Does being born homosexual matter when it comes to salvation?

To date, scientists, psychologists and sociologists have been unable to determine what causes a person to be homosexual. There is no evidence of whether genes cause someone to born as a homosexual, whether one becomes that way in the womb due to hormones and other such factors, whether one becomes that way during early childhood development or during some time later due to environment, or whether it is some combination of all these. At least one gay activist does not think it is solely due to genes and hormones (http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=205608). However, that is not the point of this post.

There are people who believe that, if science can ever prove that people with a homosexual bent are born that way,  they will no longer be told by christians that they should not have homosexual sex.

But these people do so in ignorance of the difference between how a person is born and what a person does. Whether one is born with a nature where they will eventually have homosexual desires, or not, is irrelevant. Whether one is born with a predisposition towards being a drunkard, or any other sin, or not, is irrelevant. Whether one is born blind or with sight, whether one is with some deformity or healthy, whether one is born white or brown or any other hue is irrelevant. What matters is not how one is born.

What matters is whether one has faith and what one does. Do you believe in God (Acts 16:34). Do you love God (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37)? Do you believe God (James 2:23)? Do you have faith that Christ suffered and died for your sins, as we need to have to be saved (John 3:16)? Do you obey God (Luke 11:28; Acts 5:29)? Do you choose to change from sinning and turn to God and show your change through how you live your life (acts 26:20)? Do you choose to not indulge the sinful nature, as we are told to do in Galatians 5:13? Do you choose to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ, as we are told to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5? The last two things are simply the obedience to God we are told to have (John 14:15-24), which give evidence of the repentance from sin to God which we are told to have (Acts 26:20). These are things that matter – not how one was born.

We must believe there IS a God. We must believe God. We must love God. We must have faith in Christ, who died to pay the penalty for our sins. If it is truly faith (rather than merely an idea or a belief), it will endure and simultaneously cause us to walk away from sin and towards God. Not all sinful desires or ways will immediately leave us, but the walk towards God will have begun. And if it is truly faith, it will continue to the end. And that end will entail us being with God in heaven.

Advertisements

20 Responses

  1. All have sinned and fallen short. You don’t come to Jesus with a litany of your favorite sins. That is a catholic idea. You admit you are a sinner and accept His forgiveness and guidance/rule for the future. Homosexuality is not a sin because it lacks a victim of unlove (Matthew 22:36-40) All sins require a victim, even if oneself, one who is unloved.

    • You are correct in that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). I never said we are to have a litany of sins. Some of us sin in certain ways, while others sin in other ways. But we must agree with God concerning our sins and turn from them toward God through faith in Christ (John 3:16; Acts 26:20).

      But you are wrong when you believe that homosexual sex is not sin – note that I did not say homosexuality, but homosexual sex.

      You might want to believe that a sin requires there to be a victim, but this is not what scripture tell us.

      God decides what is sin. God said anything done not in faith is sin (Romans 14:23). It is also sin to disobey God (Nehemiah 9:29). God said homosexual sex is an abomination, or detestable (depending on your translation), and to not do it (Leviticus 18:20). God said homosexual sex is sin (Romans 1:19-32). God said sexual sin is a sin against one’s own body (1 Corinthians 6:18). God said to not tempt others to sin, causing them to sin (1 Corinthians 8:12-13; 1 Corinthians 10:32). God said anyone born of Him will not continue to sin (1 John 3:9). We are to love God and obey Him (1 John 5:2-3). To see more on whether homosexual sex is a sin, read these posts: https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/category/god/sex/homosexual/ .

      So yes, homosexual sex is sin – against God, your partner, and yourself.

  2. To whit:

    Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are part of a purity code and male-male sex (no mention of lesbian sex) is ranked as “abominations” along with eating unclean animals (pigs, shellfish, etc.) and such things as trimming one’s hair or beard. Is eating shrimp and getting a haircut also sinful? Further, “abomination” meant “unclean.” See Leviticus 20:25-26, in which it is an “abomination” to eat certain kinds of birds.

