If you have not read Understanding the Issue, you may want to begin there.
Responding To the Big Questions
Many important questions surround the topic of same-sex attractions (SSA). We anticipate that many well-meaning and caring individuals still do not know that alternative views differing from the prevailing cultural norm even exist. In an effort to help you understand what we believe, we will provide here a few brief answers to common questions that arise when dealing with this topic. For further study on this topic, we invite you to take a look at some of the [resources (coming soon)] that are readily available today.
What About Scientific Evidence?
The prevalence of a view is not proof of its truth. Thus, we should ask, what does science tell us? Is there scientific evidence of the presence of genetic determinative factors? To the best of our understanding there is not. There were a number of reports of studies in recent decades that purported to provide such evidence and that received a great deal of publicity. Thus far, none of those reports and studies has withstood unbiased examination. All of them have been seriously flawed. There are a number of published works that examine these studies and related questions. (See [Resources])
It is also argued that such studies in humans attempting to establish a link between genes and sexual behaviors are extremely difficult. However, we cannot dismiss the possibility that later studies may provide this evidence. Should that occur, we believe that the discovery of such evidence still would not be proof that behaviors involving same-sex sexual relations are thereby morally acceptable.
In the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, we at Carolina New Song Ministries will continue to base our ministry on the understanding that SSA tendencies are not inborn.
What Is the Alternative Explanation of Causation?
The prevailing view among those who disagree with genetic causation is that same-sex attractions occur largely because of developmental influences. In this view, there were traumas, often beginning very early in life, which may have resulted in deep emotional wounding, both real and perceived. It is also likely that the nervous system was damaged in varying degrees through these traumas.
Abandonment experienced by a young child, which can take many forms and can also be real or perceived, is often present as a contributing factor. However, many other contributing factors are usually simultaneously present. For instance, a broken relationship with one or both parents, sexual abuse in any form, and the rejection of peers (often because the child is “different”) are often part of the homosexual profile. There also are predisposing factors such as early childhood illnesses and a tendency toward passivity and/or sensitivity. These issues may have a profound impact on the immature and developing nervous system of a young child or adolescent. The list of contributing factors is long and complex, well beyond the limits of space here. However, there are many good resources available that can help one better understand this concept. (See [Resources])
Is There Hope For Healing?
Does this encourage us to believe that a person experiencing same-sex attractions has hope for healing? Can these developmental factors be unearthed and addressed? Can the wounds be exposed and healed? Is forgiveness and reconciliation a realistic option?
We believe that the answer to these questions is “yes.” But a vital reservation must be made here: the process is not easy. Rather the process is usually long and complicated, and not without pain. It is something that a person must desire for him/her self and be willing to work toward. It often requires the assistance of a trained counselor and, in our view, always the guidance and encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
What grounds do we have for this belief?
First, there are the [testimonies] of many who have followed this path and found that change is possible. Some of these testimonies are of near miraculous change, while others describe a gradual process of change in which the intensity and frequency of the attractions decline over time, providing a level of greater stability in life. Still others, typically as part of their growing maturity in faith, develop strength to resist the temptations to yield to the attractions even when the attractions themselves are only minimally altered.
There are opposing testimonies of those who began the process but quit the effort possibly because it was too painful or simply did not appear to be working. There are even testimonies of some who expressed the belief that they had experienced healing but later renounced this testimony.
None of this should be surprising. There is no single stereotype of causation or of the healing process. Despite the frequency of common similarities in the underlying issues, every person’s background and personality is unique. The depth of the wounding and the extent of its impact vary widely. There are cases in which the person experiences only occasional and fleeting same-sex temptations. In other cases the person has lived a life fully devoted to his/her self-adopted gay identity. There are innumerable positions in between. For some same-sex behaviors have become addictive. Others have never acted upon these desires. We can hardly be surprised that there can be found wide variation both in the difficulty of the journey of healing and the degree of success.
What is surprising is the intensity of the anger and bitterness toward those for whom the process has proven beneficial. They often are labeled as liars or are believed to be self-deceived. The success that some find in realizing the hope of change may be seen by others as a false condemnation of their own circumstances. This criticism is also directed at those attempting to provide help to those seeking it. This form of ministry is often labeled as homophobic. It is a source of regret to us if the ministry of Carolina New Song is viewed as condemnatory by some not seeking help, but our focus is upon those who are.
Second, we can look at the work of those who have worked as counselors for those seeking help for same-sex attractions. Despite the cultural, and even legal opposition to their work in some jurisdictions, many clinical counselors are willing to offer help to those seeking change. We can find in their clinical studies encouragement for holding the hope of healing. Many have been able to report relatively high levels of success. (See Resources) Not surprisingly there is a great deal of opposition and controversy regarding these findings. This brings to mind the common phenomenon in which our judgments are influenced by cultural pressures and preconceived notions without regard to the available evidence. Unfortunately, this phenomenon can influence attitudes and decisions regarding same-sex attractions.
Third, and more personally, we have been blessed at Carolina New Song by being witness to the process of change in the lives of many of the members of our support groups. (See [Testimonies]). We regret that this is not true for all but we rejoice in the changed lives of those for whom this is true.