Question:

I need help brother!

I obeyed the gospel and was added to the Lord's church several years ago. I came out of the Baptist denomination.

When I was a child, I was molested by two men in my family. This went on for years. I was around 6 years old when it all started. I always struggled with this issue because I was always attracted to men.

After I obeyed the gospel I attended the church of Christ. A few years later the church took in a homeless man off the street. He also obeyed the gospel. I was asked to visit with him and do Bible study. After a few times visiting with him, we were setting on his couch talking when he came on to me. I left immediately.

That event opened my mind up to that lifestyle again. I fell away. The Lord brought me back. I havetried so hard to keep myself from giving into that old way of living, but I have failed miserably since then. I have not been a faithful member. I would repent, I would be faithful, but the slightest thought sometimes causes me to stumble. I always wondered why that happened to me when I was a child, I was so innocent.

I need your help, brother, because I can't continue flip-flopping my faith.


Answer:

I agree that help is needed, and I'm willing to help as I am able.

Let's start with the evil that happened to you as a child. The problem is that evil does exist in this world and evil men will often prey upon the innocent since they are seen as easy targets. What is sad is that others in your family did not realize what was going on and take action against your molesters. I hope they have turned from their evil because God takes a very dim view of such people. "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" (Matthew 18:6-7).

The problem for the sexually abused child is the usually the abuse is perceived as fun or enjoyable on some level. It is not until the child is older and becomes sexually aware does the significance of what happened registers. Then a dilemma takes place. The child knows what was done to him was wrong, but he also remembers being a willing participant and enjoyed aspects of it. The willingness is not actually true because children, placing trust in older people, follow their lead. They don't have the full capability to make the analysis of right and wrong decisions. But regardless, this dilemma causes children to "solve" the problem in a variety of ways. Some turn to abusing other children like they were. Some decide they need to prove they aren't homosexuals by rampant fornication. Some think they need to punish themselves. Some, such as yourself, decide that they must be homosexuals. This isn't an exhaustive list, but it illustrates the problem.

It was wonderful that you tore yourself away from homosexuality to become a child of God. Like the Corinthians of old, you were able to put that sin behind you. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

However, I suspect that you thought the temptation to sin sexually with other men was over with. It wasn't until you faced that temptation once again and realized that your body still responded to those thoughts that it became clear that you could still be tempted with homosexuality. Many people think that becoming a Christian frees a person from temptation. It doesn't. It frees people from sin. "For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:7). Temptation remains an ever present threat. That is why Christians are told, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9). It appears you were unprepared to face both the temptations and the memories from your childhood.

Repeatedly I find myself telling people that feelings have no role in decision making. Your feelings can be manipulated. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Decisions must be made upon a reliable standard and that standard has to be the word of God. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil" (Proverbs 3:5-7).

This is where you are making mistakes. You are letting your feelings and your body's misguided response direct your behavior. What makes people greater than the animals is that we can use our judgment to override our feelings. You need to stop acting like an animal and be a man.

Just in case this is happening to you, do not consider being tempted a sin. Jesus was tempted, but he never sinned. Temptation is the offer that you could sin, but temptation can and must be rejected. Thus, don't be hard on yourself for being tempted. Be firm in your rejection of what Satan is offering you.