Singleness, heterosexuality, and homosexuality

One other contributor to the errors we now have to deal with: (I am trying to sharpen up my own thinking here, so would welcome comment & criticism).

  1. Every pastor, over time, will have had to deal with singles who can’t get married (for any number of reasons). Now, while celibacy may not be commended for these people, continence certainly is. And simply, for many people, marriage may not be possible, gift of celibacy or not.

  2. The mistake too many pastors have made, is that when someone has presented to them as being homosexually inclined, they (the pastors) have put them in the same ‘boat’ as straight singles who can’t marry. Presumably, issues of underlying inclination have been put in the far-too-hard basket.

  3. Finally, being heterosexual isn’t a sufficient condition for godliness (otherwise, any straight person would be godly), but it is a necessary condition. Is this a helpful way to express things?


Quick responses to your points (@tbbayly should chime in):

  1. We can’t be so fast to dispense with marriage as the solution for those who burn, lack the gift of continence, or the wisdom to enter into marriage. 1 Cor. 7:9 is stark: “But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn.” As soon as we allow the excuse that marriage is not an option, we’ve left the door wide open for the gay celibate Christian movement. They’ll take marriage off the table so as to give themselves a pass on burning. As will any man or woman who burns with lust but refuses God’s solution by rejecting the responsibility and outlet of the marriage bed.

  2. Agree. Most today do not think that lusts can be killed and identities can be re-made by the Holy Spirit. Beyond that we are unwilling to believe God’s commendation of marriage as the way to overcome lust.

  3. There is no getting beyond the fact that God made man male and female and for each other. Homosexuality is unnatural and always and only sinful. So, why would we ever say that anything different than heterosexuality is right and good? The only way to do so is to make a hard distinction between actions and desires. Celibate gay Christians have made peace with their desires and merely keep themselves from acting on those desires. They declare that homosexuality without corresponding actions is as good in the sight of God as heterosexuality. Hence, Ed Shaw’s false declaration that “godliness is not heterosexuality.” Godliness is not only heterosexuality, but it most certainly is not homosexuality on any level.

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I think it is. Or it can be shortened further to “Heterosexuality is required for godliness.” Or “Godliness always includes heterosexuality.” To be “heterosexual” in this way would be possible even for a eunuch. It simply means rejecting all homosexual desires (both in yourself or in others) as contrary to God’s will and design, and embracing God’s male and female “from the beginning” (and all that entails) as the only real and good sexual identities, expressions, etc.


That is extremely helpful

This is a helpful explanation of heterosexuality, as it helps avoid a misleading error. The world defines heterosexual/homosexual as being related only to the nature of illegitimate lusts. If a man lusts after men (generally), he’s homosexual; if women (generally), heterosexual. Your definition helps avoid the error of thinking that a repentant homosexual’s goal is to start illegitimately lusting after women instead of men. No, lurching from one evil into another is no good. Rather he’s simply supposed to put away all evil desires, put on masculinity, and, if able/called to do so, love one woman in a marriage covenant. It’s really that simple and possible.


True. But I think hard thinking about what it all involves is helpful. For instance, is heterosexuality synonymous with masculinity in males and femininity in females?

I have found it helpful in my own heterosexual sin to recognise that my heterosexual response to women is not only directed toward physical consumation and (so?) is not limited to my wife (but finds its fullest expression with my wife).

Male heterosexuality is a whole package: femininity elicits a desire to protect, honour, admire (appropriately), aid and so on. It is not, as Denny Burk, Heath Lambert, et al, teach, only switched on once married.

Negatively, male heterosexuality is working when a woman repels a man because of her masculine ways, image, attitude, etc.

I think a recognition of the wider heterosexual workings of male/female relationships is key.


Yes, in that sense, the world wants to have it both ways- mainly to maintain the illusion of having “no control” over gayness. As the theory goes, the simple homosexuality/heterosexuality distinction wells up from your internal lusts (over which you have “no control”), but then after your “allegiance” to hetero/homo-sexuality is declared, many other things associated with gay culture (over which you do obviously do have control) become expressions of that baseline “sexuality,” (i.e. drag, effeminacy, etc.). However, If someone repents, leaves gay culture, puts on cultural heterosexuality, but still has lingering homosexual lusts, that is taken as proof-positive that they “really are gay,” and are just fakes.

So which is it? Is homosexuality/heterosexuality merely your current, fluid sexual inclinations**, or is it a complete package of identity/culture/etc.? Well, that depends on what lusty actions you’re trying to excuse and which “repentances” you’re trying to smear as fake. How handy!

** Even worldly “sex-experts” will fully admit that gay sexual desires are frequently inconsistent over a life-time.


OK, my point [1] was intended to reflect what I have observed over the years amongst the Christian singles’ community, not to give the gay celibate Christian movement an open door. Why Christians do end up single for extended periods of time, never mind permanently, is for a separate discussion.

On a lighter note, one of my friends once suggested that for a Christian, a wedding ring is the opposite of the Ring of Power in Tolkien. When I asked why, he replied, “Well, when you put it on, especially in church life, it makes you visible”. Quite.

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