“Is It Safe For an Older Homosexual Man to Spend Time with Teenage Boys?”

There is a man in our church in his mid forties. I believe he really loves the Lord and is always a blessing to those who need him. We used to often have him to our home, but I noticed that he was often physical with our teen boys (rough-housing, etc.) I felt uncomfortable with this but thought perhaps he just wanted to be an uncle-type image. He has always enjoyed spending time with the young adult and teen men in our church, and, to my knowledge, has never behaved inappropriately with any of them.

We later learned, however, that he struggles with homosexual feelings. This is not common knowledge to others in our church, and we have decided it is not for us to say anything as we love this person and would not want to see him hurt. We told our boys that if they spent time with him it should be in a group or meet at a restaurant for dinner. This has worked well and there have been no problems, especially since our boys know the situation. Our dilemma is this. There is another teen in our church that he sometimes helps and spends time with. He is an 18 year old and I’m sure would say something if a problem occurred (he is also very close to our family). I truly believe nothing has happened. We don’t want to say anything to him or his family, but worry that if something should happen it would be our fault. It seems if someone is struggling with this type of thing, it would be best if he not spend time alone with young men. Am I correct? Just need any advice you might be able to give.

P.S. He does not spend time with younger children….(that I know of) mostly just older teens and young adults. He may just want friendship as a single man.

I asked my friend Ricky Chelette, a pastor and Executive Director of Living Hope Ministries, for help in answering your question. I loved his answer! I hope it helps.

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries

As someone who has worked with male strugglers for a long time I appreciate your concerns and your cautions as a mother and friend. I think your concerns are real and I would too have some cautions if this gentleman is spending one on one time with an 18-year-old.

I really think that the best thing to do, as he is your friend, would be to sit down and talk to him. You obviously know that he struggles with homosexuality, yet you love him. He needs to know that. It will be terribly helpful for him to have you in the know and help him in his accountability.

I would suggest that you sit down with him and in a very loving manner state to him. “John, you have been a part of our church and family for a long time and we know that you struggle with homosexuality. We also know that you are a godly man, and we love you so very much. Because we do love you we want to know how we can walk with you on this difficult road. I am sure there are times that it is very difficult for you, and we want to be of help and support to you. How can we help?” He may or may not give you some answers. Depends. But at some point I would also say, “I know you wouldn’t want to engage anyone in our church in this activity, but I do want to caution you about being with some of the younger adults and older youth alone. These are crazy days we live in, and I wouldn’t want someone to falsely accuse you of something you never intended to do (i.e. Catholic Church scandal, etc.). You know we trust you with our boys and they love you greatly. But I do want you to be careful for your own good and theirs.” Something to that effect.

I realize this is a VERY touchy subject, but I think that the cautions are real. I doubt that anything has happened, but at the same time, that age of young adult/older youth 18-26 are prime candidates for someone that is struggling. That is the “ideal” age of our masculinity and those that struggle tend to “idealize” that age and desire that they were the people toward whom they experience same-gender attraction.

I pray that all this has been completely harmless and it probably has. However, you cannot ignore this. It needs to be addressed and you are responsible to him and to the young adults for your knowledge. To say nothing would be a disservice to all.

Many of the folks who struggle with this are very sensitive to younger guys. They feel as though they can give them some of what they didn’t get from their own fathers – touch, affirmation, attention, and love. They are most genuine and pure in that regard and do it with a deep sense of passion for God and for the folks they help. So it well might be that this is the case for the man you speak of. I pray that it is, but the fact that he does struggle should still put some more serious boundaries in his life.

Even if he were a married man, I would say the same thing. I don’t think that a married man should be spending one on one time with a youth or young adult on a regular basis. There is just too much room for misinterpretation. He (your friend) should know that. It is NOT just about his struggle, it is about being smart and safe for everyone involved.

I pray that this will be of help to you. Should I be of further help, please let me know. I pray that God will give you wisdom and grace as you share with him. You are a brave and good friend for addressing this issue with him.

Blessings.
Ricky Chelette
Executive Director, Living Hope Ministries
www.livehope.org


“Is It Fair to Ask Homosexuals to Try to Be Straight?”

Mrs. Bohlin,

I just finished reading your well written and informative article “Homosexuality Q&A.” Your approach to the issue is refreshing and very new to me.

Your explanation of pre-conditions is solid, but the issue is still frustrating to me. The gay man has stronger sexual feelings toward men than I, thus it is much easier for me to ignore these feelings (which really don’t exist at all for many such as myself). On top of that, I (and many others) have a VERY strong sexual feeling toward females. My assumption is that (bi-sexuals excluded) these sexual tendencies do not coexist for the homosexual. So, is the homosexual to fight off the gay temptation as well as manufacture a false sexual desire for the opposite sex? And if so, do you think this is fair? God presents individuals with many challenges, but why that one?

I have a sinking feeling about this issue: As long as Christians regard homosexual acts as sins, we can never be accepted by some. Every time I attempt to be a Christian witness to my fiancée, this issue arises. She (like many gay supporters) struggles to see our God as a just God and Christianity as the true way, as long as we are defining gays as sinners. Is it possible to be a Christian witness to someone who will never concede that homosexual acts are sins? If so, how? If not, is my relationship doomed?

Additional questions: Is the gay Christian’s claim that the Bible is NOT clear about the issue completely unfounded? Have you heard of a compelling argument for this point of view? Also, I like your humble approach to dealing with gays (a bit different than Dr. Laura’s). But, suppose you are questioned by a homosexual about your true feelings about gay marriage, the act itself, etc.? What then? Take the risk that honesty may end the friendship? Lie to gain more understanding and display compassion? So many questions.

