In 2015, Southern Baptist leaders including Al Mohler, Russell Moore, JD Greear, and others broke bread with the LGBTQ community and apologized for holding to a staunch biblical position on human sexuality and repentance. In this discussion between Southern Baptist leaders and homosexuals was the denunciation of “conversion therapy.” While conversion therapy has many forms, in the Christian world, it is nothing more than a call to abandon the homosexual lifestyle and embrace God’s design for human sexuality, family, and procreation through the study of the Scriptures.
It was at this point, a turning point in Evangelicalism, that the notion that one’s sexuality or sexual desires could change even if one decided not to act on them. It was the beginning of the “gay Celibate” movement in the Church.
After this, the Southern Baptist Convention and other Evangelicals began parading homosexuals like Sam Allberry, Jackie Hill Perry, and Rosaria Butterfield across church stages and conferences to advance the idea that homosexuals should be included in the Church. The idea was to set up a special Eunuch class of non-practicing homosexuals who still identified as homosexuals, but either chose to remain celibate or chose to marry the opposite sex despite their residual homosexual attractions.
The entire movement was rooted in the idea that the gospel isn’t powerful enough to change one’s sexual desires, therefore, one must live in perpetual sackcloth and ashes over their desires, accept it, and live accordingly while still identifying as homosexual.
Obviously, however, many who’ve truly repented of their desires have completely abandoned their homosexual identity and have been able to live a healthy, God-pleasing sexual life through a biblical marriage. While secularists–along with progressive Christian leaders–have banded together to argue that abandoning or attempting to change one’s sexual identity or desires leads to depression and increased suicide.
Not only do the Scriptures deny this–God gives joy to those who trust in Him–but a recent study published on the National Institutes of Health website also confirms this, interestingly enough. In the study, titled Sexual Minorities who Reject an LGB Identity: Who Are They and Why Does It Matter? it concludes:
Although some persons with minority sexual orientations do not identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), Minority Stress Theory (Meyer, 2003) has largely been developed utilizing LGB-identified samples. We examined a sample (n = 274) of sexual minorities with diverse religious and sexual identity labels to determine if those rejecting versus adopting an LGB identity were different in terms of religious, sexual, relational, and health characteristics. Results suggested those who reject an LGB identity are more likely to be religiously active, full members of their church, and highly intrinsic and theologically conservative in their religious viewpoint. They further reported having slightly more lifetime heterosexual attractions, fantasies, and behaviors; greater internalized homonegativity; and being more interested in having children and a child-centered family life. They were also more likely to be single and celibate or in a heterosexual relationship. Contrary to expectations, these differences were not associated with health differences in depression, anxiety, and social flourishing. LGB-identified participants did report higher life satisfaction than those rejecting an LGB identity, but this difference was not interpretively meaningful when considered in reference to population norms. We conclude with a discussion of the potential implications of our findings for research, legal and professional advocacy, and clinical care.
Not that the Scriptures need any confirmation, of course. God’s Word speaks for itself. But it is a very interesting study with very interesting findings to anyone who tries to separate God’s word from reality.