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July 01, 2011

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Suppose, for the sake of argument, that science establishes beyond doubt that homosexuality is not a choice, but that it is as hard-wired in humans as it is in other animals [e.g., Researchers have observed monogamy, promiscuity, sex between species, sexual arousal from objects or places, sex apparently via duress or coercion, copulation with dead animals, homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual sexual behavior, and situational sexual behavior and a range of other practices among animals other than humans. Related studies have noted diversity in sexed bodies and gendered behavior, such as intersex and transgender animals]. Would evangelical Christians then admit their mistake in branding it a "choice" and, therefore, a "sin"?

After all, animals can't "sin", can they?

Dennise you are using the "is to ought" line, which, if we apply it to heterosexuals and others, ends up baseless:


I "want" to sleep with woman who are not my wife and I "want" to lie about it. Those two desires "are". They "is". I was hard-wired to cheat on my wife. Daily. Or at least weekly. I was born with those two desires, that attraction and urge toward about 80% of the women I encounter, and the urge, the want, to lie about it. That's my DNA. Being married doesn't change your DNA, you know.


I "can't" restrain urges. If it "is" then it is "right". And so too with telling the lie. It "is" in me therefore it is "right".

This is the famous "Is to Ought" arguement which is of course not just weak, but full of obvious problems. If a desire "is" then it "ought" to merrit validity. Period. "Hardwired" and "DNA" and "it just is" and everything like that.

Homosexuality may not be "sin" or whatever, but this line of defense is doomed to self-destruct because when applied to all things human it ends up being too obviously flawed. There may (or may not) be a way to argue for homosexuality, but this is not it.

The problem with the Is to Ought line is that Christ calls ALL of what IS somehow "broken", not just the sexual arena. And, He promises actual, real, change. Old Nature, New Nature. It's a package story line, not the one-sided story too many Christians give.

Heterosexuals are called to bend the will, or restrain the appetites. But such is not the end. Things may start there; but change does come. This is the missing part of the puzzle. "Restraint" is only the beginning. It ends. Change comes. "I can't believe I used to...." comes for the Heterosexual. And for everyone. We can add the homosexual too. Christ delivers.

Decades later, I no longer want to lie. Or sleep with the other hundred out there, literally. As a heterosexual who has had a hundred and one "sins" morph away out of existence, including some within the sexual appetite area, intense sexual appetites, it can be said that Christ delivers us from sin; not the homosexual in a vaccuum, but all of us, the heterosexual, the homosexual, and on and on and on. The story of Christ is not one of Guilt. It is one of deliverance from Dark places.

A man who as you say wants to have sex with corpses, or inter-species, or cows, or whatever it was that you listed, all of that is "less" than "Whole". But, if there is no God, then there is no such things as "Whole". If every animal having sex with every other animal, including dead ones, is a defense, it is because you are basing it in an "is to ought" line of reasoning. "The desire 'is' so therefore it 'ought' to merrit validity". Okay then. All of those things you listed "are". Therefore, they are "good" and "right" and "beautiful" and "whole" and "right" and full of "life". That is your arguement. Okay. You go with that.

The alternative is Christ delivers us not from "sex" but from "every sort of sin" of which misdirected appetites are often an issue. The Heterosexuals who have been radically changed by Christ in this area, and the Homosexuals who have been radically changed by Christ in this area, and the countless millions who have been changed by Christ not in these areas but in some other area of "intense appetite" they were "born with", are all in the same boat. All of us are in the same boat; we are born broken in this or that area. At the core, it is our fundamental Nature which is seperated from Christ; but a New Nature is given. A New Creation.

The message of Christ is a package. Fallen, Restored. Broken, Whole. Dead. Alive. If the "whole package" is not true, then the sexual components of it do not matter. If Man is, though, "broken" from what is "whole" then that very story line brings with it some implications about our Nature. The Christian story has to do with that, the part about Man's Nature and a Fall and a Restoration, and those things. Then, within "that" there comes into play things about our "pride" or "greed" or "lust" or "fear" and other manifestations of "broken". But all of that is only valid if the "Man is not whole" part of the story is true.

The Christian message is that Man is not Whole. He is Broken. Fallen. And this entails every single area of his Nature. That is the point, the story, the part that matters. Sex is one of about one million "areas" that "manifest" the issues of our Nature. The Christian is called to follow Christ, and love all men and love God, and, to be made into a New Man, with a New Nature. That is the point. Not sex.

If the initial point of Fallen/Broken and Restored/Whole is not of interest to you, then the rest falls away with good reason.

But if the initial point of Christ's message of Fallen/Broken and Restored/Whole IS of interest to you, then the whole package of all of our Nature being affected will simply come along for the ride and become part of the journey, part of the process of becoming "New".

