[July 21]-- Straight Talk On Homosexuality, Part Two

Romans 5:12-17

            I promise that I’m going to bring this around to the subject at hand, namely homosexuality. Somehow we’ve inherited what’s called a “sinful nature” from Adam. What does that mean in the practical side of things?
You see, this is the point of understanding this concept of a sinful nature. None of us are what God created us to be. Sin has affected every aspect of me: My body needs glasses, and I’m diabetic. I grow old and eventually my body will wear out. My mind is darkened, and my understanding is really inadequate and inaccurate. My emotions aren't immune to this at all. For example, anger—which can be good—is turned towards revenging myself on those who harm me.
            And worst of all, my desires are inclined towards sin.
All of us have been born with an inclination, actually an overwhelming desire, to sin. We’ve been told what’s wrong and in our hearts we know that what we’ve been told is correct. Lying is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Murder is wrong. And not only do we ignore those voices which have told us right from wrong, the very wrongness of sin appeals to us in some perverted way. We get pleasure not just from sinful things (like sex outside of marriage); we get pleasure from the sinfulness of sin.
But just because we’re unalterably attracted to sin doesn’t mean that every type of sin is equally appealing to each one of us. For example, drunkenness has never appealed to me. Alcohol—for the most part—doesn’t really appeal to me. But lust is something I struggle with. Same thing with laziness. I have a host of other sins to which I’m susceptible.
            Others have sins to which they’re susceptible which hold no appeal to me. Others might be tempted to workaholism, something which poses NO danger to me. I’ve never been really tempted to physically hurt someone in anger. I’ve never been tempted to make money an idol or to covet other peoples’ stuff.
            Why is that? Why aren’t I tempted towards greed? Was it my upbringing? Personal choices I made early in life? Or was it my genes which I got from my parents?
            I suspect that it’s a combination of different factors. All of us are a lot more complex than what appears on the surface. To say about anything “The only reason I do X is because. . .” seems pretty foolish, doesn’t it? But surely my genes are at least part of the answer, right?
            But here’s where we come back to the controversial question and answer from yesterday: “Why are some people sexually attracted to people of the same sex?” I don’t know. Why am I tempted to be lazy? I don’t know.
            And let’s get to the really controversial part of my answer yesterday: I don’t care.
            Let’s get back to my laziness. What if they proved—beyond a shadow of a doubt—that laziness is completely caused by one’s genes? Let's assume for a moment that I had absolutely no choice as to whether or not I’d be inclined towards laziness. Neither did my upbringing have any effect at all. No matter what my parents did or didn’t do, no matter what my environment had or lacked, I was going to have a tendency towards laziness. Or lust. Or lying. Or uncontrolled anger.
            What difference would that scientific discovery make in regards to my walk with Christ?  Would that absolve me of responsibility?
            A few years ago I read an article that posited that scientists had supposedly isolated the “cheater” gene in males. It’s an undisputed fact that men tend to stray a lot more often than women in their marriages, right? So let’s assume for a moment that the discovery was absolutely correct, that the only reason men are even inclined to cheat is because of their “Y” chromosome. If a guy got caught cheating, could he dodge responsibility? Could he just say “Well, God made me that way?”
            I reiterate: Assuming that it’s proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that same-sex attraction is 100% genetic, how would that change my theology? Not a whit. The Bible still condemns homosexual activity, just like it condemns laziness, lying, lust, adultery, hatred, etc.
            Let’s be careful here, shall we? The Bible does not condemn me for sinful inclinations or feelings in and of themselves. Let’s say that I’m strongly tempted to have a wandering eye regarding the ladies. There's something within me, caused by undoubtedly a host of factors, which makes that particular sin appealing to me, while other sins to which others are prone have zero appeal. In biblical terms, I'm heavily tempted towards that sin. That’s not something that God condemns me for. He doesn’t judge me according to the “raw stuff” I’m born with or what I was raised with. He doesn’t judge me based on my desires or my feelings or my inclinations. He judges me based on what I do with what I have. Do I—in God’s grace and power—fight this bad tendency in me? Or do I give in to it, indulge in it, revel in it, and celebrate it?
             Here's a great little cartoon courtesy of Adam4d.com

Lord Jesus, how much I need your grace!  The deeper down I look into myself, the more depressing the picture gets. But one day. . .I’ll be like you. Inside and out. I can’t wait. 

No comments:

Post a Comment