Identity and Orientation Part 2


Let’s continue the conversation on Identity and Sexual Orientation

This matters because becoming whole includes radical change for our sexual orientation. But, we live in a sexually confused world, one that has decided on its own words and definitions.

In this episode, Josh offers more on the topic through a Christian lens.  We’re diving deeper into Sexual Orientation, the concept of Change and Happiness. 

The bottom line is we all need to change our sexual orientation. 

You read that right. 

We all need for Jesus to come in and realign our desire to be more in line with His intent. 

Listen in.


Because we’re all living in a very sexually confused world, we all have a need for our sexual orientation to change. For Jesus to come in and realign, reorient our desires to more align with His intent.

The world suggests happiness now, death later. But the way of the Christian is death now, happiness later.

Can we support one another in our journey to being redeemed in this area of our lives, not separating ourselves as those who feel homosexual attractions and those who feel heterosexual attractions?


Luke 7:36-50 “Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman” Notice what changed in her own sexual orientation. She was now orienting her passions, her desires, her heart, her loves towards Christ. 

For more on this topic, check our latest article The Not-So-Subtle Indicator of Sexual Orientation

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Welcome back, everybody. So, last week I talked about that, we started this conversation around sexual orientation. And we specifically address the idea that sexual orientation is not something that just refers to LGBT plus people. It’s not just about whether you’re gay or straight, it is really all of us, all of us have an orientation when it comes to our sexual and romantic desires that point us in a certain direction. And because we’re fallen creatures living in a sinful world, and I’d suggest even because we’re living in a very sexually confused world, that we all have a need for our sexual orientation to change, for Jesus to come in and realign reorient our sexual desires, and our romantic desires in a way that more closely aligns with his given initial intent for what it is to love someone to love others, as male or female on our planet. If you haven’t listened to that podcast, just go back and listen to it. If you had listened to, I just wanna continue the conversation. So first of all, last week, I talked about this kind of idea that, that we live in a culture that has has set the table for us, so to speak, we’ve walked into this into the room, and so to have conversations around sexual orientation, actually is difficult for us because somebody else has set the table. And I was kind of wrestling with that illustration. Because it’s kind of mixing metaphors, I mean, conversation, but I’m talking about how the table is set. I think it might be better if I could go back and change it, I would, it would be better if we talked about or thought about it as kind of like somebody has given us certain words that we’re allowed to use and words we’re not allowed to use. Somebody else has kind of defined what words mean. And the problem with that is if the words that we’re using mean something that actually direct us that point us that that suggests something that’s not true. That’s not real in the realm of Christianity, then then we’re kind of already our wings already clipped. I mean, it’s, it’s kind of like the historians look back at the narrative of Jesus. And who asked the question, historically speaking, what’s true about the life of Jesus and what’s not from the Gospel accounts? And there are people who look back and go, Well, obviously, the miracles aren’t true, because they’re miracles. And so they’re already coming out from a paradigm that says, well, that That can’t be true, because, you know, miracles don’t happen. But the point of the gospel writers, including us near miracles, is that they usually didn’t happen. But they were happening. And so they were marvelous things. And so if you come at this conversation with with a preset kind of idea of of what is real and what’s not real, what’s possible, what’s not possible, then, then some of the words won’t make sense. It’ll already I mean, you’ll Christianity will already will not make sense to you will not fit with your experiences or what conversations you’re having our Christianity has its own perspective on what reality is. And it’s not because our heads are in the cloud. It’s because we believe by faith, that there’s a creator and the Creator has defined what real is because he’s the creator of what’s real. He’s the creator of everything that’s around us. That’s so important. We’re having this conversation. Because largely when he talks about sexual orientation culture, people lean back into and kind of point to suggested that the conversation is really centered around science. But it’s not. It’s not centered around science. It’s it might be centered around scientism, and those are different scientism is the belief that science has the has the ability to tell us everything. Science is really that which is observable, repeatable, testable. And when we’re talking about sexual identity and sexual desires, science is really I mean, it’s, it’s it has to admit there’s a line and can only go so far, because after that, we’re kind of crossing into some elements of faith. And faith is important. We all need faith. I mentioned that last week, we can’t live without faith in something. But I’d suggest that the conversations that we’re having both culturally and in our church, and many of us in our own kind of inner lives around sexual orientation, are not so much driven by