    Romans 1:19-32 says that men gave up their natures and thus had male-male sex. If they gave up their natures to have such sex, were they not heterosexual to begin with? Your post seems to say that homosexuality is one’s nature, even if (as you say) male-male sex is sinful.

    The Greek words translated in 1 Corinthians 6:18 (also in 1 Timothy in a similar list of vices) are malakoi and arsenokoitai. Malakoi literally meant “soft” (it is used elsewhere to refer to certain cloth or sickness) and was translated prior to 1946 as “effeminate,” which referred to men of the time to bathed too often, ate gourmet food, and laughed too often. Such men were usually straight. Arsenokoitai was never used prior to Paul, although scholars generally think it refers to male prostitutes. Many Bible translations (NIB, ESV, etc.) translate the two words as the passive and acting men in homosexual sex. However, there were many Greek words which Paul could have used if he were specifically talking about male-male sexual relationships.

    My point is that if one considers historical context and Biblical scholarship, there is significant doubt that we can reasonably say that God condemns homosexuality through the Bible. Your post is a loving message to homosexuals, and I’m very glad to see one so gracious, but all Christians need to reexamine Scripture and see if it really says what we have been saying it says.

  3. I appreciate your kind words. I truly do not feel or think poorly of homosexuals. My wife was a lesbian and I was bisexual.

    God describes sexual immorality in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, God speaks against the category of sexual immorality. But to understand the context of the term, one must examine the Old Testament teachings of sex – which includes incest and homosexual sex.

    Even Christ spoke out against sexual immorality. In doing so, He spoke against all forms of sexual sin (Matthew 15:19) as known at the time. This would include all illicit sex that had been defined in the Old Testament as being something to not do. The Apostles said to the new Gentile believers to avoid these same things (Acts 15:29).

    I am not saying that homosexual desire is in one’s innate nature or not. To me, it makes no difference. It is evident that the design is to be man and woman, not man and man, or even woman and woman. It is also evident that if someone is created with a predisposition towards homosexual desire (and I am not saying this is the case), God can remove or override such desires, just as He can heal blindness so the work of God could be displayed (John 9:1-3). What matters is whether one leaves what God has called sin and turns to God through faith in Christ.

  4. I have read quite a few posts which argue against homosexuality, but “have not love,” as 1 Cor. 13 says. Yours has love, and because of that I respect your points much more than those of some others.

    I like your idea that the “sexual immorality” of the New Testament, which is apparently undefined there, goes back to the holiness codes. The ambiguity of the NT’s sexual guidelines have always troubled me, and this sheds some light on it. However, there are still problems. Consider Lev. 18: 18: “You must not take into your harem a woman and her sister at the same time, uncovering the latter’s nakedness while the former is still alive.” This verse condones men having a “harem,” which many Christians today would object to. Yet it is in the midst of a chapter that includes many sexual acts which generally all Christians would agree are unhealthy, such as incest or bestiality. It is only several verses before the prohibition of male-male sex.

    Thus, the Levitical code does not match up with our current, “one man, one woman in a covenantal marriage” definition of sexual morality. We have become monogamous through the centuries, finding it to be more condusive to “abundant life” for all people than male-centered polygamy. If we made that change, and since gay men and lesbians can and do live in committed, even Christ-centered relationships (if we would recognize it), would it not be better to allow those relationships than force people to change a huge part of their identity? Consider the arguments in the Epistles about whether or not Gentiles should be circumcised (and adopt Jewish practices), especially Peter’s dream in Acts 10:10-16. Ultimately, Paul and the Apostles decided that the Gentiles should not have to conform to Jewish customs to be Christians; it was enough that they worshipped, believed in and served Christ.

    Since you were bisexual and your wife was a lesbian, you have been through such a change and know much more about it than I, who has been straight my whole life. However, it looks extremely unjust to me when I see people having to hide, change and agonize over part of themselves, because of things in scripture that may be misrepresented.

  5. jculpep3,

    Again, thank you.

