Homosexuality: Religiously Mediated Change
James R. Aist
Contrary to the fallacious claims of gay activists, homosexual people can change their sexual orientation if sufficiently motivated, as evidenced by numerous personal testimonies (click HERE). I have briefly reviewed such change resulting from secular counseling and therapy (click HERE). In the present article, I focus on religiously mediated change, which has been around for a very long time and has been scientifically documented, as you will see. (Note: numbers in parentheses refer to numbered references at the end of the article.)
It’s important to realize, at the outset, that the God of the Bible wants to change homosexual people Himself, through the “name” (i.e., the power and authority) of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Bible (I Corinthians 6:9-11)! Interestingly, this is probably the first-ever published report of homosexual transformations. Now, Paul was well aware that the condition of homosexuality has two aspects: 1) same-sex attractions (SSA), which he described as “shameful lusts” and “inflamed with lust for one another” (Romans 1:26-27); and 2) the practice of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9). Thus, when Paul states “…that is what some of you were”. But you were washed…” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), he is not just speaking about the abandoning of homosexual practice (celibacy), but also the cessation of SSA. On the other hand, Paul did not say whether or not these particular transformed homosexual people became heterosexual. Moreover, Jesus himself wants homosexual people to be changed, else why would these Corinthian homosexual people have been changed through His power and authority? Jesus did not come to save us and our sins, but to save us from our sins.
More recent examples exist of religiously mediated change from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation (1, 2). Here are some specifics of one of these studies. Pattison and Pattison (3) conducted a scientific study of 11 men who changed from exclusive and active homosexuality to exclusive or almost exclusive heterosexuality after converting to Christianity in a Pentecostal church fellowship. On the Kinsey 7-point sexual orientation scale, all subjects manifested major before-after changes. Eight of the 11 subjects became exclusively heterosexual. Although the men participated in prayer groups with heterosexual men and women, no effort was made to effect the change of sexual orientation. NARTH (4) has listed 24 autobiographies and 14 case histories of homosexual people who have undergone religiously mediated change from homosexual to heterosexual. Jones and Yarhouse (5) conducted a scientific study that was designed to meet high standards of empirical vigor and is perhaps the best scientific publication to date in this regard. They studied 61 subjects who completed the study, which included six independent assessments over a total time span of 6-7 years. Standardized, respected measures of sexual orientation were used. Of the 61 subjects, 23% reported successful conversion to heterosexual orientation and functioning, while another 30% reported stable behavioral chastity with substantive dis-identification with homosexual orientation. Moreover, there was a statistically significant increase of heterosexual attraction. The authors concluded that their results demonstrate meaningful shifts along a continuum that constitute real changes for some of the subjects. For comparison, a success rate of around 25%-30% is generally achieved by therapists and counselors for psychological disorders and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism (6, 7, 8).
Restored Hope Network is a membership-governed network dedicated to restoring hope to those broken by sexual and relational sin, especially those impacted by homosexuality. They proclaim that Jesus Christ has life changing power for all who submit to Christ as Lord; they also seek to equip the church to impart that transformation. Their website (click HERE) is able to connect many with a nearby ministry that will offer help in overcoming homosexuality. Also, P.A.T.H. (click HERE) has a list of religious and secular organizations and ministries offering help for dissatisfied homosexuals seeking change. I can also recommend two online resources that will enable almost anyone, anywhere, to obtain Christ-centered help in overcoming unwanted homosexuality: Taking Back Ground (click HERE) and Reach Truth (click HERE).
- NARTH, 2012. 6) Religiously Mediated Change. (click HERE)
- Phelan, J.E., N. Whitehead and P.M. Sutton. 2009. What Research Shows: NARTH’S Response to the APA Claims on Homosexuality. Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 1, Pages 9-39. (click HERE)
- Pattison, E.M. and M.L. Pattison. 1980. “Ex-Gays”: Religiously Mediated Change in Homosexuals. American Journal of Psychiatry 137:1553-1562.
- NARTH. 2012. Autobiographies of Religiously Mediated Change. (click HERE)
- Jones, S. L. and M.A. Yarhouse. 2011. A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Sexual Orientation Change. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 37:404-427.
- Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. My Genes Made Me Do It! – Homosexuality and the Scientific Evidence. Chapter 12. Can sexual orientation change? (click HERE)
- Socarides, C.W. 1995. Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far. Adam Margrave Books, Phoenix AZ.
- Satinover, J. 1996. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. Hamewith Books/Baker Books, Grand Rapids MI.
(For more articles on HOMOSEXUALITY by Dr. Aist, click HERE.)