Homosexuality is a common human condition. It's same sex attraction, along with all of the culture that supports and condones it are impulses and social constructs that the Bible views as sinful conditions that people choose to embrace out of any one of a thousand reasons. There are those who argue that this is a genetic issue and that homosexuality is a genetic predisposition, and there are those who religiously argue that God made homosexuals to be homosexual, in complete contradiction to the plain Biblical view that God fashioned humanity to follow two sexes.
It took the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and the estrangement of humanity from His Lordship over them to ultimately result in the development of same-sex culture, in which men are attracted to men and women to women and who seek to create a distorted revisioning of what human relationships and sexuality should be.
It's taken the last two hundred years of secular humanism's uber-tolerance for any "alternative lifestyle" as equally valid to the other to fully blossom in human consciousness in the West and the last fifty to see homosexual culture come out of what it calls "the closet" and boldly, shamelessly claim to be just as normative as heterosexuality. Taking cues from the civil rights movement, gay rights activism now engages us with sophisticated, emotional and zealous challenges to view it as a condition that deserves the same kind of legal protection as the rights of women and minorities. Much of Western society has fully embraced this warped mindset that flies in the face of the Bible's teachings on homosexuality and now view narrowly those who feel otherwise as intolerant "homophobes."
Along with this cultural cooption of every known human institution to support and nourish the homosexual lifestyle came a full blown abandonment of Biblical fidelity by a variety of mainstream Protestant denominations, one being the Episcopal Church in America. It's just another sign of the end time apostacy, one that shouldn't surprise anyone, and something that no one today - except the gay friendly press and culture - will take any note of because it's now so common. Today, in Los Angeles, a female Episcopal bishop will ordain another female Episcopal priest to the bishopric, one who is openly gay and has had a partner since 1988. This is the same branch of the Episcopal Church in America whose first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, informed us that Paul's condemnation of homosexuality in Romans 1 was not directed at gays, of course. His discussion of this passage resonates with the gay religious agenda today:
We have to understand that the notion of a homosexual sexual orientation is a notion that’s only about 125 years old.“That is to say, St. Paul was talking about people that he understood to be heterosexual engaging in same-sex acts," said Bishop Robinson. "It never occurred to anyone in ancient times that a certain minority of us would be born being affectionally oriented to people of the same sex. So it did seem like against their nature to be doing so.”
With the plain thrust of the Bible thus brushed aside, it's no wonder that such advances that homosexuality has made in the world have achieved the change of public opinion as they have. Such a shift of Western culture wasn't lost on the founder of the largest gay church movement in the U.S., one time Pentecostal preacher Troy Perry. What Biblically-informed Christians would call his "fall" as he fully embraced homosexuality while pastoring a Pentecostal church is seen by him just a bit different than they do. Many Christians ask if he could have been "restored" if only something "different" had been done for him when he openly turned to homosexuality in 1963. Of course he could have .. but as far as Perry was concerned, there wasn't a problem to begin with. He'd embraced the view that God created him to be homosexual. How can you begin to bring restoration to anyone who hasn't even come to any perception of how fallen they are? How do you lift someone up who stands in the muck of their sin and narrowly looks back at you to say "God made me this way and God don't make junk!"
I own an unexpurgated copy of Perry's autobiography and after reading his account of those years, I wanted to take a shower afterwards. Without getting any more lurid than the truth already is, Perry defiantly relates to how he evangelized in Alabama as a Church of God preacher while simultaneously engaging in "pleasant sexual interludes" characterized as "tender exploration" without a glimmer of regret. He continued in his folly even while taking a piano playing wife and dutifully fathering two children. His only regrets seemed to be that he got caught and that he never was "true to himself" and separated from his wife by telling her "The time has come for me stand up and find me. I've got to know who I am." In fact, after drafted into the Army in 1965, the only "fear of God" you see in Perry was his terror that he might be struck dead on the spot in a gay bar in Hollywood for DRINKING BEER. That says much about where his skewed morality had gone.