And you may never answer them or even read this email. That is completely acceptable being that you have no idea who I am. If you do decide to reply, thank you. I am having many difficulties with this issue and regard you as someone who is enlightened both by this issue and by the word of God.

Thank you for your kind words about my article. I am so glad I am able to provide a different perspective on homosexuality, because this issue is far more than an intellectual issue for me; I am very involved in a discipleship ministry to those dealing with unwanted same-sex attractions, and I see with my own eyes, on a weekly basis, how God can change lives.

Your explanation of pre-conditions is solid, but the issue is still frustrating to me. The gay man has stronger sexual feelings toward men than I, thus it is much easier for me to ignore these feelings (which really don’t exist at all for many such as myself). On top of that, I (and many others) have a VERY strong sexual feeling toward females. My assumption is that (bi-sexuals excluded) these sexual tendencies do not coexist for the homosexual.

People experience varying levels of attraction for the opposite sex. Homosexuality is really “gender identity confusion.” In terms of male homosexuals, they usually don’t experience sexual attraction to women because something happened that prevented them from learning what it means to be a boy, then later a man, and being comfortable with their masculinity. Men remained a mystery to them, and we are attracted to the “other,” to the mysterious. Homosexual men don’t generally experience sexual attraction to women because they’re stuck with unmet needs for close, bonding relationships with other males. Interestingly, once they learn to have healthy, non-erotic relationships with other men, some men can start to experience attraction to women. Or at least one woman. I know one man in his 30’s who is going through what he’s calling his “junior-high stage,” and absolutely marveling at what it feels like to find women attractive for the first time! (He’s having a great time of it, too! :::smile:::)

So, is the homosexual to fight off the gay temptation as well as manufacture a false sexual desire for the opposite sex?

To answer, let me draw a parallel to something in the physical realm. Let’s say someone has a broken arm. All the indications are that it’s broken because there’s a lot of pain, swelling—and the end of the bone has pierced the skin! Would we ever counsel them to tell themselves, “I’m not hurt, I don’t have a broken arm, I’m whole and well,” and suggest they conjure up feelings of painlessness? I hope you’re smiling because I mean it to be ludicrous and not judgmental. 🙂

When someone has erotic and romantic feelings for a person of the same sex, that’s a sign that something is broken—inside. Unfortunately, there is no x-ray machine for the heart that gives undeniable proof of a brokenness like we see with a broken bone. The pro-gay voices that seek to identify homosexuality as normal and good have deceived many people into denying that a homosexual orientation is “brokenness.” But it IS relational brokenness, and trying to tell someone not to feel same-gender attraction is like telling someone with a broken arm not to feel the pain.

Fighting off homosexual temptations means not participating in homosexual behavior (DOING), and choosing not to lust and sin in the mind (THINKING). It can’t mean not feeling the feelings, because that’s impossible to do. Trying to manufacture a false sense of attraction to the opposite sex won’t work either, any more than manufacturing a false sense of health and wholeness when your arm is broken. The important thing is to realize that having homosexual attractions in the first place is a sign that something is wrong, and then doing the hard work that addresses the emotional and relational brokenness that caused those feelings in the first place.

And if so, do you think this is fair? God presents individuals with many challenges, but why that one?

I hope you can see that I believe in being honest with the situation, acknowledging that there is a problem, that something is wrong, not pretending things are other than the way they are. I believe God honors us being truthful that way; Psalm 51 says, “I know that You desire truth in my inmost part.” Instead of saying “Pretend you’re not broken, and act like you’re something you’re not,” I believe God says to those dealing with same-gender attraction, “Acknowledge that something is truly wrong, and come to Me to bring healing and hope to you. Don’t rely on your own strength, because you don’t have what it takes to bring healing to your inmost wounds, or health to those unmet needs, those empty places, that only I can meet now.”

I have a sinking feeling about this issue: As long as Christians regard homosexual acts as sins, we can never be accepted by some.

Regrettably, you are right. As long as we insist on agreeing with what God has said, there will always be people who will call us narrow-minded, intolerant bigots. Let me put things in a little different perspective. When we say it’s wrong for a husband to cheat on his wife, that it’s sin, do people have a problem with that? Do they turn on God and call Him unjust and unloving? Not usually. How about those who have sex BEFORE marriage? When we call that sin, because it defiles the holiness of the marriage bed, do people use that as an excuse to turn on God? Some might, those who are committed to what they want regardless of what God says, but not with the same fervor as their reaction to the pronouncement of homosexual behavior as sin. Something is different, and it’s the result of what Romans 12 warns about in letting the world squeeze you into its mold. People who object to calling homosexuality sin have allowed the world to squeeze them into its mold.

ANY sexual activity outside of marriage is sin; God is not singling out homosexuals. But people lose sight of that, and a big reason is that they don’t understand the importance and significance of sex. They put it in the same category as scratching an itch or feeding a hungry stomach. But those are not moral areas as sex is, because sex has a spiritual dimension to it, where two become one and there is a mystical unity of husband and wife that reflects the mystical unity of Christ and the Church. (See Ephesians 5.) Homosexual sex (or premarital or extramarital heterosexual sex, for that matter) can NEVER even come close to the transcendent experience that intimacy between two committed people in a covenantal marriage relationship provides. This is not some philosophical pie-in-the-sky absolute I made up; this is the experience of people, some of whom I know personally, who have left homosexuality behind and are now enjoying what God intended in heterosexual marriage.

