Homosexuality can be spiritually transformed

By Michael

On April 22, the Daily published Galen Johnson’s opinion piece on why same-sex marriages should be allowed (“Same-sex marriages should be made legal”). We wish to make what may be termed a “Christian response.”
In Christian churches in America, there have been two dominant responses to homosexuality: shaming and condemning on one hand and advocating homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle on the other. Those who shame tell homosexuals they are terrible sinners. The accepters say homosexuals have had no choice in their orientation and must be accepted as such, or that they are free to make the choice to embrace homosexuality and, therefore, we should not expect them to change.
Drawing on the work of a number of pastors, counselors and authors (e.g. “The Broken Image” by Leanne Payne; “The Hope of Healing,” a seminar by Francis and Judith MacNutt; “Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic” by Elizabeth R. Moberly), we propose a third alternative: spiritual transformation.
Those who assist homosexuals in successful spiritual transformation have demonstrated that the root of homosexuality is most often an unmet need for love from the same-sex parent. A perceived deficit of appropriate same-sex affection becomes eroticized and leads to the sexual desire for someone of the same gender. Of course, not everyone who feels this deficit becomes homosexual; some are driven to succeed, some turn to drugs and others create art, but they all spend their lives trying to fill the love deficit. Homosexuality, then, is usually motivated by needs that are common to all of us. Homosexuals are not spiritual pariahs. They are no more of an abomination to God than any of the rest of us sinners.
That is not to say, however, that we should join the accepters and say homosexuals can’t or shouldn’t seek transformation. That is not offering the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While homosexuals usually cannot change their orientation, the living spirit of Jesus offers healing to the underlying emotional wounds that give rise to same-sex orientation. These wounds are not clinical neuroses or psychoses, so the psychiatric community (appropriately) doesn’t label homosexuality as a neurosis or a psychosis. As we said before, they are emotional needs common to all of us. When Jesus meets these needs, the sexual identity can be transformed.
To be clear, the Bible does call homosexual practice a sin. It also labels gossip, lying, cheating, and heterosexual sex outside marriage as sins. We all have sufficient evidence in our lives of a need for spiritual transformation. Since the practice of homosexuality is just one of these evidences, it should be neither singled out nor overlooked.
The role of the church, then, is to welcome all who seek healing, including homosexuals, and provide caring people who will offer non-sexual affection, prayer and support. Christian ministers and counseling professionals can provide prayer ministry and counseling. Furthermore, the church can provide a social network by offering activities, friendships, holiday celebrations, etc.
This response to homosexuality is being practiced here in the Twin Cities in a number of churches and Christian organizations. Although there are not yet statistics on how many people have left the homosexual lifestyle in this manner, there are many who have. For example, at Eagle’s Wings Ministry, a counseling and support ministry for homosexuals, 90 percent to 95 percent of the people who have chosen to face the underlying emotional wounds have experienced a change in their sexual orientation.
Homosexuality, then, is not permanent. Consequently, it is not to the advantage of homosexuals or the society at large to adopt a policy of same-sex marriages.
Michael Hanratty is a graduate student in civil engineering, and Craig Krueger is a campus pastor for Christians in Action, a Chi Alpha ministry.