Homosexuality, the church and society
Today, homosexuality is not considered a sin and a lust. It is justified in the name of love and equality. Development in society affects also churches
- (Acts 22:17,18) And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
18 And saw him saying to me, Make haste, and get you quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive your testimony concerning me.
Paul was faced with great opposition during his times in Jerusalem. There was a loud group of people who did not accept the Gospel about Jesus Christ preached by Paul; they were strongly opposed to it. They considered it impossible for Jesus to be the promised Messiah and the Son of God, thus they rejected Paul's message.
What about the situation today? The same kind of opposition is met today, too. People are not always directly opposed to Jesus Christ but they may have other prejudices that prevent them from studying the teachings of the Bible. One such prejudice favours the evolution theory. If people are convinced that all the current plants and animals evolved from more primitive forms of life, and life came into being by itself, then they are not interested in learning about the Gospel. If the story about the Creation is not historically reliable, why believe in the Gospel about Jesus Christ?, they tell themselves. It naturally follows, then, that they reject the Gospel.
However, this writing is not an examination of the theory of evolution, which we’ll do in another work. Our task in this writing is to look into quite another subject: homosexuality. Fairly recently this topic has gotten much attention, although in today’s media we often get only one side of the story. The media often speaks about human rights and equality, but it does not pay much attention to other aspects of homosexuality. This is why we will study some information that the media rarely provides.
Are humans eternal beings? Firstly, we should think about whether or not eternity is real, that is, whether or not we exist as eternal beings. This will give us a whole new perspective, because compared to our eternal nature everything else is trivial. If we exist in this world for only a short time, then we should not waste our lives.
So, if we continue living after death, and if our choices influence our destiny, then we should change our actions. If it is true that intentional sinning – including homosexuality – will prevent us from inheriting the kingdom of God, we must take it into account. We are unwise if we fail to pay attention to, for example, the following passage. We should look at our actions and opinions in the light of eternity; otherwise our thinking is not wise. So please take into account the following words; think about whether or not they are true, and about how they will influence your life!
- (1 Cor 6:9,10) Know you 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,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Niilo Yli-Vainio, a well-known Finnish preacher, used to talk about this subject. He said that the human soul is immortal and that eternity is endless. The choices we make during this life are very important.
So, if our current life is like the flight of a bird or smoke that blows away (James 4:14), we should not depend on it. We should, instead, consider and prepare for eternity. We should strive to make our time on earth as worthwhile as we can. Living selfishly and refusing to think about life after death is the dumbest thing we can do.
Thirdly, I think about the value of a human based on that the human soul is eternal, everlasting... Have you ever thought that you are an eternal being, that you carry the true person inside you? This, all the things we can see on the outside... Like the old Finnish man I see in the mirror, it is only the house of the old Finn that I see... It will soon rot away and be torn down!
But the inhabitant is inside the house! The true inhabitant.
This body is of earth and will return to earth. But the one inside – that one is eternal, eternal, eternal.
And think about how long a time eternity is, it is very long. And your soul is an eternal being, believe it or not, that will not change either way... God has said what God has said and people cannot change it.
If people believe that a tree will rot where it fell, let them think so. And that is quite true in the case of a tree. But not in the case of the human soul. It is eternal... eternal and never-ending! And think, my dear friend, think with cold reason: if you lose your precious soul, the eternal soul, you will lose it forever.
Oh, dear God! I'm running out of words when thinking!
The valuable person that God made, the person made for Heaven, the human soul made for Heaven will some day lose itself and its soul and enter eternity that will never end.
The mere awareness that it will never end will make it hell. Nothing else is needed! No pain or brimstone is necessary: only this awareness! That it will never end! It will be enough to make it hell.
Listen to me: you are valuable! (1)
Not an idea created by modern man. We must understand that the previous passage from 1 Corinthians, as well as others in the Bible, was not written by modern man. They were not created and recorded in the present time to cause us injury. We must ask, are these old writings still valid and true today?
People can easily compare the different views of modern people about extramarital affairs, homosexuality and other similar issues, but what we should think about are the teachings from 2,000 years ago and our attitude towards them. Do we consider them true or false? Some critics think that Jesus and his Apostles were liars, and that they were totally unaware of eternal life (even though the critics themselves know nothing about life after death). Others believe that the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles are true and just as important for us today as they were back then. Our belief about these statements is based on our own attitudes. We’re all different, and we each form our own thoughts and opinions. Which side of the debate do you stand on?
- (Matt 22:16-18) And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care you for any man: for you regard not the person of men.
17 Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt you me, you hypocrites?
- (John 8:44-46) You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not.
46 Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?
- (2 Cor 4:2) But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
- (1 Tim 2:3,4) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- (2 Tim 3:6,7) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- (2 Tim 4:3,4) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.
- (John 21:24) This is the disciple which testifies of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
What is love? People often justify their opinions about homosexuality by saying that they care about people and want to extend love to everyone. That is a right attitude -- we must truly love everyone, even people who have drifted into homosexuality. Clearly, we have not always been successful at doing this.
However, as stated earlier, if we are eternal beings then we must think like eternal beings. If it is true that intentional sin – including homosexuality – will prevent us from inheriting the kingdom of God, then we must take this to heart. If our actions have consequences, and wrongful actions lead us astray, then the right way to show our love is to warn others. That is true care.