    You wrote, “This verse condones men having a “harem.” In fact, The term for marry actually means ‘take’. The idea is not to be married to a woman and her sister at the same time. But it can be interpreted as harem. I think the idea would be more associated with polygamy.

    However, while this verse regulates polygamy, regulation of an issue does not mean God actually condones the thing being regulated. I wrote a post regarding this issue: https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/god-said-to-not-have-multiple-spouses/ . But the short of it is that we can see even a king was told not to take many wives because it would lead him away from God (Deuteronomy 17:17; 1 Kings 11:4). Man moved away from what God originally created (Genesis 2:24), and later re-instituted (Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 7:2) – one man to one woman marriage.

    There were homosexual relationships in the past – even before the time of Christ ( https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/did-homosexual-relationships-exist-in-bible-times /). This does not mean they don’t work. For some people, they work very well. That is not the issue. The issue is what does GOD want? Is it Christ-centered if we choose to sin purposefully and go against what God has said to not do? Are we being obedient if we condone what God has said to not do? Are we being obedient if we vote to institute behavior that God has said not to do? Scripture makes it clear we are not to cause others to sin (1 Corinthians 10:32). By sitting quietly and encouraging people to do what they think will make them happy instead of holy, we are encouraging them to sin.

  6. jculpep3,

    People are free to agree or disagree with God. They are free to live their own lives. But our choices affect others. Take for instance the media. There used to be a concept of protecting the public from viewing certain behavior, and even listening to certain words in a public format. This has slowly degenerated to the point where our heros curse and sleep around and even murderers are viewed as misunderstood heroes. But there is an effect upon society when people choose to allow such behavior to be viewed, repeatedly, as something that is good. This influences people’s morals. I wrote an article on this ( https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/11/05/what-and-who-you-surround-yourself-with-affects-you/ ). The same is true for any behavior God has said to not do. While something may seem to have negligible effects, sometimes those effects are so subtle and far ranging that they can not be seen at first. This, however can have devastating effects on society. The easing of divorce and abortion laws are examples – many industrialized countries no longer produce enough children to replace the people who are dying ( https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/utilitarian-perspective-on-sex-outside-of-marriage-cohabitation-abortion-and-divorce/ ).

  7. This is turning into a fascinating discussion!

    Regarding your second comment, the media is in sad state. The problem is not that we have so many detrimental influences, but that parents and churches may not fulfill their obligations of providing a moral counterbalance to the media. I did a project on school violence and the media once and my research indicated that it was not the video games and movies that were the problem, but the lack of healthy input from families and religious communities. Anyway…

    You are right that it is about what God wants. But it seems that once we get far past Micah 6:8 (“What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”) and Matt. 7:12 (“So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets”), we treat dangerous waters, because people can and have twisted scripture to their own ends. People have justified indulgences, imperialism, slavery, domination of women, persecution and many other ills, all with ample “support” from the Bible. Doubtless, there were people like you and I in those times who wondered what in the world was going on with everything. I fear that the prohibition of homosexuality (which too often has led to the persecution of homosexuals) may be a similar occurrence.

    I have read that God always has an accessible reason for God’s laws. The consequences of murder, adultery or pride are obviously malignant, such that no one questions why God would prohibit such things. The commands which have less obvious repercussions (not trimming one’s beard, for example) have been glossed over. Now I’m sure that there are sources which decry the consequences, personal and national, of homosexuality. There are also sources which contend that if homosexuals engage in committed relationships, there is no more danger than in comparable heterosexual relationships. Thus there appears to be doubt about any obvious detrimental effects of homosexuality.

    As to the second half of your last paragraph, yes, relaxed divorce laws have become detrimental to stable families. I would like to add that many abortions occur in low-income families because the parents, who already have several children, simply cannot afford to raise another. It is more of a justice issue than an immorality one in this case. But let’s not devolve into abortion discussions.

