Talking Points Against Homosexual “Marriage”

The November 2003 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court that gave homosexual couples the constitutional right to marry has intensified debate about same-sex marriage. There are currently six different court cases concerning same-sex marriage. The topic of same-sex marriage will be in the news and part of popular discussion. Therefore, here are a few key talking points on the subject of homosexual marriage.

1. Right vs. privilege: Gay activists talk about the “right” to get married. Yet in the next sentence they talk about obtaining a marriage license. Marriage is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, the state must have a standard for issuing a license. We don’t give a license to anyone who wants to drive a car. You must know basic information and demonstrate an ability to drive. We don’t grant a medical license to just anyone. Someone must demonstrate a level of competence. Marriage isn’t a right, it is a privilege that the state can and should regulate.

2. Devalues marriage: Giving same-sex couples the right to marry devalues true marriage. Imagine if at the next awards ceremony, everyone received an award. Would anyone value the award if everyone received one? Any adult is permitted to marry another adult of the opposite sex. But you can’t marry a child, you can’t marry a blood relative, you can’t marry someone already married, you can’t marry someone of the same sex.

3. Basic biology: Homosexual relations deny the self-evident truth that male and female bodies complement each other. Human sexuality and procreation is based upon a man and a woman coming together as one flesh. Marriage between a man and a woman promotes procreation and makes intimate sexual activity orderly and socially accountable.

4. Public health: Homosexual sex is dangerous and destructive to the human body. The International Journal of Epidemiology reports that the life expectancy at age 20 for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 10 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, researchers estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently 20 years of age will not reach their 65th birthday.

5. Counterfeit: Arbitrarily granting a marriage license to a same-sex couple doesn’t constitute marriage. It is a counterfeit of true marriage. It is like trying to tape two same-sex electrical plugs together to form an electrical current.

6. Monogamy/fidelity: Same-sex marriage will not be monogamous. One lesbian writer calls gay marriage “monogamy without fidelity.” Another homosexual columnist writes of “a broader understanding of commitment.” A recent Dutch study found that homosexual relationships last, on average, about 1-1/2 years and that men in those relationships have an average of eight partners per year outside their main partnership.

7. Children: Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal family unit. It promotes procreation and ensures the benefits of child rearing by the distinct attributes of both father and mother. Two research papers by Timothy Dailey for Family Research Council (Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk and Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse) document concerns about children raised in gay marriages.

9. Majority rule: A recent poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that public opposition to gay marriage is increasing. In July, 53 percent opposed same-sex marriage. By October 59 percent were opposed to same-sex marriage.

10. Popular vote: States legislatures have already spoken to the issue of same-sex marriages. Thirty-seven states have already passed a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) stating that marriage is between a man and a woman. In 1996 Congress also passed a national DOMA.

11. Religion: The Bible teaches that homosexuality is not natural and is wrong (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Other religions also concur with this judgment.

12. Emotional: Gays and lesbians are relationally broken people. Just as in heterosexual marriage, two broken people cannot produce a whole, healthy unit. However, heterosexuals can get help for their brokenness and repair the relationship, but the relationships of homosexual couples are intrinsically and irreparably flawed.




Helping Teens Understand Homosexuality – Facts to Help Youth Withstand the Current Culture

Sue Bohlin provides practical ways to communicate with teens about common misunderstandings and the truth concerning homosexuality. Recognizing that teens deal with peer pressure to experiment and feelings of same sex attraction, she provides real ways to help teens make their way through this maze of contradiction and confusion.

download-podcastIn this article we look at ways to communicate the truth about homosexuality to teens. We examine the lies they are told and the sexual pressure they are under. We also look at ways to help kids process their gender confusion, as well as address helpful ways to encourage teens who already identify themselves as gay or lesbian. And finally, we provide perspective on how to treat those who struggle with same-sex attraction in a compassionate and godly way. By looking at this topic, from a Christian, biblical worldview perspective, we can communicate the depth of God’s love and His desire for us to experience the best life possible.

The Lies They Hear

In many schools and in the rest of the culture today, only one perspective is allowed to be heard. Consider four lies that are very familiar to teens today:

First, “Homosexuality is normal and healthy.” It’s neither. The fact that it simply occurs (in about 2% of the population) doesn’t make it normal. When we look at the way males and females were designed to complement each other both emotionally and sexually, that tells us something about the nature of homosexuality, that something has gone wrong somewhere. This is not judging the people who experience same-sex attraction; it’s like a red light on the dashboard of a car, denoting that something needs attention.

Acting physically on same-sex attractions is certainly not healthy. Those who do are at far greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS; alcoholism and drug abuse; depression; emotionally exhausting relationships; and a shortened lifespan.{1} Please see the “Facts About Youth” website from the American College of Pediatricians, especially this article: Health Risks of the Homosexual Lifestyle.

Lie #2: “If you’re attracted to someone of the same sex, that means you’re gay or lesbian.” Not so. It really means that there are unmet, God-given needs for love and attention that were supposed to be met earlier in life. Having crushes on other people, of both sexes, is also a normal part of adolescent development. It means teens are transitioning emotionally from child to adult.

The third lie is, “Since you were born that way, you can’t change.” First, there is no scientific evidence that anyone is born gay. It’s a myth that has been repeated so often that people believe it. Second, thousands of people who were once gay have experienced significant changes in their attractions and behavior.{2} Change is possible.

The fourth lie is, “Embrace and celebrate your gay identity, because gay life is cool.” Those in ministry to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality have heard many heartbreaking stories of the truth: a dark side of intense and difficult relationships, relational patterns of disillusionment and breakups, physical and emotional unhealthiness.

Countless people have said they wished they never entered the gay community in the first place, but it’s hard to leave.

Teens and Sexual Pressure

Adolescents are under an extraordinary amount of sexual pressure. They live in a sex-saturated culture, and the messages they receive from the media and, unfortunately, in school, clearly communicate an expectation that sex is just part of having a social life. Rarely do they hear about the heart-wrenching consequences of being sexually active, both physically and emotionally. The agenda pushing sexual freedom is also engaged in trying to normalize homosexuality as well.

Teens are pushed to decide early if they are gay, straight, or bisexual, as young as elementary school. But kids in their early teens, much less even younger than that, are no more equipped to “decide” their sexual orientation than they are to choose a college major and career track. A landmark study done by the University of Minnesota determined that at age twelve, one fourth of the students were unsure of their sexual orientation. Their bodies were just beginning to experience the changes that would turn them from children into adults, and they were being asked if they were gay, straight, or bisexual. No wonder so many were confused! But by age seventeen, that number of kids unsure of their sexual orientation had dropped to 5%.{3}

And psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Satinover says, “[W]ithout any intervention whatsoever, three out of four boys who think they’re gay at age 16 aren’t by 25. So if we’re going to treat homosexuality as a state, 75% of ‘gays’ become ‘non-gay’ spontaneously. That’s a statement which I consider ludicrous, but if you accept this tacit proposition—that being gay is an actual state, like being short or being tall, black or white—then in three out of four people that condition changes itself spontaneously. . . That’s with no outside intervention, just the natural processes of development.”{4}

We need to tell teens, “It’s too soon to ‘declare a major’ in your sexuality.”

Teens are also pressured to experiment with both sexes as the only way they can know their sexual orientation. It’s presented as nonchalantly as our cruise ship table partner suggesting we try escargot—”Hey, how can you know if you like it unless you try it out?”

Teenage sexual behavior can have lifelong consequences, but they are not in a position to recognize that. Their brains don’t finish developing until age twenty-five, and they tend to make decisions out of the region of the brain that controls emotion. So they are easily swayed to make dangerous and irresponsible choices, like engaging in any kind of sexual behavior.

Teens need to be encouraged to face the sexual pressures and stand against them.

Gender Insecurity

At a conference I attended, author and ministry leader Andy Comiskey{5} shared a painful experience in junior high where one day, out of the blue, the whole school was abuzz with the rumor that Andy was gay. There was even graffiti about it on the wall. He struggled with his sexual identity, but he had never acted out. He walked into a classroom on an errand and on his way out, two boys called “Faggot!” He was crushed and humiliated. Later on, he made it into a self-fulfilling prophecy and immersed himself in the gay lifestyle.

