ (Gen. 19:4-5).

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable (Lev. 18:22).

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads (Lev. 20:13).

New Testament

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. . . . For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. . . . Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. . . . Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Ro. 1:18-19, 21, 24, 26-27).

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral not idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9-10).

… just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)

… realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching… (1 Tim. 1:9-10)

One or two paragraphs that could have been misinterpreted or mistranslated.

I’m afraid the burden of proof would be on you to come up with the correct interpretation or translation. Hebrew and Greek are not extinct languages that make it difficult or impossible to check what the original was. The Bible is very internally consistent about homosexuality, in both Old and New Testaments. It is not God’s intent, which is holy heterosexuality. Jesus Himself even said in Matthew 19:5 that going back to the creation account, God’s intent was that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

I am familiar with the argument that the passages against homosexuality have been misinterpreted or mistranslated, but it’s interesting that the proponents of this view don’t have any trouble accepting “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal.” Only the passages that they don’t like. Which is why I think we should keep in mind the insight of Paul Mooris who wrote in Shadow of Sodom, “But if I were a Christian homosexual, I think this one question would disturb me most: am I trying to interpret Scripture in the light of my proclivity, or should I interpret my proclivity in the light of Scripture?”

That considering possibly ten percent of the population of the world is homosexual and probably more due to society’s prejudices.

Population statistics are revealing that it’s more like 2-3 percent. Alfred Kinsey’s statistics are not reliable, but the 10% statistic has been repeated so often people believe it’s true. I would also suggest that someone’s self-identification as homosexual is not dependent on society’s prejudices. No one CHOOSES to be homosexual; erotic same-sex attraction is something they discover.

I’m glad you wrote, ______. I hope this gives you some food for thought. You might not be familiar with the fact that homosexuality is a condition that can be changed. Thousands of people are now former homosexuals. For a difference perspective, may I suggest you read my article “Can Homosexuals Change?

The Lord Jesus loves you very much, and He accepts you just as you are. But He loves us too much to leave us there. He loves to change us into who He created us to be.

Warm blessings to you,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“There’s Nothing Wrong With Biological Homosexuality”

I am not a homosexual, nor do I know any open homosexuals. Yet, I have felt God’s call to study this issue very carefully. Though at times in this essay, I may use strong language, I am very open to reproof–which is partly how I got to my position. I beg for us both to prayerfully submit ourselves to God’s will.

The debate over homosexuality is posed to divide the Christian church. However, a careful reading of Scripture reveals no condemnation of biological attraction to one’s own gender (or of two men or two women marrying), and all Christians, bearing in mind the second greatest commandment, must therefore fight against untruth and prejudice against homosexuality.

Especially if one has already become deeply convinced to think that homosexuality is worthy of condemnation, this paper will not be convincing. Yet, if read in a group that discusses it calmly or read as if dialoguing with one’s own thoughts, this paper should be very convincing. “Therefore, consider carefully how you listen.”

I am using the word “homosexual” to mean a person biologically attracted to his or her own gender–not a merely person who engages in same gender sex. Perhaps the majority of science will be overturned and such persons will be shown not to exist. I cannot operate under such an assumption however, and the burden of proof lies squarely on those would think in such a manner.

[Long commentary on various scriptures edited out]

You base your argument on what I respectfully submit is a faulty premise: “a careful reading of Scripture reveals no condemnation of biological attraction to one’s own gender.”

I have two questions for you.

#1. Please point me to the empirical evidence for a biological basis for homosexuality. I have been studying this issue for several years and cannot find any. (I am already familiar with the studies by LeVay, Bailey and Pillard.) I would be especially interested in reading an explanation for the twin studies where one identical twin identifies as gay and the other as heterosexual. As Dr. Neil Whitehead points out, “If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women.” If homosexuality were genetic, the correlation would be 100%.

#2. Why is it important for you to bring your agenda about homosexuality to the scriptures, instead of allowing the scripture to address the issue of homosexuality? Whenever someone says (basically) “Yes, this is what it says, but that’s not what it means,” I look for a presupposition that affects the way they look at the text.

Thank you.

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“Jesus Contradicts the O.T. Law, Especially Regarding Homosexuality!”

You point out that the Old Testament forbids homosexuality. Yes it does, but Jesus’ teachings in the gospels have superseded the primitive teachings of the O.T. For example in Matthew 5:17-34 Jesus systematically rips apart some of the most important Jewish laws. When he says he has come to fulfil the Law, he is not talking about the Pharisees’ law, he is talking about God’s Law. People who say that Jesus agreed with the Jewish laws are completely wrong– even an idiot can see this.