science by what’s actually been studied and understood about human sexuality, but much more defined by sociology, what’s happening culturally what people are believing about what it means to be human being what people are talking about when it comes to the human being, how people treat sex, how people treat identity, those are sociological questions, they’re not science questions in the strict form of the words we’re talking about. So let’s come back to that. Now, if if we’re inviting and saying, Hey, we Christianity has its own language for some of these things, our own lens through which we see some of these things, what changes about the conversation around sexual orientation, and what changes in regards to how we might approach it in our own lives in the lives of our family members, lives of people at our church and lives people in the culture. So I want to I want to dress three different areas. Sexual Orientation itself, the concept of change and what that means. And then finally, happiness, happiness, sexual orientation, self change, and then happiness. So culturally speaking, I think when we talk about sexual orientation, largely we’re talking about something that centers on it’s it’s it’s it’s not exclusive about but It really the hinge of it is what someone’s attractions where someone’s attractions point them to romantic and sexual attractions point them. But but in a Christian worldview, we would suggest that sexual orientation includes not just those feelings and attractions, but also behavior. Also your beliefs what so where’s your behavior oriented? Where’s that moving you to? Where are your beliefs pointing you to? We would suggest I mentioned last week that that there’s been this kind of conflation between feelings and identity. So it’s, it’s kind of, you know, the accepted gospel of our day that if you have a sexual orientation, or sexual feelings that are that are towards someone of the same sex, then that means something about your identity, meaning specifically that you are gay as a matter of identity. It’s intrinsic and can’t be changed in you. Christianity would say, Well, no, no, your feelings. Just tell you what you feel no, there, there may be a lot more complex than that, but they don’t have the authority to tell you who you are. However, with that said, Christianity would suggest that your sexual orientation does say something about your identity. It’s not completely exclusive of it. Because sexual orientation also includes and this is where we come back to Christianity. Christianity teaches that sexual orientation also includes your biology, your biological identity as male or female. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, for the person who experiences same sex attractions, so their, their, their romantic sexual desires, point them to someone of the same sex, that’s their feelings, those are their attractions. But if we look at their biology, their biology is still oriented towards sexual union with some of the other sex. Their sexual biology is still pointing them in the direction of someone who is the other sex Now you might say, Well, no, that’s not true. Because I, you know, I feel arousal, physical arousal towards someone of the same sex not the other sex. But again, arousal is is a form of feeling and that feeling is expressed in your body, but your body itself, even that which is getting aroused, is still oriented by God’s design towards a union a sexual union with someone else. We don’t need to look any further than how body parts fit together. The human beings male and female, sexual genitalia is the only organ is the only organ on the human person that is designed for a fit with another human person. males. Sexual biology is designed specifically to fit with a female’s sexual biology. female sexuality is specifically designed to fit with male sexuality, that that teaches us something about sexual orientation, Christianity would say Well, yeah, that’s a part of, of your sexual orientation. That which is that which ought to orient your sexual expression. And it’s not just it’s not just the sexual act itself. It’s not just the sexual act itself, not sexual, the sexual intercourse, it’s also procreative. So there is something in every man who’s who has healthy genitalia, that produces sperm, which when combined with a female egg, produces new life at least has the capacity to produce new life there, there’s there that doesn’t exist at all in male to male sexual contact or female to female sexual contact. So I’m not trying to be crass here. I’m not trying to be rude I’m not trying to, to, you know, point at somebody and say, you’re less than or you’re, you know, I’m just pointing out that in Christian in the Christian understanding about if we’re if we’re using Christian language and Christian understanding, a Christian lens to talk about sexual orientation, we have to include a person’s biology because human biology is created by God it’s part of what images god it’s part of what how a man images God is part comes through his physical body how a woman images God, His part is partly revealed through her physical body. Let us create mankind in our image male and female, he created them that’s going back to Genesis one. So that’s sexual orientation. Now let’s talk about change for a second from from the worldview the kind of you know, popular cultural worldview. Change is all about can you change your feelings? Can you change those attractions from same sex attracted to other sex attracted? Can you change my me from gay to straight is really what people are talking about is can you can you if you know if I’m a man and I like other men, can you change that like other women? This is problematic for Christians, because what often happens with that conversation is culturally