Homosexuality: Its cause and cure
by Tom Brown
The woman on the phone pleaded with me to do her brother’s funeral, “Pastor Brown, even though my brother Juan* did not live in El Paso, he loved your ministry. He listened to your tapes, read your books, and absolutely loved the way you preached the Word. He knew his funeral was going to be in El Paso, so before he died, he told me that he did not want anyone but you, Pastor Brown, to perform the funeral. So please, could you do it?” Her pleadings touched my heart, so I agreed.
At the funeral I gave my usual sermon on heaven, and afterward, opened up the podium for the family and friends to share their memories of the deceased. A very thin, frail looking man, about the age of Juan, came forward to share. He mentioned that Juan always preached about Jesus and the need to be born again. At first, he did not want to get saved, but through Juan's constant encouragement eventually he gave his heart to Christ. Then the man shocked me. He mentioned that he and Juan were partners and had lived together in the same house for twenty years.
My eyebrows lifted. As I panned the room, I had noticed several men about Juan’s age by themselves, and as different people came forward, there was no mentioned of Juan’s orientation, only how much Juan loved the Lord, but it was clear that Juan was also gay.
I bring this story up because this article is written for the Juans of the church. It is my goal in this article to reach out to you who may be struggling with gay feelings and perhaps has even acted on them, yet you are not looking to justify the sin or to be gullible by allowing gay activists to rewrite the Bible to rationalize the behavior. You already know the Bible disapproves of this lifestyle, yet, despite your desire to change, you can’t seem to transform yourself to the holy standard of the Bible.
This article will help you to understand how you got to where you are, and thus, how you can rid yourself of those feelings. I have ministered to people who are hurting, just like you; they want to be more like Jesus, but struggle to overcome. Listen, I know your pain and let me offer a helping hand. Let me show you how you can find total freedom in Christ.
Are homosexuals born or made?
This is an old argument. If homosexuals are born that way, then there is no way for them to change. It would be like asking someone born left-handed to try to use their right hand in writing. It is just the way a person is born. He can’t help it.
The gay militants are trying to persuade society that homosexuals are born that way, and so to expect change is unreasonable, and quite impossible. So they have searched and searched to try to find a gay gene, but to no avail. I can assure them that they will never find one, because if there was one, then homosexuality would be decreasing, because homosexuals would not procreate as often as heterosexuals, and thus, would not be passing down the gene.
However, it seems that homosexuality is on the rise, not declining. Of course, since society has not been keeping tabs on the percentage of homosexuals until recently, we have no way of knowing for sure. I think there is evidence that it is increasing due to the fact that there is a growing group of people calling for gay rights. Society usually responds only when a group is growing, not declining; so for gay rights to be emerging in many nations it is likely that the numbers of homosexuals is also growing. This of course does not bode well for those claiming that homosexuality is something one is born with, if so, why the apparent increase?
All the evidence I have seen shows that homosexuality is actually an emotional, psychological disorder brought on early in childhood. I do not believe people chose those feelings, because who in their right mind would choose it, and thus be scorned by society. I do not believe homosexuals initially choose their orientation, anymore than a heterosexual chooses it.
An exception to this is people who practice homosexuality out of convenience. These would include prisoners, students in “women only” and “men only” schools, and men who find far more men willing to have sex than women. A member confided in me and told me how he has engaged in several homosexual encounters, yet, he prefers women. So I asked him why he does it. He simply said, “It’s easier to find men willing to do it than women.” He went onto explain that there are many men who are heterosexual that frequents gay places, because they know they will get sex.
So I am very much aware of those who practice homosexuality out of choice, but I am writing to those who “feel” the desire to be with people of the same gender. If it was their choice, they would choose normal heterosexual feelings.
I’m totally heterosexual, and I have been one since I could remember. By early adolescence girls were always attractive to me, and to think of guys in a sexual way seems quite disgusting to me. However, I never chose those feelings. They were simply a typical psychological response to a normal childhood.
Yet, not everyone has had a normal, healthy childhood. When dramatic events happen to children, it can affect their psyches. Who will admit that certain vivid experiences have affected them to this day?