Every time I attempt to be a Christian witness to my fiancée, this issue arises. She (like many gay supporters) struggles to see our God as a just God and Christianity as the true way, as long as we are defining gays as sinners. Is it possible to be a Christian witness to someone who will never concede that homosexual acts are sins? If so, how? If not, is my relationship doomed?

Yes, it’s possible to be a Christian witness, because you have truth on your side. We know what is true because God said it in His word. But you have a larger problem on your hands that your fiancée’s refusal to see homosexual acts as sin, I fear; she apparently has no respect for the authority of the Bible. That is what underlies the insistence that what God calls sin, isn’t—because people don’t want it to be, and loud voices have assured them that it isn’t. ____, it sounds to me like you are unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). If you have trusted Christ and she hasn’t, if you believe that God has given us absolute truth and she denies it, how do you walk together with such diametrically opposed world views?

Additional questions: Is the gay Christian’s claim that the Bible is NOT clear about the issue completely unfounded? Have you heard of a compelling argument for this point of view?

Yes. They have taken verses that are explicitly clear and twisted them around, creating new explanations that don’t hold up to scrutiny. Joe Dallas has done an excellent job of refuting gay theology in his book A Strong Delusion. And he comes with outstanding credentials; for several years he was very involved in the gay church, learning the arguments inside out and backwards, before realizing they were lies and repenting of his wrong beliefs.

Also, I like your humble approach to dealing with gays (a bit different than Dr. Laura’s). But, suppose you are questioned by a homosexual about your true feelings about gay marriage, the act itself, etc.? What then? Take the risk that honesty may end the friendship? Lie to gain more understanding and display compassion? So many questions.

It becomes a lot clearer when you see how the Lord Jesus handled this sticky kind of situation. He never compromised on what was true and holy, but He also looked right through the shame and guilt that clung to those caught in various sins and loved the person underneath. (“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”–John 8) When someone KNOWS they are accepted and loved right as they are, it’s easier for them to accept the truth about themselves and repent. I would never lie, but “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:12) puts me in a position to offer hope and help in pointing the way out. If the person chooses not to go through that door, that’s his decision. Some friendships cannot take the strain of one person walking in the light and the other walking in the darkness, and that’s part of the cost of following Christ.

I am having many difficulties with this issue and regard you as someone who is enlightened both by this issue and by the word of God.

There are plenty of good reasons to have difficulties with this issue, ____! It’s a hard one, but the wisdom and love of God are deeper still. I am thrilled to have learned so much about what often causes a homosexual orientation in the first place, and why that means there is a way out. Actually, there is hope in the truth that homosexual behavior is sin, because sin can be repented of and the broken heart healed; if homosexuality were an unredeemable, unchangeable condition, how tragic it would be for God to call it an abomination and not provide a way to escape it! It is a long, hard process to recognize how deeply the roots of homosexuality go, and invite Him to tear them out and replace them with His love and acceptance and truth. Glorious things happen when people do that—but it all starts with acknowledging the sin. The most grievous sin isn’t the sex act; it’s the idolatry and lusting and coveting underneath the desire to want what God has said is wrong to have. It’s really a heart issue, not a sexual issue.

Are you still awake? 🙂

Thank you for writing. I pray, as I send this, that God will bring comfort to you and maybe some answers to a difficult question; my heart hurts as I think about the tensions you must experience with your fiancee’s very different set of values and beliefs. I suspect this issue of homosexuality is painful for you because of the way it is exposing some major fissures in your relationship, and that’s scary and hurtful. I pray God’s rich wisdom for you and His blessings to overtake you and make you feel loved.

In His grip,

Sue


“I Am Deeply Hurt and Offended by Your Homosexual Myths Article”

This is in regards to the outrageous essay “Homosexual Myths” by Sue Bohlin that is displayed on your web page. I realize that this woman is entitled to her opinion, but I am ashamed that (pardon my French) c**p such as this is allowed to be published. I am homosexual, and I come from a Christian family, and I have tried to come to terms with both my sexuality and my religion, all the way through my teen years, and I considered suicide many times. Also she says it’s a myth that you aren’t born homosexual. My family is completely anti homosexuality, and I cannot remember a time when I haven’t been attracted to women, so I wasn’t “made” to be homosexual, it wasn’t a choice.

She also says that 2 people in love can’t get married if they are of the same sex, and once again excuse my French, but b*lls**t, absolute b*lls**t. If two people are in love they should have the same rights as any other couple.

I am deeply hurt by what she has said. And the fact that someone would publish it hurts more.

_________, 15

Dear _________,

I am SO GLAD you wrote to reply to my essay on homosexual myths, since it made you so angry. I am glad to have a chance to respond to you and hopefully to clarify some things.

First of all, I hear your anger and I wonder if perhaps, under your anger, is a great deal of pain. I wonder if maybe you are one of the many, many young women who were abused and hurt as a child? In one study, 85-90% of the women who called a ministry helping people dealing with unwanted homosexuality report having been abused, usually sexually. If you grew up in a homophobic family (if that’s what you mean by “completely anti-homosexuality”), then I can see how that alone would plant all sorts of mixed and hurtful messages in your head and make you feel confused and hurt. If you considered suicide many times, you must be under a horrible load of pain. That breaks my heart for you. I am so sorry.

You say you cannot remember a time when you haven’t been attracted to women, but I wonder if–and very gently suggest–that’s not a line you heard somewhere and you adopted it as yours, maybe? Because little girls aren’t supposed to be sexually attracted to women–or men, or boys, or anybody else for that matter–until adolescence. But little girls often DO have crushes on other girls, and on female teachers. There’s a big difference between having strong feelings for someone you like and admire, and being sexually attracted to her. (For one thing, the sex hormones aren’t supposed to be running in young girls.) However, when little girls become sexual beings at an early age, that usually means someone has violated them by introducing them to sexual acts and feelings long before they were intended to experience those things.