It is like warning someone about weak ice: "I'm worried about you. Don't step on that thin ice because you can drown. You might be hurt." However, that person who hugs someone who is in danger rather than warning them would be seen as indifferent. It is also possible that the hugger does not believe that there is a real risk that the weak ice will collapse. That is why the person hugs rather than warns them.
Human rights or sin and lust? When people talk about homosexuality in a supportive way, they often raise the subjects of human rights and equality. They stand on those to support homosexual behavior.
What does the Bible, especially the New Testament, teach us? The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin and lustful (1 Cor 6:9,10; Lev 18:22; Rom 1:26,27; 1 Tim 1:9,10; Jude 7). People who do homosexual acts are standing in the same position as everyone else before God – no worse and no better. That is true equality, as seen from another perspective.
The Bible teaches, however, that we must all repent, regardless of our sins. Nobody's in a special position: All of us must turn to God and confess our sins. The problem with people today is that they fail to admit that their actions are actually sinful; that is what prevents them from being forgiven. Nowhere in the Old or New Testaments is it written that unrepentent sinners will be saved (1 Cor 6:9: Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived …):
- (Luke 13:2-5) And Jesus answering said to them, Suppose you that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think you that they were sinners above all men that dwelled in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
- (Acts 17:29,30) For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like to gold, or silver, or stone, graven by are and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent.
- (1 John 1:8-10) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Influence of the gay movement in the media. From the Biblical perspective, homosexuality is one of several sins that lead people away from God and towards damnation. If homosexuals keep on doing sinful things and they refuse to repent and turn to God with all their heart, then they will face eternal damnation.
However, everyone can be forgiven, because God loves us all -- including gay people. He does not hate these people: He wants them to be saved and wants them to come to Him. He loves all of us, and that is why He gave Jesus to the world. This truth lies in the heart of the Gospel:
- (John 3:16,17) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
- (1 John 4:9,10) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
- (Rom 5:6-8) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Unfortunately, many homosexuals and others fail to understand this. They think that God, and Christians, are against them even though it is a question of what we believe to be morally right and wrong. We might compare this to a mother whose son is a drug addict. The mother is surely not happy that her son is doing drugs, and she thinks that this kind of behaviour is wrong, but she still cares deeply for her son. This – although inadequately – describes a little of what God’s feeling is for all sinners including homosexuals. He cares for them, but does not want them to sin. If people follow the Bible, they should think along the same lines.
One good illustration of how some homosexuals rebel against God and His love can be found in resistance to change therapy. They don't want to accept the fact that some people want to reject the homosexual way of life and want to change, and that is why they claim that such therapy is either not scientific or that it in some way steps on gay rights. A person who practiced a homosexual lifestyle describes his experiences:
It is clear that all homosexuals are not seeking for a way to change their sexual orientation, and these people should not be forced to do so. The problem is actually different now: prior to the 1970s, all homosexuals were offered change therapy but now it is not given even to those who want it. The worst antagonist towards change therapy and the largest oppressor of all homosexuals who want to become whole is the gay movement that systematically tries to prevent any discussion about change therapy in the academic and psychotherapeutic circles. The oppressed have become the oppressors.
Their tactics include sabotaging change therapy lectures and threatening change therapists with imposition from abroad. Free discussion is difficult because many people are afraid of becoming threatened and vilified by gay activists. (2)
The following quote is about how the gay movement must influence the media and get society accustomed to homosexuality. This quote is taken from a book by Marshal Kirk and Hunter Madsen (After the Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 1990s (1989), part of the propaganda used by the US gay movement. It tries to negatively label those who disagree with their opinion. We can all estimate how the objectives described in the book have progressed.
If you have been involved in such activity, what do you gain by denigrating and vilifying others? What do you gain by insisting that others accept your way of life? Don't reject the love of God. Instead, turn to Him and receive grace through Jesus Christ! Why are you trying to strike back at the pricks on your conscience, as was Paul before he was converted: Acts 9:3-5: And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecute you me? And he said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute.”
"What we must do is make the average heterosexual feel extreme shame. We must continuously subject them to images and verbal statements that cause a contradiction between all the thoughts that homosexuality is abnormal and the fact that they want, deep inside, to be accepted by others, to blend in. This is why propagandist advertising calls all those who are against the gay movement [to be] homophobic fanatics who are "not Christian". Finally, the propaganda shows these people as the target of criticism, the hated and the silenced. (...)
We can reach our goal without making references to any facts, logic or justification. (...) The beliefs of somebody can be changed through continuous emotional conditioning regardless of whether the person is aware of the attack against them or not. (...) When converting a heterosexual, we must repeatedly use written images that depict homosexuals as [being] similar to traditional heterosexuals. Such images must be the icon of normality. These advertisements will influence them even if they do not believe them. The heterosexual will feel two conflicting emotions: they will have a positive reaction towards the image but a negative reaction towards homosexuals, the good reaction from the image and the bad reaction to homosexuality.
