Lesbianism: A New Norm?

Is lesbianism trending?  Like coral being the hot color for summer or pointy shoes for fall…is lesbianism just the next “forward-thinking” push on the horizon? This is the question I had to ask myself after getting off the phone with the fourth relatively-close friend of mine who confessed to struggling with this particular lifestyle.  And it’s made me wonder…is lesbianism just the latest trend?  I don’t know, but it just seems to be so much more prevalent in my world, much more so than usual.  It’s been in the celebrity circles for decades now, but I don’t really hang with that crowd.  It makes an appearance at least once in every TV show on the airwaves, but the television can be turned off or the channel can be changed.  And I know it’s made its way into Christian circles a few years back with the whole Jennifer Knapp incident.  But now…for some reason…it’s hitting close to home, my home, my friends…my church.  And I can’t help but grievingly wonder, why?

Why this trend?  Why now?

Sure, culture has created an atmosphere where lesbianism is the new norm.  It’s not just the radical extremists anymore, like Barbara Gittings or Jane Addams who were on the front lines of picketers throughout history or like Ellen DeGeneres who uses comedy to warm you up to the idea of her chosen sexual orientation.  These women were/are individuals, people I’ll never meet, who are making it normal to be a lesbian, making it cool to choose a lifestyle which is directly opposed to the Gospel of Christ.  But then I wonder…these are but a few individuals who have impacted our culture so…can they really solely be the reason? Then I remember television…how it’s in at least one room in every house in America, and sometimes in several.  Media has definitely spurred on the idea that everyone is doing it. And, unfortunately, one of my favorite TV shows is to blame.  Sure, the first woman “out” on television was on LA. Law back in 1991, but who remembers that show??  Friends, with their staple lesbian couple Carol and Susan, popularized the lifestyle and even made it comedic with Ross’s focus on karate replacing any romantic endeavors with his estranged wife, Carol.  And now, decades later, television series range from any given show (Modern Family, Pretty Little Liars, Revenge…even Downton Abby!) having at least one signature homosexual character to an entire cast of them in The L-Word.

And I know that for the majority of my friends who struggle with this or know people who do, the emotional hardship that they’ve had to endure in this life not only grieves the heart of God (Luke 17:2), but also has become a catalyst for emotional baggage and the need to look for love in unconventional places.  More often than not, sin which is committed against us causes us to sin further still; this is the nature of our sinful state.  It is cyclical, damaging, and unrelenting.  If you have been abused, please know: that was not God…that was not His plan.  And, by His grace, you can rise from those ashes and live the life you were meant to live.

All of this draws me to two conclusions: (1) Satan is really good at his job and (2) Satan also REALLY hates the Gospel.  But what does lesbianism have to do with the Gospel?  Well…a lot…actually.  In fact, Paul uses the whole homosexual lifestyle as a sort of antithesis to the Gospel; this is why Paul highlights it in Romans 1.  It’s not because homosexuality is the worst sin in the world to commit.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the pride in my heart is equally offensive to a pure and holy God.  But Paul means to set up a sharp juxtaposition to living a life abandoned to the Gospel of Christ, and there is no better illustration than the homosexual lifestyle.  Gabrielle explains this beautifully in her article,  Is Homosexuality Really An Abomination?  “Paul isn’t saying that homosexuality is the height of all sin, nor that it is somehow worse than all other sins. His point is that humanity is utterly sinful and has rejected God.”  So if pride is equally as offensive to God as a lesbian lifestyle, the question begs to be asked:  Is it really that big of a deal?  I mean, the church pews are filled to the brim with prideful people, even some podiums.

So…why is lesbianism deemed so much worse in the eyes of people?  What are the consequences? 

First, I think it’s safe to say that while pride is offensive and harmful to all parties involved, sexual sins have dire ramifications that far outweigh those of a prideful spirit.  Even medical science cannot cure some of these consequences.  HIV and other STD’s are never an issue when one man and one woman only ever have sex with each other until death does them part. But physical and emotional consequences enter into a person’s life whose choices are consistent with this sin (with any sexual sin, I might add; not just lesbianism).  Studies have shown that there are chemicals excreted during the engagement of sexual relationships which create emotional bonding, specifically oxytocin and vasopressin. And these are chemicals that no amount of condomns or “safe sex” will keep at bay. “Young women especially,” Dr. McIlhaney* warns, “need to be aware of the powerful bonding effect of oxytocin.  When a couple is involved in even a short-term relationship and breaks up and then each moves onto a new sexual partner, they are breaking an oxytocin bond that has formed, {and are, thereby,} seriously damaging a bonding mechanism that they are born with, a mechanism put there to allow them to, in the future, have a healthy bonded marriage that is a stable relationship.”

Studies have also shown that homosexual relationships typically last a fraction of the time of heterosexual relationships, creating the need to find that acceptance and solace again in another.   And, maybe the most damaging fact is this: behind these types of relationships is a lie, from the Father of Lies (Satan) telling you that it’s “only natural,” that you “can’t help whom you love,” that “you’ll never find the love for which you’re searching in a man because men only hurt you.”  And those lies turn into loneliness, and that loneliness seeks to be filled, yearns to be filled…with love.

It is natural for us to desire love.  It was why we were created: to experience the love of God.  It’s why marriage was created: to experience a portrayal of Christ’s love for the Church.  It’s why God created sex between one husband and one wife: to experience a picture of the intimacy of God’s love in a tangible way.  It’s not the desire for love that is wrong, but what we do with that desire can be.  If we allow that innocent desire to grow into a demand and then that demand, unfulfilled, grows into a disappointment which eventually grows into a distrust in God, ultimately, destroying our intimacy with Him.  This is why we tend to  listen and believe the lies of Satan.