    Also, many people are successful in doing exactly the opposite of what God commanded: many corporations are very wealthy because they outsource their manufacturing to third-world countries, where God’s own children make their products in deplorable sweatshop conditions. Which is to say, we cannot judge whether a behavior is consistent with God’s command by looking at its wordly effects. Rather, does the behavior promote Christ-like, selfless love?

  8. jculpep3,

    I am enjoying this conversation.

    I agree that parents need to provide input to children, but for so many people in today’s society there is little time to do actual parenting. The fault of course is the parents’, as they try to get things, or experiences, for their families, it requires more time for the parents to work or the family to be engaged in activities where the parents do not provide the primary input into their children’s lives. Part of the problem is that children are influenced by so much more than parents for much more time than the children have with the parents. However, my statement still stands that our choices affect both us and others around us – including who/what we ourselves, or our children, view, listen to, play, and play with. The exposure itself can lead one down a bad path (in terms of being aligned with God’s morality). Scripture is clear on this issue (Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 22:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:33). While we are responsible for our choices, those choices can have influences we do not expect or foresee on ourselves and others.

    God has made it clear in the Bible what He considers to be good and bad behavior. Yes, anything, including scripture, can be twisted. This does not mean we are to throw it out or ignore it. To do so is dangerous. We have to correct misunderstandings of scripture, not ignore it. God has defined what is love – both for Him and for others. We are to love God and others in the ways God says to.

    I don’t think we always know why God has said to do something or not do something. There are times when God makes it clear, but other times, He does not. Sometimes the reasons are clear and make sense to us. Sometimes the reasons are and do not make sense to us. Sometimes the reasons are unclear. But even if we do not understand, we should seek God and His will, particularly in areas of morality and faith. If God has said to not have sex outside of marriage, we should not. If God said to not have incest, we should not. If God said to not have sex with people of the same gender, then we should not. This is the case regardless of whether we understand the reasons or agree with them.

    Man’s understanding of things changes with experience. God does not change. There was a time when DTD was used as a pesticide because it was quite effective, but it turned out that in the long run, it caused many more problems than it fixed and its use was discontinued. This was a product which had been tested and was understood. But because it was a product, it was not impossible to remove its influence from society. However, when we consider human behavior, removing a behavior is much more difficult, particularly when someone has done something for a long time, or many people do something for an extended period of time. I brought up abortion because this is one example of human behavior which has been thought to be a simple painless solution to a problem brought on by human behavior. In fact, there have been many repercussions that we are just beginning to understand – one of which is the reduction in new births to the point where industrialized nations are beginning to not be able to replace their aging population. I have said nothing regarding its ethics, simply one of the repercussions of this human behavior. I fear that once the full ramifications of this behavior are understood and it is agreed that it should not be pursued, it will be extraordinarily difficult to remove it from our society (or even reduce it to the point where it does not endanger society). I fear the same sort of thing for anything God has said to not do in the moral area of life, including homosexual sex. The media has made concerted efforts to portray homosexual sex as normal, common place, and wide spread – this causes people to accept it, embrace it, and even engage in this behavior – something God has said to not do. So while our understanding changes, God’s is always perfect and never changes. Thus, if God says to not do something, we should not, nor should we encourage people to do the things God has said to not do.

    Yes, you are correct, we can not judge whether a behavior is consistent with God’s command just by looking at its worldly effect. Many people are successful in terms of worldly success. But many times the behaviors they use to get there are directly opposed to what God has said to do or not do. SHould we emulate these humanly successful people or should we seek to do what God has said to do? I submit it is the latter – especially in areas of faith and morals.

  9. “God has made it clear in the Bible what He considers to be good and bad behavior. Yes, anything, including scripture, can be twisted. This does not mean we are to throw it out or ignore it. To do so is dangerous. We have to correct misunderstandings of scripture, not ignore it. God has defined what is love – both for Him and for others.”

    I think this is the crux of it. Now I didn’t mean that we need to ignore commands just because we don’t like them. But we obviously do not live faithfully to the OT holiness codes. The question is, then, how do we choose which of the OT laws we continue (for instance, the ten commandments) and which we consider important for their time, but no longer applicable (dietary rules, polygamy)?