If there is no "Broken" then there is no "Whole" for, as you say, what "is" must BE the "whole" and does, as you say, want to sleep with other species, and corpses, and all of that. If "that" is the "whole" for you then the message of Christ and "restoration" makes no sense and cannot make sense because to "restore" implies a current status of "broken".

The message of Christ does not have anything to do with homosexuality. Or lying. Or killing. Or any particular "act" whatsoever. His is a message about Man's Nature. And God's Nature. And the joining of the two in a New Nature. In a Wedding. God in Man. Man in God. Word made Flesh.

I agree completely with the first paragraph of Mohler's quote, but not the third.

As in so many other ways, Mother Media has mischaracterized Christians as mean-spirited, bigoted, and uncaring in our approach to homosexuals. I have never seen any Christian actually behave in these ways, though the news media have clarified this as their official view of the Christian position on homosexuality.

While I greatly appreciate Mohler's setting this to rights, clarifying the motivation behind Christians' concern for homosexuals, the misperception seems to come from the media's biased, politically-driven agenda rather than any widespread boorishness within the Church. The list of failures Mohler lays at the feet of Christians seems entirely misplaced.

Sage S.

I couldn't agree more. The "tone" I myself have seen from Christians toward the homosexual has been one of "we" and "us" and mercy and love. There will always be a bad apple or two and the public portrait of the Christian does use the bad apple to portray the Christian. Perhaps they should use Christ Himself, and no other, as the Portrait.

Sage S and oters:

See the link below for a mean, dumb, bigoted christian. There are many of these out there, guys. You must be living pretty sheltered lives!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QYwsM17a2M

Christ is the standard, not Christians.

Getreal you prove saga's point. Christ, and no other, should be the portrait. Look there. Put the spotlight there.

> Suppose, for the sake of argument, that science establishes beyond doubt that homosexuality is not a choice, but that

Dennis, You raise a good point that is worthy of much thought. Thanks. I am not an expert, but what follows are my two cents worth.

Some Christians say this it is choice. Some do not.

There is in fact a popular book by an evangelical that makes the claim that it is not a choice. This does not mean however that this evangelical is saying that it is hardwired into a person. (I cannot remember the name of the book at the moment.)

Think about this...

Among Christians, you will meet some Christians who say that they made a choice to convert to Christianity.

Others in particular those who have come from Christian families and have been totally nurtured in such environment (e.g. Xtn music, Xtn schooling) will tell you that they cannot remember a point where they made a choice to become a Christian. They have no such defining moment. They will say that this is what they remember for all of their lives. This has been the constant ORIENTATION of their hearts for all long as they can remember - since early childhood.

Ok. Thanks again.

I am one of those oddballs who did not come from a Christian family, have Christian friends, go to a church, and yet became a Christian by reading it from cover to cover. I have not idea how or when I came to realization during my one year of reading that I a sinful man, separated from God and would have to answer for that some day. Maybe it was a slow fact by fact process? I don't know.

God Bless,
~ Raj

~Raj - Maybe it's because you actually took the time to read and possibly study, I'm assuming in which many people are just satisfied with word of mouth. Pretty amazing what happens when someone reads and understands the Bible eh?

Church has become a social club and as I mentioned before "Don't ask don't tell" about any touchy subject in church. I honestly wonder sometimes if when Christ walked the earth he saw these days ahead and just shook his head.

We all know the millions killed by fine fellows who adhered to the Philosophy of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. It will be none the less terrifying to see what the new philosophy taking root will bring. Getting tired of throwing pearls......

Agree that Christ is the standard. Even mean spirited Christians who truly follow Christ will get into eternity. That wasn't the point.

The point was that many American Christians are mean, dumb, and bigoted.

If that weren't so, Greg wouldn't need to teach us how to be winsome, tactical, and knowledable when it comes to our faith.

I teach Sunday school, youth groups, and engage others on the Christian faith. And when Christians have their beliefs challenged (for example on the topic of homosexuality), many (though not all) become defensive. And when they become defensive, they become mean.

And as we all know, most Christians cannot defend their faith, so we have a lot of defensive Christians out there.

Let's not take the easy way out here and mindlessly blame "mother media", or say "gosh I've never met a Christian like those portrayed in the media". That's just disingenuous. Let's own up to the fact that we need to train Christians in how to defend their faith.

And let's support organizations like STR who help us achieve that goal.

Re: Dennis' comments:

I have heard people try to make that case that homosexuality is normal because animals engage in it and if they engage in it, then it must be all right for humans, too. If animals do it, then some people insist it's natural and, therefore, just fine.

Unfortunately, if you take that to its logical conclusion and assume that, if an animal does it, it's perfectly acceptable, you run into serious problems. For example, there are animals, including a large number of primates, who kill their young at birth. Does that make it natural and right for humans to do the same?

