Last updated on October 11, 2020
I am baptized, and I attend a local sound Church of Christ and plan to do so for the foreseeable future. I am writing to you without the knowledge of my parents because, to put it bluntly, I have a question regarding my sexuality or sexual identity. I feel much more secure asking about it to a Christian over the Internet who cannot affect my life by contacting my parents, church, or friends. Please understand that sexual identity is a very sensitive topic among my family, and I do not intend any offense to you. I do not feel comfortable or safe discussing the matter with my parents or members of my congregation.
When I was 13-years-old my parents directed me to your website to read about biblical sex education. I saw the Questions tab and made sure to remember the link to your website in case I had any questions.
Well, currently I am 15-years-old and going through a part of my life where I have a need to know who I am. I recently began identifying as Panromantic Heterosexual. I feel more like myself or more like I know who I am by identifying myself as Panromantic Heterosexual than I do identifying as Pansexual, Bisexual, or Heterosexual. The label of Panromantic Heterosexual describes someone who can have romantic feelings towards any person regardless of assigned gender or sexual orientation but only feels sexual attraction to Heterosexual people of the opposite gender.
This question has been bugging me lately: Will my sexual identity prohibit me from going to heaven? I do believe that it is wrong to have sex or have a romantic relationship with another male, but I constantly still feel romantic feelings towards close male friends and on rare occasions, random people I meet, whether through the Internet or just in my everyday life. If I never act on any of those feelings, does me simply having a sexual identity other than Heterosexual violate God’s rules?
Currently, the way I see it, it is the same as being tempted to have sex before marriage (which I do believe is wrong) and just not acting upon it. You would feel like you want to have sex with that person, but you would know that it is wrong and turn away. I feel like the same rule applies in my case. I have romantic (again, not sexual) feelings toward other males, but instead of acting upon it, I turn it away.
Thank you and God bless.
I thank you for trusting me with your questions.
The apostle Paul warned Christian about the dangers of human philosophies. “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). The concept of endless numbers of sexual identities is very new. It was first toyed with in the 1960s and only recently became a fad since 2014. If this were something God built into mankind, I would expect to see it discussed all through the Bible. Instead, we find simple and basic facts presented in the Scriptures.
First, the Creator only made two genders. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). The additional genders recently claimed are not genders but labels given to describe behavior. But people wish to believe that these behaviors cannot be changed, despite evidence to the contrary, so they call them “genders” as if people were born with these traits. However, it is all imaginative without a single shred of evidence to support the claims.
What we find in the Bible is that sexual acts that are not between a husband and his wife are clearly defined as sinful. “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Romans 1:26-27). These sins came as a result of people rejecting God and creating their own moral codes. Even strongly desiring to break God’s laws is a sin that is called lust (Mark 7:21-23). Thus, it doesn’t matter if a person hasn’t yet committed acts of homosexuality, claiming to strongly want sex with the same gender is still wrong.
At the same time, no sin or lust is permanent. People can change their behavior and their choice of desires. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11). This is what Christianity is about, the changing of people for the better. “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18).
Having strong and close friendships with people of the same gender is not wrong. David and Jonathan were extremely close friends. “Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself” (I Samuel 18:1). It was not sexual love but then love never needs sex in order to exist. Even though both Jonathan and David had wives, David considered his bond with Jonathan as better than his relationship with his own wives. After Jonathan died, David said, “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women” (II Samuel 1:26).
This not about what kind of label you wish to apply to yourself. It is especially not determined by your feelings. God made you a man, so rejoice in who you are. As a man, you will someday have a wife and children, if you so choose. But you will also have friends, some casual and a few who will be extra special. “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). You don’t need labels to be such a man.
Thank you for responding in such a short time. I took a bit of time for myself to think about what you have given me, and I have come to realize my errors. The information you have provided me with has given me a good bit of insight into the subject, and I think that I understand now.