I wonder, _______, did any of these things happen to you? Because you’re very angry, and underneath your anger is either pain or fear, and I don’t sense you’re too afraid here. Just really, really angry.

You said you were raised in a Christian family, but I don’t know if that means just a church-going family, or if you all truly know and love Jesus. Your statement about the family being “completely anti-homosexual” makes me think that maybe you heard a lot of judgmental, condemning comments that are very un-Christlike. It’s because I have seen for myself how Jesus tenderly loves and can heal women caught in same-sex attraction that I know that the ideas in my essay are true and they offer hope for change.

You said you were deeply hurt by what I said, but I promise, I didn’t say anything to hurt you or anyone else. Nonetheless, I believe that you ARE deeply hurt, and I want to say I am so very, very sorry for whatever brought you to this place. I wonder if you are one of those young ladies who has never felt comfortable in her femininity, because being a female means being weak and being victimized and being vulnerable. . . and being hurt. If your feelings of being “different” go way back as far as you can remember, then something happened to interfere with the normal development that God intended for you to enjoy. You were supposed to feel comfortable being a girl, regardless of what part of the spectrum of femininity you fall in. That was His intent. If that’s not where you ended up, I’m sorry for whatever caused that.

Please feel free to write back. My heart goes out to you. You seem to have more on your plate than a 15-year-old young lady should have to bear. I hurt for you, ______, and I am sending this e-mail back with a prayer that the Lord Jesus will wrap His arms around you and let you feel loved and protected and cherished and adored….because that’s His heart for you. He really does feel that way about you.

Your friend, I hope,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“How Should We Answers Charges of Discrimination in Same-Sex Issues?”

I’m wondering if you can point me to some good resources to help deal with the charge of “discrimination” often leveled at Christians over a stance against homosexuality and same-sex marriage (or against anyone who considers these things to be wrong). How do you answer that?

I’m not sure what resources to point you to, but I brought up your question to a number of fellow workers in the ministry to those with unwanted homosexuality with which I serve. The best response to this charge, I believe, is that those making the claim don’t understand discrimination. It is wrong to make people suffer based on unchangeable characteristics such as the color of one’s skin or gender. Homosexuality, however, is a lifestyle choice, and those demanding the “right” to marry do so based NOT on an unchangeable characteristic but on the basis of a chosen behaviors. (Which, of course, is eminently changeable.) It’s “apples and oranges.”

Homosexuality is defined by one’s behavior (acting out), but civil rights are defined by who/what you ARE, not what you DO. (Incidentally, I would argue that there is a difference between experiencing same-sex attractions, which are not chosen and which constitute temptation, and choosing to follow through on those attractions in ways God calls sin. I like what musician Dennis Jernigan says: “We are not defined by our temptations!”)

And although this argument doesn’t hold any water with those rebelling against God, I still think it’s worth saying: If God says something is wrong, it’s going to be harmful regardless of what the world says. That’s another good reason to prevent people from getting “married,” because their activity is going to be harmful, and it is in society’s best interests to prevent harm. (This doesn’t really have to do with your discrimination question, but I was struck by the wisdom of it when my friend mentioned it.)

So. . . there you have it. I hope it helps.

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“Help–Our Son is Gay”

Dear Sue,

I am a father with a heavy heart. . . .our son is living a homosexual lifestyle. He is nearly 40 years of age. We have known and lived with this for over 10 years. At first we were devastated. He was raised in a Christian home and he made a profession of faith while a teenager, but after college he moved to ________ to work.

He did seek some counseling at first, but for whatever reason he did not find the quality of help that he was seeking, and so began a drift away from church and the Lord. For several years following, we as parents tried to make suggestions and made comments to encourage him to seek professional help and trust the Lord again. He was very resentful of any comments concerning anything religious or concerning his lifestyle. So not to drive him away from us, we have just resorted to prayer that the Holy Spirit will bring about a renewing and transformation and that the scales that Satan has put over his eyes would be removed.

And of course we have made extra efforts to let him know that we love him very much. His plans are now to move across the country, and I know that being that far away will make communication even more difficult. Now to my question. . . How do I approach him again after all these years that will not cause the wall of resentment to be built again? How and what do you recommend that would be a positive approach since he is a grown man and does not appear to want to change or seek the Lord in making a transition?

Sue, I have faith and have been faithful in my prayer life for him and I know that since he give his life to the Lord and was saved, the Lord holds on to him even though he is not holding on the the Lord now. Looking forward to your response.

I am so sorry for the heartbreak you are experiencing over your son. I’m sure you realize it is even magnified in the Father’s heartache over him.

I do have several suggestions. First, get a copy of the excellent books Someone I Love is Gay by Anita Worthen and Bob Davies and When Homosexuality Hits Home: What to Do When a Loved One Says They’re Gay by Joe Dallas. That’s for you.

Secondly, keep praying. That is the most effective thing you can do, and the Lord honors it. I have heard, personally, several testimonies of those who have repented of a gay identity who say that their parents loved them and wouldn’t stop praying, and that’s why they left “the life.”

