I notice a trend where sexual attractions are what classify sexuality. An article posed by Matthew Thomas (Thursday, January 31, 2013) raised several questions which I would like to address.
The fundamental problem is a blurring of the difference between sexual activity and sexual identity. A definition for 'homosexual' was coined in 1892 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homosexual) which states: (1) of, relating to, or characterised by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex. (2) of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex. Furthermore, tendency is defined as (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tendency): (1) a proneness to a particular kind of thought or action. So it would seem that the world view on being homosexual is both an attraction and an action between persons of the same sex.
This idea of 'thoughts being equal to action' is supported by the Bible. Matthew 5:28 (NIV): "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Another example is found in 1 John 3:15 (NIV): "Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer" ... this seems pretty extreme for a loving God: One's mere thoughts will result in a label of an adulterer and a murderer. Double woe then to the 'anyone' that has the tendency of having such thoughts! However, is he punishable by law, being regarded by the society as criminal? Surely a woman cannot divorce her husband on the grounds of marital unfaithfulness because he lusted at another woman. Neither can a policeman arrest a man on the grounds of murder because he constantly hates someone else.
The context of Scripture therefore illustrates the Christian God's standard of living for his people, his creation, which is based on God's holiness. This proves that God requires a higher moral standard of living from his people. What we regard as excusable (because they are "harmless" thoughts) God equates to being punishable by his law.
James 1:14-15 show that our thoughts/temptations are from our desires and our desires lead to sin. This gives light to the Christian world view on homosexuality. By God's standard, having homosexual thoughts is still regarded an evil desire. But the manifestation of your thoughts/desires/attraction is the birth of sin. This is why God calls us to renew our minds (Romans 12) so that we do not fall to sin.
Thinking about having sex with many people, does not make you a prostitute. Having thoughts of stealing or lying, even eating, does not make you a thief, liar or eater. Likewise, having homosexual thoughts does not make you 'homosexual'.
Why is it okay for us to perceive this as your "sexual identity", but not your identity in any of the examples previously given? All of the above is in response to Matthew Thomas' question about the sexuality of a Catholic priest who is celibate: the world view would classify him as heterosexual/homosexual based on his thoughts/desires. I would say that he is a celibate Catholic priest with homosexual/heterosexual thoughts/desires.
Since he is celibate, I would further advise him to subject his thoughts to God's standard, so that he can be effective in his priesthood. It is important to note that sexuality is neither limited to mere acts. A person who is raped is not a rapist, is he? That person is a rape victim. Likewise, a person who has been homosexually assaulted is a victim of homosexual assault. He is not automatically homosexual.
If one willingly and repeatedly engages in homosexual acts as a display of his inward desires/thoughts, he can be considered 'homosexual'. We need to redefine sexual identity and activity as they are not the same.
Matthew went on to speak about the Bible's silence on slavery and child-sex/marriages. Irrelevant yet untrue, Matthew. The Bible commands respect for authority, but condemns mistreatment. Ephesians 6 illustrates this in relation to slavery. In fact, the first ever slavery revolt was in Exodus where God freed his people from slavery in Egypt (used some 'magic snakes' in the process too, don't you recall?).
Additionally, a Christian named William Wilberforce was instrumental in the formation of laws to abolish slavery in 1833, inspired by his Christian faith. And while the age definition of a child varies among cultures, the Bible states in Matthew 18:6, referring to children: "If anyone causes harm to these little ones or causes one of these little ones to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." That statement is all encompassing.
In conclusion, men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women should indeed be treated fairly. They should not be denied the right to a job nor should they be subject to violence. Our buggery law does not support such acts. As it stands right now however, men who have anal sex with men and men who have anal sex with women are breaking the law. This is punishable. The Love March Movement supports God's standard. Evidence of God's grace to men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women is found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 11.