Thoughts on homosexuality

On one of the forums I regularly visit, the subject of homosexuality has come up with increasing frequency. Is it a sin? Is it curable?

I am not certain whether homosexuality is genetic or learned. I have my doubts as to whether it is hereditary or not. I tend to believe in the validity of the theory of natural selection. If a trait offers the species no reproductive advantage it will be selected out. Obviously, homosexuals cannot reproduce with each other, so the trait would be detrimental to the species. If it were hereditary, it would no doubt be a recessive trait, so it should not make it past one or two generations, since two carriers of the recessive trait would have homosexual offspring, but the offspring would not likely reproduce (unlike what happens with other recessive traits).

There is the possibility that it is caused by a genetic mutation, of course. That would suggest, however, that homosexuality could not be changed. There is some success documented that shows that it is possible, in fact, to change one’s sexual orientation. The success rate does seem rather low, though, so perhaps some homosexual tendencies are genetic and others are psychological.

Is homosexuality a sin? Merriam-Webster defines homosexuality as follows:

1 : the quality or state of being homosexual
2 : erotic activity with another of the same sex

Homosexuality in the first sense is not a sin. At least not according to the Bible. I am unaware of any biblical passages that condemn homosexual feelings. The sin is homosexuality in the second sense, or the act of gay sex.

Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her. And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. (Leviticus 18:20-23)

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Romans 1:26-27)

Whether someone is born with homosexual tendencies or not, the Bible does teach that gay sex is an abomination. When the function of the sexual organs is considered, this is not such a hard thing to understand. If homosexuality is genetic, then the homosexual has no more excuse for committing his or her sin than the heterosexual that commits sexual sin. If it is a learned behavior, then it is no different than other temptations that all people face. Either way, God cannot be blamed for homosexual sins any more than any other type of sin.

As far as homosexual marriage goes, the word is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Period. Considering the negative health consequences of homosexual relationships, I also do not think the state should be encouraging them by creating “civil unions.” The state may not be obligated to discourage harmful behavior, but I believe it is wrong for the state to encourage it.

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8 Responses to “Thoughts on homosexuality”

  1. Mulled Vine says:

    An excellent courageous post. Hear, hear.

  2. Mike says:

    Whether someone is born with homosexual tendencies or not, the Bible does teach that gay sex is an abomination. When the purpose of the sexual organs is considered, this is not such a hard thing to understand. I think banning homosexuality based on the purpose of the sexual organs is slightly flawed unless you take the stance that all sex is immoral unless procreation intended. Most Christians would not agree with this, except some Roman Catholics. Most would agree that sex is also to do with expressing intimacy in relationship. Of course, there are also many takes on Romans 1. If you’ve got time have a look here.

  3. casey says:

    Sorry, Mike. Once again, I think the texts speak for themselves. You can twist and contort what is actually written, but the meaning is fairly obvious when you take the words at face value.

    You are correct to note that procreation is not the only purpose for the sexual organs. I misspoke. The word should have been “function.” Thank you for pointing that out. I will change it now.

  4. Lincoln says:

    I do think sin is hereditary, and is why the Bible speaks of the sins of fathers passing on even to the third and fourth generation, or more accurately, the sin nature. I usually liken it to alcoholism. You’re not born an alcoholic, but you can be born with a predisposition towards becoming one. That’s why children of alcoholics tend to become alcoholics themselves. They’re fighting the sin nature that was passed on to them by their parents, and so on. And ultimately we all inherited the fallen nature from Adam.

  5. Renae says:

    Lincoln,
    Scripture clearly states that we are accountable for our actions. Why would a reasonable God hold us accountable for something we cannot control? Read Ezekiel 18. Sin is always a choice, as is love.

  6. casey says:

    Renae,

    I think it depends on how you define “control.” If I’m born heterosexual, I can’t “control” my sexual attraction to the opposite sex. I can, however, control whether or not I have sexual relations outside the confines of marriage as defined by the Bible. Even if homosexuals are born that way, it doesn’t excuse them from their actions. As you say, sin is always a choice.

  7. Renae says:

    Casey,
    Yes, I agree with you. We are accountable for the actions that we choose. Without choice there is no virtue or condemnation. There is blessing in controlling our appetites and desires. No one can be forced to love, just as no one can be forced to sin.

  8. Lincoln says:

    Renae, I think you misunderstood, I was saying that were are born with a predisposition towards specific kinds of sinful behavior. it doesn’t mean we have no choice but to give into it, but it explains why some people struggle with alcoholism for example, while others have no apparent desire to drink at all. It’s a mixture of genetics, learned behavior and choice. Ultimately though, because the Bible teaches us that bondage to sin can be broken, we are still accountable. :)