At worst, these reactions will cancel each other, and we have succeeded in muddling up the picture. At best, the conditioning based on the association will slowly start to cause positive feelings towards the person in the image. (3)
The development will not stop
- (2 Tim 3:1-4,13) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Society’s change and the degradation of morals are not separate matters; this is what we must understand. The acceptance of homosexuality is just one part of the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s and continued ever since. Back then, a few people started to defend free sex without marriage. These people were treated as heroes by the media. The same people also demanded that abortions should be made legal and interviewed homosexuals. So, the seeds for our current societal divisions were sown back then. This new morality – that was generally considered wrong through past decades and centuries – became widely acceptable and began to influence our individual decisions. One whole generation rejected the values that previous ones had respected.
The next quote is about this subject. It describes developments in the 1960s and explains how the situation changed: things that people used to consider immoral or wrong became popular because the media constantly held them up as examples. Slowly, people’s minds changed.
I was away from my homeland for three years, the years 1965 to 1968. When I returned in the autumn of 1968, I was very surprised at the change that had taken place in the atmosphere of public conversation. This concerned both the tone of conversation and also the framing of questions.
(...) In the world of high school, those who demanded justification of sexual relationships were the ones blowing their trombones loudly. They insisted, for instance, that boys and girls should be allowed to live together in university dormitories even though they were not married.
It seemed as though the Teenager Union had been conquered by new leaders, who announced not only socialism and school democracy but also an idea of free sexual relationships.
All in all, what was new with the situation was that there were reference groups speaking about sexual questions much more openly than it had been normal in public. These groups accused the society and the church of double standards.
The tone of the conversation was to a large extent ethical. Morals were regarded as bad, and were blamed. However, a new moral was simultaneously announced, often very moralistically and intolerantly. It was discussed earlier that the sexual behavior of young people must be understood, but now some groups announced that it is right to have free sexual relationships. The institution of marriage and real genuine love were even set aside. Illegal couples were interviewed in public, as though they were some kind of heroes of a new moral standard, who had dared to rise against the morals of the bourgeois society. Homosexuals were interviewed in the same way and people demanded abortion to be legalized.
(...) Even though, according to my observations, the atmosphere of public conversation in Finland had changed surprisingly much between the years 1965 and 1968, the topical questions discussed everywhere else in the world were the same as in Finland. The difference was only in the vehemence of conversation and perhaps in the fact that in a small country like Finland, small active groups can almost overpower the media. In addition, we are probably still unaccustomed to public conversation. So the simple attitude of being right becomes dominant in a small country like Finland much easier than in larger countries. (4)
There is, thus, a generational gap in morality. A person who holds the opinion that abortion (Thou shall not kill.), extramarital affairs (Thou shall not commit adultery.), or homosexuality are wrong is now often labelled a radical conservative, even though these were commonly held beliefs amongst previous generations. Only this generation has adopted these new doctrines and standpoints. The change can also be seen on television. Programs contain much more pornography, violence and vulgarity than ever existed before. If there has been change, then this change has certainly not gone in the right direction.
- (Jer 16:11,12) Then shall you say to them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, said the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;
12 And you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not listen to me:
The next quote about paedophilia and pederasty (relations between boys and men) refers to this same subject. (Talk about a paedophilic party has already been heard in the Netherlands.) Once people and the media have turned onto the wrong road, it does not end. It will lead deeper into callousness where people will say that evil is good and good is evil. (Isaiah 5:20: Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!). It is likely that this will occur the closer we get to the coming of Jesus. Several prophecies in the Bible predict such times.
In the past decades, we have noted how the breaking of one social taboo related to sex has cleared the way for the acceptance of the next, more serious taboo. Pre- and extramarital sex has become more and more publicly accepted, starting in the 1960s. The next in line in the 1990s were homosexuality and transsexual-ism. The only things left now are paedophilia and pederasty.
This is usually considered to be an exaggeration and an attempt at intimidating people. Homosexual movements are also opposed to comparing homosexuality with paedophilia. This is not an issue that can be lightly set aside, however. Most regular homosexuals are not even familiar with what the international homosexual movement has done or with the discussions that are currently taking place in academic homosexual publications. (5)
WHAT IS ITS CAUSE? A topic rarely discussed in the general media is why people are homosexual. We hear a lot of talk about human rights, equality and tolerance but not much about this aspect. It has been forgotten in modern discussions, and it is not a topic in which many people are interested. Maybe that is because people think science has already resolved this point.
Is homosexuality caused by genetics? The standard explanation for homosexuality now is that it is congenital and caused by genes or hormones excreted during pregnancy. People think that homosexuality is mainly caused by biological factors.
This explanation is not supported by studies done on twins, however. Identical twins have the same genes and were subjected to the same environment in the uterus, but still only one of the pair may be sexually attracted to people of the same sex. If homosexuality was caused by genes, this should not be the case. The next quote is about an extensive study of this question done in Canada. There were around 20,000 subjects included in the study. The results suggest that genes and genotypes do not play a decisive role in the occurrence of homosexuality.
A study on twins in Canada showed that social factors are more important than genes. Researcher Peter S. Bearman of the University of Columbia and researcher Hannah Bruckner of Yale University (2002) studied a group of young people representing the entire nation (Bearman, P.S. and Bruckner, H.: ”Opposite-Sex Twins and Adolescent Same-Sex Attraction.” American Journal of Sociology 2002, 107,5, pp. 1179–1205).