I went up to him and asked, “If you could rewrite the script of that incident, knowing what you do today, what would it look like?” He said, “Oh, I wish there had been some sensitive adults, especially in the church, to talk freely with me and other kids about ‘gender insecurity.’ They wouldn’t even have to talk about homosexuality or use the word—many kids can relate to the idea of ‘gender insecurity.’ It would have been so freeing for me to have someone acknowledge that it’s a real thing, but it didn’t mean I was gay. I wish there were people who could have spoken truth into my life at that point.”

One kind of truth that kids should hear is that around age ten, attraction for the same sex begins. This attraction is emotional, non-sexual, and involuntary. It doesn’t mean teens are gay or lesbian; it means they are transitioning through normal adolescent development. We have to learn to attach to people of our same sex before we can learn to attach to people of the opposite sex. But most teens don’t know this.

Some kids don’t feel secure in their masculinity or femininity for a variety of reasons, usually having to do with not being affirmed by parents and peers. God gives each of us needs for attention, approval and affection. When those needs are not met, the onset of hormones can sexualize this “hole in the heart.” Some teens can find themselves longing for the attention, approval and affection of people of their same gender. When others put on them the false and hurtful labels of “homo,” “fag,” or “lez,” they can easily find themselves believing the lies.

When teens are not secure in their gender, they don’t need to be pointed to gay groups at school. They need to be affirmed and encouraged to develop their innate, God-given masculinity or femininity, to see their gender as good. They need to have other kids reach out to make them feel “one of the guys” or “one of the girls.” They need time to finish growing up.

Teens Who Identify as Gay or Lesbian

Growing numbers of teens are self-identifying as gay or lesbian. In many circles, being gay—or claiming to be gay—is now considered cool, especially among girls.

Teenagers experiment with same-sex relationships for a variety of reasons. Some experience normal crushes on same-sex peers and think this means they are gay—or their friends inform them that’s what it means. What it really means is that they are learning to form deep and intense attachments which is a necessary precursor to maintaining long-term adult relationships like marriage.

Others experiment with same-sex relationships out of a legitimate need to belong. Some kids are simply curious; they just want to try it out like a new shade of lipstick.

Some teens experiment with same-sex relationships because others have labeled them gay or lesbian, and they wonder, “Am I? Do they know something I don’t know? Maybe I am and I need to go in that direction.” This is one reason it’s so important to impress on all kids the absolute unacceptability of name-calling and other cruelties. It’s not only bullying behavior, it can have terrible emotional consequences.

Some adolescents pursue same-sex relationships because they are anxious about growing into adolescence and the responsibilities of adulthood. So they hide behind immature and emotionally volatile same-sex feelings and behaviors.

Often, what teens are attracted to in same-sex peers are the characteristics they wish they had in themselves: popularity, good looks, a winsome personality, a strong physique. This kind of jealousy doesn’t mean they are gay or lesbian; it means there is an area they need to build confidence in!

Most girls who get involved in same-sex relationships start out in friendships that grow increasingly controlling and needy. In these emotionally dependent relationships, girls can get so enmeshed with each other that their relationship turns physical.

Many people who later identify as gay or lesbian report feeling different from others, feeling like they don’t fit in or belong. Girls can feel like they don’t belong to the world of girls, and guys almost always feel like they can’t measure up in the world of males. This is gender insecurity, not homosexuality, but teens usually don’t hear this message. They need to.

Labels such as “gay” and “lesbian” and “homo” and “dyke” are incredibly hurtful, and it is easy for those who are slapped with those labels to believe them. But God doesn’t call anyone homosexual or lesbian; those labels are man’s invention, not biblical truth. It’s essential for teens to know who they are in God’s sight—beloved, precious, and stamped with the imprint of His acceptance and delight.

When Teens Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction

If you know teens who are struggling with feelings of same-sex attraction, or who seem to be experiencing gender insecurity, let me make some suggestions on how to minister to them.

First, don’t address the issue of homosexuality head-on. Same-sex strugglers are always wrestling with feelings of inferiority, rejection, shame and fear, so it’s extremely uncomfortable for anyone to bring up the subject. The heart of the issue for kids who find themselves attracted to others of the same sex are these dark and negative feelings. It’s much better to ask indirect questions that encourage them to talk about the underlying feelings of disconnection with a parent, or the ridicule of their peers, or depression and sadness.

Second, don’t use any labels. Teens who struggle with their gender identity already have a huge struggle with feeling that the rest of the world has put an unwelcome label on them. The false, man-made labels of “gay” and “lesbian” are hurtful, false, and restricting.

Consider what it would be like if we created a label such as “angro” for people who are easily ticked off and walk around in a continual low-level state of hostility. What if people went around saying, “I’m an angry person. That’s just the way I am—that’s WHO I am. I’m an angro.” They might believe they were born angry, that they have an “angro gene.” Not only is the label of “angro” false and misleading, but it can lead people to believe the lie that it is a permanent state or condition rather than a description of one’s current feelings.

That’s what happened with the relatively recent labels of “gay” and “lesbian.” They can become like jail cells, making people feel hopelessly trapped in a state or condition. It’s much better to help teens deal with the fact that they are experiencing some attractions to their same gender, and those feelings are like the red light on the dashboard of a car. They mean there’s something going on inside that needs some attention. And that’s literally true: God creates all of us with the need for attention, affection and approval, and those are the things adolescents are craving when they have feelings for people of the same sex. The needs are legitimate; we need to help them be met in healthy ways. This is where the church and other Christian youth organizations can make all the difference in the world.

Third, communicate to kids who struggle that God did not make them gay. God doesn’t make anyone gay, and there is no scientific evidence that there is a biological basis for homosexual feelings or behavior. Even if they feel that they were born gay, this is the result of being told a fairy tale. Were American kids born English speakers? That’s all they ever knew, right? No, they weren’t born English speakers, they were born language speakers. Which language they speak is a matter of the shaping influences of their upbringing. Kids who experience same-sex attraction were born to be relational creatures, but how those relationships shape their souls is a function of their temperaments, their home life, and how they relate to other kids.

Fourth, give them a safe place to process their feelings without being shamed or condemned. For many teens, this unfortunately rules out their home, school, or church. I’m sure it grieves God’s heart that for many people, church is the most unsafe place on the planet for those who struggle with various life-controlling sins and urges. But there is a great free, online support group for struggling youth, moderated by an experienced and understanding youth pastor, at www.livehope.org. Kids can safely talk to others like themselves and learn how intimacy with Jesus Christ brings healing and change to broken and wounded hearts.

Fifth, many students who experience same sex attraction often feel fake if they don’t choose to identify with or act on their feelings. They have believed the lie that gay or lesbian is what they are. They want to be real. But getting real is becoming who God created them to be, despite their feelings of what whose around them might say.{6} Finding out who God says they are is the true path to being real and not fake.

The Call to Understanding and Compassion

Many teens feel, “I just don’t get this whole gay/lesbian thing.” That’s perfectly understandable. Only 2-3% of the population deals with same gender attraction. The fact that it’s such a huge issue in our culture is completely out of proportion to the actual number of people experiencing it.

Kids need to know a few things about those who do struggle with same-sex attractions and feelings. First, they didn’t choose it. It’s something people discover, not something they decide on. And almost every single person who discovers they have strong feelings and fantasies about the same sex is horrified and terrified by this discovery. It’s a very painful part of their life, so it’s important for others to be respectful and kind.

Second, having crushes and strong feelings for friends and teachers of the same sex is a normal part of adolescent development. It doesn’t mean a teen is gay or lesbian. When other kids assure them that it does, it is slapping a false and hurtful label on them that they may find almost impossible to take off. If someone walked up to you and put a “Hi, My Name Is” nametag on you that had someone else’s name on it, you probably wouldn’t have any trouble taking it off and saying, “There’s a mistake here—that’s not who I am.” But when kids do the same thing with the “nametag” of “gay” or “lesbian,” they usually put it on kids who don’t have the security and self-confidence to realize that’s not who they are, and they can go through the rest of their lives believing a lie.

Third, be compassionate. People don’t know who around them is struggling, either with their own same-sex desires and attractions, or the painful burden of knowing a family member or loved one has them. They only have to show contempt once for those who experience same-sex feelings to show that they’re not a safe person.

