[July 22]-- Straight Talk On Homosexuality, Part Three

Genesis 26:1-11

            What’s up, Keith? It seems like in this discussion about homosexuality you’re going to a lot of passages that don’t have anything to do with the topic at hand. What’s this about Isaac?
            The reason I’m bringing up the story about Isaac is because I’m anticipating some blowback from fellow believers on something I said yesterday.
            I’ll put out my thesis, and then touch on the passage above in order to bolster my point: Why are Christians so heavily invested in refuting the notion that same-sex attraction is (at least partially) genetic? If it is (again, at least partially) determined by the genes one inherited, then does that come into conflict with what the Bible teaches?
            First, let me be clear on this. I think why we are what we are is caused by a whole host of factors. I think your upbringing by your parents and the environment in which you’re raised has something to do with it. I think your personal choices will affect who you are later down the line. And your DNA also has an influence on your personal likes, dislikes, personality, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
            The Scripture I picked for today represents something a Bible study on Genesis pointed out to me long ago. Genesis 12, in which Abram (later Abraham) is introduced to us, has a momentous passage on the Lord’s covenant made with him. God blesses him and his descendants, and promised that through him all nations would be blessed. But then. . . in the same chapter, we see him exhibiting rank cowardice and a shameful failure to protect his wife. He was willing to hand his wife over to another man in order to save his own skin. And this wasn't a one-time failure or moment of weakness. This happens again in Genesis 20, and Abraham even says in vs. 13 he says that this is their practice “everywhere we go.”
            In today’s passage we see Isaac doing the exact same thing with another man named Abimelek (possibly a title instead of a name). I mean the exact same thing. Then his son, Jacob, was a con-man extraordinaire (meaning he’s great at lying and deceiving people). Jacob had twelve sons, ten of whom bold-facedly lied to their father about what happened to his favorite son. And finally we have Joseph lying to his brothers (maybe for a good cause, but still). So you see a family pattern--passed down from generation to generation--of deceit and lying.
            We see this in the modern world all the time. If one of your parents had a real problem with alcohol, then odds are you will too. Now, it’s conventional wisdom that true alcoholics have a genetic predisposition which causes them to lose all control regarding booze. Let’s assume for a moment that’s true. If it is true, would that change our theology? Would we have to adjust our teachings on the sin of drunkenness?
            Of course not. An alcoholic can’t simply say “Well, God made me that way.” Actually, no he didn’t. Remember the corollary to the understanding of our sinful nature: None of us are what God created us to be. To take a less controversial topic, I’m diabetic. Did God create me to be a diabetic? Of course not. But in my case, in his providence he’s allowed my pancreas not to work the way it’s supposed to. That’s not how a pancreas is supposed to function, and most of the time (for most people) it works just fine.
            And if someone is attracted to the same sex, something’s not working the way it’s supposed to. That’s not how he originally designed us. That’s why when Jesus was questioned about divorce and his opponents cited Deuteronomy, he went back further than that to the creation of our first parents and their life before the Fall. That’s where we can see humanity and the world the way it was created to be, before sin entered the picture and wrecked everything, affecting every aspect of our existence.
            I really feel the need for some clarification at this point. Just because God doesn't judge you for your sinful inclinations (or temptations), that doesn't mean that those inclinations are healthy or need to be celebrated or cultivated. I think it needs to be repeated for emphasis: If someone is attracted to the same sex, then something's really wrong. Not to be crude or anything, but if anyone is sexually attracted to anything besides the opposite sex, then something within them is not working the way it's supposed to, similar to the way my pancreas isn't working the way God designed it. 
            Let me ask a clarifying question: Why are pro-homosexual activists so eager to prove or assert that sexual orientation is completely genetic? As best as I can tell, here’s their logical thesis:

1) Homosexuality--defined here as same-sex attraction--is completely genetic. It has little or nothing to do with one’s personal choices or the environment in which one was raised.

2) Whatever is genetically predetermined--or that which is a genetic predisposition--is automatically morally neutral or even positive. There are absolutely no genetic predispositions which are morally negative.

3) Therefore, homosexual behavior is morally equivalent to heterosexual behavior, or even to be celebrated more than the norm. People who are attracted to the same sex should never be encouraged to change, and they can never change even if they wanted to.

               That’s basically their argument, whether it’s articulated that way or not. And I completely repudiate premise number 2. Even they wouldn’t buy number 2 if they thought about it dispassionately for a moment, if we were talking about anything other than a sexual lifestyle they want to justify. Again, if we found a “cheater gene” in men, they wouldn’t justify adultery, right? They’d tell a man “I don’t care if you ‘felt’ like cheating on your wife. You can’t just go along with your feelings.” Or at least they should. There are plenty of natural instincts which we have which would not only be socially unacceptable; they’d be completely incompatible with basic civilized society.
                 So my question to my fellow believers is: Why are you invested in disproving that same-sex attraction is at least partially genetically determined? Aren’t you tacitly accepting premise # 2 above? Isn’t the biblical response something more like “OK, let’s assume for the sake of argument that there is a ‘gay gene.’ So what?" The question isn’t "Why do people do the things they do?" The question is, "Does God’s word commend it or condemn it?”
                  I’m running long on this, so I want to give a fuller answer specifically regarding homosexuality tomorrow.

Father God, I’m not what I should be, nor what you created me to be, but thank you that I’m not what I was, and I’m not what I will be. I can’t wait.

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