Identical twins have the same genes; this is why they are so similar. If they differ from each other in any way, this must have been caused by the environment in which they live. Only 50% of the genes of non-identical twins are the same. If homosexuality were determined biologically, it should be more common among identical than non-identical twins. There should be more homosexuality among non-identical twins and other siblings than adopted children of the same family who do not share any of the same genes. If the results do not fit in with this idea, [then] the simplified genetic model is simply not suitable as an explanation of homosexuality.
The research results show that genes do not have any major significance. If one of a pair of identical twins was homosexual, there was a 6.7% probability that the other twin was also interested in people of the same sex. The percentage for non-identical twins was 7.2% and for regular siblings 5.5%. These results strongly disagree with the above-mentioned genetic model for homosexuality.
The environment in which twins grow inside the uterus of their mother is exactly the same for both twins in terms of hormones, and thus the results obtained by Bearman and Brucker disprove the theory that an imbalance in the hormones of the mother during pregnancy causes homosexuality.
(...) Previous twin studies had obtained their subjects at clinics or through homosexual organisations, or otherwise had a limited sample. Bearman and Brucker state that their study is the most reliable one because it was based on a random sampling from a youth study including the entire nation. There were around 20,000 test subjects! Furthermore, the researchers did not rely on what one of a pair of twins said about the twin's sexual orientation: Instead, they went to the other twin and asked them about it. (6)
The same subject is addressed in the interviews below. The interviews are of people who have experienced homosexual feelings. These people say that they do not believe the homosexual behaviour to have been caused by genes or genotypes. (This does not mean that all people who have had homosexual ideas would feel the same.) These people mention some background factors they believe to have contributed to their feelings and inclinations more than genes.
Ole does not believe, however, that there is some kind of a "homosexual gene". He believes that homosexual feelings stem from a more complex pool, and he mentions, for instance, that he knows many pairs of identical twins of which only one of the pair is homosexual.
Ole believes that many factors contributed to his behaviour, such as his complex and poor relationship with his father when he was a child.
Ole does not hold back when telling about his relationship with his father as a child. He felt that his father was never there and he feared his father. The father sometimes had a raging fit, and Ole felt a few times that his father intentionally humiliated him in public. Ole says bluntly that he hated his father. (7)
Harri is interested in the discussion about homosexuality in the media and studies about homosexuality. He is convinced that homosexuality has very little to do with congenital factors. He bases this view on, for instance, the fact that it is often easy to find out why people have homosexual inclinations. They have usually been subjected to sexual violence or have a difficult relationship with their parents or peers.
"This has convinced me that it is not first and foremost about genes. However, I don't think that it is impossible for some people to have some genes that make them more susceptible to homosexual inclinations," Harri says. (8)
Tepi believes that her homosexuality has been caused by some sort of an emotional vacuum she is trying to fill. Tepi says that she feared her father as a child and is still "kind of freaked out by men". Tepi says that she is looking for a mother in women. Even though Tepi wonders why she is a lesbian, she also says about being attracted to women: "It has been somehow so natural that I've sometimes wondered how this could be." On the other hand, she believes that there is some reason for this, too.
Tepi does not believe that homosexuality is caused by genes or that a person could be a gay or a lesbian since birth. She believes that a person grows into a gay or a lesbian, and this can happen also without any special incident. (9)
I have – and many other homosexuals – wondered what causes homosexuality. I think that the personality of a child is formed during his or her three first years, also in terms of sexuality. This is influenced both by the environment and human biology. I don't believe that homosexuality is hereditary. Many of my male relatives have trouble dealing with my being homosexual just because they are afraid that it runs in the family. (10)
Background factors. It has been noted that homosexuals suffer from mental illness, depression, anxiety and alcoholism more often than other people. For example, Robert P. Capaj describes in his Textbook of Homosexuality and Mental Health (1998) how abuse of chemical substances is very common among homosexuals:
Most studies (...), reports (...), surveys (...) and healthcare professionals who have worked with gays and lesbians estimate that around 30%, varying between 28 and 35%, of homosexual people abuse some chemical substance. Among the general population, around 10–12% of people are substance abusers. (...) The figures are significantly similar in urban and rural areas, among different socioeconomic groups, in the United States and other countries – even though some differences in substance abuse do occur. (11)
Another extensive study has reached similar conclusions. The study shows that many lesbians have suffered from depression and mental illness:
A research team managed by Judith Badford (1994) recruited 1,925 lesbians for their study through homosexual organisations, healthcare centres and lesbian magazines. The researchers stated that it was the most thorough study on lesbians done in the US thus far.
Almost three in four (73%) of the lesbians were in therapy at the time of the study or had previously gotten help from some sort of a mental health professional. The most common reasons for the therapy were depression (50%), problems with a lover (44%) or family (34%) and being lesbian (21%). 37% of the respondents had experienced a long period of depression or grief at some point in their lives. 68% of the respondents stated that they had some sort of problems with their mental health in the past, such as long-term depression, grief, anxiety or fears. The high rate of depression cannot be explained only by the fact that the society is homophobic: only 12% of the lesbians stated that they were worried about whether or not people knew they were lesbian. (12)
What causes the above-mentioned problems, then? It is easy to say that the cause is ultimately our homophobic society or that not all people accept as right the homosexual way of life, but this is surely not the right explanation. After all, such problems are found in cities and other geographic areas where the general attitude towards homosexuality is positive. The Netherlands is one such area.