Third, I suggest you say something to him, very simply, without emotion, and you only need to say it once: “Son, I just want you to know that if you get to the point where your life isn’t working for you, I do know where to find resources to help, and I’ll be here to walk through it with you.” Then you leave the ball in his court. I promise he won’t ever forget it, but it takes awhile to move past the denial and spiritual deception that is part of the “gay is OK” mindset. In the meantime, go to the Living Hope Ministries website (www.livehope.org) and sign up for their newsletter, which will be an encouragement to you and educational too. When and if your son gets to the point of saying, “OK, Dad, what about the way out?” then give him Joe Dallas’s book Desires in Conflict: Hope for Men Who Struggle with Sexual Identity. (After that book, I would recommend Coming Out of Homosexuality by Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel.)

I hope this helps.

Sue


“How Do I Show Concern for My Lesbian Co-Worker Without Approving of Her Lifestyle?”

Hi Sue! I read your questions and answers concerning the topic of homosexuality, but I still have a question.

I work in a public school district. My school district does not recognize same sex marriages, but a lesbian teacher and her partner have recently adopted a baby this summer. This teacher has asked staff members to sign a petition in favor of giving her partner insurance benefits. Her partner has chosen to stay home with the baby and has no insurance (the baby is covered).

A few teachers in my school have chosen not to sign the petition (different reasons: religious, cultural). I did not sign the petition because I do not agree with the lifestyle of homosexuality because of what the Bible says. If something ever happened to this teacher’s partner and she needed insurance benefits I would feel terrible.

How do I articulate not agreeing with their lifestyle but caring for the person—and not sounding like a hypocrite? This teacher is starting to confront those who have not signed the petition.

Thank you in advance,
________

Dear ________,

I don’t think it’s hypocritical to honestly care about people without supporting them in lifestyle choices you disagree with. This teacher, by confronting those who haven’t signed the petition, is not only demanding acceptance but APPROVAL of her lifestyle choice.

Look at it this way; if the teacher were a man with a live-in honey (as Dr. Laura puts it), how would you feel if he demanded that his girlfriend be covered by his insurance?

The thing about lesbian and homosexual relationships is that they cannot produce children naturally; that’s one reason they don’t qualify as families, and why they shouldn’t have the privileges of protection that society gives to families, like insurance coverage. The teacher and her lover have created an unnatural, immoral “family” and now demand that society treat them like a natural family.

So it’s not hypocritical for you to remain steadfast in your beliefs. They are in a relationship and a dependency situation that they created. It’s nobody’s fault if the girlfriend gets sick and needs insurance.

Caring for someone doesn’t mean you give in to their demands. It’ll be hard and VERY uncomfortable, I know, but you might say something like, “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but what you’re asking for is running right up against what I believe about right and wrong. I can’t support your decision, though I support your right to make it. I’m sorry.”

I hate it that you’re put in this situation. Arrrggghhhhh!!!

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“God Made Me Gay”

So…in all that I see in your site, is homosexuality wrong?
Why do you care?
Do you not have lives?
I know that Jesus Christ the Lord loves me for being gay, because he made me that way and each one of us in his image!

So…in all that I see in your site, is homosexuality wrong?

Homosexual behavior is sin, because it is unholy and not God’s intent. Having homosexual feelings is not wrong because nobody has any choice over that.

Why do you care?

Because God cares.
Because the world is telling us a lie, that this destructive behavior is normal and good and desirable, but people are dying from it in both body and soul.
Because there is hope for change and healing, but lots of people don’t know that.
Because this is an area where there is SO MUCH pain, both in the lives of those dealing with same gender attraction and in the lives of the people who love them.

Do you not have lives?

Yes, we have lives. But we are committed to what God has called us to, which is proclaiming the truth of His word and its perspective on our culture. Part of that is providing a biblical perspective on homosexuality. Particularly because there is a definite agenda of people whose purpose is to change the culture’s view of homosexuality to one that is diametrically opposed to what God says. We can’t oppose God without destructive results, so at Probe we are offering the truth to combat the lie that’s out there about this issue.

I know that Jesus Christ the Lord loves me for being gay, because he made me that way and each one of us in his image!

You’ve got two out of three right!! <smile> He sure does love you. He not only loves you, but He LIKES you, and proved it by dying for you. He DID make each of us in His own image, which makes us all infinitely valuable and precious, an absolute masterpiece.

But He doesn’t love you for being gay, He loves you for being His creation. He didn’t make you gay. He wouldn’t condemn it if He had! You may have always felt different, and you may have been told that you’ve always been gay, but that doesn’t make it true. For example, have you always been an English speaker? You are now; have you always been? Well, no, when you were born you were programmed for being a LANGUAGE speaker, but not necessarily an ENGLISH speaker. If you had been born and raised under different circumstances, you might have been an Indian speaker or a French speaker or a Swahili speaker.

In the same way, if different circumstances had happened to you, you could well have been different—sensitive? emotional? not real physical?—but identified yourself as creative and emotionally gifted but not gay. Like King David in the Old Testament.

A lot of research has examined the contributing factors of homosexual orientation. It seems to be primarily relational.

Which is why thousands of people have discovered that an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus is bringing healing to those relational wounds that made them think they were gay in the first place, and they are changing from the inside out. If you’re ever interested—if you get to the point where life isn’t working for you and being gay just isn’t making you happy, like you hope it will—I can give you more information.

The Lord bless you and keep you.

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


“Why Uphold the OT Laws Against Homosexuality When We Don’t Observe the Rest of It?”

I don’t know how to answer this powerful argument against continuing to condemn homosexuality when we don’t observe the rest of the Old Testament laws. I got this in an email and now I’m just confused. Can you help?

Laura Schlessinger dispenses sex advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that as an observant Orthodox Jew homosexuality is to her an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned in any circumstance.