    • You ask good questions.

      The question is, as I see it, is what parts of the Law were ceremonial, what parts were moral, what parts were social. I wrote something that sort of applies to this ( https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/significance-of-the-mosaic-law/ and https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/christians-and-the-law/ ). Perhaps I need to look into writing something that is more encompassing of this particular topic.

      To know what applies today, we need to first see what God has referenced in the New Testament. I think it is important to recognize which deal with faith and morals. Which commands were for regulating behavior that are not condoned by God and which we no longer do is one thing to look for? Which commands were intended to separate God’s chosen people from the people around them? Which commands show a love for God and a love for our neighbors? The latter one is tricky, because God said that all of them are summed up by Loving God and loving our neighbors.

      But in reference to our topic, homosexual sex (really immoral sex in general), I think God has made the provision in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

  10. “To know what applies today, we need to first see what God has referenced in the New Testament. ” Okay, so let’s talk about the NT mentions of homosexuality. I know there are many references to sexual immorality, and we can get into that later, but for now, what do you think of my comments about the Romans 1 and 1 Cor. 6 (along with 2 Tim. ) texts? As far as I know they are the only explicit NT references to same-gender sex.

  11. jculpep3,

    “Romans 1:19-32 says that men gave up their natures and thus had male-male sex. If they gave up their natures to have such sex, were they not heterosexual to begin with? ”

    First we have to recognize that God gave the people in question over to “the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.” So we recognize this as being an unclean thing, lust, and dishonoring. Then we see, “God gave them over to degrading passions”, so it degrading. But the rest of the verse tells us why it is degrading, “for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,” So, it may be that part of the problem with homosexual sex is that it is unnatural, but this does not say that that people were homosexual to begin with, merely that they did the unnatural rather than the natural. Then we see, “and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” So again, we see the abandoning the normal function for the abnormal. We also see God called it indecent and error. Again, it does not describe the innate nature of the people in question, merely that they burned in desire for another man and committed indecent acts. This was done because these people refused to acknowledge God.

    As for 1 Corinthians 6:18, this term used to describe immorality is pornea. This is the category of sexual immorality discussed in 1 Corinthians 5:1. This again refers to all forms of sexual immorality. For further discussions concerning this term, please see the posts https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/category/god/sex/homosexual/ .

    We could try to pick apart all the various verses referring to to sex, homosexual, sexual immorality, etc., but this still would not change the fact that God said to not do it.

  12. You have given a very good interpretation of Romans 1. Paul is using a contemporary common style of argument, where he makes parallel claims which support one another. Thus, he uses the image of turning from natural relations (as, he would say, men with women) to unnatural ones (men with men) to illustrate these same sinners turning from God to idols. I think we can agree that this was his intended message.

    And here we see the unfortunate difference between his time and ours. Sexual orientation was a foreign idea to Paul’s time. For us, Freud, Jung and others documented sexual orientations (gay, straight, bi, etc.) two centuries ago. Now, if you will entertain (only for one post) as fact the idea that one’s “nature” can be any of the above orientations, does that “nature” make any difference in how we apply Romans 1 to our lives today?

  13. Thank you. Yes, I think the description of the illustration is accurate.

    Before I begin my analogies, please note that I am only using these to show that nature does not change whether we should obey God. I am not trying to indicate one can compare a homosexual nature with that of any other nature.

    There are some who believe both that alcoholism is a disease and that one can be an alcoholic from birth. Should we then excuse their behavior of being drunk (which goes against what God has said) because of their nature or because they might be considered ill? I think God’s word is clear that we should not be drunk (Ephesians 5:18). Yes, there can be consequences to being drunk that are obviously detrimental. However, for many people, there are no such detrimental consequences, yet God’s word has not changed: we should not be drunk. One’s nature does not change what God has said. Thus, one should not use nature as an excuse for not obeying God.

