Many Christians, especially baptists and evangelicals, as far as I can tell, are settling on the position that, indeed it's not likely that homosexuals can change their orientation. However, it is still not accepted, and it should be viewed as sinful behavior, just as alcoholism, gluttony, greed, etc... you know... each person's particular vices. (Though, to suggest that someone's hyper-affiinity for chocolate is akin to sexual orientation is absolutely insulting. Anyhoo...)
So: you can't change it, but you can't accept it; it is your cross to bear and you must resist that temptation in order to remain faithful to Christ.
***You know, maybe I'm inclined to agree!
Paul said something similar to this. He said:
“It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” (7:1)
"I wish that all were as I myself am. [single]" (7:7)
"To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am." (7:7)
It's pretty evident that Paul believes chastity is best. But, Paul does grant a spirit of limited freedom in sexual conduct, because he says:
But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (7:2)
Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (7:5)
But if they [the unmarried or widows] are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. (7:9)
So, Paul sets a clear standard: remain single. But, he is not at all legalistic about this and offers options in order that everyone can remain pure.
The argument many moderate and conservative church leaders make is this: homosexuals should remain celibate. Paul's statement was this: heterosexuals should remain celibate.
How interesting that we can be on an equal playing field? This tends to clarify the issue. Would heterosexuals be willing to scrutinize--and even deny--their sexuality in the same way they demand of their homosexual sisters and brothers, in order to remain pure?
Paul says they should--the standard is celibacy. Marriage is to preserve purity for the vast majority who would certainly fall into promiscuity without sex in a marital relationship.
So, if straights have the same tough standard as gays, why should straights get a "get out of celibacy free" card while gays are left to deny who they are in spite of the very real possibilities of immorality?
The issue of what to do with homosexuals in the church is not "apples and oranges," we're dealing with the same thing: human sexual tendencies and relationships. Is it possible that the apostle Paul, living in 2008, would be outraged that gays and lesbians are given no options and are virtually set up for moral failure (as is evidenced by all of the gay people who play straight and marry someone of the opposite gender, only to be tempted with cheating on their spouse later on)?
I am convinced, by a conservative reading of this letter of Paul, that we, as gay persons, being honest about our impulses and abilities to control them, should be given the option of living as the sexual beings we were created to be in a way that is positive, godly, moral, pure, and life-affirming.
Please deconstruct this argument in the comments below.