 Dear Dr. Laura,

 Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your radio show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

 I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific Bible laws and how to follow them.

 a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors bitch to the zoning people. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. What do you think would be a fair price for her? She’s 18 and starting college. Will the slave buyer be required to continue to pay for her education by law?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence and threaten to call Human Resources.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

Why can’t I own Canadians? Is there something wrong with them due to the weather?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should this be a neighborhood improvement project? What is a good day to start? Should we begin with small stones? Kind of lead up to it?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. I mean, a shrimp just isn’t the same as a you-know-what. Can you settle this?

g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here? Would contact lenses fall within some exception?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die? The Mafia once took out Albert Anastasia in a barbershop, but I’m not Catholic; is this ecumenical thing a sign that it’s ok?

i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging. Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

 

The “big picture” behind the argument about condemning homosexuality as an archaic, Old Testament rule can be understood by the fact that there are different kinds of laws in the Old Testament. Civil and ceremonial laws, such as those concerning religious sacrifices and penalties for unacceptable societal behaviors, were time-bound and limited to the people of Israel. They are no longer in force for a variety of reasons: first, all the OT sacrifices and ceremonies were given as a foreshadowing of the Messiah’s ministry and of His death, burial and resurrection. They are no longer necessary because they were the preparation for the Reality that has come. Second, the civil laws pertained to a nation of people who no longer exist. (The current nation of Israel is a political one, not the same as the group of OT people God called to follow Him alone as their Ruler.)

Moral laws, such the Ten Commandments and all the laws constraining sexual immorality, are not time-bound because they are rooted in the character of God. Time and culture changes do not affect the importance of not worshiping any false Gods because God is the only true God; of not murdering because every person is made in the image of God; of being honest because God is truth; of not stealing because God wants us to trust HIM to meet our needs instead of taking what we want; of being faithful to one’s spouse because God is faithful. And none of the Old Testament laws concerning sexual morality changed in the New Testament because they, too, are based on the character of God as pure and holy. It is always sinful to have sex with someone you’re not married to, regardless of gender.

The scriptural prohibition against homosexuality is further underscored by what Paul reveals as the purpose of sex in marriage in Ephesians 5: sexual intercourse between husband and wife is an earthly picture of the spiritual union of two very different, very other beings—Christ and His bride, the Church. Sexual coupling of two same-gendered people can never reflect the deep spiritual significance of sex. Instead, it is really about pursuing pleasure, and pleasure is not the primary purpose of sex (despite our culture’s views). But that’s another topic.

This distinction between civil/ceremonial laws and moral laws is seen in just about any family with healthy boundaries. When our sons were small, we had rules about “no TV before homework is done” and “don’t leave your bicycle in the driveway.” Those rules were time-bound, not timeless, because they were appropriate only for their growing-up years. We don’t have those rules anymore because they are both adults, out of the house and in their own homes now. But we still have character-based expectations that they be responsible, honest, respectful, and kind. Those “rules” won’t change because they are a different kind from the training rules they grew up with.

I hope you find this helpful.

Sue Bohlin

P.S. I have seen this purported letter to Dr. Laura before (by someone who obviously thinks himself very clever). I think it’s interesting that Dr. Laura is no longer an orthodox Jew. She is still a God-follower, though. And her views on homosexuality haven’t changed because, for the most part, she has a biblical worldview.

© 2007 Probe Ministries


“Why Don’t You Just Let Homosexuals Live and Let Live?”

I find that you are very passionate about your thoughts and personal beliefs. At the same time, I think that the Bible also shares a very clear message that we are not God, and therefore should do as we believe God wants us to do. God never once asked us to become Gods; therefore we should not pass judgments on to others regarding their life styles, or beliefs. We get it, being gay is a sin, but all sin is on the same level. Killing a child and saying a curse word falls into one group of sin, one no greater than the other.

If you want to start a movement, how about protecting those that can not protect themselves? Children are being abandoned by their parents left and right… and even worse neglected, raped and molested. Adults choosing to be homosexual is just that, a choice. Live and let live, go after the helpless and innocent, they need passionate leader to protect them and their rights.

Thank you for writing. I appreciate your compassion for the hurting and those who need a voice. Bless you!

The reason we address the subject of homosexuality is that God does. He knows it is not His intention for the people He made and dearly loves. He knows that homosexual activity is destructive and hurtful. Yes, choosing to act on one’s same-sex feelings is, indeed, a choice, but it is not a choice like deciding between chocolate or vanilla ice cream. It is more like a choice between drinking grape juice, or Kool-Aid laced with poison. But the message of our culture about homosexuality is that there is no difference because there is no poison.

But God knows there is.

And the loving thing to do is to take a stand for truth, which we can know because of what God says.

I would respectfully disagree that all sin is equal. While all sin separates us from God, and all sin requires the death of His Son in our place, the consequences of our sin vary hugely. It is a sin for me to have an uncharitable thought about someone; it is a very different sin for me to pull out a gun and shoot them. If you really believe that no sin is greater than another, do you really not care whether someone thinks critically of your driving, or if they run you off the road into a ditch? Maybe that idea works better in concept than reality.

We aren’t interested in starting a movement. We just want to speak the truth in love, as God calls us to. And sometimes that involves judging that some beliefs and lifestyles are dangerous and destructive and hurtful, and pointing that there is another way to live. (May I respectfully point out the irony that of the fact that in writing your email, you are judging our beliefs?)