if that doesn’t happen, if a person doesn’t change, then the the world would typically say, well, that just proves that this is who you are, you can’t change and then you know, forget all the people who have changed. For you. It means you can’t change. For people in the church who experienced this often what they have experience There’s other Christians around them, pointing down at them and looking down at them and suggesting they don’t have enough faith that they haven’t fully surrendered their lives to Jesus because they haven’t experienced change in their feelings. But remember what we said last week, we all need a change in our sexual orientation, we all need a change in the direction that our feelings point us. And a lot of us have experienced change in our lives, in our behavior, in our beliefs in our understanding of who we are, and how we act upon things that we feel, well, we still haven’t experienced the kind of change that we want in our feelings. You know, I mean, I’ve talked to so many married people who part of what they have to wrestle with and reckoned with as a married person, is they still feel attractions to other people, they still feel drawn to other people. Well, that makes perfect sense. My wife is wonderful, I love her, I am attracted to her. I’m drawn to her, I do not want to be married to anybody else. And yet my wife is a limited human being she has things that she has, and she doesn’t have things that she doesn’t have. And there are other women in the world who have attributes that my wife doesn’t have. And so there are times where I feel attracted, drawn to those attributes. So the The question is, does that need to change in my orientation? Well, maybe but I’d suggest Actually, that’s a normal part of being a human being. Now, I don’t want to act on that. I don’t want to feel that with any kind of sexual fantasy or romantic fantasy, that wouldn’t be helpful because that doesn’t help me keep my marriage vows but but I’d suggest to you that my behaviors, the important piece there, and so can if I if I have been a serial adulterer, can I change my behavior? And can I learn not to feed those attractions that I have and understand them differently? Rather than saying, you know, missing out? Can I can I allow Jesus into those into those places where I’m oriented, disoriented in that way to begin changing me in that way so that I can be faithful to my bride and for a wife, can she be faithful to her husband, and for a single person, can they be chaste as a single person absences as a single person, so change is much more complex, it includes feelings, for sure, I mean, feelings can change. The guy who founded our ministry did experience miraculous, significant change in his sexual orientation from same sex attracted to having attractions just for his wife. Now, he he also, rarely, if ever talked about feeling attractions to other women, he talked about having romantic sexual attractions for his wife. So the change that God brought in him was even different than what a lot of people think about when you think about sexual orientation change. But in any case, he experienced the change in his sexual attractions. But we’re not just talking about feelings, we’re also talking about behaviors. We are also talking about beliefs, we’re also talking about our our subjective sense of our identity as as men and as women talk to so many people who wrestle with their their sense of being a man among men or being a woman among women. And I’m not just talking about same sex attracted people here I’m talking about all of us. And part of what God can do and changing our orientation is helping us to be comfortable in our own skin is the unique kind of man or unique kind of woman that we are in relationship with other men and other women in healthy holy friendships. Alright, finally, let’s talk about happiness. Let’s talk about happiness. Because if the world is defining our terms here, and we have to have a conversation around sexual orientation, according the world’s vernacular, according world’s vocabulary, then we always come into the realm of happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction with life. One of the common refrains we hear for men and women who wrestle with same sex attractions is if you deny this part of your life, if you say no to a same sex relationship, then you will be lonely and miserable for the rest of your life. And for a lot of people, they resonate with those experiences because they have experienced loneliness, they have expense, experienced pain, and a longing for physical connection, romantic Connect connection, a place to belong in a family, and they, they’re not experiencing it. And so those words sound true to them. But hear Christian, the Christian vocabulary, the Christian language around happiness is different. The world suggests happiness now, death later, but the way of the Christian is death. Now, happiness later, me say it a different way. The world says, live your life now cross things off on your bucket list, because someday you’re going to die. The Christian worldview, in contrast, says, we we die today to ourselves specifically to our sinful nature, we die to our sinful nature, including those desires that point us away from God’s design and God’s heart for our lives, God’s command in our lives. We say no to those things. And we die to those things today, for life later. That’s part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He said, Take up your cross and follow me. And sometimes that means suffering. Now, none of us want to suffer. This is not about being masochistic. It’s not about you know, trying to live a miserable life. No, not at all. We want the lonely to be placed in families, the family of God is meant to be a place that is truly a