Fourth, be respectful. That means cutting phrases like “Oh, that’s so gay” out of their vocabulary. It means not throwing around words like “homo” or “fag” or “queer.” Every gay joke or insult is like sticking a dagger in the heart of those who carry a painful secret.

The bottom line for helping teens understand homosexuality is to call them to see God’s design as good, and show grace and compassion to those who don’t see it. Be “Jesus with skin on” in both His holiness and His kindness.

Notes

1. Peter Freiberg, “Study: Alcohol Use More Prevalent for Lesbians,” The Washington Blade, January 12, 2001, p. 21. Karen Paige Erickson, Karen F. Trocki, “Sex, Alcohol and Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A National Survey,” Family Planning Perspectives 26 (December 1994): 261. Robert S. Hogg et al., “Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology 26 (1997): 657.
2. Read a few of the testimonies at the Living Hope Ministries website, www.livehope.org.
3. www.freetobeme.com/yw_minn.htm
4. Homosexuality and Teens: An Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, Massachusetts Family Institute.
www.mafamily.org/Marriage%20Hearing%202003/satinover2.htm
5. Founder and Director of Desert Stream Ministries, author of Pursuing Sexual Wholeness and Strength in Weakness.
6. www.becomingreal.org

© 2005 Probe Ministries, updated 2019

See also: answers to many questions in “Probe Answers Our E-Mail: Homosexuality”




When Someone In Your Congregation Says “I’m Gay”

Things to Remember

1. No one is born gay, and no one chooses to be gay. Because of relational brokenness in families and among peers, some people experience emotional needs that they try to meet in ungodly ways. Many of them are uncomfortable with their own gender; later, they discover they are attracted to others of the same sex, but this is not their choice. Acting on it, however, is.

2. Change is possible. Even going back to the first-century church, the apostle Paul wrote to former homosexuals in the Corinthian church, “and such were some of you” (1 Cor. 6:11).

3. Because we live in a fallen world, we are all broken. Many people in our churches are sexually broken—victims of incest, pornography and masturbation addicts, and compulsive sex addiction. Homosexuality is only one form of brokenness.

4. Homosexuality grows out of broken relationships and is healed in healthy relationships, especially same-sex relationships. This is one of the reasons it is essential for recovering homosexuals and lesbians to be actively involved in the church, because this is where they can find healthy, God-honoring friendships. Their homosexuality is not contagious!

5. Treat them with respect like you would anyone else. They are people made in the image of God for whom Christ died—they are not their sexuality. Many people trying to come out of the gay lifestyle expect to find respect and acceptance only in the gay community. Finding it in church is immensely healing to their souls.

6. Accept them where they are, just as Jesus did. Choose to accept the person, but not sinful behavior. People don’t change unless they experience the grace of acceptance first. But once they know they are loved and accepted, many of them are willing to do what it takes to live a life of holiness.

7. Seek to see them with God’s eyes of love and acceptance, with His intention for their wholeness, healing and freedom. This means depending on the Holy Spirit for divine perspective and exercising humility to recognize that first impressions are often incomplete and inaccurate.

8. This is a great opportunity to lead people to an understanding of what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Some homosexual strugglers, especially men, feel that they have committed the unpardonable sin. They’ve heard they are going to hell no matter what they do, so they are permanently separated from God. They need to know this is a lie, because when we confess our sins, the blood of Jesus covers them ALL and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

9. Because of abuse issues, most strugglers seem to have an especially hard time relating to Father God and to receiving His love. Yet it is the masculine voice (first in earthly fathers, and ultimately in our Heavenly Father) that calls gender out from both men and women, and it is the Father’s personal and powerful love that is the most important healing agent in human hearts.

10. Because most pastors are men in authority, most strugglers (men and women) are INCREDIBLY intimidated by them. Pastors need to know this and really understand in order to minister to strugglers. This means respecting the fragility of strugglers’ relationships with pastors and choosing to be deliberately tender and gentle. They really need “good shepherds.” Verbalize to them that God can not only change them, but He is very proud of them (as you are) for sharing this with you and desiring to change.

11. Most same-sex strugglers have very weak and broken boundaries. Their deep neediness causes them to lapse into emotionally dependent relationships with everyone who gets close. We encourage you to only counsel these folks at your office during regular business hours where others can be aware of your activities. This gives a sense of security to the struggler and a protection for you as the pastor.

12. The most success in overcoming same-gender attraction has occurred when strugglers experienced God as Healer through heterosexual people who were willing to come alongside them in their journeys—men helping men, and women helping women. It would be helpful for you to find someone willing to befriend and mentor the struggler. This takes a person willing to seriously invest in the life of a very needy person. They will need to be available and accessible. Their presence in the struggler’s life can be powerful and healing.

13. If someone comes in with an agenda of arrogance, demanding acceptance of their sexual sin, don’t let them bully you. There is a difference between welcoming the sinner and allowing him to continue in his rebellion. Homosexuality is sin. Lev. 18:22-23; Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 6:9-11. Note that these verses condemn homosexual behavior, not feelings.

Five DON’TS:

1. Don’t panic. An excellent resource for understanding the issue of homosexuality is Someone I Love is Gay by Bob Davies and Anita Worthen (published by InterVarsity Press). Also Exodus International (exodusinternational.org/), a Christ-centered ministry that helps people deal with unwanted homosexuality, has numerous resources. Living Hope Ministries (www.livehope.org) is an Exodus referral ministry in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with excellent online forums for parents, spouses, men and women, and youth (ages 13+) who struggle with homosexuality

2. Don’t make false assumptions or accusations. For example, please do not assume he is HIV positive. Many aren’t. And if he is, AIDS is sexually transmitted; the people in your congregation are safer than many fear. Respect the seriousness of HIV with commonsense precautions (such as contact with bodily fluids), but don’t ostracize the person. Handshakes and hugs are perfectly safe.

3. Don’t shut down pastorally or emotionally. The person coming to you has known a lifetime of rejection and desperately needs to know that a representative of Jesus Christ will extend grace to him. Hug them when they leave. It may be the first positive touch they have had in years.

4. Don’t pass judgment. All of us have besetting sins! As Billy Graham said, “Don’t take credit for not falling into a temptation that never tempted you in the first place.”

5. Don’t disclose this person’s secret without permission, even among church staff. There is nothing safe about the gay lifestyle; people struggling with same-sex attraction need to find safety in the church.

This is the text of a brochure from Living Hope Ministries, written by Sue Bohlin, who serves on the Board of Directors of Living Hope and moderates one of the online forums. A PDF version of this brochure is also available for download here; you will need the free Adobe Acrobat reader to see it.

© 2003 Living Hope Ministries. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 




Homosexuality: Questions and Answers from a Biblical Perspective

Sue Bohlin provides distinctly biblical answers to your questions about homosexuality.  As a Christian, it is important to understand what the Bible says and to be able to communicate this message of compassion.

Q. Some people say homosexuality is natural and moral; others say it is unnatural and immoral. How do we know?

A. Our standard can only be what God says. In Romans 1 we read,

God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Rom 1:26-27).

So even though homosexual desires feel natural, they are actually unnatural, because God says they are. He also calls all sexual involvement outside of marriage immoral. (There are 44 references to fornication—sexual immorality—in the Bible.) Therefore, any form of homosexual activity, whether a one-night stand or a long-term monogamous relationship, is by definition immoral—just as any abuse of heterosexuality outside of marriage is immoral.

Q. Is homosexuality an orientation God intended for some people, or is it a perversion of normal sexuality?

A. If God had intended homosexuality to be a viable sexual alternative for some people, He would not have condemned it as an abomination. It is never mentioned in Scripture in anything but negative terms, and nowhere does the Bible even hint at approving or giving instruction for homosexual relationships. Some theologians bave argued that David and Jonathan’s relationship was a homosexual one, but this claim has no basis in Scripture. David and Jonathan’s deep friendship was not sexual; it was one of godly emotional intimacy that truly glorified the Lord.

Homosexuality is a manifestation of the sin nature that all people share. At the fall of man (Gen 3), God’s perfect creation was spoiled, and the taint of sin affected us physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually—and sexually. Homosexuality is a perversion of heterosexuality, which is God’s plan for His creation. The Lord Jesus said,

In the beginning the Creator made them male and female. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh (Matt 19:4, 5).