One final comment. What I think and write about homosexuality is not mere opinion or philosophy. My passion for this issue is fueled by the pain experienced by people I love who “drank the Kool-Aid” and entered into various kinds of gay relationships, and are now experiencing the hurtful consequences in their hearts and, in some case, their bodies. It is fueled by compassion for the hurting family members of those currently living in a way contrary to God’s intention for them. This is more than personal beliefs; this is taking a stand for what God says is right so that others can avoid needless pain, and standing in compassion and understanding (and prayer) for those now in that pain.

I hope this helps you better understand where we’re coming from.

Sue Bohlin

© 2007 Probe Ministries


“My Son Came Out As Gay”

My son has told me he is a homosexual, which I believe is not true. He went to a Gay Pride parade this past weekend. I’m asking for your prayers because I don’t know how to deal with it. I’ve put up barriers between us, which I shouldn’t because he’s my son. I ask God to help me with this but I don’t know where to even begin or how to talk to Him.

I am so glad you wrote! For the past 8 or so years, I have been working with a ministry (Living Hope Ministries in Arlington TX) that helps people deal with unwanted homosexuality and the family members of those who identify as gay. I do send this with a prayer that you will allow this trauma to drive you closer to God and closer to your son, who desperately needs your respect, your attention, your affection, and your affirmation. He needs to know his dad loves him and wants to be a part of his life. Putting up barriers is the exact opposite of what will help your son. Invite him places. . . invest in what is important to him. . . ask him about himself. . . spend time just being WITH him so he gets the all-important message “my dad cares about me. I’m important to him.”

There is a free, anonymous, confidential, online support group for strugglers and family members like yourself at www.livehope.org. In the “Family and Friends” support group, the executive director of Living Hope and I collaborated on a welcoming post called “So Your Loved One Just Came Out to You.” I hope you find it helpful.

Sue Bohlin


Welcome to the Family and Friends forum. We are so glad you’re here. . . and we’re so sorry you have to be here at all. The Lord has been gracious in bringing you to this place of acceptance, warmth, understanding and prayer support. You are now a part of “The Fellowship of the Broken.” That’s why we’re all here.

So now you know your loved one experiences same sex attraction (SSA). It’s usually a horrible shock. You may feel like Alice, having just arrived at the bottom of the White Rabbit’s chute. . . but this isn’t Wonderland, is it? You’d prefer to be anywhere but this new reality that’s been forced on you.

Most people, arriving in this place, have two questions: How can I fix my loved one? And, how do I get my old life back, before the disclosure?

Second question first: “How do I get my old life back?” Well, welcome to your “new normal.” We are so sorry—but you can’t go back to the place of not knowing. Praise God, though: He lavishes grace on us in times of transition, even (and perhaps especially) this adjustment to your new, post-disclosure world. We pray for you to experience “acceptance grace,” that you may receive His empowering to live in this new and unwelcome reality.

Back to the first question: “How can I fix my loved one?” (Or a variation of this question: “Where can I send my loved one to be fixed?”) You can’t. Only God can. And He usually works on a timetable and with a methodology that is different from ours. Your loved one is not a broken car that you send to the shop, and he or she will resent being viewed as a problem or a project.

The best thing you can do is entrust your loved one into God’s hands and leave them there. What you CAN do is wear out your knees in intercessory prayer. The most effective prayers are scripture prayers. May we suggest reading through Paul’s epistles and writing down his prayers for his beloved friends, which you then adjust on behalf of your loved one? For example, we have learned that grasping how much God loves us is a huge part of emotional healing, because God’s love is the healing agent no matter what plagues us. Consider praying Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT) on behalf of your loved one:

And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in his/her heart as s/he trusts in him. May his/her roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may s/he have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May s/he experience the love of Christ, though it is so great s/he will never fully understand it. Then s/he will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

That’s #1. But in our ministry, we have learned over the years that when family members come for support and assistance, the greatest need they have is to work on their own “stuff.” Every one of us has garbage and scars from living in a fallen world. Every one of us grew up with imperfect parents in an imperfect family. Every one of us has been the recipient of countless “fiery darts” of the Enemy in spiritual warfare. And we all tend to hide our baggage and our scars, all the dark and hurting places of our souls. One wise counselor calls this “Christian denial,” and defines it as “denying God access to those places He wants to heal for His glory, and our benefit.”

God has brought you to this place in your life where you are ripe for God to do some wonderful, amazing work in your heart. Your loved one’s homosexuality is the method He used to invite you to this place, but it’s not the issue He wants to deal with in you. He wants your heart; He wants your vulnerability; He wants YOU.

So what do you do next?

Give God permission to work. Open your heart to Him: “Lord, what do you want to do in ME? What do you want me to know about my own heart, my own stuff, that I have been avoiding?” It will be tempting to keep your focus on your loved one—it’s much less threatening!—but you need to keep your focus on Jesus. Expect Him to show you things you’ve been in denial about, but also expect that He will lavish His grace on you to see what He wants to show you. He will never expose the dark and hurting places of your heart to you but that He’s not holding those places in His own loving and safe hands.

Spend daily time in the Word, expecting God to meet you there and speak to You through His Word. You may find the Psalms especially meaningful because they are so comforting.

It will be helpful for you to journal this “adventure with God.” Many people have reported that it is far more satisfying and helpful to use an actual book (or at least paper) journal instead of a computer. The multi-sensory experience of handling paper—seeing it, hearing it rustle, feeling it in your hands, smelling its fragrance—makes a stronger impression on your brain. Write what’s happening and how you feel about what’s happening. Write what God is showing you in your time with Him, both in His Word and in prayer. Many people find that they are better able to process what God is doing internally through journaling than any other method, because wrapping words around thoughts and feelings helps us to sort through our jumbled confusion.