An extensive study conducted in the Netherlands strongly suggested that even Dutch homosexuals have more problems related to mental health than the rest of the population. (Sanfort, Theo G.M; de Graaf, Ron; Bijl, Rob V. and Schnabel, Paul: ”Same-Sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders: Findings From the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS)” Archives of General Psychiatry 2001, Vol.58,No.1, pp. 85-91) This is only one among many similar studies.
The best explanation for the occurrence of mental health problems among homosexuals, and for homosexuality itself, is the presence of background influences in these people's lives, in much the same way that alcoholism, drug addiction and criminal behaviour often results from traumatic relationships, or from loss of a parent.
These similarities have been noted in several books including biographies about, and interviews of, various homosexuals. We can draw some conclusions from these reports.
It is important to note that there are no perfect parents, perfect childhoods or a perfect environment in which to grow – not in this world. Even Christian parents who want to follow the will of God and who love their children can fail to some extent. This is because we are not completely freed yet from our sin.
Generally, the following background influences have been noted in the lives of homosexual people:
- Father who rejects them. Many homosexual men as children had a difficult relationship with their father. Their father may have had a bad temper, or he was aloof or indifferent; they may have lost their father when very young.
- Other males. They may have been rejected by other boys at school, or had brothers who were more successful and/or met parental expectations better.
- Mother's influence. A mother who always slanders the father causes harm. Also, a mother who separates her children from their father and binds them to herself is harmful.
- Parents reject the baby’s sex. Parents wanted a girl instead of a boy, and showed their disappointment for getting a boy.
- Same-sex abuse. It is common to find that a gay man has been sexually abused by another male.
What about lesbians? Among lesbians, the most significant influence seems to be a girl's struggle to relate to her mother; it is also possible that the girl lost her mother at a very young age.
The following was observed in a study:
The study by Marcel T. Saghiri and Eli Robins (1973) was not based on a patient sample; instead, they recruited their homosexual interviewees through homosexual organisations. They noted that 27% of lesbians and 2% of heterosexual women had lost their mother before the age of 10. The relationship between lesbian women and their mothers had often been broken or was distant or indifferent. However, they had a warm relationship with their father. (13)
The quotes below suggest the same. In the first quote, Leanne Payne describes her observations while providing pastoral care over the years. The other quotes are from women who have had homosexual feelings.
I now understood that emotional emptiness which made Lisa especially sensitive and had caused her to easily drift into a relationship with her lesbian teacher. Lesbian behaviour (except when it is a question of a hysterical personality) as a sexual neurosis is not as complicated as homosexual behaviour in men. According to my experience, it is generally caused by the need to climb into the mother's lap that was not fulfilled at all or not enough in childhood. (14)
I'm a 37-year-old woman. My mother left me alone in my room to cry at night, starting when I was around 30 days old, because the experts then said that this is what you should do after you had fed, diapered, etc. the child. I cried every night for about two weeks, until I was all cried out.
I believe that this has affected me strongly. I have shut my mother out of my life even though I miss her a lot. I believe that I felt rejected by my mother because she did not come to me when I was crying.
(...) I don't have any recollection of my mother having held me in her arms when I was less than six years old. I believe that our relationship was distant and aloof. I can only remember that she used to clean and keep the house tidy but did not have time for me when I was little. I don't remember having any special emotional contact with my mother between the ages of seven and twelve. I tried to please her by cleaning and doing the things she liked, to get some attention. (15)
I was a shy and timid child, and the bottled-up atmosphere of my home scarred me. Even though my home was quite safe, I didn't like my mother. I could never comprehend what they said in the Finnish song called "Äideistä parhaimman sain" (I'm thankful that I have the best mother in the world). I never told her anything about my life.
If I wanted to go next door to play, I was afraid to ask her. I was afraid that she would be angry. So, I left her a note instead.
As a young girl, I wondered why some girls liked their mother and had intimate chats with [them]. It was often very pleasant when I was at a friend's house and I saw my friend talking to her mother without any fear. I have come to understand that my mother had never received any acceptance or intimacy from her mother, either.
(...) Still, I was attracted to other women, women who were a little like my mother but who were capable of intimacy. When a girl I had been involved with started to date someone else, I was jealous. I started to realise then that I was looking [to] other women for something that I had never gotten from my mother: a feeling of intimacy, closeness and acceptance. (16)
My mother has always been lost to me. That has been the root cause of all my problems. I did have a mother, but I never had a close and warm relationship with her. I don't remember ever sitting on my mother's lap. I would have wanted to, but she was always too busy because she had many children.
I didn't want to copy my own female identity from the position my mother had in our family. Thus, my self-image and [my] sexuality as a woman are unclear to me. (17)
What about transgender people who are dissatisfied with their own gender? It is impossible to infer from their appearance and physical body their innermost. It is not a physical thing, it is a matter of the world of thought. Revolving thoughts in their minds guide them, and they believe they are happier if they had been born in the body of the opposite sex.
