Friday, November 28, 2008

Misconceptions about homosexuality in Christian ministry

My friend Warren Throckmorton posted this summary of misconceptions he frequently sees among Christians about homosexuality, its origins and possible cures.
One - All gay people are attracted to the same sex because they did not bond with their parents or were sexually abused.

Untold pain and confusion has been caused to parents and their same-sex attracted children by well-meaning writers and counselors who promote this unsupported view of homosexual origins. The usual evangelical narrative is that persons attracted to the same sex did not get sufficient bonding or love from the same-sex parent and seek these experiences in the present via sexual relationships from members of the same sex. For males, the concept of an over involved, smothering mother is often thrown in as an additional family factor. In addition, claims have been made that most if not all same-sex attracted people have been sexually abused. ...
Two - Gays can change if they try hard enough.

Closely related to the prior misconception is the one the places the success of change squarely on the motivation of the same-sex attracted person. Like cause of sexual orientation, the research on sexual re-orientation is marked by a paucity of research. Anecdotes of change abound, but so do anecdotes of those who have tried to change and did not. ...
Three - The Christian response to homosexuality is to promote change of orientation.

Closely related to the above viewpoint, efforts to change sexual orientation have been advocated historically by many Christian ministries to homosexuals. However, the change is possible mantra has discouraged many Christian people who are sincere believers but simply find their brain responses remain directed toward the same sex. However, in my view, the proper focus of Christian ministry is fidelity to the teachings of Christ which, in this case, may lead to a celibate life or an acceptance that same-sex attractions may persist unfulfilled alongside opposite-sex attractions and heterosexual marriage. Some people may experience varying degrees of change, but any such change should not be considered a test of motivation or devotion to faith. ...
People who identify themselves as gay, lesbian and/or bisexual are wary of the Church due in part to the culture wars regarding status and marriage. Our gay neighbors are also offended by stereotypes regarding their family background, and the persistence and durability of sexual and emotional desire for same-sex relationships. Without compromising doctrine, those working with same-sex attracted people should bring the good news of forgiveness and grace, unburdened by misconceptions, to those who often see the church as an enemy.

Read it all here.

1 comment:

Secular Heretic said...

Good post. Whether they can be cured or not who knows? Some say they can. The important thing is to remain celibate and chaste just like every other person who is not married.