Remember and practice Psalm 46:10—”Be still and know that I am God.” God wants to soothe and comfort you, but you have to be quiet and still for Him to do that. You may find that listening to praise music may be helpful at times, but there is a time to turn off the music and the TV and the mp3 player and just be still before your God. Let Him love you in those moments.

We tell the SSA (same-sex attracted) strugglers who come to our ministry that the way God will bring healing and change to them is through intimacy with Christ. Many of them learn to also enjoy intimacy with their heavenly Father. That’s the goal of all discipleship, which is what God invites you to as well. We’re really a discipleship ministry, and whether people are here as overcomers, as strugglers, as family members of strugglers, or those with a passion for those in the struggle, God has the same goal for all of us: spiritual maturity. Abiding in Him is the way to grow more like Jesus, no matter which door into this place of growth and healing you came through—even a rabbit hole.

We are glad you’re here, and we pray that you will allow God to do such a deep work in you that at some point, you will be able to look back at this time and say, “It was horrible, it was incredibly painful. . . and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

With prayer for rich blessings in your journey,

Sue Bohlin (Living Hope Board Member)

 

From Ricky Chelette, Executive Director of Living Hope Ministries:

I AMEN to all that my wise sister has shared. I see so many parents, particularly of teens and young adults, that look at this struggle like a bad case of acne. They often think, “Well, this is a phase and after a bit of counseling, some more Bible study and rededication to Jesus, maybe even a conference or two, my kid is going to be fine.” I wish it were that easy but you have to remember that we are dealing with relational brokenness. This is not making a bad decision to stay out past curfew, this is thinking the wrong things about who you are and believing those wrong things as truth.

As a result, God has to do some major work in the heart and life of those who struggle. You are not God. Therefore YOU can’t do anything but love and encourage your son/daughter to seek wise counsel, Godly advice, and more of Jesus. I really wish this didn’t sound as “churchy” of an answer as it does, but the fact remains that we are broken and once broken, we forever carry the scars of that brokenness in our lives. Yes, Jesus does bring healing, that is His promise to us on Calvary, but the process of sanctification and total relational healing will likely not happen until He comes again to redeem and reclaim His creation at the end of time.

St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria in 297 wrote, “That which Jesus has not assumed (or taken upon himself), He cannot heal.”

He assumes our sins as WE are willing to confess our sins and bring them to Him. We can not confess sins for others, only for ourselves. Your son/daughter has to get to that place and what it might take to get them there is only God’s knowledge. You cannot create contrition. That is the work of God’s Spirit.

Also please understand that the problem your child has is not homosexuality (though that is what we label it), it is sin. Sin is sin and it always deceives, kills and destroys. It does that in your life, my life and it does it in your child’s life as well. They have to grasp the sin problem and the ONLY one who can convict us of sin is the Holy Spirit (notice mom, that I’ve said that twice! <smile>). Therefore, pray that God would use His Holy Spirit to convict and convince the heart and mind of your son/daughter so that they might see the error of their way and return to living for the Lord.

Despite what I sometimes hear from evangelical Christians, homosexuality does NOT keep a person from heaven any more than cheating, stealing, or telling “white lies.” All those things are sin and all are bad and separate us from God, but they are also all covered by the blood of Christ on the cross. Granted, as humans, we tend to categorize sin and make some much worse than others. God doesn’t do that. He says that what keeps us out of the Kingdom of heaven is not trusting in Him with our whole heart as our Savior and Lord. A person who thinks he/she is gay can be a Christian. They won’t be a happy Christian, or truly intimately related to Christ, but they can be a Christian. I believe that God, in His incredible mercy and grace, will continue to reach out to them, woo them to Himself and draw them until that day when He calls them home. So never ever, ever give up! God will hear your prayers for He fights for the souls of those who have “wandered from the way” (Matt. 18:12-13). God loves them more than you do—so wow, that’s a lot!!

Keep in mind too that your task is not to “save your kid,” but to show Jesus to them in everything you do. That is such a hard order for everyone and especially if your child has a partner. Do you allow the partner to come to your house, participate in your family activities, hang out with the rest of the family? Of course this is a very personal choice and one that you need to make with lots of prayer and discussion with your spouse. That being said, the question remains: How do you show Jesus to your child and their partner? Is kicking them out of family gatherings the way to do that? Personally, I don’t think so, but maybe others here will feel differently. Remember, however, that your child loves this person and rejecting the partner will be akin to rejecting the child even though that is NOT what you are trying to communicate. I DO think it is perfectly reasonable to ask them NOT to show public displays of affection, not to sleep in the same room/bed, etc. Those are things that you would ask your child to do if they were in a heterosexual relationship and you were trying to uphold Biblical standards in your home. If there are small children around, you might have to think about the implications of that as well and if/how you want to talk to the children about it. I use to think that it was not good to expose them to such things, but with the popularity of homosexuality in our culture and media (need I say, “Brokeback Mountain” or “Will and Grace”), I think it might be best for them to hear the TRUTH from you rather than an interpretation of truth they would get in the streets.

We all know that this journey can be overwhelming, confusing and at times, even debilitating. Do not allow the devil to steal from you the hope that is in Christ Jesus. Do not be worn down by the familiarity and insistence of your child that this is “normal” so that you redefine Truth. Come here and post your frustrations, concerns, joys and victories. We have seen many make it out, hundreds of thousands in fact, and we have seen God do amazing things in the lives of the struggler as well as their family members. If you will allow it, this can be the greatest thing that has happened in your family. I am convinced that God wants to use it for good if you will let Him.

© 2007 Probe Ministries