The Sexual Orientation Controversy
Ever since the 1970s, most psychotherapists have been telling the American public that homosexuality is a genetic condition, like being right-handed or left-handed. According to these “experts,” sexual orientation is not something one can change. Some of the major studies reflecting these opinions have been done, of course, by the homosexuals themselves.
Accordingly, the standard line of psycho-dribble is that “gays” must learn to accept their identity. Some schools are now offering courses to young homosexuals with this very goal in view. There are on-campus organizations whose aim is to help young “gays” learn to live with their status—and even to have “pride” in it. [See Note below.]
This view finds no support whatever in the Scriptures. In fact, the Bible plainly contradicts this concept. Consider two points:
First, no genetic problem is ever condemned in the Bible as sinful. Being left-handed is not wrong. Having red hair is not a sin. Baldness is not a form of evil. On the other hand, homosexual activity is explicitly condemned in the Scriptures.
In the book of Romans, Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote:
For this reason God gave them [the ancient heathen] over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error (1:26-27, NASB).
The homosexual lifestyle is degrading, unnatural (cf. “strange,” Jude 7), and indecent—in a word, sinful.
Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, the apostle dealt with several popular sins which, if not forgiven, will keep one out of the kingdom of God. Among these are the “effeminate” and the “abusers of themselves with men” (ASV). The term “effeminate” translates a Greek word which denotes “men and boys who allow themselves to be misused homosexually.” The special emphasis is upon homosexual conduct between men and boys. The latter expression ("abusers . . . ") signifies “a male homosexual” in general (see Arndt and Gingrich 1967, 109,489).
Second, consider this. In addressing the Corinthians concerning these sins, Paul wrote: “But such were some of you” (6:11). The past tense form reveals that those who once engaged in this sordid lifestyle had changed their practice through the influence of the gospel. When people desire to do so, they can change!
A recent issue of U.S. News & World Report (July 27, 1998) carried the story of John and Anne Paulk, two of thousands of former homosexuals who now are happily married. Mr. Paulk is the author of a new book, Afraid to Change, which argues the case that people can abandon the homosexual lifestyle.
Exodus International is a support group for former homosexuals who desire to live the “straight” life. It has eighty-five chapters in the U.S., and has assisted thousands of ex-gays reform their sexual practice.
This writer personally knows of several people who once engaged in the so-called gay mode of life; they are now happy, productive Christians. Some have married and have wonderful families.
No Christian should develop a hateful attitude toward any sinful person (no matter how personally disgusting their conduct may be); rather, we must long for, and work towards, their conversion to the cause of truth. The gospel can transform any of us! God will forgive anyone who responds to his will (Hebrews 5:8-9).
The key issues are these:
- The homosexual must be willing to accept the authority of the Bible and acknowledge that his conduct is wrong.
- He must have a strong desire to abandon the sinful lifestyle.
- He must be willing to seek God’s forgiveness in the divinely prescribed way (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4,17).
- A reformed pattern of habits, a fresh association of friends, etc., must be employed to reenforce one’s new direction.
All things can be accomplished through him who provides the resources for victory (cf. Philippians 4:13).
[NOTE: Gay rights activists recently produced a pro-homosexual video designed to target elementary school children. Called, It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues In School, this video was filmed at six elementary and middle schools. It shows school teachers and principals manipulating the thinking of youngsters with reference to homosexual issues.
The producers of the video expressed their goal of attempting “to promote respect” for this form of behavior. Too, the program is supposed to counter the “hysteria of the religious right.” According to the American Family Association Journal (1999, 9), the video is scheduled to air on PBS in June.]
- American Family Association Journal. 1999, February.
- Arndt, William and F. W. Gingrich. 1967. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.