Q & R: Gay and Christian?

Here’s the Q:

I just finished your book, The Secret Message of Jesus, and loved it. It resonated with what Jesus himself has spoken to my heart. I know you have probably answered this question a million times already, but since you are new to me, I wanted to ask it again. I am writing a curriculum for my six home schooled kids and am addressing homosexuality at length since I feel it is so important today knowing they are bound to encounter the subject. I have read some of your quotes regarding homosexuality, and I believe people might be taking you out of context, so I want to understand you better before recommending any of your teaching. I myself have homosexual friends and have told one of them that he doesn’t have to stop being gay in order to come to the Lord, but having come out of the world of sin and self gratification myself, I know Jesus would transform his thoughts and desires. Ultimately, I wanted to know if what you are saying is that we should accept homosexuals into christian circles in the same way we accept men and women in unmarried sexual relationships, but with the goal fellowshipping together with Jesus who would lead them to a life of dying to oneself rather than gratifying oneself. I believe one can be gay and have a relationship with Jesus, but just as I struggle with sin and walk with Him, hearing His voice, I know it as sin and want it to go….Thanks for reading.

Here’s the R:

Thanks for your question. It’s very fitting to ask in light of Secret Message of Jesus, because it’s pretty clear that the way many Christians respond to gay folks today is pretty far from what Jesus himself did or would do.
The place where I’ve written about this most clearly is A New Kind of Christianity, plus if you do a search here on the site, using the words “gay” or “homosexuality,” you’ll find a lot of my thinking on the subject.
I think that gay and straight folks are in the same boat – we all have to learn how to manage our sexual desires without becoming unhealthily repressed on the one hand and without becoming unhealthily obsessed on the other. I think that both gay and straight folks have two moral options – celibacy and fidelity in the context of a committed relationship. (I’d call it marriage, but others would rather not call it that for gay folks.)
It’s so good that you want to help your kids learn about human sexuality from you, since there’s so much harmful static they could take in from both secular and religious sources.
If my kids were small today, I would tell them that most people are attracted to the opposite sex, but that some people – maybe three to six out of a hundred (not sure where they are mathematically!) – are attracted to the same sex. (I might make a comparison to how most people are right-handed, but some are left-handed.) I’d tell them that most people start figuring that out when they’re teenagers, and that they’ll be loved and accepted and safe either way. I’d tell them that they can always talk to me about anything and ask any question.
I’d make sure to welcome gay folks in our home so our kids can get to know them as family friends. I’d tell them how some people tease and make fun of gay people, and I’d urge them always to stand up for people who get teased … because God loves everyone and wants everyone to be safe and respected.
You might not see things just as I do, so you might take a different approach, but since you asked, I thought I’d share my approach. I’m confident that even if we differ, you’ll teach your kids that Jesus is our example in how to treat others, and his way is love … and that’s a huge step forward for all of us! God bless you, and thanks for your question.