Many Christians insist that being gay is a choice. Most homosexuals beg to differ. But is this an issue Christians really need to face? Does the Bible even say whether or not people are born gay? How is this subject germane to the discussion we’ve been having?
My friend’s words are bold and italicized. May God add His blessing to your reading and thank you for taking this little journey with me as we have explored what may be the greatest defining issue, for church and culture, of our time.
Great topic my friend! This is one of the items that really confuses me. I usually am leaning so far off to the right I could fall off the fence, but I really do think a majority of homosexuals are born that way. I also feel that there are those that choose it, especially with the way Hollywood and the media are these days. I know scripture tells us that it is a sin, but on the other hand it says to "love thy neighbor". So for me, if someone want to lead this type of lifestyle who am I to judge? HOWEVER, I feel that the media pushing the gay agenda in shows, movies, same sex marriage etc. is a disgrace. I really don't feel like sitting down with my 5 year old and have to explain why Sherry loves Mary. With society forcing an issue down everyone's throats is just going to divide the people even more than we already are. God gives us the choice to make our own decisions, and everyone chooses a path. I love my neighbor gay or not, but I do not want it thrust upon me and my children. Does that make sense?
I understand where you're coming from. Some of the points you raise I discuss in my blog entry, "Biblical Answers for Queer Questions." If you've not read it, I would encourage you to do so. Also, I recommend my articles: "We're Not Gonna Take It--Gays & Twisted Scripture" and “Flaming Homos: The Conversation Gets Heated.” Each of these pieces may be helpful when considering these things.
As to the question of whether or not some gays are born with homosexual tendencies: I think the quandary, as it is typically presented or framed, is rather reductionistic or simplistic. But in addition to this, I think the entire controversy is a contrivance and a red herring. That is, whether or not one is “born gay” is NOT a matter of morality but of biology. But we are not discussing genetics. We are discussing ethics.
To be clear: when we [or the Bible] speak of the sin of homosexuality, we are not speaking in biological or genetic categories. Rather, we are speaking of homosexuality in terms that are categorically moral and ethical. Thus, in my estimation, the Christian apologist is missing the point entirely [and may be falling into a trap] when he leaves the biblical purview of the discussion and begins to converse of genetics rather than ethics. We must carefully and consistently distinguish, not conflate, these categories.
The biblical truth is each of us is born in sin. Being "born gay" has absolutely no bearing on the sinfulness of homosexuality. Just because one may be born with a certain bent or passion or predisposition, has no relevance to whether the inclination in question is or is not sinful. We are born with sinful propensities, a sinful nature. We are sinners therefore we sin. My sinful tendencies--no matter how innate or powerful--cannot excuse my sin or make my sin less sinful. Thus, even if a homosexual can prove he was born gay...this would not make homosexuality morally acceptable.
For example, I truly believe I was born heterosexual. That is, I have no recollection of consciously choosing to be attracted to the opposite sex. Rather, at a young age I began to experience and become very much aware of sexual attraction to females. (And then for a time “sexual attraction to females” was pretty much all I was aware of!)
That being said, fornication--sex before marriage--was no less sinful. And now, as a married man, sex outside of my marriage is no less sinful. Were I to commit adultery, I can never rightly claim: "Well, I can't help it. I was born with a strong attraction to females. God made me this way! If I weren't supposed to have sex with as many women as possible...why would God have made me with such urges? When I cheat on my wife I am only being true to the inner me. No one can judge my behavior as 'wrong' because it feels so 'right' and I am only behaving according to my nature."
Anyway...I hope these illustrations are helpful. (You can imagine any number of such things.) We do indeed have strong, sinful inclinations; but these are to be mortified so that we may glorify God. God defines what is right and what is wrong--not fallen, sinful human nature/desire/passion. What comes natural is not necessarily moral. In fact, many times it isn't. In other words, for sinful men to do what is “natural” is quite often to do what is immoral.