The question often comes up about whether homosexuality is a sin, or as it's known today, is being "gay" wrong? One can't answer such a question until the terms are defined, because there are many levels of personal temptation and involvement. Like many behaviors, it's not a quick process.
There are essentially three steps as a person goes down this road. The first is realizing an attraction to people of the same sex. These feelings can be strong or minimal, may be very confusing, and are frequently disheartening. In the absence of the wisdom of Scripture, today's world of sexual idolatry and immediate gratification can easily lead a person astray here. We are told in many implicit and explicit ways that refraining from any impulse is "denying who you are."
Christianity challenges this phony and manipulative premise at its core. We are not our sins, and people are capable of making moral and ultimately, far better choices that take us to far better places.
While it often seems a person has no control over feelings, even same sex attraction, there's a point where one actually does. The initial thoughts may arrive without any provocation, but every person has a choice about what fantasies they feed, what they dwell on, and how committed they become to certain yearnings. Turning mentally away is possible, especially before these feelings are deeply implanted. And much of that refusal is mental, that is, re-evaluating what one finds attractive. These preferences are grounded in either truth or deception.
It's critical that young people be able to hear that God never intended for anyone to pursue these desires and they can and should turn aside such feelings.
But the person who doesn't push back may go to the next step, and it's one that is encouraged by every homosexual group out there. They promote taking on the "gay" identity, first believing it in one's heart, followed by the public announcement to friends and family that one is homosexual, or "gay. It usually means buying the unsupported idea that you were born this way. Just because a person has had a struggle with such feelings for some time, is not proof that anything is inborn and there's no solid science to back this up, either.
This isn't the only learned appetite. Many people struggle with overeating leading to obesity, but very few were born with a hormonal imbalance causing such weight gain. Almost everyone learned these appetites along with way, and so unlearning them will also be a step by step process. But the craving seems very "natural" and difficult to overcome, even though the evidence doesn't support this notion. Yet it is most certainly possible for people to lose weight and re-train their food preferences, starting with facing the truth that new habits and new tastes are going to be needed. And there are often other issues than just overeating involved.
While it's not an exact analogy, homosexual feelings do have a similar trajectory. The appetite is not inborn, but sort of feels that way, and seems impossible to unlearn. Yet an objective analysis would conclude that one ought to unlearn it, because it's not a good way to live, especially if one wants a close relationship with our Creator God.
But the world's messages fight rational assessment. Today it's, "Go for it! Declare yourself and join the out and proud community." And the temptation to seek others who have these same desires, to feel belonging and acceptance, might be tremendous. Once a person makes these connections and proclaims a public label, it's very likely the person's attractions will not diminish, but will firmly plant themselves in one's mind and heart, and lead to step number three, if it hasn't happened already, and that's behavior.
Acting on these feelings, the behavior of homosexuality, is the last step, and it's a serious one. In many cases, because of the sometimes quite unhealthy sex practices involved, there are serious health risks, and certainly these are not the actions for which your body was intended. Anal sex, for instance, practiced by many homosexual males, can lead to critical injury or HIV infection, among other health issues. Homosexual men as well as women sometimes use objects to simulate sexual intercourse. Emergency room physicians can relate many stories about the damage done to the bodies of those whose preferences lean in this direction. And, given another choice, who wants to be a statistic?
And, backing up a little, what in the world would ever prompt people to desire such unnatural practices? An objective person would stop and think:"How did I get here?" And truly, that is the story many ex-homosexuals tell, of finally stepping back and taking stock of their disordered behavior.
Here's the bottom line: this is a choice. Acting on these feelings is always something one can choose to bypass. The practices involved form the nature of the biblical prohibition, and not because God hates anyone. But God created us, He knows how we are designed to function best, and He wants what is best for us. So these acts are the "abomination" referred to in Scripture, in Leviticus 18:22, and also the reference to conduct that is "shameful" and "unnatural" in the New Testament, Romans 1:26 and 27.
Just to be clear, the person is not an abomination-- the behavior is. And that behavior can change, a person can repent and turn aside, and God is always there to greet the prodigal son or daughter with open and loving arms.
But think about this. Three steps, Feelings, Identity, Behavior. If you are into acronyms, that gives us the letters, F-I-B, fib. And yes, that's exactly what homosexuality becomes, if acted upon. It's a big lie to oneself, to our loving Creator, who never designed anyone for this, and to each other. And how do we overcome lies? By learning the truth. As we know from Jesus, if we abide in His word, we can know the truth, and it will set us free ( John 8: 31-32).