People who practice homosexuality in their own homes, with each others’ consent are not breaking the law “love your neighbor as yourself.” They are not harming anyone! What is harmful though is the constant attack by you so-called Christians on them which provides gay people with much misery. I am not homosexual myself — the reason why I am sticking up for gay people is because I am a Christian. Wake up to the fact that the law of loving your neighbor has replaced the O.T. laws.

Your essays clearly show you have some degree of intelligence — why can’t you see that Jesus’ law is in contradiction to the law of the Jewish scriptures?

Hello _____, Thanks for your e-mail. I will try to respond to your comments as best I can.

You point out that the O.T. forbids homosexuality. Yes it does, but Jesus’ teachings in the gospels have superseded the primitive teachings of the O.T. For example in Matthew 5:17-34 Jesus systematically rips apart some of the most important Jewish laws. When he says he has come to fulfil the law, he is not talking about the Pharisee’s law, he is talking about God’s law. People who say that Jesus agreed with the Jewish laws are completely wrong – even an idiot can see this.

I’m sorry, I fail to see which laws Jesus is ripping apart in this passage. What I see is that He is going beyond the LETTER of the law, to the SPIRIT of the law, to make it abundantly clear that Yahweh is concerned with the motives and intentions of the heart and not merely surface obedience. If a person holds to the SPIRIT (or intention) of the law, he will also obey the LETTER of it. This is a long way from “ripping apart” the law.

I do agree with you, however, that the Lord Jesus did not agree with the Jewish laws that were like fences built around the inspired laws of God, but which were not, in themselves, laws of God. Those laws don’t appear in the Bible though. The commandments against practicing homosexuality, however, were not Jewish laws, but God’s laws.

People who practice homosexuality in their own homes, with each others consent are not breaking the law “love your neighbor as yourself.” They are not harming anyone!

Morality aside, ask any physician how healthy the homosexual lifestyle is. Ask the Center for Disease Control how healthy the homosexual lifestyle is. Ask counselors who are trying to help people leave the homosexual lifestyle and get beyond their painful homosexual desires. Talk to the parents, siblings, spouses and children of practicing homosexuals and ask if they are not harming anyone.

Let’s put the homosexual issue aside and substitute another deviant sexual lifestyle. Do you think you would write to someone and say, “Men who are attracted to pre-school children and entice them into their homes to have sex with them, are not breaking the law ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ In fact, these men are loving these children–isn’t that admirable? They are not harming anyone! The men are enjoying the sex, and the children are enjoying the attention…and what child doesn’t enjoy attention?”

I would suggest that you would never say something like this, and I would further suggest that the reason such a large portion of our culture has decided that sex between two men using parts of their bodies that were intended for excretion, not sex, is acceptable, is a result of a carefully-planned disinformation campaign. It is not a result of something normal and natural and God-intended.

What is harmful though is the constant attack by you so-called Christians on them which provides gay people with much misery. I am not homosexual myself — the reason why I am sticking up for gay people is because I am a Christian.

It’s interesting to me that you seem so devoted to the issue of “love,” yet do not hesitate to cast aspersions on my relationship with Jesus Christ by calling me a “so-called Christian.” This doesn’t strike me as very loving, or am I missing something?

I’m also wondering if you read my entire article, or just bits and pieces. Because I strongly believe that the responsible Christian response to the homosexual movement is one of deep compassion for the individuals caught in unnatural, unfortunate desires while not compromising on what God has said about the homosexual ACT. In fact, I have received e-mail accusing me of “sticking up for gay people,” to use your term.

People like me who speak out, agreeing with what God has said about homosexuality, are not causing all the misery gays experience. That happens long before someone even comes out or tells their first friend of these unwelcome feelings and attractions. There is misery inherent in a homosexual orientation; it means something is wrong, in the same way that there’s something wrong with someone who is sexually attracted to small children. And that’s why these feelings need to be dealt with and healed, not celebrated as something good and beautiful.

(I will admit, with a great deal of sadness, that there has been a terrible amount of judgmental condescension from Christians towards homosexuals, that has, indeed, caused grief. There is no excuse for not making a distinction between the desires, which are wrong but unasked-for, and the people experiencing them. I know God does.)

Wake up to the fact that the law of loving your neighbor has replaced the O.T. laws.

No, the law of loving your neighbor sums up the O.T. laws. At least the moral ones. If you keep all the moral laws of the Old Testament, you will be demonstrating love for your neighbor. Not stealing, telling the truth, not charging usurious interest against your neighbor, and keeping all sexual activity within marriage are all demonstrations of love for one’s neighbor.