Homosexual activity and pre-marital or extra-marital heterosexual activity are all sinful attempts to find sexual and emotional expression in ways God never intended. God’s desire for the person caught in the trap of homosexuality is the same as for every other person caught in the trap of the sin nature; that we submit every area of our lives to Him and be transformed from the inside out by the renewing of our minds and the purifying of our hearts.

Q. What causes a homosexual orientation?

A. This is a complex issue, and it is unfair to give simplistic answers or explanations. (However, for insight on this issue please consider our articles Answers to Questions Most Asked by Gay-Identifying Youth and “Why Doesn’t God Answer Prayers to Take Away Gay Feelings?”)Some people start out as heterosexuals, but they rebel against God with such passionate self-indulgence that they end up embracing the gay lifestyle as another form of sexual expression. As one entertainer put it, “I’m not going to go through life with one arm tied behind my back!”

But the majority of those who experience same-sex attraction sense they are “different” or “other than” from very early in life, and at some point they are encouraged to identify this difference as being gay. These people may experience “pre-conditions” that dispose them toward homosexuality, such as a sensitive and gentle temperament in boys, which is not recognized as acceptably masculine in our culture. Another may be poor eye-hand coordination that prevents a boy from doing well at sports, which is a sure way to invite shame and taunting from other boys (and, most unfortunately, from some of their own fathers and family members). Family relationships are usually very important in the development of homosexuality; the vast majority of those who struggle with same-sex attraction experienced a hurtful relationship with the same-sex parent in childhood. The presence of abuse is a recurring theme in the early lives of many homosexual strugglers. In one study, 91% of lesbian women reported childhood and adolescent abuse, 2/3 of them victims of sexual abuse.{1} There is a huge difference, however, between predispositions that affects gender identity, and the choices we make in how we handle a predisposition. Because we are made in the image of God, we can choose how we respond to the various factors that may contribute to a homosexual orientation.

Q. Wouldn’t the presence of pre-conditions let homosexuals “off the hook,” so to speak?

A. Preconditions make it easier to sin in a particular area. They do not excuse the sin. We can draw a parallel with alcoholism. Alcoholics often experience a genetic or environmental pre-condition, which makes it easier for them to fall into the sin of drunkenness. Is it a sin to want a drink? No. It’s a sin to drink to excess.

All of us experience various predispositions that make it easier for us to fall into certain sins. For example, highly intelligent people find it easier to fall into the sin of intellectual pride. People who were physically abused as children may fall into the sins of rage and violence more easily than others.

Current popular thinking says that our behavior is determined by our environment or our genes, or both. But the Bible gives us the dignity and responsibility missing from that mechanistic view of life. God has invested us with free will—the ability to make real, significant choices. We can choose our responses to the influences on our lives, or we can choose to let them control us.

Someone with a predisposition for homosexuality may fall into the sin of the homosexual behavior much more easily than a person without it. But each of us alone is responsible for giving ourselves permission to cross over from temptation into sin.

Q. What’s the difference between homosexual temptation and sin?

A. Unasked-for, uncultivated sexual desires for a person of the same sex constitute temptation, not sin. Since the Lord Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are (Heb. 4:15),” He fully knows the intensity and nature of the temptations we face. But He never gave in to them.

The line between sexual temptation and sexual sin is the same for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. It is the point at which our conscious will gets involved. Sin begins with the internal acts of lusting and creating sexual fantasies. Lust is indulging one’s sexual desires by deliberately choosing to feed sexual attraction—you might say it is the sinful opposite of meditation. Sexual fantasies are conscious acts of the imagination. It is creating mental pornographic home movies. Just as the Lord said in the Sermon on the Mount, all sexual sin starts in the mind long before it gets to the point of physical expression.

Many homosexuals claim, “I never asked for these feelings. I did not choose them,” and this may be true. That is why it is significant to note that the Bible specifically condemns homosexual practices, but not undeveloped homosexual feelings (temptation). There is a difference between having sexual feelings and letting them grow into lust. When Martin Luther was talking about impure thoughts, he said, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

Q. Isn’t it true that “Once gay, always gay?”

A. It is certainly true that most homosexuals never become heterosexual—some because they don’t want to, but most others because their efforts to change were unsuccessful. It takes spiritual submission and much emotional work to repent of sexual sin and achieve a healthy self-concept that glorifies God.

But for the person caught in the trap of homosexual desires who wants sexual and emotional wholeness, there is hope in Christ. In addressing the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul lists an assortment of deep sins, including homosexual offenses. He says,

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 6:11).

This means there were former homosexuals in the church at Corinth! The Lord’s loving redemption includes eventual freedom for all sin that is yielded to Him. Some (rare) people experience no homosexual temptations ever again. But for most others who are able to achieve change, homosexual desires are gradually reduced from a major problem to a minor nuisance that no longer dominates their lives. The probability of heterosexual desires returning or emerging depends on a person’s sexual history.

But the potential for heterosexuality is present in everyone because God put it there.

See our article “Can Homosexuals Change?” at www.probe.org/can-homosexuals-change/.

Q. If homosexuality is such an abomination to God, why doesn’t it disappear when someone becomes a Christian?

A. When we are born again, we bring with us all of our emotional needs and all of our old ways of relating. Homosexuality is a relational problem of meeting emotional needs the wrong way; it is not an isolated problem of mere sexual preference. With the power of the indwelling Spirit, a Christian can cooperate with God to change this unacceptable part of life. Some people—a very few—are miraculously delivered from homosexual struggles. But for the majority, real change is slow. As in dealing with any besetting sin, it is a process, not an event. Sin’s power over us is broken at the moment we are born again, but learning to depend on the Holy Spirit to say no to sin and yes to godliness takes time. 2 Cor. 3:18 says, “We…are being transformed into His likeness from glory to glory.” Transformation (this side of eternity!) is a process that takes a while. Life in a fallen world is a painful struggle. It is not a pleasant thing to have two oppositional natures at war within us!

Homosexuality is not one problem; it is symptomatic of other, deeper problems involving emotional needs and an unhealthy self-concept. Salvation is only the beginning of emotional health. It allows us to experience human intimacy as God intended us to, finding healing for our damaged emotions. It isn’t that faith in Christ isn’t enough; faith in Christ is the beginning.

Q. Does the fact that I had an early homosexual experience mean I’m gay?

A. Sex is strictly meant for adults. The Song of Solomon says three times, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” This is a warning not to raise sexual feelings until the time is right. Early sexual experience can be painful or pleasurable, but either way, it constitutes child abuse. It traumatizes a child or teen. This loss of innocence does need to be addressed and perhaps even grieved through, but doesn’t mean you’re gay.

Sexual experimentation is something many children and teens do as a part of growing up. You may have enjoyed the feelings you experienced, but that is because God created our bodies to respond to pleasure. It probably made you feel confused and ashamed, which is an appropriate response to an inappropriate behavior. Don’t let anyone tell you it means you’re gay: it means you’re human.

Even apart from the sexual aspect, though, our culture has come to view close friendships with a certain amount of suspicion. If you enjoy emotional intimacy with a friend of the same sex, especially if it is accompanied by the presence of sexual feelings that emerge in adolescence, you can find yourself very confused. But it doesn’t mean you’re gay.

It is a tragic myth that once a person has a homosexual experience, or even thinks about one, that he or she is gay for life.

Q. Are homosexuals condemned to hell?

A. Homosexuality is not a “heaven or hell” issue. The only determining factor is whether a person has been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

In 1 Cor. 6, Paul says that homosexual offenders and a whole list of other sinners will not inherit the kingdom of God. But then he reminds the Corinthians that they have been washed, sanctified, and justified in Jesus’ name. Paul makes a distinction between unchristian behavior and Christian behavior. He’s saying, “You’re not pagans anymore, you are a holy people belonging to King Jesus. Now act like it!”

If homosexuality doesn’t send anyone to hell, then can the believer indulge in homosexual behavior, safe in his or her eternal security? As Paul said, “May it never be!” If someone is truly a child of God, he or she cannot continue sinful behavior that offends and grieves the Father without suffering the consequences. God disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). This means that ultimately, no believer gets away with continued, unrepented sin. The discipline may not come immediately, but it will come.

