May 5, 2019 By Arthur Schaper
In the United States, there is growing awareness within churches as well as in the general public that homosexuality, transgenderism, and related paraphilias must be confronted fully. All the talk about seeking “religious liberty” as a point of compromise is not working. But in the church, there are few real ministries to help individuals, especially Christians, who struggle with same-sex desires. It’s scary enough to be honest with oneself about sexual feelings, intimacy, and identity. How does one “come out” to others, in the hopes of getting not just support, but truth to be set free?
Many churches seem to vacillate among extremes: condemn the behavior; compromise by allowing individuals to identify as “gay”, but instruct the to refrain from same-sex sexual contact; celebrate the entire corrupt LGBT rainbow and highlight such behaviors as normal, even exceptional.
Churches in America are not focusing on what causes these unwanted desires, either. In too many cases, there is no guidance from pastors and parishioners in properly dealing with this contentious issue. The implications of this lack are great, since church attendance is in sharp decline, much of it due to a falling away from the truth on core issues, including marriage and sexuality. Worse yet, compromise and condemnation are both culprits in this matter. What is to be done?
One key ministry which deals effectively with these problems came from Life Site News. They reported the incredibly moving and very personal confession of a young Christian and motivational speaker, Jason Lim, aka Jason Yolt. He travels the world testifying to thousands, telling people that they can—they should strive to—live their lives to the fullest. After all, If You Only Live Twice is the title of his best-selling book.
His spirit to engage others sprang out of his near-death experience while traveling in Cambodia five years ago. That near-tragedy forced him to confront his secret shame, too, which he admits openly:
“I like … men.”
This was a long-lasting struggle, his same-sex desires, compounded by what possible outcomes would result from coming out to his parents. Thankfully, Jason’s parents responded in a gracious manner. Jason relates:
“When I came out to [my parents], they told me that even though they don’t approve of it [acting on my same-sex desires], they loved me because I was their son.”
There’s the Gospel response: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” In the Body of Christ, one should say “Love the saint, hate the sin.” All our sins have been forgiven, and the sin in the flesh has been condemned. Christians still sin, but we break free when we understand that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1-3).
This is the blessings of the Gospel which transforms Christians from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) Sadly, Paul’s revelation, including his exhortation to the Corinthian Church has not settled in the hearts of many believers:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
We were sinners. Because of Jesus, we become saints, anew identity which causes us to abstain from. Christians will still fail, but we remain Christians still.
God’s love makes us sons, but a lack of revelation will lead us to lusting. John the Beloved writes:
“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16)
If we do not allow “The Love of the Father” into our selves, we will continue to settle for conditional lusts. From his parents Jason Yolt received unconditional love, a love which included not condoning same-sex behaviors. This love helped him break free. This message, is the heart of the Gospel.
Jason’s testimony is not an isolated victory, but is connected to a larger ministry, “True Love Is”, which focuses on God’s true love, which helps to break free from same-sex desires. This ministry is accomplishing what same churches in the United States have failed to do: preaching God’s love without permitting sin.
The Gospel is about God’s grace, about God’s undeserved love, favor in our lives. We were still sinners, lost in our fallen state when God the Father sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). Yet for too many Christians, they believe that following our first step into salvation, we are on our own to live upright lives in order to remain accepted by our loving Father. But David writes:
“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Psalm 32:2)
The main point is that the Lord does not impute sin, even when man sins; otherwise, there would be no reason to call anyone “blessed.”
There is no better example of God’s transformative, true love than the Parable of the Loving Father (Luke 15: 11-24). His prodigal son squandered everything, shortly after telling his father basically to drop dead by requesting his inheritance right away. When the destitute prodigal returns home, His father lavishes so much love on him, re-establishing his son’s status, which helps him break away from that old life. God’s unconditional love helps people break free of conditional pleasures, including sexual perversion. The “True Love Is” Movement rejects homosexuality and transgenderism as innate identities, but enhances our true selves as children of our Loving Father.
To help those caught in LGBT bondage, it’s time to announce: Come out, so that you can come home to God’s unconditional love, for that is where True Love Is!
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a blogger, writer, and commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow his blogs at The State of the Union and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.