Are People Born Gay?

With the many recent developments in science and research, a continued push is being made by many to find a genetic/natural cause for homosexuality. In most cases, this push is being made in order to remove the reality of any moral or subjectively chosen cause for homosexuality in human beings. In other words, the pro-homosexual crowd is eager to find a reason that will prove that their lifestyle should be acceptable to others and that religious dogma should be silenced.

The problems that arise out of this are numerous and the continued results from science are very intriguing and provocative.

So, let us revise the question… Is it possible that people are born homosexual (in terms of a disposition towards practicing the sin of homosexuality)?

First, I would like to point to an article from Albert Mohler that was recently published on his weblog. Click here to view it. This article has received a firestorm of criticism from both sides of the issue. But the people from both sides who have been critical of Dr. Mohler have overwhelmingly misread or not read his article at all. For an example of the responses, please read this news article here. Update: See Time Magazine’s article on Dr. Mohler’s statements.

Lastly, regarding the first article, Dr. Mohler has responded to his critiques here at this link. I encourage you to read through these links and think about what is going on in our current culture and how those of us, who are Christians, should respond.

So, getting back to the revised question… Is it possible that people are born homosexual?

I believe that all Christians should answer this question with a resounding… YES.

Now, don’t jump to any stereotypical and negative conclusions, especially if you have not read the links referenced above. I do not want to repeat all the arguments that Dr. Mohler made, but I would like to comment on this issue and talk to you about how my views have developed over the years.

For some time now I have thought about and struggled with the possibility that some people are born with a disposition toward certain sins and that those dispositions might have a genetic origin. Due to recent scientific developments, it has become very probable that certain people are genetically pre-disposed toward certain sins as they grow up in their communities and cultures and as they develop their ‘mature’ understandings and desires.

Now wait, notice that I have not done what many people have done when accepting the possibility of genetic origins… Those people conclude, “Then it must not be sinful!”

On the other hand, it is my “crystal clear” position… that if in fact researchers do find a genetic link for why some people become homosexuals… then homosexuality will still be sinful!

As I was growing up, I came to know that I had a close relative who was a homosexual and that he was dying of aids. In the end he died from a sickness due to what the AIDS virus did to him. Now, rather than talk about the consequences of homosexual sin, I would like to discuss one way that people respond to family members or close friends who ‘come out of the closet’ as homosexuals…

Many people who are faced with the fact of a brother, sister, parent, or child being a homosexual begin to look for reasons to understand why it is that someone could do something so unnatural in the created order. Many of those people today (unlike the early 1990’s when my relative died of AIDS) have heard about the scientific research that is being done and the connections that are being made regarding why certain people end up doing certain unnatural things to their bodies. And because of this information they end up rejecting the Bible and accepting some other form of final authority for what is good/righteous.

I point to a Disciples of Christ pastor who recently revealed (on his weblog and in his local paper) that his brother was gay and that he had come to accept his brother’s homosexuality as a good thing – given that his brother lives in a responsible lifestyle with the one he loves. In other words, promiscuity is not good, but monogamous and faithful sexual partnerships (regardless of gender) are acceptable in the eyes of God. For more information you can see his initial post here at his web site and also the post in his local town paper: Ponderings on a Faith Journey, Faith in the Public Square article

To quote his position from a portion of the E-mail he sent me in response to a couple of questions I asked him: “The seeds of welcome, as I see it, can be found in the broader theology of God’s redemptive love. If, as I believe is true, this is not a choice but genetic, then I believe that in God’s grace, responsible homosexual relationships are not sinful.”

In a second E-mail, he responded with an article for me to read and consider. Click here for that article: Like the Wideness of the Sea? By Lewis B. Smedes

To resolve some of the questions you might have about my comments above, here are some points of clarity for your consideration…

1) I believe that God’s curse (after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden) on the creation reaches down into the genetic code of every living creatures since all are subject to death and physical diseases.

2) If, and this is a big IF, God chose to curse mankind by creating in them genetic weaknesses toward certain sins, then what better way to curse mankind for their rebellion against Him? (this is a rhetorical question)

3) Since the Bible teaches that everyone inherits a sin nature from their first father, Adam, then why would that nature not infect their whole being? After all, it is the body/flesh that the New Testament speaks of as being the thing that will not be redeemed until the resurrection (Romans 8:23). It is also the teaching of the Bible that there are sins that easily beset people (Heb. 12:1), therefore we must put away those sins by the power of God’s Spirit and continue to run the race set before us. The Bible also says that human beings are “slaves to sin” (Romans 6:15-18; Romans 3:9-20) before any receive salvation/freedom from sin.

4) To be specific, if homosexuality does have some genetic background to its existence, then it will be even more imperative for us to better understand it in order to help homosexuals out of their lifestyle.

5) The previous point (No. 4) is only a possibility and nothing is concrete regarding the genetic origin of homosexuality. But as Dr. Mohler said, we are simply in need of having a conversation about all this, especially since homosexuality is a rising reality in all of our communities and towns.

6) There are always major issues to be dealt with in terms of Scripture: Therefore, please note that it is still my position that homosexuality is primarily a sociological and cultural development originating from the general effects of the sin nature we are all born with. Many people become homosexuals because of certain experiences in their life which cultivated that particular sin issue. Since everyone is born with a sin nature, that nature can feed off of anything in the experience of that person and if God decides to turn them over to a certain sin, then there is nothing within that person that will make them not want to practice that particular sin. (Romans 1:18-32)

7) In the end the Bible points us to God and it also points out the things that keep us from God. Therefore, since homosexuality is a clear and abominable sin – no matter what researchers discover about human genetics, people will still be responsible for that giving in to that sin as much as any other. In fact since Adam and Eve sinned, everyone has been born into sin and death (not having chosen that reality for themselves – this is a main point in the Bible). And the only way that they can overcome sin and death is by God’s Spirit working in them the new birth, in which they are set free from the bondage of sin and death.

In conclusion, it is the Bible’s teaching that people are fully condemned for choosing to do the things that they do – even though they are born with a disposition toward sinning and are already condemned for Adam’s sin in the Garden.

I understand that homosexuals will not like to hear this, but Christians must struggle and deal with these issues as the Bible informs them and directs them to give an answer for the hope that they have.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please post comments or send E-mails.

In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,