The following post is the 2nd of a 5 part series of posts on “Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality?” In this 2nd post I will be answering the question “Are People Born Gay?” If you would like to see the other questions addressed in this series of posts, then just click the links below:
I originally wrote the content of these posts when I was asked to address these questions at a summer youth camp. The intended purpose of these posts are to help Christians who already have a firm conviction about the authority of Scripture. I want them to better understand what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. So my hope is that these truths will help instruct Christians who want to share the gospel with the homosexuals they know.
Are People Born Gay?
I think it is possible, but if we are talking here about how to share the gospel with homosexuals, then I do not think this question is that important.
Are not all people born into sin? Doesn’t the bible say that we have all been born slaves to sin?
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
even when we were dead in our trespasses,
If we are all born sinners, then we should not be surprised to hear that some people have sinful sexual orientations from birth. In a fallen world it seems probable to me that there could be some people who even have biological reasons that would help explain why they desire people of the same-sex. However, just because we have a desire from birth never means that we should automatically assume that it is a good desire that we should fulfill.
We know that some of us are more prone to anger, greed, alcoholism, impatience, etc… but that does give us the freedom to act out on any of those tendencies. Does it? If someone was born with one these tendencies then they would have to fight against them just like everyone else has to fight against whatever areas of their life have been affected by sin when they were born.
So let’s not argue with people about whether or not people are born gay. Instead, let’s try and help them see even if they were born gay it was not God who designed them to be made that way. Those desires and orientations can only be apart of the curse of sin that came upon the world in Genesis 3.
Did God Make Me This Way?
Often times the question “Are People Born Gay?” is confused as being the same thing as “Did God Make Me This Way?
Christians who understand the biblical teaching of the fall and our sinful nature should be able to quickly see that these are two very different questions. Someone could be born gay and that be one of the results of a fallen world, but that does not mean that this was God’s original design and intent for them. In other words, we need to help homosexuals understand that God is not making people gay and then commanding them to stop being gay.
We know with great biblical clarity that God did not make anyone a homosexual. We see in Genesis 1:27 that God made male and female in his image.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Then we read in Genesis 2:18, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
It was not good for man to be alone so what did God do? …… He made another man for Adam!
No, of course not!
What was the reason it was not good for man to be alone? Because it was God’s desire to see Adam be fruitful and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28). Therefore, he made another woman and they were both naked and unashamed.
This was God’s original design and homosexuality was not a part of it.
Listen to the way Jonathan Leeman explains this point in his recent article Love and the Inhumanity of Same-Sex Marriage:
Christianity begins with the frank admission that fallen human beings are corrupted all the way down, all the way in. A child assumes that all of his or her desires are legitimate. Adults, hopefully, know better. And a mature understanding of fallen humanity recognizes that our fallenness affects everything from our biology and body chemistry to our ambitions and life loves. Same-sex attraction is but one manifestation. This is why Christ commands us to go and die, and why we must be born again. We must become new creations, a process that begins at conversion and will be completed with his coming.
Also, the fact that Jesus is Lord means his authoritative claim on our lives reaches all the way down, all the way in. We have no right to stand before him and insist upon our definitions of masculinity, femininity, marriage, love, and sexuality. He gets to write the definitions, even when they go against our deepest desires and sense of self.
Rooted in biology or not, there is a difference between gender, ethnicity, and “orientation.” Orientation consists primarily of—is lived out through—desire. And the fact that it involves desire means it is subject to moral evaluation in a way that “being male” or “being Asian” are not.
Here is what’s often missed: neither the fact of the desire, nor its possible biological basis, gives it moral legitimacy. Don’t mistake is for ought. We understand this quite well, for instance, when it comes to the behaviors associated with some forms of substance addiction or bipolar disorder. The biological component of these maladies certainly calls for compassion and reams of patience, but it does not make their attendant behaviors morally legitimate. To assume they do means treating human beings as just one more animal. No one morally condemns a leopard for acting instinctually. Yet shouldn’t our moral calculations for human beings involve something more than assent to the biochemistry of desire? We are more than animals. We are souls and bodies. We are created in God’s image. To legitimize homosexual desire simply because it’s natural or biological, ironically, is to treat a person as less than human.
All of this is to say, Christianity not only offers a more mature concept of humanity, it offers a deeper concept. It says we are more than a composite of our desires, some of which are fallen, some of which are not.
Homosexuality & Sharing The Gospel
These truths should affect the way we share the gospel with non-Christians and especially homosexuals.
First, we need not get bogged down in the debate about whether or not someone is born gay. Instead we need to help them see God’s design from creation and that being born gay is a result of a fallen world.
Second, we need to help them see that we should not assume that just because we have a desire (even from birth) that it is a good desire. In other words, we need to teach people about the doctrine of total depravity and our sinful nature.
Third, we should consider humbly pointing out the sins that we are prone to and confess that we too are affected by the curse of this fallen world.
Fourth, we should preach Christ and the power of his gospel to save. Talking about whether or not someone is born gay will save nobody, but preaching Christ will save some. Let’s try to keep the main thing the main thing.