It may seem unbelievable to some that anyone would even think of that, but the Romans did it. All you had to do if you didn't want a baby was get three 'revered' citizens to declare the child not worth keeping and you could put him or her out with the trash to die of hunger or exposure, be killed and eaten by animals or picked up by people to become their slaves.

People are stilling putting their unwanted offspring out with the trash in countries such as India and China. And lest anyone think that no one in North America would do that, there are people currently campaigning for the legal right to dispose of a child within his or her first week of life. And we won't even get into the abortion debate!

The difference between animals and people is, of course, the fact that we have the ability to think, form ideas, and differentiate between right and wrong. And that leads us into another matter. How does a person decide what is morally correct?

As you pointed out, Dennis, animals can't sin and if people are just another bunch of animals who are merely the result of Darwinian evolution, arrived at by random chance, just "dancing to their DNA" as atheist Richard Dawkins puts it, then what makes one person's behaviour better than another? As Rescued said, it's the very fact that God exists and has a standard of right and wrong that results in our even being able to even discuss this issue in terms of morality.

And if we didn't have those standards, then morality would be left up to the individual and/or society to decide based on what the majority thinks, good or bad. Francis Schaeffer in his How Shall We Then Live points out that Hitler only need 51 per cent of the vote to allow him to set and execute his own ideas of the way things should be.

I have tried to point out many times that, as a heterosexual, I don't feel any superiority to homosexuals because I, too, have sins that are no prettier to God. Yet, I have been accused of being a bigot simply for saying that because I don't want homosexuals to be separated from God in this life or the next. And it's a statement I make out of love, not hate. If I truly hated homosexuals, I would simply let them die in their sin.

Ministries like Exodus International provide the help and support of many ex-gays who left that lifestyle behind when they came to the Lord. They are living proof that a person can abandon homosexuality in the power of the Holy Spirit.

"The point was that many American Christians are mean, dumb, and bigoted"

I would have to observe that this is a state common to the human condition not the Christian condition in particular. There are many mean, dumb, biggoted [Xtns, gays, non-gay non-Xtn, etc.] That said, there are indeed Xtns who behave in the less than loving and rational fashion that they are called to - like the ones who protest at military funerals with signs blaming gays for the deaths of veterans. They are not doing this because they are too Christian, but because they are too worldly still.

I would also have to question though, whether the proportion of dumb, mean, biggoted Christians is actually as high as "Mater Media" claims... as for the statement that defensive Christians get mean and dumb... I have found it just as likely that because they don't know how to defend the faith, they cut and run in the face of meanness rather than get mean. Don't get me wrong, I think there are too many Christians who in one area or another get mean when they shouldn't. But then one in a million is too many.


I appreciate your comments Dwight. They are well taken.

@ Sage

I was going to comment and then I realized you have already made my point for me!

Christians have been so bullied and brainwashed by the culture that we do start discussions on this topic by apologizing, often for things that we personally have never done and would never condone others doing - things that are simply NOT characteristic of Christians as a group!

Don't given in to the pressure of the culture. They CONSTANTLY tell us that most Christians have behaved cruelly toward homosexuals. It is simply not true. This is just a way for them to make us afraid of speaking up at all.

Dennis --Homosexuality is an affront to God because it's a perversion of his design and order, as is anything labeled 'sin'. We have to first believe that God did have a specific purpose, order, design, and plan. You're treading on thin ice when you say 'if science can prove...' isn't that empiricism? unfortunately science is NOT the only way we know things--as believers, and as did for people up until the Enlightenment--the Scriptures hold highest authority for us, as well as reason and experience.

What if aversion to homosexuality were hard-wired as as well? If so, then homophobia" is as normal as "homosexuality" if it is too hard-wired.

It seems, however, that the sexual powers of men and women--regardless of whether they have homosexual inclinations--are ordered toward procreative union. But that means that one's software (one's inclination) may be contrary to one's hardware, even if one's software comes installed with the hardware at purchase. In that case, which ones, hardware or software?

Thomas Aquinas, I've often thought as I've reflected on this issue that the homosexual lobby (that is, the militant in-your-face group of people, either organized or not) wants to have it both ways. Not only must they be accepted by society, they will label anyone who does not accept them as a bigot. However, as you point out the argument that they use, which is typically something along the lines of "I was born this way" cuts both ways. The heterosexual is then biologically programmed to not only be attracted to the opposite sex but will be repulsed by homosexual behavior. No bigotry there, just pure biological reaction. But they are just as "born this way" as homosexuals. It cuts both ways.

It's not really a good argument, but does point out a double standard that militant homosexuals (or militant heterosexuals or pedophiles) can use.

Todd

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