I remember going trick-or-treating at Halloween one night. My sister and best friend went to a house that had the back porch light on, so we assumed that the back door was open for trick-or-treaters. I will never forget this moment, but when we opened the gate to knock on the door; these ferocious dogs came out of nowhere and began barking. Quickly we leaped over the fence to avoid them, but my best friend did not make it. One of the dogs took a huge chuck out his calf. He started screaming as we ran toward the street. There I saw blood gushing from this leg. He had to have over a hundred stitches.
This event haunted me for years. I struggled with the fear of dogs for quite some time. Eventually I won the battle, but even to this day, there is a tinge of apprehension when I hear a big, dog bark.
I bring this story up to show how extraordinary events can scar us psychologically, and I’m sure you are thinking of some areas in your life that to this day still affects you. This is true concerning homosexuality.
Same gender feelings are a psychological illness caused by three powerful and tragic events in a child’s life. Someone may be offended that I would use the term “illness” to describe homosexuality, but this term is meant to show the “helpless” of the injured party, not to stigmatize him. If someone is sick, we do not blame him, but rather, we look to find out the cause of the sickness so we could apply the cure. Now, if someone denies being sick—such as alcoholics—then there is little anyone can do to help him. I think the beginning step for homosexuals is to admit their illness, not to cover it up, pretend they are not sick and, worse, flaunt their disorder.
The American Psychiatric Association once considered homosexuality a mental disorder until 1973, but changed their view after being pressured by gay lobbyists; they claim to have come to their conclusion by consulting with professionals and experts in the field but it is clear that some of the “experts” were no doubt practicing homosexuals that convinced the APA to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. The association has done a disservice to this hurting community. As a result of their desire to be politically correct, they now have been partially responsible for the outbreak of diseases, like AIDS, that have taken the lives of so many capable, young people.
The causes of homosexuality have not been a mystery. The three unfortunate, major events in a child’s life that can cause homosexual orientation are:
Sexually abused by an older person of the same gender.
Let’s face an obvious fact: most child molesters were themselves victims of child molestation. When a child is molested by an adult figure, it can greatly injure the psyche. Many who are molested never become molesters, but often, they find a strange attraction to older people of the same gender. This tragic event often causes some distortion in a person’s mind. They begin to associate sexual behavior with their experience, instead of realizing the truth that they would not have been attracted by the same gender if they had not been victims of sexual abuse.
Neglected by the parent of the same gender.
We often hear stories of male homosexuals who are attracted to older male homosexuals, and it is no coincidence that they are longing for the love of their fathers. Everyone needs to know they are loved by their parents. For example, a girl who does not feel loved by her father will often be attracted to father figures. It will also happen with sons, who need the love of their fathers. If they do not feel it, they will sometimes turn to older male figures. They simply want genuine love, but often instead of experiencing healthy love, they will encounter sexual love, and so they will begin to associate sexual love for genuine love. It is not real, but that is all the love they know.
Feeling out of place with peers of the same gender.
It is essential that every child feels accepted by the same gender. If a boy grows up but feels out of place with his peers, he will find himself becoming nervous around the boys. He will interpret those feelings of anxiety as sensual, because the feelings of first time sex are associated with tension. Well, a boy who does not fit in with the boys, will feel that same nervousness around them, and will associate those same feelings with sex.
If you are struggling with same sex feelings, be honest with your life: one of these tragic events, or something similar, has caused these feelings in your soul—maybe even more than one of these incidents. Don’t discount the cause of your homosexual feelings. To do so will only postpone or completely cancel the healing you need.
It is important to understand the “cause” of your gay feelings, because by discovering the truth, and opening yourself to the truth, you can experience the healing that Christ could give. Jesus works with truth, but to deny the truth or discount the importance of the truth will keep the Lord from healing you.
People that want to hide the real cause are actually giving power to the perpetrators. To accept their gay feelings, only gives power to those who hurt them.
On the other hand, to receive healing will give themselves power over those who hurt them. There is a great feeling of strength when one overcomes any psychological weakness caused by others. There is no authority in one’s life if he succumbs to the emotional pains brought on by the bad behavior of others. In other words, a homosexual who works at overcoming his same-gender feelings is actually working against those who have wounded him. That is power!
Someone at this point may say, “Well, even if the causes you mentioned are true, the psyche is so damaged that it is pointless to encourage the change. The person will only be disappointed when he doesn’t change, and he will feel more rejection.”
Ah, so the argument is to let a person remain psychologically ill. I don’t see how that is real love. Love looks to heal. My ministry is built on healing the whole man, and I am sure the Lord can heal the psyche of homosexuals. People will challenge me to leave the homosexuals alone and let them be—but I can’t let people remain sick, if I know the cure.
The real trouble with those in the medical field is doubt. They do not believe in the supernatural power of God. They are left with their own abilities, and they find that they are not capable to bring change to the homosexual. What I find troubling with the professionals is their criticism toward the healing ministry of the church. They criticize the church for believing in the divine power of God to heal and change.
If these so called experts were in Palestine during the early church period, they would have censured Paul when he wrote: “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:9-11).
Notice Paul said that some of the converts were once “homosexual offenders.” Then he said, “That is what some of you were.” They had changed. They were not homosexuals anymore; God had touched them, and His touch healed them. Paul mentions three things that made the transformation!
They were washed.
We were all dirty in some way when we came to Christ. No one is without sin. We all needed cleansing from our filth, whether we were adulterers, thieves or homosexuals. The washing comes through two ways: the new birth and the washing of water of the Word.
Something miraculous takes place when we are born again. Human words cannot explain all that happens. I have heard numerous testimonies from people who struggled with homosexual feelings, who were miraculously changed when they got saved. Let’s face the fact: without the new birth, the homosexual will unlikely change. They must be born again. God cleanses the sinner of his filth and makes him new.
Concerning the new birth, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). There are two aspect of the new birth: first, the invisible power of the Spirit, second, the visible water of baptism. When a person sincerely calls on the Lord for salvation, the Spirit performs a numinous work in the heart of the individual. The person must also get baptized in water.
At this point, someone might say, “But Pastor, I still have those homosexual tendencies, so how can I be baptized unless God changes me? I will feel like a hypocrite if I get baptized.”
The point Paul brings out is that a person was changed by being “washed.” It is through the baptism itself that God can perform a special work. The work is cleansing. Let the Lord cleanse you from your sins. A person who waits to be baptized after he feels clean has it in reverse. You don’t wait until you feel clean to take a bath; you take a bath to become clean. The same is true of baptism, you do not wait to feel clean and totally changed to get baptized; you let the water baptism cleanse you. God will use that simple act of baptism to bring a miraculous change in you.
You might say, “You mean pastor, if someone came to you who still struggled with homosexual feelings, you would still baptize him?” Of course I would, that is what salvation is about. I don’t wait for someone to first change before bringing them to Christ; I bring them to Christ so He can change them.
The other way we get cleansed is through the Word of God. Jesus said, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). The Word of God is all powerful. Man’s words have limited power, they can’t accomplish the impossible, but God can. When he speaks into the soul of man, a miracle takes place. As the homosexual takes into his heart the message of Christ, a phenomenon occurs, he finds that he is pruned like a bush. The pruning may hurt at first, but then he finds that he becomes more fruitful for Christ. This process is gradual as the next point brings out.
They were sanctified.
The word sanctified means to be separate from the world in order to be brought near to Christ. This is an ongoing process. None of us can say after we were born again that we are completely the way we should be. We are changing to be more like the Lord, but none of us have arrived.
Do not be discouraged if you do not find an immediate, total change when you become born again. But as you allow the Word, the Spirit, the blood, and the ordinances and sacraments of the Church to work in you, you will find the influence of the world will have less power over your life. It won’t happen if you stay away from the church.
Homosexuals, because of the deepness of their hurt, may need to be healed of their past. If that is you, you need to open yourself to someone skilled and knowledgeable in the Word. Confess your weakness. Tell your struggle to them. You will be able to receive deep, personal ministry by a loving minister who will show you supernaturally how the abuse, neglect, or rejection brought you the same-sex feelings you have, and through forgiveness and through forgiving others—the abuser, the neglected father, or teasing peers—you can release the pain. There is no healing without forgiving those who wronged you.
It may be the hardest thing to do, but you must forgive the man who abused you as a child. The man might be a relative or even a religious leader, but you must release the person and totally forgive him. As you forgive that person, you release yourself from the power they have had over your life.
You may need to forgive a negligent father. He may have abandoned you. He may not have been there when you needed him, but you must still forgive. Without forgiveness you put yourself in a prison, and that prison may be homosexual feelings.
The boys at school who teased you, who called you a queer, yes, you must forgive them too. The girls that called you a tomboy, yes, you must forgive them too. I know it’s hard, but you are only allowing them to have power over your life if you do not forgive.
As you forgive, you may experience a battle. This battle is a sign that demons took advantage of you when you were young and came to oppress your life. As you forgive, you will find yourself being released from the demons. They will come out of you.
They were justified.
The word justified means to be totally forgiven and made right with God as though you had never sinned. Often, someone struggling with deep-embedded sins will find difficulty receiving forgiveness. But you must!
Don’t allow any disorder to convince you that God has not forgiven you. For sure, do not practice the gay lifestyle, for that will only hamper your complete sanctification and healing, and worse, bring needless judgment on you.
Paul mentions this judgment in 1 Corinthians 11:29-30, “For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.” I am convinced that many believers that have rebelled against the work of sanctification have brought judgment on themselves. Paul describes this judgment as sickness and premature death.
Many homosexual Christians have become ill, and a number have died early, because they refused to judge themselves. This act of judgment was so they could be saved. Paul goes on to write, “When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor 11:32). So even though we may regret seeing a beloved believer die early, it was for his good, so he would not be condemned with the world.
This act is a sign of love. Despite the actions, God loves the person so much He will do anything to make sure they will never be separated from Him for all of eternity.
God forgives you even though you have failed him. If you believe the lie that God has stopped loving you because you have failed him, then the devil will take advantage of you and bring you back into the sinful lifestyle. Believe in God’s love for you! That love is a transforming love.
The Need for Love
Ultimately what every person needs, including the homosexual, in order to change is love. The cure for homosexuality is rather simple—it is love—genuine love.
Jesus healed Mary Magdalene, a known prostitute, by showing His genuine love. He forgave her before she showed any proof of repentance. She was changed and transformed by the love of Christ. She immediately lost any desire to sleep with men when she experienced the unadulterated love of God.
Every homosexual needs to experience the real, unconditional love of God. This is the beginning of healing. For some people, this alone brings the cure. They lose the strong feelings of same-sex love. Others may still struggle with it, but as they open themselves more to God’s love, those feelings will dissipate.
Finally, you must fill the need for love with the genuine love from brothers and sisters in the Lord. If you are looking for an older male figure, look no further than your pastor. Let him mentor you. This is what you want! You know it is what you need!
Will those feelings leave? Yes, but for some people not totally, at least not right away. Just like I still feel an initial tinge of fear when a dog barks, you may still feel some hint of same gender feelings, but they will not move you. You will start to also feel sexual attraction for the opposite gender. Your feelings will begin to normalize so you can walk with the Lord without hindrance.
For instance fear of dogs does not keep me from taking a walk in my neighborhood. I hear the dogs barking, but the emotional scar is healed. I am not crippled anymore by the incident of my childhood. The same will be with you who have struggled with same gender feelings. Your scar will be healed. You will not let the past cripple your walk with God. You will find yourself rejoicing as you experience the liberty that Christ has given you.
The Word of God will cleanse your mind from any negative and ungodly feelings. So it is essential to continue to abide in the Word, and at times, you will have the Lord take a portion of His Word and heal more remaining scars.
Remember, the route of holiness is a road. "And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it" (Isa 35:8). Driving down a road is a process. Do not be discouraged that you have not arrived yet.
Holiness is like driving on the highway. It is dangerous, there is a risk, but the truly clean people will take that road. But the wicked fools, those who pretend to be right, will not even try to walk on this road. I encourage you walk the way of Holiness.
God promises "No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there" (v. 9). God will protect you from temptation. You will find the devil will not be strong enough to drag you from the road. In the end, "They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away" (v. 10). You will rejoice in your complete victory! Eventually, the harmful feelings of homosexuality will flee away.
* Juan was not his real name.
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