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Joshua Hancock wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a few friends who are gay.

  • Can my gays friends go to Heaven as long as they believe in God's Word and pray the prayer of salvation?
  • Can you give me some Scriptures to back up your answer?

Thanks,

Joshua

  { Can my gay friends be saved if they pray the salvation prayer and can you reply with Scriptures? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Joshua —

Thanks for the question.

By the design of the Creator, a man was designed for a woman and a woman was designed for a man.

This statement is not only supported by the Words of the Creator Himself in Scriptures: see Matthew 19:4-6 but by medical science itself.

This is a statement based on both faith and science. With this premise laid down let's address your question.

You said:
I have a few friends who are gay.

  • Can gays also go to Heaven as long as they believe in God's Word and pray the prayer of salvation?

A true belief manifest itself in actions and words, not just words.

For most people beyond the age of reason, being saved requires a formed conscience.

Today, some people do have formed consciences, while many do not.

  • What is a formed conscience?

A formed conscience is a conscience that can understand and is willing and open to comprehending Catholic Christian principles and teachings. This involves reading and studying those principles.

The Catechism teaches:

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, (cf. Genesis 19:1-29; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10) tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, Persona humana 8) They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times:

  • by the support of disinterested friendship,
  • by prayer and sacramental grace,

they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

If your friends are beyond the age of reason and open to understand Catholic Christian principles, they should be striving to working against this by going to Confession on a regular basis and receiving the Eucharist each Sunday when they renew their Covenant with the Lord. . . if they are in a state of grace.

The culpability of each of your friends will depend on how much of a formed conscience they have.

If they had parents that never taught them religious values or principles, while their actions, as the Catechism states are: intrinsically disordered, the amount of blame is lessened. Good friends like you should share with the importance of living like a Catholic Christian. Tell them to visit our site!

If they had parents that did teach them Catholic Christian principles, yet they ignored them, they risk losing eternal life for eternal damnation.

Finally, as I said in another question:

We should do the best we can live a sacramental life and stay in a state of grace. That said, again, we will always struggle with the sins of the flesh until we die. The Lord Jesus understands this Biblical truth when He said:

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

That doesn't mean to give up the fight but just do the best you can without rationalizing that a pleasure that was intended to bring forth new life cannot be rationalized as a good for ones own self-pleasure.

[Also read this posting on the way we were created: the Hierarchy of Pleasures]

You said:

  • Can you give me some Scriptures to back up your answer?

Scripture References that confirm Traditional marriage and condemn homosexual behavior are:

Also check out my Scripture Passages page here:

Hope this helps,

Mike

John replied:

Just to add to Mike's answer.

We have to be careful that we don't apply double standards.

People that have same sex attraction are called to live celibate lives (unless they are attracted to both sexes and in the later case: get married!! . . . to the opposite sex of course.) By the same token, heterosexuals are also called to celibacy unless they are married.

Most people will commit sexual sin at some point in their lives; even if it is simply by entertaining lustful thoughts.

Jesus tells us that if a man looks at a woman with an adulterous eye, then he's guilty of adultery. That said, I don't think there are too many people walking around who, at one time or another, have not struggled with impure thoughts or actions.

All of this is serious or grave sin, if it is done:

  1. with full consent of the will,
  2. with sufficient time of reflection, and
  3. will full knowledge that it is sin.

The good news is that Christ died for all sin and if we take advantage of the grace He freely gives us, we can overcome these sins, even if they are habits. As St. Paul wrote:

If by the Spirit we put to death the deed's of the flesh . . . (Romans 8:12-13)

Moreover, God is willing to forgive each and every sin we commit. This holds true for everyone; whether it be:

  • those who commit homosexual acts
  • those who have heterosexual sex outside marriage, or
  • those who otherwise struggle with lustful thought and acts of impurity.

John

Mary Ann replied:

Just a brief addendum:

Being saved does not require a formed conscience beyond what light God sends us and provides us.

Those who are ignorant of truth are not culpable. However, unless a person lacks reason or has had serious deformation in his or her formation, a person can recognize God's will through natural law, which is our own reason reflecting the truth of God's created order.

The influences to homosexuality today are very strong, and include:

  • childhood abuse
  • family breakup with loss of a father
  • feminized masculinity through environmental hormones, and
  • cultural pressure

All of these can create strong pressures on the will and even, in cases where formation is lacking, pressure on the intellect so that it does not realize something is wrong.

In any case, it is absolutely true that saying the salvation prayer doesn't save anyone, unless it is said with a living faith.

Faith is dead without works. If one accepts Jesus as Lord, then He is Lord of one's life, and that means you live as He teaches.

Mary Ann

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