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I have been a member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod for most of my life. My problem is that now, as a middle-aged man, and for the last five years, I have realized that I am a gay man. I am not thrilled about this and I wish it was not the case. I also have not done anything in furtherance of it either.

I believe the Bible condemns it as sin. However, in being a member of a conservative denomination such as mine, I have nowhere to turn for help. I live in daily fear of God's wrath and worry that I'm in danger of being "given up" as mentioned in Roman's 1:24.

I have a great pastor but I don't feel like I can come talk to him about this because I don't know what would happen. Thus, I am reluctant to ring a bell that can't be unrung.

Any references to literature, etc. Would be most appreciated.

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    Hello, and welcome to Christianity Stack Exchange. Someone has voted to have your question closed (not me) so you may want to check out our Tour: christianity.stackexchange.com/tour
    – Lesley
    May 19, 2023 at 11:47
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    Like any library, Christianity Stack Exchange offers great information, but does not offer personalized advice, and does not take the place of seeking such advice from your pastor, priest, or other trustworthy counselor.
    – Nigel J
    May 19, 2023 at 12:29
  • This question can be made more objective and protected against close votes by asking mainly for LCMS position on homosexuality rather than pastoral advice. May 19, 2023 at 14:23
  • If your pastor/church ostracizes you for sinful desires, there is something very, very wrong. Jesus Himself socialized primarily with sinners. My experience, even with conservative congregations, is "hate the sin, love the sinner". While the purpose of this site isn't "pastoral", chat is more flexible, and you're welcome to join us there. Also, don't lose hope; your feelings may be simply that you haven't found the right woman.
    – Matthew
    May 19, 2023 at 16:56

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About your fear of talking to your pastor, please be aware that most conservative Christian denominations advocate to love and minister to believers struggling with sexual orientation and gender identity issues. LCMS is no different. In their most recent (2019) convention, they pass Resolution 11-03A by 96.8 percent: "To Encourage Synod to Develop Resources to Aid Congregations and Schools regarding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues". The main points are in that article and you can read the complete text (PDF) in the 2019 Convention Proceedings (page 215-216). Therefore, you shouldn't feel left out and if your pastor is faithful to LCMS convention proceeding s/he is duty bound to help you and maintain secrecy:

Resolved, That pastors and congregations of the Synod be encouraged to minister compassionately to those who experience sexual orientation and gender identity issues through prayer, the proclamation of Law and Gospel, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, corporate and individual confession and absolution, the proper administration of the Lord’s Supper, the mutual conversation and consolation of the brothers and sisters, and pastoral care;

The Bible doesn't condemn homosexual tendency, but homosexual behavior. About Romans 1:24, you'll need to read the passage context (Romans 1:18-25) referring to people who ACTED against their conscience over a long period of time, refusing to heed God's calls of repentance. From your description, it doesn't seem applicable to you, who struggle with your condition without acting on it. In fact, one of the resolution points includes a quotation of Romans 8:1:

WHEREAS, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1)

and a resolution to condemn abuse against them:

Resolved, That we regard all those who experience sexual orientation and gender identity issues as our neighbors, beloved of God, and therefore condemn acts of abuse committed against them;

PLEASE NOTE that Christianity SE (including this answer) cannot replace your pastor or other trusted friends / professionals who know you personally. But I hope the above is the kind of resource you are requesting.

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I am an LCMS Lutheran who came out two years ago. I am in my 40’s.

I understand your difficulties. I do want say having support is important. There is a group of us out there who call ourselves Side B. That means essentially that we are not affirming of same sex sexual relations but we are willing to admit we are LGBTQ and don’t generally get caught up in worries about terminology. Most of us are single but some are married to the opposite sex.

I would strongly recommend looking up Revoice. It is a conference coming up in just over two weeks. I have been twice and will be there again this year. There are Christians of many denominational backgrounds who attend. If you look it up you’ll find its location This year to be quite interesting.

On the specific LCMS side of things you’ll find a new edition of the Large Catechism was just released that includes essays. It does broach the subject.

Give yourself grace. Since it sounds like you align somewhat with the Side B world, I recommend building community with us there. We help build each other up. There’s a growing body of books being written in the community. I have found those resources to be helpful.

Here are some authors I recommend:

  • Greg Johnson
  • Wesley Hill
  • Greg Coles
  • Mark Yarhouse
  • Bridget Eileen Rivera
  • Preston Sprinkle
  • Nate Collins

Most, but not all, in the list are gay themselves. Sorry that none are Lutheran to the best of my knowledge.

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