The issue of homosexuality in the church

edited March 24 in Faith Issues
Hi friends,
I have not posted on here in a while. I have gone through a lot in the several years that I have been here, and a lot of things have caused me to question a lot of things about the church and question my views. I have several questions. I will post the others in separate posts.

First of all, I do not understand the Coptic Orthodox view of a church member who believes he or she is homosexual. Or even bringing someone from the community who is homosexual to the church. Do we believe that being homosexual is a choice?

Do we believe in conversion therapy which I have heard is very harmful to people and has caused them to leave the church.
Also If someone does become Christian are they supposed to confess anytime they have weird feelings or attractions to the opposite sex?

I often think about the issue of homosexuality and how I would
never bring a homosexual to our church. For one, there was a
period of time where I was confused about my sexuality; thought I might
be gay and didn't know why I was having strange thoughts. And I was
TERRIFIED of being a lesbian. I did not choose those thoughts or
feelings.
It just happened. And I prayed to God to remove the thoughts
and it didn't go away just magically.
It even went to the
point that I involved myself physically with a guy in college just to
make sure I was still attracted to guys. Because I was that afraid of
being homosexual. I was NOT a lesbian... but it was a scary time in my
life.
So I do not agree with homosexuality being a choice. I do not believe people choose this way.
And nobody wants to live alone
for the rest of their life because they have those feelings that they
can't control, while at the same time God doesn't condone gay marriage.
I felt like if I was homosexual, I would be forced to live alone if the feelings never went away because God doesn't condone gay marriage, and that made me fall into despair and feel hopeless.

God says it is wrong, but I guess I don't understand why. Why does he let people have these confusing feelings and then at the same time condemn it and force them to live alone for the rest of their lives.
I understand why homosexuals feel like they want to leave the church.

Comments

  • a few thoughts (send personal message for the full 3 pages):

    Some people spend a lot time identifying themselves with their
    favourite hero or style of clothing, but their heroes will die and the fashions
    will change.

     

    Our identity in God (from a commentary on the gospel of Saint John by
    Abouna Tadros Malaty)

    * We will become like the Light as we come close to the light of the
    true Christ. According to the Lord’s words, if we leave the dark atmosphere of
    the world and live in the heights, we become lights (Jn 9: 5; 1:9).

    The true Light that lights in the darkness descends to us. However, if
    the filth of sin covers our hearts, it darkens the brilliance of our light. (St.
    Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa; On Virginity, 11).

    *However, adoption is it is dependent on ‘our willingness.’ St. John elaborates
    by saying that many ‘received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
    of God, even to those who believed in His name.’ That indicates that they were
    not the children of God before they believed. However, by choosing to believe
    they are qualified to become His children.

    Those who refuse Christ's suffering are proud. They do not step down,
    so they are not healed. They say "far be it from me that I believe that
    God was incarnate, born of a woman, and that He was crucified, and scourged,
    that He died, was wounded, and was buried. Far be it from me that I believe
    that this is of God; this does not befit God." Let the heart speak, and
    not the stiffneck: For the proud, the Lord's meekness seems unsuitable to Him.
    Therefore, enjoying health is far from them. If you want to be healed you must
    step down. (Saint Augustine; Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 74:3; from the parable of
    the paralysed man at Bethesda).


    The most important aspect of our identity to understand is our relation
    to God.

    Everything else is subject to change and less important.

    Male and female complement each other through their differences, and
    can learn love and tolerance

    Ephesians 5:32 – marriage is an image of the relationship between Jesus
    Christ and the church

    Saint John Chrysostom says that this helps us to understand God’s plan
    for our salvation.

    Since the time of Adam and Eve, humans have been rebellious

    Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but
    against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
    this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


    Same gender attraction:

    Estimated to be between 1%-3% in males and between 0.5%-1% in females

    Dean H. Hamer and colleagues in 1993 published results from their
    research that men with specific types of the gene Xq28 are more likely to be
    homosexual

    In 1995 another group of scientists could not replicate this and found
    no X linked gene.

     

    Twin studies:

    Year     Type                        Concordance

    1952     Identical                             100%

                 Non identical                      15%

    2000     Identical                              31%

                 Non identical                      13%

    2001     Identical                              20-25%

    Later samples more representative; so concordance for orientation is
    less.

    Ref: Kallmann, Kendler et al, Hersh- berger

     

    High school students attracted to the same sex – 2-7x more likely to
    attempt suicide (18. Remafedi G. JAMA. 1999;282:1291–2)

    Increased risk of sexually transmitted infections & more likely to
    have had sexual intercourse (including non consensual) and more partners (12.
    Garofalo R et al Pediatrics 1998)

     

    Change of gender does not relieve psychological distress:

    324 people after sex change surgery

    ~ 10 years after having surgery –increasing psychological problems

    Death from suicide nearly 20x more than similar people

    Karolinska Institute, Sweden (followed up for up to 30 years)

     

    See next post for conclusion.
  • Conclusion

    It is normal for humans to have romantic desires as God created us with
    these desires

    However, all desires need to be controlled, this is why we fast

    God gives us the power to control ourselves

    Intimate pictures of others – harder to control thoughts

    Self pleasure – harder to control emotions

    Marriage – pleasure with controlled thoughts + emotions

    God helps us to resist temptation:

    2 Corinthians 12: 9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength
    is made perfect in weakness.

    Matthew 19: 29 – everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or
    father or mother or wife or children or lands for My name’s sake, shall receive
    a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

    1 Corinthians 10: 13 – No temptation has overtaken you except such as
    is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted
    beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of
    escape, that you may be able to bear it.

     

    Pray – God knows our deepest desires and came to heal + save us

    God is in complete control and will give us wisdom + strength

    Confess sins or temptations. There is no sin that will not be forgiven
    (except lack of repentance)

    Hebrews 4:15 – Our High Priest ‘was in all points tempted as we are,
    yet without sin’.


    Sorry for the note format, it is copied from a slide presentation.

    May God guide you and give you peace.

  • Feelings for the same or opposite sex isn’t the problem, it’s acting on them. Also looking or fantasizing over people is considered lust and adultery and hence needs to be confessed
  • I actually have been writing a paper for my english class about this and had several interviews with Christians and non-Christians about this, thank you for sharing. 

    I am not underestimating the feelings you felt, I believe that it felt true to you, but I wanted to answer why as a church we condemn it and why society has condemned for millenniums! 

    Of course as a church we condemn it because God condemns it and society for a period of time was heavily reliant on religion for morality and have adopted the Christian (specifically) moral code. 

    However, why from the beginning of the world has it been condemned. The act is simply unnatural, it is not normal for two males to be attracted to each other neither is it normal for two females to be attracted. People have rebelled over history to try to change that and were always punished in a way until of course society now is becoming more accepting of it. If the act is unnatural and God created it this way, that "tradition" if you will, can not simply change over night because it was established since forever and it was established for a reason. 

    So why are people having such feelings? My personal theory is that psychologically speaking (I am no expert so feel free to correct me), humans are very rebellious, they establish codes and laws only to break them and try to find new ways to go around them. It took only one person who was rebellious to speak against this law that God has established. As that person influenced people around or fed their rebellion, he convinced them that they actually have such feelings. As more generations grow around these ideologies floating around, especially in our world now, more and more are convinced, and convince themselves that they have such feelings. Since you are firm in the faith, you prayed and did the right thing of trying to stay away from that sin and was finally freed by the grace of God. However, the people out there who are not as firm or do not believe in God, are fully convinced they are who they say they are. Again, I am not undermining their feelings but I am trying to look at the big picture that the world around them put the thought in their conscious and they believed it and convinced themselves that they believed it. 

    Why does God have it this way? We do not know exactly why God has established it to be a male and a female but if it were the other way around then we would have still questioned it. 

    Why does God not intervene? This being like any other tribulation we pass, is a test of our faith. God is our teacher who teaches us the right content and we have the choice to do the homework and study His words. However, when the time of the exam comes, the Teacher can not intervene and help us. You did great and you passed your test, pray for others to also pass their tests. 

    Why does God allow for such feelings to exist? As noted above, humans are rebellious and God has given us free will. We are His children and raising us He taught us that this upsets Him, but as we keep saying no and doing it anyway, He can not stop us because He created us with free will. God taught Adam and Eve what is right from wrong, and as where the first sin of rebellion stemmed from, they did not listen and rebelled against God and listened to the serpent which convinced them that rebellion is better. We have Adam and Eve's choice daily, whether to rebel against God's commandments or to pursue righteousness and remain closer to God. 

    As we remain closer to God and are filled in mind and spirit of Him, the serpent would not have any room to war us because all the room in our minds and hearts are with God and He guides us. 

    As @mabsoota said, that is why we fast, so that we can learn to control ourselves. God be with you. 
  • Along with the great advice from @mabsoota and @Marenhoos_erof
  • edited November 21
    It looks like I am going to be locking all homosexuality posts.

    @metouro...please stop digging up these discussions. You are welcome to look at them and read, but we are not talking about this topic again...hence me deleting your comment.

    @menneeryacoub...Same response to you as I have to metouro. We will not be discussing this topic further. 
This discussion has been closed.