The following thoughts are based on conversations with a number of people who identify themselves as homosexuals. Many of them express a desire to follow Christ but have been heavily influenced by the cultural attitudes of the day.
The homosexual lobby has advanced its agenda with the following argument: A certain percentage of the population is born with the desire to be romantically and physically involved with those of the same sex. Since this propensity is genetic, it is therefore a civil rights issue. People should not be discriminated against because of race, physical handicaps or sexual orientation. God made us this way, so who can say that it is wrong?
The news media, a majority of those in the entertainment field and the academic world have constantly championed the cause of the homosexual community. Anyone who disagrees with this view is called a bigot or a member of the “religious right.” This has been an extraordinarily successful approach and has gained wide spread support based on the public’s legitimate distaste for discrimination. Presently, for much of the nation, homosexuality has simply become an alternative life style.
The Bible doesn’t view it this way and, in fact, is extremely firm and very specific in its opposition to homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22 and Rom. 1:25-27). In spite of this, the idea of non-discrimination seems to be winning the day worldwide. Even many old-line denominations are influenced by this recent belief and are changing their doctrine in order to accommodate the homosexual community. While the Biblical view is rejected by an increasing number of people, may I suggest that there are logical arguments to refute the idea of blindly following ones sexual feelings or predisposition?
Since genetic scientists have not been able to answer this question definitively, we are left only with personal opinion that homosexual tendencies are genetic. My personal view is that people are not born with a genetic propensity to be homosexual or heterosexual. However, for the sake of moving the discussion to another level, I will not debate this but rather propose another line of thought. I do believe that most people who have this tendency acquired it at such a young age that they are not responsible for the feelings they have. There are exceptions to this, but most people develop their sexual identity based on the environment and relationships they experienced in their formative years.
In light of this, I propose that just because a person finds a certain tendency within his or herself doesn’t make it legitimate. Most people have one or two internal battles that they struggle with all their life. Some people, whether by genetics or environment, have a tendency towards obesity or alcoholism or a bad temper. If one is grossly overweight, an alcoholic or has difficulty in controlling his or her anger, should they submit to these tendencies? If so, would they encourage others to live out every kind of predisposition they find within themselves? In fact, whether the advice comes from parents, a pastor or a secular psychologist, people are counseled to resist such destructive tendencies.
In my opinion, one of the strongest and most persuasive arguments for not blindly following every internal desire is an honest look at the majority of heterosexual males. The normal male is frequently tempted to have sex with any female who is physically attractive to them. They don’t need romance or commitment but, in order to live a moral life, are required by society to live a life of restraint. Should they abandon the self-discipline of remaining faithful to one woman or allow their strong sexual drive to be uncontrolled? If the activities of the homosexual are justified by saying it’s okay to respond to an internal desire they feel, then why isn’t it just as valid for the heterosexual?
Even though there has been a decline in the moral values of America, no thoughtful person is advocating the abandonment of sexual restraint for all heterosexuals in our society. Unfortunately, millions of people are not resisting this propensity and adultery and fornication is even celebrated in magazines and films. The breakdown of the traditional family has been devastating to our nation but clearly it is not as bad as it could be. If everyone acted on his or her sexual feelings, our society would completely disintegrate.
Some have told me that this isn’t fair and that the heterosexual has a legitimate outlet for his or her sexual drive but the homosexual does not. That is true but life is not fair and there are many illustrations of this in every day life. Being extremely poor does not give one a right to steal from his neighbor. There are moral laws in the universe that take precedence over ones individual circumstances and desires.
I definitely do not consider a person who is tempted by homosexual activities to be a pervert, as some unfortunately do. Heterosexuals are tempted daily by the visual stimuli around them and yet it does not mean they are inherently bad. Likewise God does not reject a person because they have an inner propensity towards homosexuality. Every person is tempted to misuse his or her sexuality but temptation itself is not a sin. Jesus was tempted in every way we are, and yet He was without sin. The Bible does not call temptation a sin and neither should we. God knows we will be tempted to live against His plan but His desire is for us to resist such temptation.
This paper has sought to address only the fact that it is specious to say that every inner desire must be lived out. One’s sexual drive must be managed based on some standard other than an inner urge. By default, unbelievers have chosen to set the standard for themselves. Of course everyone is free to make this decision but if a person professes to follow Jesus, then God’s thoughts on a subject should become the standard.
“…receiving the message with great eagerness and then checking the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was true.” – Acts 17:11