However, the thoughts of transgender people are not exceptional. Each of us may be dissatisfied with ourselves at some point in our lives. It can manifest in different ways, but they are all a matter of thoughts revolving in our minds. A person thinks he would be happier if he were different.
• Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa are a good example. A person suffering from anorexia nervosa might feel like they are fat, although they are really skinny. Body image of that person is distorted and they believe that they would be more happy if they were skinnier.
• Heavy drug and alcohol use often comes from strong feelings and thoughts of inferiority. A person uses drugs to get rid of their weakness, feeling of inferiority and negative thoughts.
• Plastic surgery is the result of not being satisfied with one’s own body. Sometimes it can have great results, when the feature that has been considered ugly is removed. Though, that is not always the case, and the person might stick with the mental image that has been controlling their life.
• Men might feel dissatisfied with their bodies and try to boost their self-respect and satisfaction by gaining more muscles.
• Self-hatred and despise are a sign of extreme dissatisfaction with oneself. In the worst case, it could lead into suicide and self-harm. Usually self-hatred begins, when other people reject you and, how you react to that rejection. Rejection from others does not inflict self-hatred per se, but our own negative thinking is linked to it. On one hand, if we think with reason, we can be happy, even though every person in the world would reject us.
So why are some people dissatisfied with the sex they have had at birth? Often the background may be other people’s expectations; just as eating disorders may originate from the negative remarks of others. For if the parents or someone else have openly desired a child to be the opposite sex, it may trigger the development, in which a person himself/herself rejects the sex, which he/she has got in the birth. The following example illustrates this:
FEELING OF LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH. One of the justifications for free sex at the time of the sexual revolution was, "I don't see anything wrong with it if the two people love each other." People thought that love is enough to justify sexual relations outside of marriage.
Homosexual relations have also been justified by using the same argument. People say that if the relationship is equal and the people love each other, it is not wrong. People think that love is justification for any relationship.
Relationship with God. The problem with this reasoning is that these people fail to take eternity and their relationship with God into account. Just saying that pre-marital sex and homosexuality are not wrong cannot change their sinful nature. One of the problems King Solomon had, for example, was that he loved many strange women (1 King 11:1-4) and this caused his heart to turn away from God. Even though love as such is a good thing, it became a trap for him.
Jesus taught us about this and about our need to set priorities:
- (John 14:15) If you love me, keep my commandments.
- (Matt 10:37) He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Perverted love. If think only in terms of this life, then the perverted feelings we call “love” may cause trouble. Human “love” does not always produce good, positive results. Consider:
- A mother's love can be perverted. A mother can sometimes be motivated by her “love” to control her adult child and meddles in the child's marriage. Problems between mothers and their son’s wives are also very common.
- A married person “falls in love” with a person other than the spouse. The person thinks that this is love, and the "love" can cause him or her to leave his or her spouse and children.
- A young couple attracted to each other have sex and as a result the woman becomes pregnant. Later on, the boy leaves the girl. What they felt for each other was not really love.
- A promiscuous person may think that his/her sexual relations are driven by “love” but fails to consider the risks of STDs and broken relationships. AIDS, for example, has destroyed the lives of millions of people.
- A person engaged in homosexual relations can talk about “love” while ignoring the risk of STDs and – worse – the price he will pay throughout eternity. Homosexuals are more promiscuous than heterosexuals, and diseases can be more easily caught while engaged in homosexual sex (between two men).
Status of children. Perverted love can also cause the status of children to deteriorate. People often talk only about the human rights and equality of adults while completely forgetting children's rights, particularly their right to have both parents. Perverted love and selfishness can cause people to treat children like toys.
People believe that artificial insemination of single women is acceptable (Artificial insemination can be considered a highly questionable practice because the process destroys unfertilised eggs. The life of a person starts when gametes merge and fertilisation takes place.), and they think that it’s acceptable for homosexual couples to adopt children, but they do not accept that a child has the right to have both a father and a mother. Two mothers cannot replace a father, or two fathers replace a mother. Both genders are needed. The correct model of a father and mother can only be built if a two-parent family lives together.
Several studies have been done that suggest both parents are needed. It has been observed that there are clearly more social problems in families having only one parent. This is an unfortunate fact that cannot be helped. Fatherlessness, in particular, is a modern problem.
(There have been some studies done of children who grow up in homosexual families. The problem with these studies is that their findings were only compared with studies of single-parent families. This comparison would not show as many differences as would a comparison of “normal” families having both a mother and father present.)
When I was speaking at a certain men's camp in Hume Lake in California, I mentioned that the average father spends only three minutes of quality time with his child a day. After the meeting, one man questioned my information.
He scolded, "You preachers only say things. According to the latest research, the average father doesn't spend even three minutes daily with his children, but 35 seconds."
I believe him because he worked as a school inspector in central California. Actually, he gave me another startling statistic.
In a certain school district in California there were 483 students in special education. None of those students had a father at home.
In a certain area on the outskirts of Seattle, 61% of children live without a father.