family. So those who are lonely, those who aren’t married and who longed for family will find a home and family, among Christians who invite them among Christians who welcomed them open arms and in their houses. And a lot of us have grown up in Christian churches where, you know, the end of a Sunday service, the singles go home alone, and then married people, families, go home and spend time with their families. And it really ought not be that way. And I’m talking to myself here, are there ways that we as Christians have limited God’s idea of family. So we’ve shut people out who are lonely, so that they really are more miserable. And those who are taking up the cross and falling part of the cross they bear is that they’ve been the doors been shut on them from Christians who are inside. Remember what I said last week, I think we can’t talk about these things without also talking about the reality that a lot of us have been so committed to speaking what’s true, quote, unquote, about sexual orientation, that we’ve forgotten that those who experience same sex orientation, for example, are those who, who have been divorced or those who who wrestle with their relationships. They find us willing to tell them what’s true. But they’re not finding us as willing to be their friend, Jesus was both. Jesus was not afraid to name sin, sin, He was not not afraid to talk about sin, and to tell people to live their leave their sin behind. But he was also known as a friend to sinners. I think here about the woman in Luke seven, who was known as a sexually immoral woman. Now, I don’t know her story, when none of us do. But she was known by Simon the faricy, whose house she entered, that she was a sinful woman, Simon was was quick to point at the truth about that, in his own heart, he, you know, she’s that kind of woman that she’s a sinner is what the scripture that what the Scriptures tell us that he was thinking in his own heart. But Jesus was not just was not just aware of the truth about what she had done or what had been done to her, he was also willing to be her friend. And there was something we don’t know what it was. But we can assume there might have been some interaction that Jesus had with this woman before. Because as she came into that room filled with men, filled in right there with Simon and Jesus, for some reason, she chose not to go to the the host, the master of the house, but she went to Jesus, she wept at his feet, wiped his feet with her tears, anointed his feet with oil, and wipe that with her with her hair. And Jesus loved her because he saw the love she had for him. And he pronounced her forgiven. There was something that changed in her own sexual orientation. And she was now orienting her passions, her desires, her heart, her loves, towards Christ. And when Simon looked at it, he thought it was scandalous. Obviously, he’s not a prophet, Simon thought to himself, because if he were, he would know what kind of woman This is that she is a sinner. And Jesus tells this parable is beautiful parable about how those who have been forgiven much love much. And his question to Simon, before he gets the parable is Simon, do you see this woman so if you’re listening today, I want to just and you’ve been wrestling with your own struggles with sexual sin, sexual brokenness, what in whatever direction, they’re orienting you, I want you to hear those words for you. Jesus sees you, not just the things that you’ve done, not just the things that you’re attracted to, he sees you, he sees something deeply, beautiful, wonderful, glorious about you. And he wants you and I to orient our sexual desires or romantic desires or relational desires or emotional desires around him. And can we support one another in our journey towards being redeemed in this area of our lives, not separating ourselves out as, as those who wrestle with same sex attractions, and those who feel heterosexual attractions and those who are married and those who are single, but all in this together, all who need our romantic sexual relational orientation to be shifted towards loving God and loving others as we love ourselves. So much more we could say about that. But I’m already almost at 20 minutes. So let me just pause and pray. Jesus, we need you. As I said, last week, we need you we need you, we need you. God, we’ve become so fractured in our communities. But But people of goodwill who want to follow you and who wrestle with their sexual desires, Lord, we need community and we need the power of your Holy Spirit to move and so I pray for every person listening right now. Or I do pray, I pray for myself and I pray for those who are listening, that you would reorient us that you would radically change our sexual orientation, Lord, that we would be people who are whole, not just in what we do, but in how we feel. And Lord, for those of us who continue to wrestle, continue to feel desires towards that which you’ve said no to, or would you give us the faith and the passion and the courage to say no to what the world is selling? And say yes to you, would you give us eyes to see your paradigm? Would you speak your words over us or that would be affirmed and encouraged To stand up and say, I know whom I have loved. I know my beloved and my beloved knows me. And whatever struggle and suffering I walk through today, I say yes to Him. Now because I’m a martyr. Not because I’m self pitying. Not because I’m alone. But because I know that what he has for me in the future, both in the future in this life and in the life to come is worth everything that I give for his sake. Jesus, we trust you in this. We believe in you. Help our unbelief. Pray all these things down the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Amen.

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