Finding Care in the Calamity of Gay Pride

Finding Care in the Calamity of Gay Pride

For those caught in the calamity of the normalization, celebration, and institutionalization of homosexual behavior, there are resources for help. Today let me just mention one cluster.

Probably the most authoritative scholarly work on homosexuality and the Bible is Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice (Abingdon, 2001). Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard Divinity School, Gagnon teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

He has a web site, www.robgagnon.net, with numerous links which may be helpful, especially at the level of what the Bible actually teaches and why it is still relevant today. But also at the level of personally coming out of homosexual and lesbian lifestyles.

To give you a taste of Gagnon’s heart and mind I quote this important section from his book:

Perhaps worst of all is the knowledge that a rigorous critique of same-sex intercourse can have the unintended effect of bringing personal pain to homosexuals, some of whom are already prone to self-loathing. This is why it needs to be emphatically stated that to feel homosexual impulses does not make one a bad person.

I deplore attempts to demean the humanity of homosexuals. Whatever one thinks about the immorality of homosexual behavior, or about the obnoxiousness of elements within the homosexual lobby, homosexual impulses share with all other sinful impulses the feature of being an attack on the “I” or inner self experiencing the impulses (Romans 7:14-25). The person beset with homosexual temptation should evoke our concern, sympathy, help, and understanding, not our scorn or enmity.

Even more, such a person should kindle a feeling of solidarity in the hearts of all Christians, since we all struggle to properly manage our erotic passions. A homosexual impulse, while sinful, cannot take shape as accountable sin in a person’s life unless one acquiesces to it.

Thus a reasoned denunciation of homosexual behavior and all other attempts at nurturing and justifying homosexual passions is not, and should not be construed as, a denunciation of those victimized by homosexual urges, since the aim is to rescue the true self created in God’s image for a full life (The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 31).

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.