The absence of a father is a curse nowadays. (18)
The quote below is also about this same subject. In this quote, a person who led a homosexual life states that he does not approve of the adoption right of homosexual parents:
I know a lesbian couple where one of the women got pregnant to make the couple's relationship closer. I thought that that was hideous. It is selfish to get a child to boost your relationship. You should think about the child. I grew up in a normal family, and if a person who grew up in such an environment has problems, how [many] problems will a child with two mothers or fathers have? I have argued about this with many homosexuals, and I'm absolutely of the opinion that we should not be allowed to adopt. My opinion is also partly due to the fact that I know so many male couples in which both of the men are alcoholics. (19)
CHANGE AND HUMAN RELATIONS. The homosexual lusts of a person can be compared to alcohol, drug, pornography or game addictions. The cause for all of these is found in the way a person thinks and in his or her lusts, nothing more. Lusts are controlling and enslaving the person.
However, when God touches a person He can instantly remove the feelings of lust and attraction to dirty images that are present in both homosexuals and heterosexuals. He frees the mind from lust and disturbing thoughts. Let's look at two examples. One of the men described below has a homosexual background, and the other a normal heterosexual background. Both of them suffered from a similar problem and were freed from it. Lust is always enslaving, no matter which addiction is the object of that lust.
The following day and the days after, I noticed that a whole lot of miracles had taken place. Homosexual fantasies that I had had every day over the past 25 years had disappeared. I experienced such a love towards Willa that I had not even imagined it to be possible. And what is perhaps even more important, God was not a distant judge to me anymore, but He had become my personal Saviour. Jesus loved me, and I loved Him a lot. It was the first time I understood what loving and to be loved really mean. (…)
Because the healing from homosexuality took place so suddenly, I am often asked how perfect the healing really is. I can answer by saying that time is a proof of its genuineness and that a blessed marriage is the fruit of it. Over the last ten years, I have not experienced any homosexual temptations. With temptation I mean that I would have seriously considered or wished to have sex with men. However, after the basic healing I in a way missed having an older, stronger man in my life. Also this has now gone, and I regard men as my brothers, not as fathers or protectors. (20)
One day I was reading a book by Glenn Clark when I heard a voice saying: "Would you like to live like Jesus?"
The only thing I could say in response was: "Yes, Lord."
"But are your thoughts and wishes pure?"
"No, they are not, Lord."
"Would you like them to be?"
"Yes, Lord." I had fought all my life to be freed from my impure thoughts and wishes.
"Do you want to leave all your dirty thoughts with me?"
"Yes, Lord, forever."
Suddenly I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, all the dirty things were gone from me, and my entire being was pure and free of filth. The door of the room opened and a young nurse came in. I followed her with my eyes. She was a beautiful young nurse, and I thought: "What a beautiful child of God." I didn't have the slightest urge of having an impure thought. (21)
Usually, the change (in the terms used by the Bible, the sanctification) is a process that takes years and in which human sexuality is only one part. Changes occur or should occur in other areas of life, as well. The Bible teaches of continuous change. Consider these words written by Paul:
- (Rom 12:2) And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- (2 Cor 3:18) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.
What role does the local congregation play in helping homosexuals? There is surely plenty of need for improvement. However, the key to helping people change is to help them build healthy human relationships. Homosexuals need to receive love from people of their own sex because of some unmet childhood needs, or because they’ve suffered some kind of traumatic injury. Others may have trouble in their relations with the opposite sex. Helping them to build healthy human relations can make it easier for them to change.
"I believe that journalist Helge Simonnes of the magazine Vårt Land was right when he wrote that '”the Christian connection has been a warmer place than many others for many homosexuals. Many homosexuals have experienced the warmth even though they knew all along that the church frowns on homosexual relations.' Practical tolerance can extend further within the church than in many other circles where people do talk about tolerance but actually implement rock hard macho-hetero sexism." Björn Helge also quotes a homosexual in a magazine interview: "The congregation is the only place where I'm not bullied". (22)
IMPACT ON CHURCH. Some people who have promoted homosexual behaviour have strongly influenced the media, society, and the church. As a result, some people – usually disbelieving priests – have become sympathetic towards homosexuality and started to believe the information being spread by the media. Let's examine this from several perspectives.
Congenital or emotional deficiency? As stated earlier, in light of current research data homosexuality is not congenital. It is a response to an emotional deficiency. If a person is deprived of close contact with people during childhood, he or she will later try to get such contact. This is completely natural and understandable; it becomes wrong when sexual activity enters the picture and when lust becomes the driving force. Merely having a friendship with a person of the same sex is not homosexual behaviour.
Tendency and execution. Homosexual tendencies are not much different from other tendencies people can have. Some people are tempted by pornography, gambling, anger, extramarital affairs or alcohol, and others by homosexual feelings. All of them are extremes and reveal some sort of deficiency.
The most important question is whether or not the person acts on his or her tendency. We are all tempted by something; ultimately, we each must decide for ourselves whether or not to pursue that temptation. The Bible calls this sin, and lust that lives in people.
- (Rom 6:12-16) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?
- (James 1:13-15) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
Jesus' relationship with sinners. Many liberal priests have accepted the media’s general position that all humans have the right to be loved, but have forgotten that homosexuality is also a sin and a lust. They only see one side of the picture. However, the sinful nature of this activity should not be overlooked. (Naturally, God will not force anyone to follow Him. We can all decide how we want to live our lives.)