    In the same way, there are people who are sociopaths who are dangerous to the community. Yet, they are expected to obey the law, and if they do not, they wll be punished – sent either to jail or to a mental instituion for the ‘criminally insane’ (a description I find unhelpful and inaccurate). Their nature will modify the sentence they receive, but does not change the fact they are expected to obey the law.

    In the same way, we are all held responsible to obey the law. Sometimes we get away with not doing so, because those who enforce the law are human and can not be every where. But sometimes we are caught. It matters not if we are by nature alcoholic or sociopaths or white or green or heterosexual or bisexual or homosexual. We are responsible for following the law on earth.

    In the same way, God has said we are to obey Him if we love Him. He has said we will be blessed for doing so, and we will answer for not doing so. God, who is perfect, DOES see all our actions and knows our thoughts and feelings. He has said He will judge us all. He has said we have to have faith in Christ. He has also said if we love Him, we will obey Him.

    God is a faithful, righteous, loving, just, and holy God. He will judge rightly. I see no exception in scripture that indicates any excuse for not obeying God. Please let me know if you see one.

  14. jculpep3,,

    It strikes me that we are all sinners, and have a sinful nature, with sinful desires and perform sinful actions. However, we are still called to not sin and live holy lives.

    See
    https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/is-sin-a-matter-of-thought-motive-action-or-nature/
    and
    https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/a-review-of-sin-who-says-what-is-sin-why-do-we-care-and-what-we-should-do-about-sin/ for more information.

  15. wbmoore,

    You make a good point that people who have natures which predispose them to destructive behavior must still obey the law. Alcoholism is obviously destructive to the individual, the family and the community. Sociopaths, if they follow their inclinations to violence, are also destructive. However, there is a difference between these obviously detrimental behaviors and the nature of a gay man or lesbian whose behavior is to seek and engage in a healthy relationship. If they follow their nature, the result can be a stable union, which rather than being destructive, can be beneficial to them and to their community.

    Now there isn’t any excuse for disobeying God, but there can be an excuse for disobeying the law, especially if the law is unjust. Christ disobeyed the law when he and his disciples picked grain on the sabbath, healed on the sabbath, and when he proclaimed himself to be the Messiah. Christ makes a distinction between God’s good law (Matt. 7:12) and the legalistic, oppressive interpretation of the law which the high priests and Pharisees proclaim (Luke 11:37-54). Thus, this Lord whom we are to obey subjugated the law to love and to himself, so that Christ and Christ’s love supercede any particular line-item of the law. Is this not what Christ meant when he said that he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it?

    • My purpose in saying what I did about our nature is that it makes no difference what our nature is, we must obey God.

      Yes, there is a difference between the destructive nature of some people and the nature of others, from our perspective (which is why I was saying I was not trying to make a comparison). But just because you and I can see a difference does not mean God makes such a distinction. God has said we have sinful natures. Even so, God has said we have to obey Him. There is no discussion on these points.

      But you make an interesting observation that there can be a stable union between homosexuals (or lesbians). I am not denying that. I am simply saying that God’s injunction again sexual sin has not changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

      Jesus did not disobey the Law, He simply ignored the traditions (called hedge-laws) that man had created to help protect people from actually breaking the Law. I agree with your statement that Christ makes a distinction between God’s good law and poor interpretation. But I disagree that God subjugated the Law – He fulfilled it. Christ’s love does not supercede the Law, it fulfills it.

      But this does not speak to the issue: What has God said concerning whether certain actions are sins and if we continue to do those actions what will happen even if we claim to have faith. Everyone is free to believe as they desire and act as they desire – obviously. But God has said that if we love Him, we will not continue to live a pattern of sin. This is not to say that we will not fall down and skin our knees by falling back into certain behaviors. But we must again stop them and start afresh to try to not sin. By obeying what God has said to do or not do, we are fulfilling the Law – we show our love for God and our neighbors.

  16. can doctors determine whether a child will be born gay, as they can determine the sex of the child before it is born?

    • no, they are not able to tell at this point. Whether one will be a homosexual or not is not well understood at this point. It is considered to be a combination of both biological and environmental issues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: