Can Someone Live a Homosexual Lifestyle and Still Be Christian?

In this video, Ravi Zacharias answers the question of whether or not a person can live a homosexual lifestyle and still be a Christian.

Notes from the video:

Christian’s fight against racism because race is sacred. It is given by God and should not be violated. The same goes for sexuality, it is sacred and should not be violated.

Just as we would not justify the violation of the sacredness of sex through adulty, the same goes for homosexuality.

People are tempted all of the time to violate the sacredness of marriage through adultery. Even when someone loves their spouse, they can be tempted. The proclivity or disposition does not justify expressing that disposition and that proclivity.

At different levels of commitment, there are differing levels of standards to which you are held. If you were to ask what it takes to be a Christian, I will give you the answer. If you were then to ask what it takes to be a part of a church, a community of believers, I would add certain doctrines onto that. If you were then to ask what it takes to teach at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, I would say there are even more standards to which you must subscribe.

At each level, there is greater responsibility and accountability as dispensers of the truth.

Can one be a Christian and have this disposition, yes. Can one practice this lifestyle and be a member of a community of believers, no. Where do we begin to draw the line?


  1. Can we make a distinction between that which makes a Christian and that which allows one to become a member of a church?

  2. How do we defend the sacredness of sex to a non-believer?

  3. Are feelings a sure enough foundation on which to base an ethical standard?


Hi I have some thoughts on this, so first I think that certain people are born homosexual and this doesn’t surprise me because we were born with a sinful nature and also many people who are homosexual have said this is not their choice to be attracted to the same sex. But in 1 Timothy 3:10 it says “the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,” and I just want to point out how it says practiceing homosexualality. I know a man who is gay (meaning he is attracted to men) but is also a strong Christian, because he crucifixes his flesh and does not act upon his desires. So someone attracted to the same sex can absolutely be a Christ follower so long as they don’t act upon their flesh.

There are also many testimonies of the Lord completely delivering some people from their desires.


This is actually a very simple but powerful point. The idea of whether sexuality is learnt or not is often a big crossroads in how the World treats homosexual people. In fact your point is 100% right, it doesn’t matter if same sex attraction is something you’re born with or something you learn over time. We were all born desiring many things that we learn we should not pursue and have to fight against. Thank you for sharing this thought.


I believe you are right in that a person who is attracted to the same sex can be a Christian. Most of us have broken sexual desires that come in different forms, same sex attraction being one of them, and so many people who have had to live with those temptations have become Christians and rely on the strengthening of the Spirit to not be ruled by these desires. Sexual temptations are strong but God is stronger and can help us overcome all temptations. That being said, a Christian should not desire to indulge in any of these sinful sexual desires either mentally or physically. Christ says that even lusting after a woman is committing adultey in your heart so this shows that we are not to even indulge in sexual immorality in our mind and heart. Any Christian can be guilty of moments of weakness and indulging in a sin, but those who truly love the Lord and know his will will always feel shame and repent for having done so. If a Christian in a moment of weakness gives in to their desires, that does not mean they are not a Christian. We are all guilty in one way or another of falling short. Christ’s death has covered all of our sins though. As Christians we should all be there for each other in prayer and encouraging one another to have strength when we feel weak and the only way we can know to do this is to get to know each other well. And all Christians can know better freedom from temptations the more we walk in the spirit rather than the flesh and prayerfully allow the Holy Spirit to work in us.


Yes absolutely!

Exactly yes, I think a mistake that some have made (and I don’t want to blame the whole Church because there are many people who do a fabulous job of showing love to homosexuals) is making that seem is if it is a worse sin than others, when in reality acting upon sinful desires after someone of the opposite gender is just as bad.


There are 2000 verses that condemn love and abuse of wealth, yet we see huge swathes of the church raising up people who have made idols out of wealth. It is going to be very difficult for us to make a case to non believers (based on a handful of verses) around sex and sexuality if we continue to show hypocrisy.

Could it be that there’s a focus on homosexuality because it’s one sin most of us can be sure were non going to commit? It’s harder for us to look at the plank in our own eye.


I think I understand what you’re saying. But don’t see how the following scripture (from Romans 1) could be interpreted to support the argument of a sinful nature being the culprit of homosexual lust or to support the conclusion that persons are naturally born homosexual:

God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful

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Another question we could ask ourselves is this: what is programmed into our brains when we are born? I have had 12 children (all mine biologically) and have had many chances to observe behavior in infants and children. There is much scientific research done on the human brain that is fascinating, and it would be worth studying how our behaviors and tendencies develop, but from observing children there is no way to blame them for having sin. They are definitely born with the capacity to sin as they are naturally very selfish and out of instinct can only think of themselves, but they cannot be blamed for that because God gave them those instincts for survival and they are not morally conscious yet. Now as far as being born homosexual, well I can’t even begin to know how that developes in a person but I don’t know how anyone can claim being born that way. I believe that many do have same sex attraction without knowing why, but I don’t think that has to mean that they were born with it. Our preferences are often a natural result of our personalities but also are shaped by our life experiences as we grow and develope. I also believe certain personalities are more likely to develope certain sinful desires than others but our life experiences and choices are what can take us down different paths of sin. I think that we cannot necessarily say that anyone is born a homosexual any more than we can say anyone is born with a desire for any sexual sin. But it is also important to remember it doesn’t matter how or why because God condemns homosexuality, so the temptation should be resisted by those who love the Lord. And let us love all people equally no matter their weaknesses because our example is Christ who loves everyone. We have all fallen short and are equally lost in our sins without God’s gift of salvation.


What does say about us when we let sin define who we are?

A lot of sexual activity is self-centered. It seems odd to me that someone’s sexual desire defines who they are and serves as a label. We are the Christ people. As I mature as a Christian, I want to shed all labels and self-promoting behaviors. I want to be Christ’s possession.

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.


I appreciate the general direction that this conversation has taken.

I do not believe that a genuinely born again person can be okay with committing things that he can see the Bible teaches are wrong. His flesh will certainly desire sin until the day it dies, but the Spirit within a Christian will never be comfortable with sin.

Can he knowingly violate the Bible? Oh yes, but the Spirit within him will grieve him over it. Salvation ruins a man for sin. Things he once craved for, he now cringes from. Things he once bragged about, he’s now ashamed of.

Can he commit sins that he is unaware the Bible condemns? Yes, but as he grows in his understanding of the Word, the Spirit will convict him about those things and vex him if he continues to do them.

So a man who knowingly lives in any sin but is not bothered by it - if he denies it is sin, defends his misbehavior, stubbornly refuses to repent of it - then that man’s attitude toward sin reveals that the Holy Spirit is not at work in his heart - I John 3:8-9, Matthew 7:18, Galatians 5:17.


I wonder if stepping away from the issue at hand and looking at the larger picture would be helpful? What is sin? What is grace? What is mercy? What is the gospel? What is God trying to accomplish with man? What is the Bible? Is it “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”? I am not trying to answer any of these questions, but I believe when it comes to an issue like this, I think our understanding of the fundamental questions will certainly shape our answer to the question of homosexuality. Does God love us the way we are? What is repentance? Is it necessary for salvation? Can someone hold onto their sin and still be saved? But again, what is sin?

I am not sure there is a basic framework agreed on. Certainly the Bible gives us everything God wants us to know about Him, but we do not know everything. Why does the Bible so against it?

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