Last updated on October 1, 2020
I was wondering what it means to be attracted sexually to men and if that’s sinful or not. I also read some questions on your web site that seem uplifting. Also is it normal through adolescence to want to have sex with men, not to lust but to have the desire?
To answer your question, we need to review some terms:
James details the process of sin in this fashion: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). The steps are:
- Desires: Each of us is born with a normal, natural set of desires. The physical desires are the consequence of the operation of our bodies. We also have spiritual desires, such as not wanting to be alone, wanting to be liked by others, or wanting something pretty.
- Temptation: Satan tries to place us in situations where it appears that the satisfaction of a desire will require the breaking of a law of God. Temptation is the forcing of a choice to be made: either to break a law of God and satisfy a desire or to forgo satisfaction in order to keep God’s law.
- Lust (desire conceived): When a person mentally consents that breaking a law of God is worth satisfying the desire, then the person has moved into the realm of lust. This is when the person justifies to himself that breaking God’s law can be excused, at least in some situations.
- Sin: This is when a person seizes an opportunity and actually breaks God’s law.
- Licentiousness (sin full-grown): Sin is rarely done just once. The excuses to sin come fast, such as “I’ve done it once, doing it again isn’t going to make much difference.” Eventually, the person becomes calloused to sin and no longer feels guilty about what he is doing. He doesn’t care what other people think. He may even convince himself that he has the right to sin. (Licentiousness means thinking you have a license to sin.)
- Death: A person fully convinced that he ought to sin and doesn’t care what even God thinks about his actions won’t be persuaded out of his sin. Since he won’t leave his sin, he will die in his sin.
As an example, hunger is a desire — it is neither right nor wrong. Temptation is when you are in the convenience store and see a candy bar, but realize you don’t have enough money to pay for it. Lust is when you tell yourself that the store can afford to lose some items and that they are expecting some loss, or telling yourself that you could pocket it now and pay for it later and you accept that this is adequate justification to steal. Sin is when you walk out with the candy bar without paying for it. Licentiousness is when you think it is fun to take things off the shelf even though you have adequate money to pay for it. And from there it is a short step to spiritual death.
Your body has a desire for sex. It doesn’t care who or how just as long as it can ejaculate when it needs to. The desire is normal, but Satan tempts some people with the idea that they can satisfy that desire by doing something unrighteous, such as having sex with your girlfriend or having sex with a guy. The fact that the realization that you could do something sinful is not a sin. Satan can’t tempt a person to sin without encouraging him to think about sin.
If we stop there, there is nothing wrong. The thought crosses your mind that you could have sex with a guy, but you reject it because you know it is morally wrong. However, it appears you haven’t left it there. When you start talking about wanting to have sex with men, then you are hinting that you’ve accepted homosexuality as desirable for you. That leaves a wide-opened door for Satan to push you toward actually committing the sin. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:21-23). The very acceptance of sin means you disagree, at least in part, with God’s laws, which is a sin. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:21).
It may seem like a narrow difference, but it is important.
Please understand I am a Christian and do think homosexuality is a sin. The reason I am writing you is because I am afraid.
Afraid of what? You make your own choices. Just because you are tempted, it doesn’t mean you have to accept the temptation, dwell on it, or follow through with it.
The homosexual community has long claimed that they have no choice, but that is because they want to excuse their sin. But their claim is a lie. I Corinthians 6:9-11 shows that people can leave homosexuality; therefore, it is a choice. But they have said it so long that people have repeated the lie without checking their facts. Don’t get pulled in by Satan’s deceit.
Thank you so much, Mr. Hamilton. I will control my desires and will always go the right way. However, I have worried for years about all this, and I thought that my desire to have sex with men was a sin. However, I don’t lust after those desires because I know that is wrong.
Good! Now you know you’ve worried for nothing. Focus on living according to God’s laws and things in life will work out.