Q. How do I respond when someone in my life tells me he or she is gay?

A. Take your cue from the Lord Jesus. He didn’t avoid sinners; He ministered grace and compassion to them—without ever compromising His commitment to holiness. Start by cultivating a humble heart, especially concerning the temptation to react with judgmental condescension. As Billy Graham said, “Never take credit for not falling into a temptation that never tempted you in the first place.”

Seek to understand your gay friends’ feelings. Are they comfortable with their gayness, or bewildered and resentful of it? Understanding people doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them—but it is the best way to minister grace and love in a difficult time. Accept the fact that, to this person, these feelings are normal. You can’t change their minds or their feelings. Too often, parents will send their gay child to a counselor and say, “Fix him.” It just doesn’t work that way.

As a Christian, you are a light shining in a dark place. Be a friend with a tender heart and a winsome spirit; the biggest problem of homosexuals is not their sexuality, but their need for Jesus Christ. At the same time, pre-decide what your boundaries will be about what behavior you just cannot condone in your presence. One college student I know excuses herself from a group when the affection becomes physical; she just gets up and leaves. It is all right to be uncomfortable around blatant sin; you do not have to subject yourself—and the Holy Spirit within you—to what grieves Him. Consider how you would be a friend to people who are living promiscuous heterosexual lives. Like the Lord, we need to value and esteem the person without condoning the sin.

Note

1. Anne Paulk, Restoring Sexual Identity (Eugene OR: Harvest House, 2003), p. 246.

For further reading:

• Bergner, Mario. Setting Love in Order: Hope and Healing for the Homosexual. Baker, 1995.

• Paulk, Anne. Restoring Sexual Identity. Eugene OR: Harvest House, 2003.

• Dallas, Joe. Desires in Conflict. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991. (Particularly good!)

• Konrad, Jeff. You Don’t Have to Be Gay. Pacific Publishing, 1987. (This is directed at young men. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.)

• Satinover, Jeffrey. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. Baker, 1996.

• Schmidt, Thomas E. Straight & Narrow? : Compassion & Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate. Intervarsity Press, 1995.

• Worthen, Anita and Bob Davies. Someone I Love is Gay: How Family and Friends Can Respond. Intervarsity Press, 1996.

• The website of Living Hope Ministries, an outreach in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Of particular interest are the online testimonies and especially an excellent online support group, a confidential, free, moderated message board for strugglers, overcomers and those who seek to encourage and uplift. www.livehope.org

© 2003 Probe Ministries International




What About Dr. Laura’s Views on Gays?

Are you wondering why I omitted any mention of Dr. Laura’s position on homosexuality [in my article “Why Dr. Laura is (Usually) Right”)?

There’s a reason.

When I first wrote this article three years ago, Dr. Laura’s perspective on homosexuality was changing, and I hoped that her views would become more and more biblical. I didn’t want something I was hoping would change, to be part of a static web document. I am glad to say her views have changed. . . and she has been persecuted for it.

Several years ago, she listened to the rhetoric and followed the party line, proclaiming that people are born gay. Some researchers tried (unsuccessfully) for a decade to prove a genetic component, if not a cause, for homosexuality. Apparently believing this explanation for same-gender attraction, she said that she thought something goes wrong somewhere along the way, producing unnatural homosexual desires. She got blasted for calling homosexuals “biological errors,” which was a twisting of what she actually said. On the StopDrLaura.com web site one can listen to her “famous ‘error’ quote”:

“What I did say is that when an individual is not so drawn to a member of the opposite sex, in biology that’s some kind of error.”

There is a huge difference between saying that some kind of error has produced unnatural desires in a person, and that the person who holds those desires is a biological error. It’s interesting to me that she was just taking the genetic-basis-for-homosexuality theory to a logical conclusion, but she got nailed for her political incorrectness. That’s because it is currently unacceptable to suggest that there is anything unnatural about homosexuality. From a purely biological standpoint, however, individuals cannot reproduce without sexual intercourse with members of the opposite sex, so she is merely being consistent with the reigning scientific paradigm.

From what I have heard her say on her program, it appears she recognizes that there is a moral element to homosexual behavior, at least conceding that for gays and lesbians who call themselves religious, any homosexual activity is sin. She has also been criticized by the gay and lesbian community because she believes children need both a mother and a father, so gay or lesbian couples should not adopt babies or young children because it is making a deliberate choice to deprive a child of one or the other. (Although she has supported gay couples adopting older children who wouldn’t be in a family otherwise.)

I grieve for the heat Dr. Laura has taken because of her pro-biblical, non-PC stance. And I have to say I’m proud of her.

Sue Bohlin
August 2001

 

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Homosexual Theology: A Biblically Sound View

Kerby Anderson helps understand the complete biblical perspective on homosexuality.  As Christians, Kerby helps us understand the biblical truth and how to apply it with compassion in our dealings with those around us.

The Sin of Sodom—Genesis 19

Does the Bible condemn homosexuality? For centuries the answer to that question seemed obvious, but in the last few decades pro- homosexual commentators have tried to reinterpret the relevant biblical passages. In this discussion we will take a look at their exegesis.

The first reference to homosexuality in the Bible is found in Genesis 19. In this passage, Lot entertains two angels who come to the city to investigate its sins. Before they go to bed, all the men (from every part of the city of Sodom) surround the house and order him to bring out the men so that “we may know them.” Historically commentators have always assumed that the Hebrew word for “know” meant that the men of the city wanted to have sex with the visitors.

More recently, proponents of homosexuality argue that biblical commentators misunderstand the story of Sodom. They argue that the men of the city merely wanted to meet these visitors. Either they were anxious to extend Middle-eastern hospitality or they wanted to interrogate the men and make sure they weren’t spies. In either case, they argue, the passage has nothing to do with homosexuality. The sin of Sodom is not homosexuality, they say, but inhospitality.

One of the keys to understanding this passage is the proper translation of the Hebrew word for “know.” Pro-homosexuality commentators point out that this word can also mean “to get acquainted with” as well as mean “to have intercourse with.” In fact, the word appears over 943 times in the Old Testament, and only 12 times does it mean “to have intercourse with.” Therefore, they conclude that the sin of Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality.

The problem with the argument is context. Statistics is not the same as exegesis. Word count alone should not be the sole criterion for the meaning of a word. And even if a statistical count should be used, the argument backfires. Of the 12 times the word “to know” is used in the book of Genesis, in 10 of those 12 it means “to have intercourse with.”

Second, the context does not warrant the interpretation that the men only wanted to get acquainted with the strangers. Notice that Lot decides to offer his two daughters instead. In reading the passage, one can sense Lot’s panic as he foolishly offers his virgin daughters to the crowd instead of the foreigners. This is not the action of a man responding to the crowd’s request “to become acquainted with” the men.

Notice that Lot describes his daughters as women who “have not known” a man. Obviously this implies sexual intercourse and does not mean “to be acquainted with.” It is unlikely that the first use of the word “to know” differs from the second use of the word. Both times the word “to know” should be translated “to have intercourse with.” This is the only consistent translation for the passage.

Finally, Jude 7 provides a commentary on Genesis 19. The New Testament reference states that the sin of Sodom involved gross immorality and going after strange flesh. The phrase “strange flesh” could imply homosexuality or bestiality and provides further evidence that the sin of Sodom was not inhospitality but homosexuality.

Contrary to what pro-homosexual commentators say, Genesis 19 is a clear condemnation of homosexuality. Next we will look at another set of Old Testament passages dealing with the issue of homosexuality.

Mosaic Law–Leviticus 18, 20

Now we will look at the Mosaic Law. Two passages in Leviticus call homosexuality an abomination. Leviticus 18:22 says, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a women; that is detestable.” Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.” The word for “abomination” is used five times in Leviticus 18 and is a strong term of disapproval, implying that something is abhorrent to God. Biblical commentators see these verses as an expansion of the seventh commandment. Though not an exhaustive list of sexual sins, they are representative of the common sinful practices of nations surrounding Israel.

