John Stonestreet on Holiness and Sexuality: Your Desires Don’t Define You

There’s a line credited to C. S. Lewis that I often repeat: “The most dangerous ideas in a society are not the ones being argued but rather the ones that are assumed.” In our time, that saying perfectly describes the idea that our desires determine our identities.

Our culture has fully trained people, when they talk of sexual desires, to not say “I feel,” but rather to reach for being verbs like “I am.” “If I experience same-sex attraction,” they’ll say, “therefore I am gay.”

Author and Moody Bible Institute professor Christopher Yuan thinks it’s time to expose this unspoken idea, and how it’s poisoning not just our culture, but individual lives.

He knows. For years, Yuan self-identified as a gay man and lived an incredibly broken life. He was kicked out of dental school on the eve of graduation for selling drugs to faculty and threw away his relationship with his Christian converted parents in favor of gay bars and the life of a dealer.

At one point, Yuan says his father even handed him a Bible, and he chucked it in the trash can. Not long after, he found himself in prison, where he received the life-altering news that he was HIV positive. Yuan recounts catching sight of another trash can while incarcerated and thinking to himself, “This is my life.” But then he noticed something on top of that trash can: a Gideon’s Bible. He picked it up and began to read it, at first out of boredom, but later with growing interest.

After wrestling with Scripture and trying to reconcile it with his choices and sexual identity, Yuan came to a crossroads: either to let his attractions determine how he lived, or to find his identity in Jesus. By the grace of God, Yuan chose Jesus.

Today, having taken the unlikely course from prisoner to Bible professor, Yuan emphasizes the need to rethink along the lines of what Scripture teaches. For example, something most Christians know by experience: Conversion doesn’t end temptation. The battle with what the Apostle Paul calls “the flesh,” remains, including when it comes to our sexual desires. That’s why Yuan has chosen to think with different categories. As he says, the goal of the Christian life isn’t to become heterosexual, it’s to become holy—whether we pursue that through lifelong celibacy or in marriage.

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Source: Christian Headlines