Born That Way

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This blog post is about gays. Seeing how any other opinion than wholehearted endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle will get you crucified in our intolerant society, I must be a glutton for punishment. Yes, I hold different views about homosexuality than the popular, “politically correct” crowd.

Image Courtesy Of Kim Stovring

Truth In Love

What I want to clear up on the front end is that having an opposing view than someone else does not make one a hater. In fact, though I disagree with the way they choose to live their lives, the few homosexuals I know are nice people and I certainly don’t hate them. To say something that a person (or a society) does not want to hear is a risky business, yet the loving thing to do is to follow the example of Jesus—tell the truth (though it got him killed). If someone you love is engaged in what is perceived as destructive behavior, you shouldn’t celebrate their right to do it, pat them on the back, and tell them how wonderful they are for their bravery. No, love instructs the little child not to play in the street. Love teaches the sixteen year old to follow the rules of the road. Love advises the college student to abstain from drunkenness. And yes, love warns the homosexual of the danger that he or she is in. Yet, sometimes, as the apostle Paul said, “the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.” All good parents have experienced this as well as many pastors and counselors.

Making Everyone Mad

One of the justifications the LGBT community puts forth for their behavior is the notion that “I was born that way”. Conservative Christians want to line up and tell them how wrong they are and that it couldn’t possibly be true. This may surprise many of you, but I am going to give you the reasons I agree with the homosexual crowd on this point. Not as a justification of their lifestyle, but as a true statement of reality. I know-- now I’m going to have everyone hating me! Oh well.

Common Ground

First things first. As a Christian who accepts the Bible as authoritative in all things it should be no surprise to anyone that I am opposed to homosexuality. Homosexuality is a sin that Scripture categorizes as an “abomination” to God. Abominations are sins that are particularly detestable to God and as such should be avoided ever more carefully. But just so those of us who are not homosexuals don’t become self righteous because we aren’t that bad, here is a short list of some other abominations that Scripture lays out.

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19

I am speaking as a person who recognizes the commonality that we all have as sinners. We have all committed abominations and so we should be charitable towards other sinners. It is not my goal here to condemn anyone. God is the one who justifies and condemns. My objective in all of this is to point the way to forgiveness through Christ and freedom from the power of our sins, including homosexuality.

Original Sin

The reason I tend to agree with the homosexual who says “I was born that way” lies in the doctrine of original sin. Paul succinctly encapsulates this doctrine in Romans 5:12.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

Furthermore, he teaches to the Ephesian Christians what they were in their fallen and natural state before the grace of God was shown to them.

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians 2:2,3

The point is that we are sinners by nature not just practice. The reason given in the Romans passage for why we are sinners is that we partake in the guilt and curse of Adam’s sin.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism teaches this doctrine as well in questions sixteen through eighteen.

  1. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression? A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression.
  2. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind? A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
  3. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell? A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell consists in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.

Band Of Mutineers

This doctrine of original sin explains why we observe the ubiquitous and inevitable evil that manifests itself in the lives of all people. There is no person, nor has there ever been, (excepting Jesus) that does not break the moral law of God from the first opportunity we get. The psalmist poetically describes this reality. “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” Psalm 58:3. The essence of the doctrine of original sin is that we are born into a fallen race. The guilt and corruption of Adam’s sin cling to all of his seed. All people are members by birth of a band of mutineers and as soon as we are able we prove Scripture true by sinning against the God who made us. We do not become sinners because we sin. Rather, we sin because we are sinners. This is our birthright as children of Adam. This is the reason that all of us need the Savior.

Vulnerable To Specific Sins

It is because of the reality of original sin that many homosexuals say “I was born that way”. It is certainly possible that as a young person becomes sexually aware that they have same sex attraction. Others may not have had same sex attraction at first, but acquire it for a variety of reasons later on. Nevertheless, it should not be surprising that a person is born with a propensity towards specific sins. Some people struggle with telling the truth. Others have a tendency to steal. Many people have a predisposition towards drunkenness. We are all born selfish. As we indulge in sin we become more deeply entangled in it and inevitably engage in more and more serious sins. What starts out as stealing lunch money may end up as armed robbery in time. A person may have felt like it was okay to get drunk that one time, only to realize years later that they have become an alcoholic. The person who indulges in looking at pornography should not be surprised by and by that they have become an adulterer. Often homosexuality is the end result of many previous concessions to sin, yet this temptation may also be the first awareness a person has to his or her sexuality.

Don't Beat Your Wife

The problem with the “I was born that way” mentality is that it is used as an excuse to justify sinful behavior. Someone may have been born with a predisposition towards violence and have a short temper yet that is no excuse for beating his wife. In a murder trial it would be counterproductive for the accused to have his violent temper that he possessed from birth to be revealed. It is no excuse. It is only further testimony in favor of a guilty verdict. And so it is with the excuse “I was born that way”.

Bad News

We are all born that way-- sinners that is. It is time we stop comparing ourselves to each other and think about the law that we have all violated. God’s moral commandments are the standard of righteousness that we are all measured against in his court. The problem is that we all stand as guilty. None of us have any hope if we are to be judged by the law. If you are a homosexual you will not stand in the judgment, so stop trying to justify your sin. The same is true if you are a liar, covetous, or an idolater. In fact, no sinner will stand in the judgment. This is bad news. The law is not the gospel.

God's Love For Sinners

“But God”—these are some of the most precious words in Scripture. When we were hopeless and helpless God acted in our behalf. This is what gets lost in the homosexuality debate, that God has provided a way to be forgiven and cleansed from all sin. Please don’t try to justify your sin. God offers mercy to you even now, while you are yet in your sins. Look at this passage in Ephesians.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:4-9

Who Is This Jesus?

This is the beauty of the gospel. By exercising faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ we will be forgiven of all of our sins. The eternal Son of God, coequal and coeternal with the Father and Spirit, very God of very God, of one essence with the Father and Spirit, the second Person of the blessed Trinity, took upon himself humanity and became a man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary and he entered this world as a human baby. He lived the life that none of us could live in perfect harmony with the law of God. Unlike us, he was not tainted with original sin. He was born into this world to be the spotless Sin Offering; the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. He was crucified as an innocent man. But he did not die for his own sake. The prophet Isaiah foretold what it was all about.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:4-11

After his death on the cross he was put in the grave, yet three days later he rose from the dead proving that God accepted his sacrifice. After forty days he ascended into heaven where he sits now at the right hand of the Father waiting to come again to judge the world in righteousness.

Do You Qualify?

Sinners need only look upon the Sin Offering upon the bloody cross in faith, putting their confidence in him alone as the only way to be saved from the wrath of God, and they will be forgiven of all of their sins, including homosexuality. Jesus Christ bore in his body the punishment that was due all of those who will believe in him. One look in faith and all is forgiven. I looked upon that rugged cross when I was nine years old and Christ took the guilt of my sin away. The burden was gone. I am still looking at him in faith all these years later having confidence in my salvation because Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and I qualify, and so do you. If you are caught in the web of homosexuality I want you to know that you qualify as well. Look unto him and live.