Can there be a "gay Christian" is a question that is now controversial and provoking. Some people answer differently, and others simply want a reasonable answer for it. My answer may shock you. So, I am writing this article for no other reason than to answer this question clearly, concisely, and biblically. Some sincere believers and seekers out there may not know the true biblical answer to this question. And so I'd like to share it, hopefully without inciting a cyber-riot.
For Your Clarification
Before we go on, let's get the obvious question out the way. Does the Bible condemn homosexuality as a sin? Yes, God Himself says do not commit homosexual acts, and that it is an abomination (Heb. toebah)—that is, it is disgusting and immoral in God's eyes (Lev. 18:22; 20:13, cf. Rom. 1:26-32, 1Tim. 1:9-10). But it is a sin no different than any other sin. Does it have different consequences in an individual's life or society? Yes, but all sin still ends in further rebellion, lawlessness, destruction, and eternal separation from God.
Now, allow me to clear up a misunderstanding, one that is typically unaddressed but assumed to be the same, and that is between the concepts of "struggle" and "lifestyle". Some people may ask this question (can there be a "gay Christian"?) no differently than asking can someone be a fornicating Christian, or a Christian liar, or a prideful Christian, or a Christian addict, and so forth. This thought implies a "struggle" rather than a "lifestyle". So, someone asking this question in this context may very well be asking can there be a Christian struggling with homosexuality ("a gay Christian")? And the answer to this is...of course! The same way there can be Christians struggling with sin or carnal desires such as porn, or lying, or false teachings, or drugs and alcohol, or conceitedness, or idolatry, and so on, there can be Christians that struggle with homosexuality.
"Struggling" insinuates resistance, which means in order to call it a "struggle" one has to be desiring and striving against 'said' sin/temptation/carnal desire. On the other hand, "lifestyle" insinuates no resistance, which means one is living in 'said' sin/carnal desire (i.e. practicing it willfully/presumptuously) with no desire to change or please God and no disgust for the sin/carnal desire. See the difference? So before we're quick to answer anyone who asks this question about being a "gay Christian", let's be sure to get more understanding of what they mean first. They may be speaking about something different than what we assume, and we may very well answer their question wrongly and cause harm in someway.
Fruit From Which Tree?
Christians "struggle" with many things, because we're in this body of sin/sin nature (Jam. 4:1, 1Pet. 2:11). But there will be evidence/fruit in a Christian's life that they have been truly born-again as a new creation in Christ (2Cor. 5:14-17, 1Pet. 4:1-3, Matt. 3:8-10; 7:21-23; 12:33-37, Prov. 12:12b). All true born-again Christians possess the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:16-17, Rom. 8:16, 1Cor. 6:11), and there will be evidence/fruit of the Holy Spirit in that person's life (Rom. 8:13-15, Gal. 5:16-18, 22-25, 2Tim. 1:7). If there is no evidence of the Holy Spirit (i.e. a desire for His desires, a desire to please God, the attitude that Jesus is Lord over your life, bearing His fruit, and a disgust towards sin) in a professing Christian's life, the Bible says that person is not truly saved (Rom. 8:5-9).
You can "say" you're saved because you made "a confession of believing in Jesus' death and resurrection", but the Holy Spirit is the confirmation/the assurance of the sincerity of your salvation.
So to think, believe, or profess to be born-again/a new creation in Christ, yet living/practicing a "lifestyle" of sin, and exhibiting no evidence of the Holy Spirit is a misnomer (Eph. 4:17-24, 2Tim. 2:19). It is biblically and logically incompatible, and for a person to continue to insist that this contradiction is not a contradiction but a true statement is deceived or *schizophrenic.
"4 Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect—being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will). 5 You know that He appeared in visible form and became Man to take away [upon Himself] sins, and in Him there is no sin [essentially and forever]. 6 No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him—deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him]. 7 Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous. 8 [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done]. 9 No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. 10 By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow believer in Christ)." (1Jn. 3:4-10, AMP)
Some may say, "What does this mean for the Christians that may fall into rebellion, are they really a true born-again believer or a misnomer?" True believers do fall at certain points in their life. This has happened to David, Peter, myself, and many other faithful people of God throughout the centuries. "The marks of a true believer will stand true compared to those of a poser. Though a true believer will fall—i.e. to certain temptations (lust, anger, pride, self-righteousness, etc) or at worse into temporary rebellion—they will get back up again just as the Bible says- Prov. 24:16, Ps. 37:23- 24. Repentance is ever present with a true believer, but not so with a poser."**
Can There Be...
So, can there be a "gay Christian"?
Yes, a true born-again believer can "struggle" with homosexuality.
Yes, true born-again believers can fall to temporary rebellion in a homosexual relationship the same way one can fall to temporary rebellion in a heterosexual relationship.
But repentance (an evidence of the Holy Spirit) will be ever present with a true believer for the Holy Spirit's role is to convict and sanctify believers, and complete His good work (Gal. 5:17, Phil. 1:6, 1Thess. 5:23-24).
