TfT is a confidential Christian support and teaching ministry that holds to authentically biblical teaching on sexuality. We offer support to individuals who experience same-sex attraction, but who choose not to embrace a gay identity or to pursue a same-sex relationship because of convictions of faith. We also support families, friends and church leaders of those who experience same-sex attraction.
At around 14 years of age, at the onset of puberty, I first became aware of homosexual desires. I was attracted to men and only men. Mine was a fairly textbook case; I had no male influence in my childhood (my father died when I was 4) and grew up in an all-female house. This longing to have a father to do things with lasted from the age of 6 until I was 12, but on reaching puberty that longing for a father turned into homosexual feelings. I also suffered from deep inferiority due to being been badly bullied at school.
This does not need be about choosing between God and your friend.
When it comes to the gay issue, the simplest way to think about the church's attitude is to consider three views:
- "The world thinks gay relationships are OK, so the church should too."
- "Being gay is a sin therefore Christians should condemn gay people."
- "The Bible teaches that gay relationships are sinful. However, people who identify themselves as gay are very much loved by God and should be encouraged to get to know Him better - just like anyone else."
These three views are discussed further below:
This article was written by Stuart, TfT Assistant Director, with input from Jim, a member of a London church, who particularly seeks to welcome those from a gay background. It was first published in the Spring 2014 newsletter.
Many Christians would avoid describing themselves as ‘gay’, to avoid it being mistaken as their identity - see our FAQ:"Can I be a gay Christian?" for more discussion on this. However, I am using the term gay intentionally in this article to explore how a person who identifies as gay or lesbian might be received in a typical church. Much of this is probably relevant to how churches welcome same-sex attracted professing Christians too. For clarity, in the examples below, the gay people are not professing Christians whereas the other people are believers. This article does not address how a church might respond to professing Christians who are out of step with biblical teaching.