Recently I filmed a podcast episode with my friend Angela, she told me that she received a question from a viewer. My testimony involves me coming out of the homosexual lifestyle, and everyday having to walk with Christ in the midst of my temptations and lust for the same sex. I view this as my cross that I crucify on the daily. This viewer tried to discount the power of my testimony, saying that I didn’t have the fullness of the holy spirit living in me because I was still sinful and dealing with lust. That I would have to be considered delivered fully out of Same Sex Attraction in order to be a true Christian.
So is it true that if I have attractions for men that I don’t actually have the holy spirit? or even worse that sin still rules over my spirit? Or that I should be looked down upon until that attraction goes away?
Well there is a reason why it’s called Same Sex Attraction, and why it’s not called Same Sex Lust, there is a difference between the two.
Attraction is when you have a strong interest, a liking for someone or something, that never goes past the desire to obey God.
Lust is when you have an uncontrollable desire, craving, to someone or something that far exceeds the desire to obey God.
“Lust is when we let our minds wander past mere attraction and begin to consider how that beauty might arouse sexual desire in us. Can you take an initial attraction to someone too far and allow your mind to wander to places that result in sin? Absolutely." (https://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/divorce-and-remarriage/is-there-a-difference-between-noticing-someone-is-attractive-and-lust.html)
So it is possible to have an attraction and not be in sin, it becomes a sin when we allow those thoughts to take a place above God into perversion, fantasy or idolatry. As long as we don’t allow those intrusive attractions to linger into lustful thoughts, then there is no sin committed.
When we say things like Same Sex Attracted individuals are flawed or less than because of the attractions they have that they cannot control, it is very demeaning and dangerous. This can really lead someone far away from God than too him, they will think they are less than as a believer. They will believe that other believers are better than them, and they are in lack. Resulting in the weakening of their faith in God and most likely walking away altogether. We as believers are supposed to be encouraging one another, not tearing down peoples faith. Folks who struggle with same sex attraction may experience different temptations then the majority of believers but they should not be looked down upon for it. We all struggle, and yet we all still walk with the holy spirit, and are counted as righteous not because of what we do but because of who we believe in.
Having Same Sex attractions / temptations is not sinful, it is simply the result of living in an imperfect sinful world. Most believers who struggle with SSA cannot control those intrusive thoughts, so why would they be held accountable for them? It is better to encourage believers to take all thoughts captive to the truth of God and teach them how to do so, than to discourage them to believe God hates them, or discredit their salvation because of those intrusive / tempting thoughts.
You could argue that because we have a struggle with any type of lustful thoughts of the same sex that indeed this is sinful. I am in agreement lust for the same sex is indeed sin whether in action or in thought. As Jesus said “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. Nobody is disagreeing that lust is formed in the heart and that fantasy or desire if willfully explored is sinful, however attraction as we mentioned above is different than lust. The word attraction cannot even be found in the bible, neither in Greek or Hebrew, so how can we say that it is sinful?
An attraction to a man can be out of a real need from the individual to receive a very appropriate amount of attention from a male friend, father figure, or male mentor. The devil loves to take our very real needs that are not sinful, and create in us desires that pervert those needs. If someone is having more of an attraction towards the same sex this does not automatically make it sinful nor sexual, it could be a very real healthy need that this person should be receiving but is not. Most times (NOT ALWAYS) same sex attraction begins because of a rejection from what is needed by the individual that is healthy. Same sex peer approval, friendships, attention from elders, and fathers are all very real needs, and when it is lacking it can produce an uncontrollable attraction or better yet said a strong interest for that very real need. To say that all attraction is sexual, is wrong, attraction in the mind are created for what usually the person needs out of their humanity.
James is very clear, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” The word used for desire means lust, and or a string craving (in greek epythimia), not attraction, and even then the desire (lust) is not yet fully formed into sin unless explored. The Greek word for conceived is syllambano and it means to rally together, gather, or seize. This means that when we take those desires and make way for them in our minds that is the moment it becomes sin. What we learn is that even the desires / intrusive thought / longings / cravings / will not be sinful unless explored further by the mind. We have the power as believers to end those lustful thoughts as they happen and not pay any attention to them.  The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Jas 1:14–15.
However even if we do sin, this is the beauty of the gospel message. each one of us face the tension of living in a sinful world and walking in flesh. Paul makes it clear in the books of romans, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Our flesh is still active and will ultimately sin, but our spirit is renewed and our mind agrees with the law of God because we have been transformed in our inner man. Our desires have changed, and we will choose God the majority of the time, we will produce fruit in our lives. Will we be perfect in following God? Absolutely not. Thank God that we have reached perfection in the son, and our life now belongs in him.
Let us understand three things
1. Everybody Sins / No One is Perfect
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
2. Jesus redeems Us.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
3. Walking till Glorification.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
 The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ro 7:24–25.  The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), 2 Co 5:21.  The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Php 3:20–21.
So are believers who experience same sex attraction in sin? No. Is same sex attraction inherently sinful? No, it can be a very real need from an individual that is not being met, it is not always sexual in nature, as it can be emotional as well. As long as the person does not further fantasize or long for this attraction to be turned into lust, and inhibit their ability to obey God, the believer is not sin. I would however encourage all believers that experience same sex attraction to dig down deep emotionally on what they think could possibly be behind the root of that attraction, and identify that need so that it can be met.