Pro-homosexual commentators have more difficulty dealing with these relatively simple passages of Scripture, but usually offer one of two responses. Some argue that these verses appear in the Holiness code of the Leviticus and only applies to the priests and ritual purity. Therefore, according to this perspective, these are religious prohibitions, not moral prohibitions. Others argue that these prohibitions were merely for the Old Testament theocracy and are not relevant today. They suggest that if Christians wanted to be consistent with the Old Testament law code in Leviticus, they should avoid eating rare steak, wearing mixed fabrics, and having marital intercourse during the menstrual period.

First, do these passages merely apply to ritual purity rather than moral purity? Part of the problem comes from making the two issues distinct. The priests were to model moral behavior within their ceremonial rituals. Moral purity and ritual purity cannot be separated, especially when discussing the issue of human sexuality. To hold to this rigid distinction would imply that such sins as adultery were not immoral (consider Lev. 18:20) or that bestiality was morally acceptable (notice Lev. 18:23). The second argument concerns the relevance of the law today. Few Christians today keep kosher kitchens or balk at wearing clothes interwoven with more than one fabric. They believe that those Old Testament laws do not pertain to them. In a similar way pro-homosexual commentators argue that the Old Testament admonitions against homosexuality are no longer relevant today. A practical problem with this argument is that more than just homosexuality would have to be deemed morally acceptable. The logical extension of this argument would also have to make bestiality and incest morally acceptable since prohibitions to these two sins surround the prohibition against homosexuality. If the Mosaic law is irrelevant to homosexuality, then it is also irrelevant to having sex with animals or having sex with children.

More to the point, to say that the Mosaic law has ended is not to say that God has no laws or moral codes for mankind. Even though the ceremonial law has passed, the moral law remains. The New Testament speaks of the “law of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:2) and the “law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). One cannot say that something that was sin under the Law is not sin under grace. Ceremonial laws concerning diet or wearing mixed fabrics no longer apply, but moral laws (especially those rooted in God’s creation order for human sexuality) continue. Moreover, these prohibitions against homosexuality can also be found in the New Testament as we will see next as we consider other passages reinterpreted by pro-homosexual commentators.

New Testament Passages

In our examination of the Old Testament teachings regarding homosexuality, we found that Genesis 19 teaches that the men of Sodom were seeking the strangers in order to have sex with them, not merely asking to meet these men or to extend Middle Eastern hospitality to them. We also discovered that certain passages in Leviticus clearly condemn homosexuality and are relevant today. These prohibitions were not just for the Old Testament theocracy, but were moral principles binding on human behavior and conduct today.

At this point we will consider some of the New Testament passages dealing with homosexuality. Three key New Testament passages concerning homosexuality are: Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10. Of the three, the most significant is Romans 1 because it deals with homosexuality within the larger cultural context.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Here the Apostle Paul sets the Gentile world’s guilt before a holy God and focuses on the arrogance and lust of the Hellenistic world. He says they have turned away from a true worship of God so that “God gave them over to shameful lusts.” Rather than follow God’s instruction in their lives, they “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18) and follow passions that dishonor God.

Another New Testament passage dealing with homosexuality is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. ” Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Pro- homosexual commentators make use of the “abuse” argument and point out that Paul is only singling out homosexual offenders. In other words, they argue that the Apostle Paul is condemning homosexual abuse rather than responsible homosexual behavior. In essence, these commentators are suggesting that Paul is calling for temperance rather than abstinence. While this could be a reasonable interpretation for drinking wine (don’t be a drunkard), it hardly applies to other sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6 or 1 Timothy 1. Is Paul calling for responsible adultery or responsible prostitution? Is there such a thing as moral theft and swindling? Obviously the argument breaks down. Scripture never condones sex outside of marriage (premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexual sex). God created man and woman for the institution of marriage (Gen. 2:24). Homosexuality is a violation of the creation order, and God clearly condemns it as unnatural and specifically against His ordained order. As we have seen in the discussion thus far, there are passages in both the Old Testament and the New Testament which condemn homosexuality.

“God Made Me Gay,” Part 1

At this point in our discussion, we need to consider the claim made by some homosexuals that, “God made me gay.” Is this true? Is there a biological basis to homosexuality? For the remainder of this essay, we will consider the evidence usually cited. Simon LeVay (a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute) has argued that homosexuals and heterosexuals have notable differences in the structure of their brains. In 1991, he studied 41 cadavers and found that a specific portion of the hypothalamus (the area that governs sexual activity) was consistently smaller in homosexuals than in heterosexuals. He therefore argued that there is a distinct physiological component to sexual orientation. There are numerous problems with the study. First, there was considerable range in the size of the hypothalamic region. In a few homosexual men, this region was the same size as that of the heterosexuals, and in a few heterosexuals this region was a small as that of a homosexual.

Second is the chicken and egg problem. When there is a difference in brain structure, is the difference the result of sexual orientation or is it the cause of sexual orientation? Researchers, for example, have found that when people who become blind begin to learn Braille, the area of the brain controlling the reading finger actual grows larger. Third, Simon LeVay later had to admit that he didn’t know the sexual orientation of some of the cadavers in the study. He acknowledged that he wasn’t sure if the heterosexual males in the study were actually heterosexual. Since some of those he identified as “heterosexual” died of AIDS, critics raised doubts about the accuracy of his study.

In December 1991, Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard published a study of homosexuality in twins. They surveyed homosexual men about their brothers and found statistics they believed proved that sexual orientation is biological. Of the homosexuals who had identical twin brothers, 52 percent of those twins were also homosexual, 22 percent of those who had fraternal twins said that their twin was gay, and only 11 percent of those who had an adopted sibling said their adopted brothers were also homosexual. They attributed the differences in those percentages to the differences in genetic material shared.

Though this study has also been touted as proving a genetic basis to homosexuality, there are significant problems. First, the theory is not new. It was first proposed in 1952. Since that time, three other separate research studies come to very different conclusions. Therefore, the conclusions of the Bailey-Pillard study should be considered in the light of other contrary studies. Second, most published reports did not mention that only 9 percent of the non- twin brothers of homosexuals were homosexuals. Fraternal twins share no more genetic material than non-twin brothers, yet homosexuals are more than twice as likely to share their sexual orientation with a fraternal twin than with a non-twin brother. Whatever the reason, the answer cannot be genetic.

Third, why aren’t nearly all identical twin brothers of homosexuals also homosexual? In other words, if biology is determinative, why are nearly half the identical twins not homosexual? Dr. Bailey admitted that there “must be something in the environment to yield the discordant twins.” And that is precisely the point; there is something (perhaps everything) in the environment to explain sexual orientation. These are two studies usually cited as evidence of a biological basis for homosexuality. Next we will consider a third study often cited to prove the claim that “God made me gay.”

“God Made Me Gay,” Part 2

Now let’s look at another study often cited as proof of this claim. This study is often called the “gay gene” study. In 1993, a team of researchers led by Dr. Dean Hamer announced “preliminary” findings from research into the connection between homosexuality and genetic inheritance. In a sample of 76 homosexual males, the researchers found a statistically higher incidence of homosexuality in their male relatives (brothers, uncles) on their mother’s side of the family. This suggested a possible inherited link through the X chromosome. A follow-up study of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers found that 33 shared a variation in a small section of the X chromosome. Although this study was promoted by the press as evidence of the discovery of a gay gene, some of the same concerns raised with the previous two studies apply here. First, the findings involve a limited sample size and are therefore sketchy. Even the researchers acknowledged that these were “preliminary” findings. In addition to the sample size being small, there was no control testing done for heterosexual brothers. Another major issue raised by critics of the study concerned the lack of sufficient research done on the social histories of the families involved.

Second, similarity does not prove cause. Just because 33 pairs of homosexual brothers share a genetic variation doesn’t mean that variation causes homosexuality. And what about the other 7 pairs that did not show the variation but were homosexuals?

Finally, research bias may again be an issue. Dr. Hamer and at least one of his other team members are homosexual. It appears that this was deliberately kept from the press and was only revealed later. Dr. Hamer it turns out is not merely an objective observer. He has presented himself as an expert witness on homosexuality, and he has stated that he hopes his research would give comfort to men feeling guilty about their homosexuality.

