Gay Affirmation: Freedom or License?

By Julie Roys
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The desire to be free runs deep in the human soul. Perhaps one of the most gripping scenes I’ve ever watched is in the movie “Braveheart.” It depicts Scottish Patriot William Wallace choosing to be disemboweled rather than yield to his British oppressors.

Though Wallace dies externally bound and mutilated, inwardly he’s free and triumphant. In contrast, the man who betrayed him, and the cause of Scottish independence, survives in seeming freedom. Yet inwardly, he’s bound to the guilt and shame of his actions.

This scene graphically depicts a truth central to Christianity: that the path to freedom often requires suffering – confession and repentance. Christianity also teaches that true freedom is an inward reality that often defies our external circumstances. In contrast, license is the world’s counterfeit to this freedom. It allows a person to do whatever he wants, but leaves him bound by guilt and shame. It promises freedom, but delivers bondage.

I thought about freedom and license as I read the webpage of OneWheaton – a pro-gay group of Wheaton College students and alumni. This group boldly proclaims that one can be a faithful Christian and also embrace a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgendered identity. And, it promises freedom to those who identify as LGBTQ saying, “After Wheaton our lives became stories of liberation.”

I graduated from Wheaton and I know several alum who have struggled with same-sex attraction. Some have embraced that identity and walked away from the Lord. Some have worked through their attraction – an incredibly grueling process probably the emotional equivalent of being disemboweled. Yet, these courageous brothers and sisters have emerged whole and remarkably at peace.

I admit I don’t have any close friends who have embraced a gay or lesbian identity and yet stayed in the church. But, I have friends who do who insist these gay and lesbian Christians genuinely possess a passion for God. Yet, I wonder, are these believers truly free?

I suppose, there’s a certain amount of relief in openly admitting your desires and finding people who not only accept you, but allow you to comfortably satisfy those desires. But, if homosexuality is sin, which Scripture clearly indicates it is. And, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, which convicts us of sin – then living as a gay Christian hardly seems liberating.

I wonder sometimes if the constant push by gay Christians for the entire Christian community to affirm their lifestyle doesn’t betray their inner turmoil. As Queen Gertrude said in Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” I’m glad Wheaton College responded in truth – maintaining an orthodox view of human sexuality. Yet, even if Wheaton hadn’t, I don’t believe it would have relieved these gay and lesbian Christians from shame and guilt. Only God can do that – and His way requires renouncing, not affirming, sin.

Before writing this, I consulted with a follower of Christ and Wheaton grad who struggled with same-sex attraction years ago. He’s now married and has children. Below is an excerpt of one of his e-mails printed with his permission.

“In response to your question about whether I know Christians in the gay lifestyle who are at peace, the answer is a resounding no. They are happy and often very loving. But the conflict is obvious whenever issues of faith enter the conversation.

“I have a number (probably less than 15) of friends who are in the gay lifestyle. I love them and still ache for them when I see what they seem to want to ignore. You captured that perfectly in your commentary.

“A quick anecdote that might explain what I mean: I had a dream several years ago about one of my close friends who is in the lifestyle. I rarely see him, but we keep in touch via email, etc. In my dream, I was at a banquet table that was laden to the point of collapsing with every possible good thing to eat. I was heaping my plate full and reveling in the feast. My friend walked up and I was thrilled to see him. We hugged and started laughing about old jokes.
“I asked him to join me in the feast. He looked at me sadly, as though he felt sorry for me, and told me that the table was empty. He said I was deluded and I should accept that there was nothing to eat. I woke up and cried for hours.”



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4 thoughts on “Gay Affirmation: Freedom or License?”

  1. Julie,
    I appreciate what seems to be your compassionate attitude towards “friends” who have had homosexual issues. I also am a Wheaton graguate – M.A. Clinical Psychology. I continue to learn more about this issue, the Bible and Biblical interpretation (even from both sides of the gay/christian debate). I want to offer you something. Maybe a deeper understanding of gay people. I phoned in on Moody Radio one time, and you seemed (to me) to be struggling with how gay people claim they are “oppressed”. Now, what I am about to say applies weather someone believe any same-sex sex act or thought is sin or not. There are Christians, several times a year, going on national TV and saying that gay people are more prone to pedophilia. Now, one PhD in Psychology, who taught as an adjunct professor at Wheaton, said that “we do not really know” weather gay people are more prone to pedophilia. If it is the case that psychologists cannot point to one study that corroborates this – if we truely “don’t know”, then the gay community is being slandered regularly. That does not excuse other sin, but it is slander and two wrongs don’t make a right. Jesus would not have his children engaging in slander. Thanx for your time and your proclomation of the good news. Sincerly.

  2. Anon,
    Without devoting a lot of time and research to this subject, I think it’s hard to know definitively whether gays are more prone to pedophilia or not. Certainly, there are studies that find they are, as well as experts who will assert they’re not. However, I found the following in a study done by Mayo Clinic:
    “The percentage of homosexual pedophiles
    ranges from 9% to 40%, which is approximately 4 to 20 times higher than the rate of adult men attracted to other adult men (using a prevalence rate of adult homosexuality
    of 2%-4%).5,7,10,19,29,30 This finding does not imply that homosexuals are more likely to molest children, just that a larger percentage of pedophiles are homosexual or bisexual
    in orientation to children.19″

    What’s also troubling is the prevalence of statements affirming pedophilia in gay literature. Below are a few examples:

    *The Journal of Homosexuality recently published a special double-issue entitled, “Male Intergenerational Intimacy,” containing many articles portraying sex between men and minor boys as loving relationships. One article said parents should look upon the pedophile who loves their son “not as a rival or competitor, not as a theft of their property, but as a partner in the boy’s upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home.”

    *In 1995 the homosexual magazine “Guide” said, “We can be proud that the gay movement has been home to the few voices who have had the courage to say out loud that children are naturally sexual” and “deserve the right to sexual expression with whoever they choose. …” The article went on to say: “Instead of fearing being labeled pedophiles, we must proudly proclaim that sex is good, including children’s sexuality … we must do it for the children’s sake.”

    *Larry Kramer, the founder of ACT-UP, a noted homosexual activist group, wrote in his book, “Report from the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist”: “In those instances where children do have sex with their homosexual elders, be they teachers or anyone else, I submit that often, very often, the child desires the activity, and perhaps even solicits it.”

    That being said, I’m not sure slander equates with oppression. Lots of groups are slandered regularly, including evangelical Christians. Does that make us oppressed?

    Appreciate your engagement on this issue. Sorry, I took so long to respond. Been on vacation…

  3. I was sad to hear that you don’t equate slander with oppression. The Bible seems to have a disdain for slander; we do consider it a living word right? With there being such contention about the facts on this I would imagine that those who make such claims about homosexuals should be subject to the due scruitiny…to make sure we’re not slandering millions of people – right?

    1. And in reply to your question of whether slandering of Christians makes them oppressed – yes, that is a form of oppression.

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