It is a fine line that exists between “temptation thoughts” and “sinful thoughts.” Satan knows where he has in the past been successful with his tailor made temptations for each one of us. We should expect that he will be relentless in his attempts at continual success in the area of homosexual attractions.
But, let us not forget, temptation does not define who we are. Temptation defines who Satan is…! Our choices, our thoughts and feelings and emotions, define our characters, or define who we are. It is not our temptations, but what we choose to dwell upon, what we choose to think about, how we choose to feel and act that determines whether we are guilty of sin or not.
So, to answer the question of Same Gender Sexual Attractions being sinful: we should follow the counsel of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Here Paul is telling us how to deal with “temptation thoughts” without falling into “sinful thinking.” In other words, we should not allow these sexual attractions to find root in our minds.
Well, how do we not allow ourselves to have these homosexual attractions? What do we do about them?
Here is a key: “Let this mind be in you,which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Allow it to be so in you. Stop resisting the working of the Lord by insisting, “I was born this way. There’s nothing I can do about my attractions.” The text tells us to let God work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. (See Philippians 2:13)
What’s the point?
The point is that we should look at other people as Jesus did, not through “sex-tinted glasses.” We should see in them a people for whom Jesus gave His life on the cross that they, too, might have everlasting life. Love, godly love, self-less love, is the agency which God uses to expel sinful thoughts from the human soul. By this self-less love for another person with his/her eternal well-being in mind, God changes our pride into humility, and what would be self-ish lust into a genuine interest in that person’s relationship with his Creator.
Acknowledging that there is an appropriate attraction process that draws people together for the purpose of union in marriage that meets with God’s approval and blessing, we are dealing here with those attractions that do not meet with such approval and blessing. Let’s face it. Inappropriate sexual attractions of any kind find root in a heart that is self-ish, self-centered, seeking self-gratification and self-fulfillment. And we all have to deal with the issue of “self.”
However, Paul tells us to: Mortify (subdue, put to death) therefore your…unrestrained & improper affection, evil consupiscence (sexual desires), and covetousness (desiring the “forbidden fruit…”); to put off the old man with his deeds; and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. (Colossians 3:5-10)
When a person truly gives his heart to Jesus and is baptized, he professes to be dead, and declares that his life has changed–hid with Christ in God. He claims to be dead to sin, and cleansed from his hereditary and cultivated traits of evil. In going forward in the rite of baptism, he pledges himself before God to remain dead to sin.
The truth must sanctify the whole man–his mind, his thoughts, his heart, his strength. His vital powers will not be consumed upon his own lustful practices. These must be overcome, or they will overcome him. (See 2 Peter 2:19-22)
But what is Sanctification–how many understand its full meaning? The mind is befogged by sensual malaria. The thoughts need purifying. …The true Christian obtains an experience which brings holiness. He is without a spot of guilt upon the conscience, or a taint of corruption upon the soul. The spirituality of the law of God, with its limiting principles, is brought into his life. The light of truth irradiates his understanding. A glow of perfect love for the Redeemer clears away the miasma which has interposed between his soul and God. The will of God has become his will, pure, elevated, refined, and sanctified. His countenance reveals the light of heaven. His body is a fit temple for the Holy Spirit. Holiness adorns his character. God can commune with him; for soul and body are in harmony with God.
It seems to me that if we are truly attracted to Jesus and focus upon Him that all inappropriate attractions should be eclipsed by our attraction to Christ. Let us keep our focus, for by beholding Him we become changed; we become like Him Who “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Hebrews 4:15, Philippians 2:5)
All Power to you!