What about Jesus' attitude towards homosexuals and other people? Was His attitude different from that of today’s liberal priests? We know that His attitude towards sinners was positive because he was called the friend of publicans and sinners (Luke 7:34). He met such people and talked with them. This is what we should all strive for. God is not a respecter of persons (Rom 2:11), and neither is Jesus. We should follow their example.
- (Luke 15:1,2) Then drew near to him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them.
- (Luke 7:36-43,47-50) And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said to him, Simon, I have somewhat to say to you. And he said, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said to him, You have rightly judged.
Why I say to you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.
48 And he said to her, Your sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgives sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.
There is one major difference between many priests and Jesus: Jesus never said that sin is good, as many priests are saying today. Jesus loved people but He still encouraged them to repent and confess their sins. There is a clear difference to the current situation. Many liberal priests do not talk about this, apparently because they want to be considered moderate, loving and progressive people (Jesus also said: Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets, Luke 6:26), or because they do not believe that our actions in this world could have consequences.
- (Luke 15:7) I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
- (John 5:14,15) Afterward Jesus finds him in the temple, and said to him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come to you.
15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
- (John 8:10,11) When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said to her, Woman, where are those your accusers? has no man condemned you?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.
- (Mark 1:14,15) Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.
"Paul did not know about equality in relationships." One very common defence of homosexual relationships comes from people who claim that Paul and the other writers of the Bible were not familiar with equal relationships; they only opposed abuse, violence and lechery.
Support for this statement cannot be found from these verses, however; neither can it be found in a study of ancient history. People back then certainly did know about equal relationships, and they were not so very different from today’s people, except that they had less advanced technology. It is sure that Paul was very familiar with the Greek world and the social diversity present in large cities. It cannot be any coincidence that biblical lessons about homosexuality can be found in letters that were sent to residents of large cities.
People who make excuses for homosexual behaviour or other lifestyles sometimes also claim that it is a product of our culture and that Paul and other biblical writers were "children of their own time."
We could reverse that logic: people who make such claims are also bound by their culture and times. They view the same information from their own limited perspective. Have they considered that?
Furthermore, they fail to note that Paul and the Apostles received their authority from Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Surely, the people He authorized clearly knew what they were talking about:
- (Luke 6:13) And when it was day, he called to him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles
- (John 15:16) You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
- (Matt 28:19,20) Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
- (Gal 1:1,10-12) Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
11 But I certify you, brothers, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
- (2 Peter 3:15,16) And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him has written to you;
16 As also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.
1. Mauno Saari: Saarnaaja, p. 180-183
2. Ari Puonti: Homoseksuaalisuus – hämmennyksestä selkeyteen, p. 130
3. Marshal Kirk ja Madsen Hunter: After the Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 1990s. 1989, p. 152-155, Plume Press, Penguin Group
4. Matti Joensuu: Avoliitto, avioliitto ja perhe, p. 12-14
5. Ari Puonti: Homoseksuaalisuus – hämmennyksestä selkeyteen, p. 166
6. Ari Puonti: Suhteesta siunaukseen, p. 76,77
7. Espen Ottosen: Minun homoseksuaalit ystäväni (”Mine homofile venner”), p. 104
8. Espen Ottosen: Minun homoseksuaalit ystäväni (”Mine homofile venner”), p. 131
9. Lesboidentiteetti ja kristillisyys, p. 87, Seta julkaisut
10. Sinikka Pellinen: Homoseksuaalinen identiteetti ja kristillinen usko, p. 77, Teron kertomus
11. Robert P. Capaj: ”Substance Abuse in Gay Men, Lesbians and
12. Ari Puonti: Homoseksuaalisuus – hämmennyksestä selkeyteen, p. 121,122
13. Ari Puonti: Homoseksuaalisuus – hämmennyksestä selkeyteen, p. 101
14. Leanne Payne: Särkynyt minäkuva (The Broken Image), p. 30
15. Ari Puonti: Homoseksuaalisuus – hämmennyksestä selkeyteen, p. 264
16. Espen Ottosen: Minun homoseksuaalit ystäväni (”Mine homofile venner”), p. 53,56
17. Sinikka Pellinen: Homoseksuaalinen identiteetti ja kristillinen usko, p. 50.51
18. Edwin Louis Cole: Miehuuden haaste (MAXIMIZED MANHOOD), p. 104
19. Sinikka Pellinen: Homoseksuaalinen identiteetti ja kristillinen usko, p. 77, The story of Tero
20. Roland Werner: Toisenlainen rakkaus (Homosexualität – ein Schicksal?), p. 50,51
21. Merlin Carothers: Kiitoskirjat; Kiitä sittenkin (Prison to Praise), p. 45,46
22. Espen Ottosen: Minun homoseksuaalit ystäväni (”Mine homofile venner”), p. 71
Most important sources:
Espen Ottosen: Minun homoseksuaalit ystäväni (”Mine homofile venner”)
Ari Puonti: Homoseksuaalisuus – hämmennyksestä selkeyteen
Ari Puonti: Suhteesta siunaukseen
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!