By the way, this was a problem in every one of the studies we have mentioned in our discussion. For example, Dr. Simon LeVay said that he was driven to study the potential physiological roots of homosexuality after his homosexual lover died of AIDS. He even admitted that if he failed to find a genetic cause for homosexuality that he might walk away from science altogether. Later he did just that by moving to West Hollywood to open up a small, unaccredited “study center” focusing on homosexuality.

Each of these three studies looking for a biological cause for homosexuality has its flaws. Does that mean that there is no physiological component to homosexuality? Not at all. Actually, it is probably too early to say conclusively. Scientists may indeed discover a clear biological predisposition to sexual orientation. But a predisposition is not the same as a determination. Some people may inherit a predisposition for anger, depression, or alcoholism, yet we do not condone these behaviors. And even if violence, depression, or alcoholism were proven to be inborn (determined by genetic material), would we accept them as normal and refuse to treat them? Of course not. The Bible has clear statements about such things as anger and alcoholism. Likewise, the Bible has clear statements about homosexuality.

In our discussion in this transcript, we have examined the various claims of pro-homosexual commentators and found them wanting. Contrary to their claims, the Bible does not condone homosexual behavior.

©1997 Probe Ministries




Homosexual Myths – Exposed from a Biblical Perspective

Sue Bohlin looks a common myths concerning homosexual behavior that are prevalent in our society.  These myths prevent us from looking at homosexuality with a biblical worldview and from dealing with this sin in a loving and consistent manner.

In this essay we’ll be looking at some of the homosexual myths that have pervaded our culture, and hopefully answering their arguments. Much of this material is taken from Joe Dallas’ excellent book, A Strong Delusion: Confronting the “Gay Christian” Movement.{1} While the information in this essay may prove helpful, it is our prayer that you will be able to share it calmly and compassionately, remembering that homosexuality isn’t just a political and moral issue; it is also about people who are badly hurting.

10% of the Population Is Homosexual.

In 1948, Dr. Alfred Kinsey released a study called Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, claiming that between 10 and 47% of the male population was homosexual.{2} He got his figures from a pool of 5,300 male subject that he represented as your average “Joe College” student. Many of the men who gave him the data, though, actually consisted of sex offenders, prisoners, pimps, hold-up men, thieves, male prostitutes and other criminals, and hundreds of gay activists.{3} The 10% figure was widely circulated by Harry Hay, the father of the homosexual “civil rights” movement, urging that homosexuality be seen no longer as an act of sodomy but as a 10% minority class.{4}

Kinsey’s figures were exposed as completely false immediately afterwards, and by many other scientists since. The actual figure is closer to 2-3%.{5} But the 10% number has been so often reported in the press that most people think it’s valid. It’s not.

People Are Born Gay.

Ann Landers said it, and millions of people believe it. The problem is, the data’s not there to support it. There are three ways to test for inborn traits: twin studies, brain dissections, and gene “linkage” studies.{6} Twin studies show that something other than genetics must account for homosexuality, because nearly half of the identical twin studied didn’t have the same sexual preference. If homosexuality were inherited, identical twins should either be both straight or both gay. Besides, none of the twin studies have been replicated, and other twin studies have produced completely different results.{7} Dr. Simon LeVay’s famous study on the brains of dead subjects yielded questionable results regarding its accuracy. He wasn’t sure of the sexual orientation of the people in the study, and Dr. LeVay even admits he doesn’t know if the changes in the brain structures were the cause *of* homosexuality, or caused *by* homosexuality.{8} Finally, an early study attempting to show a link between homosexuality and the X-chromosome has yet to be replicated, and a second study actually contradicted the findings of the first.{9} Even if homosexuality were someday proven to be genetically related, *inborn* does not necessarily mean *normal*. Some children are born with cystic fibrosis, but that doesn’t make it a normal condition.

Inborn tendencies toward certain behaviors (such as homosexuality) do not make those behaviors moral. Tendencies toward alcoholism, obesity, and violence are now thought to be genetically influenced, but they are not good behaviors. People born with tendencies toward these behaviors have to fight hard against their natural temptations to drunkenness, gluttony, and physical rage.

And since we are born as sinners into a fallen world, we have to deal with the consequences of the Fall. Just because we’re born with something doesn’t mean it’s normal. It’s not true that “God makes some people gay.” All of us have effects of the Fall we need to deal with.

What’s Wrong with Two Loving, Committed Men or Women Being Legally Married?

There are two aspects to marriage: the legal and the spiritual. Marriage is more than a social convention, like being “best friends” with somebody, because heterosexual marriage usually results in the production of children. Marriage is a legal institution in order to offer protection for women and children. Women need to have the freedom to devote their time and energies to be the primary nurturers and caretakers of children without being forced to be breadwinners as well. God’s plan is that children grow up in families who provide for them, protect them, and wrap them in security.

Because gay or lesbian couples are by nature unable to reproduce, they do not need the legal protection of marriage to provide a safe place for the production and raising of children. Apart from the sexual aspect of a gay relationship, what they have is really “best friend” status, and that does not require legal protection.

Of course, a growing number of gay couples are seeking to have a child together, either by adoption, artificial insemination, or surrogate mothering. Despite the fact that they have to resort to an outside procedure in order to become parents, the presence of adults plus children in an ad hoc household should not automatically secure official recognition of their relationship as a family. There is a movement in our culture which seeks to redefine “family” any way we want, but with a profound lack of discernment about the long-term effects on the people involved. Gay parents are making a dangerous statement to their children: lesbian mothers are saying that fathers are not important, and homosexual fathers are saying that mothers are not important. More and more social observers see the importance of both fathers and mothers in children’s lives; one of their roles is to teach boys what it means to be a boy and teach girls what it means to be a girl.

The other aspect of marriage is of a spiritual nature. Granted, this response to the gay marriage argument won’t make any difference to people who are unconcerned about spiritual things, but there are a lot of gays who care very deeply about God and long for a relationship with Him. The marriage relationship, both its emotional and especially its sexual components, is designed to serve as an earthbound illustration of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.{10} Just as there is a mystical oneness between a man and a woman, who are very different from each other, so there is a mystical unity between two very different, very “other” beings–the eternal Son of God and us mortal, creaturely humans. Marriage as God designed it is like the almost improbable union of butterfly and buffalo, or fire and water. But homosexual relationships are the coming together of two like individuals; the dynamic of unity and diversity in heterosexual marriage is completely missing, and therefore so is the spiritual dimension that is so intrinsic to the purpose of marriage. Both on an emotional and a physical level, the sameness of male and male, or female and female, demonstrates that homosexual relationships do not reflect the spiritual parable that marriage is meant to be. God wants marriage partners to complement, not to mirror, each other. The concept of gay marriage doesn’t work, whether we look at it on a social level or a spiritual one.

Jesus Said Nothing about Homosexuality.

Whether from a pulpit or at a gay rights event, gay activists like to point out that Jesus never addressed the issue of homosexuality; instead, He was more interested in love. Their point is that if Jesus didn’t specifically forbid a behavior, then who are we to judge those who engage in it?

This argument assumes that the Gospels are more important than the rest of the books in the New Testament, that only the recorded sayings of Jesus matter. But John’s gospel itself assures us that it is not an exhaustive record of all that Jesus said and did, which means there was a lot left out!{11} The gospels don’t record that Jesus condemned wife-beating or incest; does that make them OK? Furthermore, the remaining books of the New Testament are no less authoritative than the gospels. All scripture is inspired by God, not just the books with red letters in the text. Specific prohibitions against homosexual behavior in Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 are every bit as God-ordained as what is recorded in the gospels.

We do know, however, that Jesus spoke in specific terms about God’s created intent for human sexuality: “From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and the two shall be one flesh. . . What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:4-6). God’s plan is holy heterosexuality, and Jesus spelled it out.

The Levitical laws against homosexual behavior are not valid today.

Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination.” Gay theologians argue that the term “abomination” is generally associated with idolatry and the Canaanite religious practice of cult prostitution, and thus God did not prohibit the kind of homosexuality we see today.

Other sexual sins such as adultery and incest are also prohibited in the same chapters where the prohibitions against homosexuality are found. All sexual sin is forbidden by both Old and New Testament, completely apart from the Levitical codes, because it is a moral issue. It is true that we are not bound by the rules and rituals in Leviticus that marked Yahweh’s people by their separation from the world; however, the nature of sexual sin has not changed because immorality is an affront to the holiness and purity of God Himself. Just because most of Leviticus doesn’t apply to Christians today doesn’t mean none of it does.

