GREAT discussion, @rempel.meaghan.
Whenever you come to an existential question like the one you are posing, the first thing you should do is search the Scriptures to find how the Bible answers the question. You will not find a single reference in the Scripture which affirms homosexual behavior if you read the Scripture as it is written, without adding any preconceived notions about what it says. That is tough to do, but if you want the Scripture to be God’s Word, and not mine or yours or anyone else who isn’t as reputable or worthy, that’s what ya gotta do.
My study of the Scripture found several passages that affirm that homosexual behavior is sinful. I can not find one that affirms it as morally righteous in any way or in any way given even a neutral moral position.
So, ultimately, it DOES come down to MY wants and desires vs. God’s will for my life. We want our way. We have feelings we want satisfied, and sometimes those feelings lead to death (Proverbs, again). I wanted the same when I was addicted to porn. Trust me, the urges were every bit as strong! And every bit as sinful! This conflict between our wants and desires and God’s will goes FAR beyond sexuality, however.
And I hope you read in my linked response about Jesus and Paul. Jesus lived a “perfect life.” But he never even had sex. With ANYONE! Ever! As a man, He likely had urges, but submitted them under the will of His Father. When He was in the wilderness being tempted, having fasted for 40 days, Satan suggests He command stones to be made bread. What’s wrong with feeding a guy who hasn’t eaten in 40 days? It was not God’s purpose for Jesus. THAT is an even more fundamental urge–the urge to nourish oneself–than sexual urges. And the Apostle Paul, though not perfect like our Lord, also lived a life to be emulated…but he never had sex either. God’s purpose for these men was for them not to partake in that activity, despite the urges they may have had.
That is admittedly very difficult for us to accept. To accept that these urges, though very strong, and in some cases very noble, may still NOT be His perfect plan for our lives. And even though it is sometimes difficult to see, God is a God whose purposes you can trust to be better than yours. You can trust Him. He won’t let you down! He’s right 100% of the time!
But the cost to follow Him is sometimes very high. Look at Abraham who was ready to kill his one and only son, Isaac, in obedience to the Lord. Talk about submitted at a high cost! Jesus demonstrated that going to the cross willingly! Egad! Anyone that tries to convince someone with homosexual urges that following God’s will for their lives by never or no longer participating in homosexual behavior will be easy is not being truthful. We need to be honest about that. Choosing to follow Jesus can be VERY costly!
But on the other side of this, there are numerous examples–Sam Allberry is one–of people who have made the choice to shun these natural desires that they have had their whole lives, and instead submit to the will of the Father. And Sam and these others can confirm that although difficult, the blessings they have received for their obedience is far greater than the feelings that they would have experienced had they chosen to participate in, or continue participating in, those behaviors.
I think the most important thing for a homosexual Christian is repentance, NOT perfect behavior. When I was pursuing victory over my porn addiction, I had many setbacks. I wasn’t an overnight success story. But I at least admitted that what I was doing was wrong, and I decided I wanted to live a live that was more pleasing to the Father, and that meant submitting my will to His which allows the Holy Spirit to do the work of transformation in my life. I was pursuing righteousness. I wasn’t trying to justify the behavior any more, despite the difficulty of that choice. It is no different for our homosexually-inclined brothers and sisters. Same solution to a different urge to engage in a different sinful behavior. You can have a saved brother or sister who is still choosing to engage in those behaviors, just like I was still saved even though I would still fall back to those sinful behaviors I struggled with. But I had at least admitted to myself and to the Lord (and to my spouse) that I knew what I had been doing was wrong. That is fundamental to repentance, and it is one of the first steps in overcoming our sinful desires. The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one!
Oh, and P.S., it’s not JUST about behavior. Even the 10 Commandments show that thoughts and attitudes, i.e. coveting is sinful. BTW, coveting is NOT just having a desire. Coveting is focusing on that desire rather than choosing to focus on God’s desires instead. But this is where people make the most common mistake, and that is to try in our own power to focus on God’s desires. That. Doesn’t. Work. It is the Holy Spirit Who will work within you to change your heart’s desires from that which is sinful to that which is righteous. In other words, the feelings of homosexual attraction are NOT sinful themselves. It is the act of choosing to focus on the desire to fulfill those feelings instead of following God’s will that is the issue. This IS difficult for many homosexuals to see, because they believe–incorrectly–that homosexual behavior is part of who they are. It is not.
If you have not already read Sam Allberry’s excellent book Is God Anti-gay?, it would very likely be helpful to you in finding your own answer to this question. It’s a very good answer to a very good question!
Hope that is helpful.