Another consequence of our culture’s lesbianism trend (secular and Christian alike) is that close women-to-women friendships are now in jeopardy.  In fact, concern that other people will perceive the friendship as inappropriate rises in getting too close to a woman.  And yet, in Scripture we have a number of deep, intimate female friendships, sisterhoods, which today’s culture find suspicious, even though they were pure, biblical friendships.  I immediately think of Ruth and Naomi.  Here are two women who were so close that when Naomi went to return to her homeland, Ruth literally clung to her and promised an unbreakable covenant, “Where you go, I will go.” We also have Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1), who though separated by age were extremely close, spiritually seeking nourishment from each other.  Mary sought out and payed close attention to the counsel of Elizabeth.  I also think about the call to pour our lives into the lives of other women (Titus 2).  This level of discipleship requires intimacy which is not to be construed for sexuality.  But it seems our sex-driven culture confuses the two quite frequently: intimacy and sexuality.  One cannot be perceived without the other.  To be intimate is to be sexual, they think, and if you have a deep love and friendship with a woman you must be in love with her romantically.  This mindset does a great disservice to the ministry of accountability. Accountability with another requires that intimate vulnerability to open up your lives and confess your faults to one another, but intimacy and closeness in relation does not have to end in a sexual relationship.  We must learn how to be accountable and build close friendships with women without crossing the line into romantic attraction. 

So, what should we do if a friend “comes out?”

1. Love her.

We must, first and foremost, love her.  We love her because it is for this that she is searching.  She wants love and acceptance.  And we should give it to her because it has been given to us by Christ.  “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).  How are we to love her?  The way Christ loved us, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35).  Christ accepts us the way we come to Him, He saves us, and then He begins His work in us…not the other way around.

2. Guide her.

Your love for your friend struggling with lesbianism must be balanced with guidance and counsel if she is going to understand the difference between acceptance and approval.  Love tells her that you always will accept her (the way that Christ always will accept us: no matter how deep in the pit we may have sunk, the love and forgiveness of God is deeper still).  Guidance says that you cannot approve of a lifestyle that stands in opposition to the way we were created to live (1 Cor.6:9;1 Tim. 1:10).  Because as a culture, our identity is so often wrapped up in our choices, our generation thinks that to disapprove of something is to reject that person.  We must show that this isn’t the case:  There is a difference between acceptance and approval.  So, guide her, help her understand that what she is searching for can only be found in Christ.

3. Pray for her.

Ultimately, this must be a work of God in your friend’s life.  You can love her, encourage her with your guidance, but it’s only God who can change a heart (Ezekiel 36:26; Philippians 1:6). M.R. DeHaan used to say, “When we work…we work; but when we pray, GOD works!”   Pray that God would soften her heart and see through the lies of Satan.  Pray that the Lord would be victorious in her life and that He would call her to live in a manner worthy of her calling. (Col. 1:9-14)

What should you do if you want to come out?

To my friends who have struggled or struggle with this lifestyle choice, I beg you to understand my heart in writing this article.  It is not to condemn or judge you, but to encourage you.    I pray that you would come to know and be filled with the will of God in your lives in all spiritual wisdom and understanding and the way to do that is, “to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” (Col. 1:9-14)  I pray that you would seek to fully please Him, not yourself, understanding that your satisfaction…real, true heart-satisfaction, comes only from Christ…from knowing God.  I pray that His power would strengthen you to endure with joy.  I pray that you would remember your salvation with thanksgiving, realizing the inheritance you have in Christ; you have been snatched from darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God.  You have been redeemed and forgiven.  And because of the Gospel…you can have peace. So, please seek accountability.  Find someone in your church with whom you can be vulnerable who can help you with this.   Don’t fear judgment; fear God. And above all else, cling to the Gospel. I love you, my friends.

*Research from Dr. McIlhaney’s book, Hooked, pg 41.

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6 thoughts on “Lesbianism: A New Norm?

  1. I heard you talking about writing this article, I think you did a great job with it. Scary how the worlds sin ruins everyone’s life. Sin is selfishness but I don’t think I realized how it does screw up our relationship with girls. It brings to truth even more has in affects everyone else. My dad always says “is that one of your close girlfriends?” sad how my friends look at me and say what ? We’re not like THAT. When all he means is are we best friends:/

  2. You can quote the Bible chapter and verse and it makes no difference. The Bible is full of contradictions, and of commands and laws that most Christians do not observe. There are numerous examples where the Bible commands us to act in a certain way, many of which are now illegal. Of course given that the Bible was written several hundred years after Christ lived, in a different language that has since been translated over and over, it’s easy to see how it has been created as a form of power and to control the masses.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with women loving (sexually) other women, or men loving other men, any more so than women loving men and vice versa. The same moral codes apply to all.

    The bonus of a homosexual relationship? Lack of (or at least reduced levels of) procreation! This world is so over-populated – and that comes primarily from heterosexual couples, especially those where religion (including, but not exclusive to, Christianity) promote having large families.

    Sent with love and thought.

  3. Well written – and I do believe it is in love and firmly supported with God’s Word! If someone doesn’t believe in God or the Bible, it doesn’t matter what you write, they will oppose you! It’s aggravating to NOT be able to watch any TV show without a same sex couple appearing! Especially with small children, we are trying to filter the inappropriate until they are old enough to understand from God’s perspective! It’s sad too that we have Christian friends who once upon a time were very much against the gay and lesbian lifestyle but hung out with those active in those types of relationships. Time passes, they are getting older, true love has yet to “find” them, and so they give in to a life style they KNOW is Biblically wrong because of the need to be loved and are no longer content on waiting any longer!!! Again, thanks for posting this article!

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