The argument that the word “abomination” is connected with idolatry is well answered by examining Proverbs 6:16-19, which describes what else the Lord considers abominations: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises evil imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers. Idolatry plays no part in these abominations. The argument doesn’t hold water.

If the practices in Leviticus 18 and 20 are condemned because of their association with idolatry, then it logically follows that they would be permissible if they were committed apart from idolatry. That would mean incest, adultery, bestiality, and child sacrifice (all of which are listed in these chapters) are only condemned when associated with idolatry; otherwise, they are allowable. No responsible reader of these passages would agree with such a premise.{12}

Calling Homosexuality a Sin Is Judging, and Judging Is a Sin.

Josh McDowell says that the most often-quoted Bible verse used to be John 3:16, but now that tolerance has become the ultimate virtue, the verse we hear quoted the most is “Judge not, lest ye be judged” (Matt. 7:1). The person who calls homosexual activity wrong is called a bigot and a homophobe, and even those who don’t believe in the Bible can be heard to quote the “Judge not” verse.

When Jesus said “Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” the context makes it plain that He was talking about setting ourselves up as judge of another person, while blind to our own sinfulness as we point out another’s sin. There’s no doubt about it, there is a grievous amount of self-righteousness in the way the church treats those struggling with the temptations of homosexual longings. But there is a difference between agreeing with the standard of Scripture when it declares homosexuality wrong, and personally condemning an individual because of his sin. Agreeing with God about something isn’t necessarily judging.

Imagine I’m speeding down the highway, and I get pulled over by a police officer. He approaches my car and, after checking my license and registration, he says, “You broke the speed limit back there, ma’am.” Can you imagine a citizen indignantly leveling a politically correct charge at the officer: “Hey, you’re judging me! Judge not, lest ye be judged!'” The policeman is simply pointing out that I broke the law. He’s not judging my character, he’s comparing my behavior to the standard of the law. It’s not judging when we restate what God has said about His moral law, either. What is sin is to look down our noses at someone who falls into a different sin than we do. That’s judging.

The Romans 1 Passage on Homosexuality Does Not Describe True Homosexuals, but Heterosexuals Who Indulge in Homosexual Behavior That Is Not Natural to Them.

Romans 1:26-27 says, “God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Some gay theologians try to get around the clear prohibition against both gay and lesbian homosexuality by explaining that the real sin Paul is talking about here is straight people who indulge in homosexual acts, because it’s not natural to them. Homosexuality, they maintain, is not a sin for true homosexuals.

But there is nothing in this passage that suggests a distinction between “true” homosexuals and “false” ones. Paul describes the homosexual behavior itself as unnatural, regardless of who commits it. In fact, he chooses unusual words for men and women, Greek words that most emphasize the biology of being a male and a female. The behavior described in this passage is unnatural for males and females; sexual orientation isn’t the issue at all. He is saying that homosexuality is biologically unnatural; not just unnatural to heterosexuals, but unnatural to anyone.

Furthermore, Romans 1 describes men “inflamed with lust” for one another. This would hardly seem to indicate men who were straight by nature but experimenting with gay sex.{13} You really have to do some mental gymnastics to make Romans 1 anything other than what a plain reading leads us to understand all homosexual activity is sin.

Preaching Against Homosexuality Causes Gay Teenagers to Commit Suicide.

I received an e-mail from someone who assured me that the blood of gay teenagers was on my hands because saying that homosexuality is wrong makes people kill themselves. The belief that gay teenagers are at high risk for suicide is largely inspired by a 1989 report by a special federal task force on youth and suicide. This report stated three things; first, that gay and lesbian youths account for one third of all teenage suicides; second, that suicide is the leading cause of death among gay teenagers, and third, gay teens who commit suicide do so because of “internalized homophobia” and violence directed at them.{14} This report has been cited over and over in both gay and mainstream publications.

San Francisco gay activist Paul Gibson wrote this report based on research so shoddy that when it was submitted to Dr. Louis Sullivan, the former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Sullivan officially distanced himself and his department from it.{15} The report’s numbers, both its data and its conclusions, are extremely questionable. Part of the report cites an author claiming that as many as 3,000 gay youths kill themselves each year. But that’s over a thousand more than the total number of teen suicides in the first place! Gibson exaggerated his numbers when he said that one third of all teen suicides are committed by gay youth. He got this figure by looking at gay surveys taken at drop- in centers for troubled teens, many of which were gay-oriented, which revealed that gay teens had two to four times the suicidal tendencies of straight kids. Gibson multiplied this higher figure by the disputed Kinsey figure of a 10% homosexual population to produce his figure that 30% of all youth suicides are gay. David Shaffer, a Columbia University psychiatrist who specializes in teen suicides, pored over this study and said, “I struggled for a long time over Gibson’s mathematics, but in the end, it seemed more hocus-pocus than math.”{16}

The report’s conclusions are contradicted by other, more credible reports. Researchers at the University of California-San Diego interviewed the survivors of 283 suicides for a 1986 study. 133 of those who died were under 30, and only 7 percent were gay and they were all over 21. In another study at Columbia University of 107 teenage boy suicides, only three were known to be gay, and two of those died in a suicide pact. When the Gallup organization interviewed almost 700 teenagers who knew a teen who had committed suicide, not one mentioned sexuality as part of the problem. Those who had come close to killing themselves mainly cited boy-girl problems or low self-esteem.{17}

Gibson didn’t use a heterosexual control group in his study. Conclusions and statistics are bound to be skewed without a control group. When psychiatrist David Shaffer examined the case histories of the gay teens who committed suicides in Gibson’s report, he found the same issues that straight kids wrestle with before suicide: “The stories were the same: a court appearance scheduled for the day of the death; prolonged depression; drug and alcohol problems; etc.”{18}

That any teenager experiences so much pain that he takes his life is a tragedy, regardless of the reason. But it’s not fair to lay the responsibility for gay suicides, the few that there are, on those who agree with God that it’s wrong and harmful behavior.

Notes

1. Dallas, Joe. A Strong Delusion: Confronting the “Gay Christian” Movement. Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 1996.
2. Dr. Judith Reisman, “Kinsey and the Homosexual Revolution,” The Journal of Human Sexuality (Carrollton, Tex.: Lewis and Stanley, 1996), 21.
3. Ibid., 26.
4. Ibid., 21.
5. Richard G. Howe, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths (found on the American Family Association website at http://www.afa.net) gives this citation: “Knight lists the following sources in support of the 1%-3% figures: J. Gordon Muir, “Homosexuals and the 10% Fallacy,” Wall Street Journal, March 31, 1993; Tom W. Smith, “Adult Sexual Behavior in 1989: Number of Partners, Frequency of Intercourse and Risk of AIDS,” Family Planning Perspectives (May/June 1991): 102; John O.G. Billy, Koray Tanfer, William R. Grady, and Daniel H. Klepinger, “The Sexual Behavior of Men in the United States,” Family Planning Perspectives, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, vol. 25, no. 2 (March/April 1993).”
6. Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, “The Gay Gene?”, The Journal of Human Sexuality, 4.
7. Dallas, 114.
8. Ibid., 112-114.
9. Ibid., 116.
10. Ephesians 5:25-32
11. John 20:30
12. Dallas, 193.
14. Peter LaBarbera, “The Gay Youth Suicide Myth,” The Journal of Human Sexuality, 65.
16. Ibid., 66.

 

Please See Also:
Can Homosexuals Change? [Sue Bohlin]
Homosexuality: Questions and Answers [Sue Bohlin]
Homosexual Theology [Kerby Anderson]
Same Sex Marriage: A Facade of Normalcy [Sue Bohlin]
When Someone In Your Congregation Says “I’m Gay” (Pastors’ Brochure) [Sue Bohlin]
See also “Probe Answers Our E-Mail: Homosexuality”

 


Your Article on Homosexual Myths is Bias, Rude, and Complete Bull Sh*t!!!!
I Am Deeply Hurt and Offended by Your Homosexual Myths Article

 

© 1996 Probe Ministries