This week's Challenge: "If God made people
gay and they don’t have a choice in the matter because they were born with that
orientation, then isn’t it unfair that he punishes them for just being who they
I have to agree with pro-gay advocates on this one. Homosexuals
are born with an orientation. And it is genetic. This leads to desires that
not only feel natural, but are considered sinful by God when acted upon.
But it’s not a sexual
orientation. It’s a sinful
orientation. The Bible calls it a sin nature. And everyone is born with it –
not just homosexuals.
I was born with that orientation too. As early as I can
remember, I always felt that way. It felt natural for me to lie to get myself
out of trouble. It seemed normal for me to fantasize about having promiscuous
sex with girls. It was easy to think of myself first and others later.
So homosexuals aren’t unique. They’re not the only ones who
get to complain they have a proclivity towards behaviors that God deems
immoral. It will never be right for me to lie, sleep around, or act selfish. And
alcoholics, some of whom are born with a genetic predisposition towards heavy
drinking, don’t get off the hook either. Every person on the planet is faced
with the choice to act morally despite being born with an orientation to do wrong.
Although we’re born that way, it’s not because of God. It’s
a genetic problem that we inherited from our ancestors. So God is the wrong
person to blame.
But even though we’re all born that way, God doesn’t punish
us for being who we are. We’re punished for our behavior – for acting on our natural orientation. The
Bible doesn’t condemn people for experiencing same-sex attractions. It
prohibits homosexual behavior. It’s
irrelevant whether you feel you’re born that way, you experiment with
homosexual sex, or you’re stuck in a prison with no heterosexual outlet. It’s your
conduct that matters.
So homosexuals aren’t faced with a unique situation that’s
unfair. Everyone is born with an orientation to sin. And it’s a deep, ingrained
tendency that’s impossible to resist. It doesn’t go away with therapy or
medication. You can’t pray away the orientation.
But God doesn’t leave us helpless. Although He punishes sinful
acts – even ones we’re born with a proclivity to commit – He also helps us in
two ways. He grants us a pardon and gives us power.
The first is a pardon for our bad behavior. He offers someone
else to pay the penalty for our moral crimes. We can accept the pardon and go
free or pay the penalty ourselves. It’s our choice. That means a man can live a
lifetime of homosexual behavior and still be acquitted. That’s a great offer
given God isn’t even responsible for our sinful desires.
The second is power to overcome our proclivity to sin. He does
this by replacing our old orientation with a new one. It doesn’t guarantee
we’ll have perfect desires (we’ll still experience external temptations and have
internal patterns of thought that we’ve habituated), but it does give us the strength
to resist them. Many people who have experienced same-sex attractions have also
experienced this new power.
These two offers are great, but we have to agree with the
stipulations. Since God’s laws have been violated, He decides the terms of the
contract. Although the pardon and power are free, they require action on our
part. In exchange for our acquittal and a new orientation, God asks for a
lifetime of allegiance.
Like living under a monarchy, we become subjects of the
King. Except unlike previous kings, Jesus of Nazareth doesn’t just sit on a
throne and rule. He also takes our place when the guilty verdict is rendered
and the penalty is served. That’s why He deserves our allegiance.
Granted, it’s no small commitment. But given the alternative,
it’s understandable why billions of people throughout history have taken God up
on His offer of grace. That offer is good for anyone with any orientation.
Be sure to read Alan’s previous posts in this series at
or at Stand to Reason’s student site here. If you find these post helpful, please share on Facebook and twitter (see below)
Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow
Labels: Alan Shlemon, Bible, Christianity, same sex marriage, Sexuality, Tough Questions - Homosexuality, Worldview