Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4/6/2011- Homosexuality and Christianity

I want to preface this by saying something... I have friends who practice homosexuality and they are some of the best people I know. They are truthful, loving, nurturing, and absolutely beautiful people. Some of them attend church and are very active in the Body of Christ. My hope is to write this without judgment. I firmly believe that God loves these people just as much as He does me, and do not make any claims to know anything beyond that. I sincerely hope that any who read this will consider it as simple discussion on what is a very big topic in Christianity today...

I want to start by saying that I can't stand the fact that I have to put that kind of disclaimer on this. It just goes to show the harm done by "Christians" who long ago forgot that Christ came to love everyone. We as Christians today need to understand that it is not up to us to judge sinners. We are called to judge and support fellow believers and to confront them on their sins, and we are called to do so in a spirit of gentleness and humility. We are to understand our our shortcomings and weaknesses, and are to be prayerful in our pursuit of Christlike-ness. I want to start by apologizing to those who have been hurt by the actions and treatment given to some people (such as homosexuals) in the name of Christ.

That being said, here are my thoughts and convictions concerning homosexuality in Christianity:

A study was published several years ago (forgive me for forgetting where and when it was) in a scientific journal concerning the anatomical structure of the brain. They were comparing the brains of male and female humans to decipher the difference between the two in hopes of figuring out why men and women think and act differently. They were looking for structural deviations that would explain why our minds do not work the same way. While doing this research, they discovered that the brains of some men were much more feminine than others. It appeared that there were a few male brains that looked not fully female and yet not male. They inferred from this that these male brains would have belonged to someone who was more likely to have actions and thought processes that were much more effeminate than normal. They touted this discovery as proof that a person is born homosexual and that it is not a choice.

I remembered first hearing this information about 8 years ago in an Abnormal Psychology class. I was a Christian, but hadn't exactly been close to God for a little while. I was living with a guy who was a practicing homosexual, and as such had been bombarded with the idea of being born this way, etc. When I heard this lecture, I came out of it thinking that there was proof that my roommate was telling the truth. Ever since then, I have had this recurring conversation in my mind about the validity of these claims. Here in the last year or so, I feel like I am finally coming to a conclusion...

We are more than willing to accept, as Christians, that we are born sinners. We are born with two natures, as Paul says, the nature of God and our sin nature. We accept that we are born with certain tendencies and attributes that cause specific problems for us. Yet, we reject that a person could be born with a homosexual tendency. Why? The research here clearly shows that there are men born whose brains are much more female than male. Does that not prove that they have no choice to be gay?

No, it doesn't. Here are my convictions on this matter...
Homosexuality is a sin, plain and simple, the Bible is pretty explicit on this topic. It is listed right along side lying, cheating, slander, murder, stealing, jealousy, pride, and the list goes on and on. The argument that it is not a choice to engage in the sin of homosexuality can be substantiated by saying that none of us have a choice but to engage in whatever our sin of choice may be (to be clear, we have the choice, what we lack is the strength of faith to choose to abstain). This does not make it right or ok! I have heard some argue that it can't be a sin because they have felt this way since they were 6... yes, and I have been able to decode a person, manipulate them, and cause them harm with my words since I was somewhere around 6 also... still a sin. We are all born sinners, no matter the sin, they have been there since birth.

Other findings in the previously mentioned study were that in some brains, there were larger numbers of synapses in the pleasure centers of the brain, and in some, larger amygdalas, and so on... what this tells me is that there are anatomical differences in each of our brains that lead to our tendency towards different kinds of actions and thought processes. When we pervert these processes and actions, and when we choose to act on them in ways that are directly against the Word of God, they become sinful. The fact that we are wired a certain way does not dismiss our sin, it simply shows why were are more prone to certain types of sin.

We are called to admit these sins, recognize them, and repent of them. Salvation hinges on our acceptance that Christ died for our sins. He tells us to lay them down, turn from them, and run to Him. Even following salvation, we will continue to sin, God does not require perfection. He requires repentant souls. So, can a homosexual have salvation? I believe they can, but they have to be willing to admit that their actions are sinful, and truthfully turn away from them. They must ask forgiveness for their actions and attempt to live the life that Christ called us to... just like all the rest of us. There is no difference when it comes to salvation, sin is sin...    

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