I will be the first to admit that he very likely was treated like trash by the Church of God overseers who were supposed to help him and who instead gave him the right foot of fellowship. That was very definitely a profound and seriously flawed way to have addressed Perry's problem, but in light of his own self-justifying account, you can see where his heart was. Troy's lust and religiosity were, in his mind, perfectly balanced when he decided God "made him" that way and started to develop his gay theological monstrosity through the founding of the Metropolitan Community Church. I really don't believe he'd have done any differently regardless how the Church of God overseers approached him.
The controversy is endless, much of it generated by gay activists who passionately excoriate and condemn the attempts by the Church today to address the homosexual condition compassionately and Biblically, without immediately resorting to the ferocious hellfire and damnation posturing of past Christian positions. They draw no distinction between those who resist homosexuality on moral grounds and those who just are vicious and hateful people who would torment homosexuals as quickly as anyone else they could bully (painting both groups as "homophobes" guilty of spilling the blood of people like Matthew Shepard). This emotion laden argument easily drowns out those who would still affirm homosexuality to be a perversion of human nature, one no more evil than any other. Gay rights activists now routinely demand the identification and condemnation of these dissenters with a pogram of social, political and personal ostracization as intolerant as the "hating" they want to expose. By pointing out that any and every person with objections to homosexuality use "hate speech" betraying an antisocial "homophobia", the gay rights movement daily advances in culture with little to stop it. With the rise of another clumsily executed pro-gay Presidential agenda foisted upon us by the machinations of the Obama administration and the Democratic control of Washington, things don't appear to be getting any better.
And a Church that should know better slips further into the mud .. just as Jesus said it would.
Seeking to care for and understand homosexual people in a sincere attempt to bring them through reparative therapy is where the best hope for homosexuals lies. The Exodus International movement among others has sought to pioneer this approach, even as radical gay activists try to discredit it by infiltrating ex-gay support groups and programs to do so. They do this, I think, because it has genuinely helped many who sincerely want to know if they can change. Exodus' testimonials of change can't be denied, even if there are those who return to homosexuality itself. Homosexuals can be healed and can be transformed into a uniquely personal new creation, not denying who they themselves are, but by helping them rediscover the connections they need to find to reorienting their passions and drives that have been sexualized by same sex attraction. It's not a wiping out of who they are personally but a healing of the breach within their sexuality that colored their overall direction of life. That is what healing of the homosexual looks like, which Exodus advocates, so courageously champions in the face of an increasingly intolerant culture pro-gay hatred.
What has helped me the most in understanding and trying to deal with how to help homosexuals was the work of Christian therapist Elizabeth Moberly who wrote a great book called "Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic" that was eye opening. There were 2 talks she gave at the Church of God seminary back in the late 1980's during a conference on the family that I heard that provided profound insights into homosexuality that need to be heard by all Christians desiring to help them. It's changed my views on the subject and I believe her insights, controversial as some may find them, are consistent with Biblical teaching on homosexuality and human nature as well as sound, sensible psychological observation into human behavior. Her book is well worth the find and it is barely even 75 pages long, but outstanding, concise and easy to understand. In short, she advocates the position that "the homosexual condition involves legitimate developmental needs, the fulfillment of which has been blocked by an underlying ambivalence to members of the same sex."
There has been, in her assertion, a trauma or deficit in a homosexual's relationship to their same-sex parent (that can - but not always - involve sexual abuse, emotional distancing, family issues, etc.) that, in their years of puberty and psycho-sexual development, they somehow try to start to work out through sexual and social relationships with the same sex. It's a mind-kinking argument, but I believe it holds the key to helping these tormented men and women.
Sadly, for those who've abandoned whatever restraint they may have had, or who were taught that any concept of such a thing is unhealthy repression, the homosexual culture rolls onward. And the Troy Perrys, Gene Robinsons, Katherine Schoris and Mary Glasspools of the the apostate church of the last days are ready to invoke the Deity in their godspeeds.