The law against homosexual actions is part of the moral code; the consequence of death by stoning is part of the civil code, which controlled how the people of God were to conduct their lives in a culture where God was their head and not a law-making king. It makes sense for the civil code to be done away with, because the people of Israel are no longer living under that system. But God has not done away with a single commandment of His moral code, because the moral laws are rooted in the person and character of God Himself.

What is it that makes homosexual activity sin? The fact that God has ordained sex to be the glue that holds husband and wife together. Sex is so powerful that it is only safe within the confines of marriage, because it acts like superglue between two souls. Tear them apart and you have broken hearts. So why not make homosexual marriage legal? Because Ephesians 5 says that marriage goes beyond merely a civil convenience; it is an eloquent word picture that God ordained to help us understand the amazing unity within diversity of Christ and the church. Men and women are so different that it’s a mystical union when they come together in marriage. Man and man coming together, or woman and woman, does not provide the dynamic difference that mirrors the “otherness” of Christ-and-the-church. Gay relationships are sameness, not otherness. So gay marriage can never be blessed by God because marriage means far more than simply living together, even having sex together. It’s supposed to teach us something about God.

Your essay clearly shows you have some degree of intelligence – why can’t you see that Jesus’ law is in contradiction to the law of the Jewish scriptures?

Well, I do thank you for the compliment <smile>. . .I don’t see it because it’s not there. Have you read the whole New Testament? How about just the four gospels? If you look at what the Lord Jesus taught, one thing you’ll see is that He mentioned two things people often overlook. One is references to Sodom and Gomorrah as places of judgment, which the Bible makes clear were judged for homosexual sin. Jesus believed in Sodom and Gomorrah, and He believed in the judgment they received. In fact, He was involved in sending the judgment. The other thing is His references to fornication, which means any sex outside of marriage. All homosexual sex is fornication. Even if there is some sort of religious ceremony, it’s still fornication because you can’t get around God’s restrictions on marriage, which is one man and one woman. God is not impressed by our ceremonies when they disregard what He has established.

A lot of people like to talk about Jesus’ law of love; what’s intriguing to me is how they never balance it with the fact that Jesus also talked about holiness, and purity, and justice. While it’s true that many homosexuals love each other, that kind of love still falls short of God’s standard of holiness. There’s nothing holy about what God has called an abomination. That is not “the law of Jewish scriptures” as if they were written by scribes and Pharisees; that is the very word breathed by God Himself. There is no contradiction between the Old and New Testament when it comes to what is moral, what reflects the character of God. Homosexual sin is not love as God defines it, regardless of how the culture tries to persuade people it is.

Thank you for reading this far. I hope what I’ve said gives you something to think about. I also pray that the Lord gives you a higher esteem for the ENTIRE Word of God. Jesus said not one jot or tittle of it would pass away. That’s a pretty high value on it. May we all value His word so highly.

Respectfully,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“My Son Thinks He’s Gay”

I heard this week on WMBI radio something from your group about gay issues… I have a teenage son who thinks he’s gay…a high-schooler. I don’t believe he is yet entrenched in any sort of gay lifestyle. . . What’s a mom to do with a loved one who is beginning to believe he’s gay?!

My heart goes out to you in dealing with your precious son who has been lied to about being gay. It’s one thing to have same-gender feelings, but quite another to put the “gay” label on oneself when it doesn’t have to be that way.

I have two suggestions for you. First, a book was written for EXACTLY young men like him, which I strongly suggest you get, read, and give to him. It’s called You Don’t Have to Be Gay: Hope and Freedom for Males Struggling With Homosexuality or for Those Who Know of Someone Who Is by Jeff Konrad. Amazon.com carries it. This book is a series of letters written by a man who discovered that through the power of Christ he could leave his homosexual identity behind, to a young man just beginning to consider that option. The wonderful thing is, the young man who received the letters is Mike Haley, who has since resolved his faith and sexuality and worked for a time at Focus on the Family as a youth and gender specialist. Mike has put together some awesome materials for kids in exactly your son’s position, and I suggest you contact Focus (1-800-A-FAMILY) and ask for the literature on youth and homosexuality. (That’s my second suggestion.)

In the meantime, we have several articles on homosexuality on the Probe Ministries website that may be of help to you:

Helping Teens Understand Homosexuality
Homosexual Myths
Homosexuality: Questions and Answers
Homosexual Theology
Can Homosexuals Change?

I also point you to the excellent resources at Living Hope Ministries, which has support and information for parents as well as strugglers. The Executive Director, Ricky Chelette, wrote this article called Help! My Son is Gay. You may also be interested in Living Hope’s video and audio resources: livehope.org/rescource-type/products/

I hope this helps. The Lord bless you and keep you in these difficult days.

In His grip,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries