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  • Writer's pictureEric Cline

Balancing Grace and Truth: Is It Possible To Be Gay and Christian?

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Yes, a person can be gay and Christian. And one can burn the American flag and still be an American. But what does this continued behavior imply? This is a short commentary on Michael L. Brown’s book titled, Can You Be Gay and Christian? In making a case for Balancing Grace and Truth, one cannot be gay and Christian (keep reading) according to Brown’s own reasoning. For example, Brown declares it a “false premise that your identity is defined by your sexual desires and romantic attractions.”[1] He posits that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy if you adopt the sociopolitical version of “gay” identity. He admits “they are not in fact ‘gay’ but rather flawed and broken children of God.”[2] Let us then not use “gay and Christian.” Brown contends that one can be attracted to someone of the same sex and that every believer has a particular sin, be it alcohol to excess, stealing, lying, or some other immorality. He says that moral behavior is a choice. He makes a good argument not to label oneself as a thief, liar, or gay. He advises to just acknowledge and face sinful desires. However, he answers “yes” to the question if one can be gay and be a Christian. He follows his answer with a list of conditions. It would have been more comprehensive if, before that same list of conditions, he had rephrased his answer: “Yes, one can have same-sex attractions and still be a Christian.” Brown cannot use the label of “gay” in his own framework against using a gay identity. He further explains, “If you shed that identity and victimhood status, and open yourself up to the love, compassion, and understanding of people . . . half your problems will be solved.”[3] During man’s prelapsarian state, it was possible for man to be committed to God and serve him faithfully. Since then, it is still possible for man to serve, and be committed to Jesus if, and only if, one recognizes that sin is contrary to God’s design and sinful behavior is ceded. Therefore, one cannot be gay and Christian or a thief and Christian or a child molester and Christian. Christians have sinful desires and must always avoid the practice of sinful behavior. Christians fail continuously and Jesus continually forgives the repentant heart. In the very strict sense, if practicing gays cannot be called Christians, then Christians who continually sin also cannot be called Christians. Christians pray for the deliverance from sexual immorality and all other sins. Brown essentially says as much in the follow-up to his awkward and reckless answer.

Brown writes there is no scientific evidence that people are born gay. Likewise, there is no scientific evidence that people are born bank robbers, rapists, or thieves. First John 1:8 (ESV) tells us that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” It is by God’s grace that we are saved; Christ died for us while we were sinners, and God’s word is truth. Brown writes that “many gay-affirmative people will say their sexuality is ‘who they are’ and ‘essential to their being’ and their ‘very core.’ They state all these like they are given, obvious and factually true.”[4] God’s truth is greater than their “truth.” Gay-affirmative people, liars, cheats, genderqueers—sinners—yield to their own desires rather than God’s desires. Sinners are self-centered rather than Christ-centered. As Christians, we must love the sinner—the genderqueers and the self-proclaimed transexual—but hate the sin. “When we yield ourselves to God, dying to our will and desires, we find who we really are.”[5] Balance grace and truth while being full of grace and full of truth.

[1] Michael L. Brown, Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding with Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality (Lake Mary, FL: Frontline, 2014), 204. [2] Ibid., 203. [3] Ibid., 205. [4] Ibid., 206. [5] Ibid., 206.

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