For a Christian to identify with one’s proclivity and propensity to sin is unadvisable—unadvisable because it proclaims that sin still has dominion over you. It may even proclaim you are comfortable with it. For a Christian to identify with one’s proclivity and propensity to sin is unbiblical—unbiblical because it fails to recognize “. . . you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6: 11). You are a new creature in Christ and no longer under condemnation for that sin or any other.
As the continued “Gay Christian” identity conflict in churches continues, this is an opportunity for further clarification as to why it is unadvisable, unwise, and, more so, unbiblical.
In doing so, some of the biblical terms or words will be used simply because they are biblical, which means they come by way of Holy Spirit inspiration. Otherwise, they would not be in Scripture to begin with.
By identifying one’s Christianity or one’s position in Christ with an adjective and modifier related to a proclivity or propensity to sin, it could be assumed that this is the believer’s main or only sinful struggle, which then then raises some questions:
Do Christians struggling with unnatural, indecent, detestable, shameful (remember, these are biblical terms) same-sex sexual attraction deal with only one sin, only one sinful temptation, only one lust or passion, and no others?
Are same-sex sexually attracted believers unlike Christians with natural sex sexual attraction who deal with multiple sinful temptations—even those pertaining to natural opposite-sex sexual attractions, relationships, or immoral acts?
Do they not experience temptations to lust in the heart, to be greedy, to speak falsehoods, to watch pornography, to steal or defraud, to bear malice toward others, to covet, to bear bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, or to utter unwholesome, filthy language, to be addicted to strong drink, or more?
Not wishing to be confusing, the New Testament warns all Christians against the aforementioned temptations and sins. No matter what one’s sexual attraction or propensity is, we all also deal with many or a multitude of other temptations to sin. In fact, one of the aforementioned sins might represent an even stronger or more frequent temptation or sin one struggles with than the sexual temptation to sin.
Since we are all capable of numerous sinful temptations, passions, lusts related to “the world, the flesh, and the devil,” why not question why no Christian self-identifies or modifies his or her Christianity or position in Christ by any of these other sins? Some may be just as strong a pull on one’s life as any sexually immoral sin. Is it too difficult to believe that avarice or the love of money could be a driving force, temptation, or lust in one’s life? Are there no Christians who deal with pathological ills, such as shoplifting or stealing, drug or alcohol addictions, narcissism or egotism? We know the first century Corinthian church had to deal with a believer involved in an incestuous relationship.
What are we to conclude? Christians are deeply fallen persons redeemed only by grace through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Few of us would wish to openly identify ourselves with what is a source of shame and need for repentance in our lives. By virtue of our being justified by Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit our identities are transformed; we have all been given a common and unique identity: Child of God the Father, Disciple and Follower of Jesus Christ the Son, and Baptized with and Filled by God the Holy Spirit. We have three reasons, three persons, who have gone to great length to rescue us each and all. Temptations and sins related to our sexuality represent only one area of our lives where we are tempted or commit sin.
Christians, with unnatural same sex-sexual attractions or desires, that’s not your only battleground. You are just as tempted and sinful in other areas as are the rest of the body of Christ. See yourselves for who you really are and in whose company you belong: “Only a sinner saved by grace,” belonging to “the body of Christ,” and “the family of God.” Doesn’t that weigh so much more than sin in one area only?
For a Christian to identify with one’s proclivity and propensity to sin is unadvisable—unadvisable because it proclaims that sin still has dominion over you. It may even proclaim you are comfortable with it.
For a Christian to identify with one’s proclivity and propensity to sin is unbiblical—unbiblical because it fails to recognize “. . . you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6: 11). You are a new creature in Christ and no longer under condemnation for that sin or any other.
For a Christian to identify with one’s proclivity and propensity to sin is unwise—unwise because it fails to realize you are guilty of and vulnerable to more than one sin. It fails to realize you now belong to God and to an immense family whose members do not identify themselves by their individual sins or temptations to sin.
The harsh, biblical terms that identify your proclivity or propensity—but not you—were replaced by the Holy Spirit with gentle biblical terms: washed, sanctified, justified.
Embrace your new identity and, for heaven’s sake, take advisable, biblical and wise counsel: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4: 4).
Helen Louise Herndon is a member of Central Presbyterian Church (EPC) in St. Louis, Missouri. She is freelance writer and served as a missionary to the Arab/Muslim world in France and North Africa.