"For we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not of ourselves."

Once gay always gay.
True or false?

Doubled genders to opposite genders

In the 1970s I wrote two books--The Third Sex? and The Gay Theology, both published by Logos International--which told the story of ten homosexuals, all of whom declared they were Christian and wanted out of the homosexual life. They wanted out because they knew homosexual behavior was antithetical to the Christian way of life.
Not all made it out, but some did. A few of those who did not leave homosexual behavior behind changed their opinions and essentially took the stance, Once gay always gay. They decided to remain in a homosexual lifestyle and call themselves Christian at the same time.

After almost forty years I am still periodically attacked by pro-gay people, some of whom claim to be Christian, for my supposedly suggesting that homosexuals can become heterosexual. And when this happens I state, as I have time and again, that neither I nor Love in Action (the group for which I wrote the books) suggested that the call of God was to become heterosexual. Neither have I ever encouraged, much less suggested, that the focus of an ex-gay Christian ministry should be to make heterosexuals out of homosexuals.

Whether a person identifies him or herself as homosexual or heterosexual is not my concern. My interest is in helping those who want to follow Jesus and be biblically faithful to Scripture that clearly indicates that homosexual behavior is wrong.

Sexuality is one thing, but there is something far larger and of eternal consequence, and that is following Jesus as Savior and Lord. Our sexual identity is of core significance, of course, yet desiring to love God and serve Him is of far greater significance.

From Matthew 16:24-26 we find these words of Jesus:

"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?" 

Deny our sexuality? Yes, even if it meant that a person remained homosexual in core identity, struggling with same sex attraction, but lived a celibate life, thus denying him or herself. The call to being a follower of Jesus means living a radical life. This is true for heterosexuals and homosexuals. Yes, heterosexuals must also deny all manner of compulsions, drives, and addictions. Consider the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revelers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

As I look over the above list of sinful behaviors, I admit to falling way short of the standard. It is, however, a question of identity and ongoing, committed behavior. The alcoholic may stumble. The greedy person may cheat to gain economic advantage. The thief may fall into temptation--and these things are forgivable. But can true conversion be in place when a person is committed to practicing that which is sin? The answer can only be, No![1]

Some about whom I wrote in those books mentioned in the first paragraph of this essay remained celibate, or at least, if they fell, they continued on as followers of Jesus and learned to live a celibate and fulfilled life. Others turned back to the same life they claimed initially they wanted away from and sought for a rationale why it was they need not deny themselves. Whatever a person's experience is does not trump the Word of God. God's truth is timeless and remains the reality, despite human efforts to modify, mollify, or redefine it.

Lastly, let me state that Christians whom I know personally, who were completely immersed in the  gay life from day one, have continued to live with the fact that their essential sexuality is homosexual and have denied themselves and live a celibate life, a life honoring to God and a living testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit. Neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality matters ultimately, but the kingdom of God is above all and over all.

Kent Philpott


[1] If anyone dares, examine what Peter said about the issue: 2 Peter 2:17-22.

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Last Update: 2016-09-01 12:11