Sexual activity, according to the precepts of the Lord, is to be only between a couple joined together in marriage. That couple is to be made up of one male and one female. According, to God’s pure and established order the sexual inclination of the male is to be towards a woman and vice versa. The full physical expression of this inclination is be be enjoyed within marriage.
Our Lord Jesus gives an important nuance on all this teaching, when he observed that not only is the physical expression of sexual lust outside of marriage sinful, but so also is the expression of this in the heart. So we read in Mathew 5:27-28: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Alas the way of our beings has been marred by the fall. We are malfunctioning beings. This is clear for anyone to observe, given that we all gets colds and suffer in our bodies in many ways. Even Christians suffer in this way. However, the suffering is not just in our bodies. Our minds are affected as well, as also is our sexuality. One of the ways that our sexuality malfunctions is when people experience same-sex attraction. Their inclination deviates from the norm as established by God.
To give expression to their warped sexuality physically is clearly wrong, given what we have said already. It is also wrong for lust to veer into lusting in our hearts.
However, is the inclination wrong in itself? I would argue that it is as wrong as it is to have a broken leg. Both of them are manifestations that we live in a fallen world. Creation does not function as it was originally intended to and we, as humans, are part of that creation. However, to say that it is sinful to someone to have a same-sex inclination has to be viewed in the light of someone having a broken leg. If having a broken leg is not wrong then neither is having same-sex attraction.
Now there can be cases where people move on to be freed from same sex attraction in the same way that a broken leg can be healed, However, others have to live with this for the whole of their lives. Like someone with arthritis, for example, they have an affliction which they have to live with.
To have the affliction is not sinful. To give expression to that affliction is sinful.
This being the case, means that there should be great sympathy in the church for those who suffer in this way. Harsh, insensitive attitudes towards those with same sex attraction should be banished.
Those who commit themselves to celibacy because of their endemic same-sex attraction, are, in a sense, those who are described in Matthew 19:12b as eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Such are to be admired for their courage to commit themselves to this course. They should never be despised, mocked, rejected or ignored. Their lives are modelled by a daily taking up of the cross and following Christ, their Lord.