However, to claim or sincerely believe oneself to be gay and to be living in/presumptuously practicing a homosexual "lifestyle", the answer is no, a true born again believer cannot be a "gay Christian".
To claim to be a "gay Christian" (not a Christian struggling with homosexuality) would be equivalent to someone claiming to be a Christian Muslim or a Christian Satanist, it's oxymoronic. Two opposing identities cannot coexist as one agreeable identity, that is schizophrenia. It is God's will that His born-again children be pure from sexual immorality, and anyone who rejects this rejects God (1Thess. 4:1-8). You cannot be a "gay Christian". But you can be a Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction.
I believe we have drifted too far from clearly understanding the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, because of His amazing grace and unconditional love for His creation, came (when He didn't have to) into His creation to be crucified for God-hating, God-rejecting, rebellious, self-centered, and sinful humankind—that's all of us, no one is a good person in God's eyes, we're all sinners deserving of His judgment regardless of any "good things" we may do.
Jesus received the full weight of God's righteous fury for our sin, that eternal wrath we all deserve. He didn't simply give His life for His enemies as an act of chivalry, He sacrificially stood in the place of His enemies' deserved eternal punishment. Think about that....
He jumped in the electric chair for—murderers, rapists, molesters, etc; which is what every sinner is, we're all the vilest things you can think of—us who deserved to be in the electric chair,
while we're all spitting at Him and ridiculing Him and screaming at Him telling Him to move out the way and mind His business..."this is my life, I'm the only 'god' around here, I can live and do as I please",
He was willingly strapped in and electrocuted (without limitations) for us.
He became our sin for us; our scapegoat.
Then, after being crucified and receiving the fullness of God's righteous fury for His enemies sin, He conquered death for those same enemies/sinners by rising from the dead.
But only those who recognize their sinful and unrighteous standing before God and sincerely believe and trust in what Jesus did for them will be rescued/saved from this righteous fury of God on sin.
This gospel is the power of God unto salvation! One cannot say they believe this and not be changed! (1Pet. 1:13-25)
Choose Your Destination
So here's where we land...
If you are a professing or closet homosexual, this is your destination...a one-way trip to God's righteous wrath for eternity. If you die today you will find yourself in the face of God's judgment, unless you repent and believe (Jn. 3:36, 1Cor. 6:9, Eph. 5:5, Rev. 21:8). I hope and pray that you do.
If you are a professing or closet homosexual who believes you are a Christian, it is a psychotic*** thing to believe that you truly understand this reality of sin, sin's eternal penalty, Jesus redeeming you from sin's penalty and power, and the Holy Spirit which raised Jesus from death living within you and making you a new creation, and still believe or claim to be gay and live that lifestyle (Rom. 6:1-23, Gal. 5:19-21). You my friend are deceived and are destined for God's righteous wrath for eternity. If you die today you will find yourself in the face of God's judgment, unless you repent and believe (Jn. 3:36, 1Cor. 6:9, Eph. 5:5, Rev. 21:8). I hope and pray that you do too.
For my brethren who are struggling with homosexuality/same-sex attraction, remind yourself daily of the gospel which saved your souls; remind yourself what Jesus did to save you and why He saved you; cry out to the Holy Spirit to give you a desire for His desires and to break you and make you more into His likeness by any means necessary; immerse yourself in His Word and prayer; and also connect with other mature believers who have experienced consistent victory in this same struggle. Do not allow this struggle to pimp you out like it did before your were redeemed. You have the power and presence of the Holy Spirit within you, and you have been called to sanctification. You run and fight until exhaustion for the glory of your risen King and what you know is laid up for you (1Cor. 6:18-20; 9:24-27, 2Cor. 5:9-10; 6:14-7:1).
I know some will not like what I have written. I'm sure some may label it hate speech, and say I'm being intolerant, judgmental, and a fundamentalist. But I call this article "love speech", because I love you enough to tell you the truth. And if I am intolerant, my intolerance is toward the deception of the sin not toward you personally. I want you to be rescued from your sin, and bondage, and deception. I am not passing judgment either, I have no reason to judge nor am I the Judge. I'm simply explaining the truth. If you feel judged, then the truth is that which judges you not me (Jn. 12:48).
Also, I know some may say, "God is love and well God loves me and accepts me just the way I am." And to you I say, yes, God is love, but God is holy love not unholy love. And yes He does love you, but He loves you to the point of transforming you into His likeness. God's holy love cannot nor will not allow you or enable you to remain the same sinful, rebellious enemy He was crucified for. God's holy love was the motivation which poured out His righteous wrath on His Son for your sin, not so you can continue to live in that sinful lifestyle and use His love as a justification for it (Jn. 3:16-21). That is a lie and it will cost you your eternity believing it. Repent and believe the truth.
I hope this article has answered this question clearly, concisely (ok, maybe not concisely), and biblically. I hope I have helped believers and seekers out there know the true biblical answer to this question.
*1. Schizophrenic, in general usage, is a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements.
**2. Discipleship State of Mind, p. 114
***3. Psychotic: denoting or suffering from psychosis---a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.