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June 23, 2009

Comments

We need to hear more from the ex-homosexual community in paper and in the media.

Nice to hear it from someone else.

What are the theological implications here?

Theological implications?
Applied truth liberates!

As an old school psychiatrist, the majority of my training was in psychotherapy. Homosexuality was viewed as a treatable problem. That simply changed with political correctness. One of my supervisors published a paper on a 'cured' transsexual child. That was NOT viewed as problematic in the psychoanalytic community 25 years ago...times have changed!

As a Christian psychiatrist AND apologist, I am an extreme outlier, so my opinion couldn't possibly be valid, though ;) !

"What are the theological implications here?"

Um... that God is always right? And that He created men and women and male/female attraction and marriage, and anything else is an aberration?

On the 'scientific' side,it proves that changing to a normal mode of sexuality is a matter of willingness to change. On the Biblical side,Paul has already stated that homosexuals who didn't repent of their ways were allowed by God to sink deeper into depravity.

Mo,

You promised!

Shhh.

I just don't see what the Christian stance would be here.

Is it:

"There does not exist a person, such that that person is naughty by nature."

"e.g. no one is predisposed for a certain type of sin - be that thievery, sexual, homicidal sin, etc..."

Well, I think Christians are already aware that the above is untrue.

Some people (via nature or nurture) are more inclined to sin than others.

So what.

If gays are, or are not, suffering from genetic determinism on this issue, I don't see how it affects Christianity one way or another.

Jack, you may literally be the only one of your kind
but its nice to have you :)

Tony it for the most part, it gives credibility to christians when we speak of human depravity, and that even if you cant help it, indeed, you can help it. Being drawn towards sin isint an excuse to indulge it. I dont think I nor any of us here wont say there arent some things that are utterly difficult to overcome. Homosexuality being one of those, im sure. But you can, if not by the grace of God, and this merely re-enforces some of "our" comments regarding our sin nature.

p.s i like how you managed to work in the term "naught by nature". LOL. perfect tony.

Err, Naughty by nature. missed the y

I have known several Christians who a) were homosexual, b) were "healed," and c) reverted back to homosexuality.

I have yet to meet a "cured" homosexual, and I feel like the ones I've heard on Dobson's radio program are trying too hard to convince me they're not gay. "Oooohh yes, I love watching girls go by, yes I do," or some similar sentiment.

Granted, I should look at more cases, but so far, I remain skeptical.

Don't expect the scientific world to see the light

This is one paragraph in a text book (not the results of a huge well run research study). Based on what?

Well it's easy to find out that Dr. Spitzer apparently had difficulty publishing his paper. Why? For one thing, his subjects were not the random sample you would expect to find in a scientific study. They were sent to him by Exodus and NARTH.

Ron, Perry, fair points.
And to be honest perry, there is a particular over emphasis that I suspect you have noticed, and I dont disagree in that regard, I would still give them the benefit of the doubt, though.
As in any deep sexual sin, the temptation will likely always be there. You might wrestle with it your entire life. You can do serious damage to your brain by engadging in grevious sexual acts, things that are extremely difficult, and dont brisk away in months, or even years. I can attest personally to that. But none of this deemphasies the utter grace and patients God has with you, and the miraculous gift to resist temptation and be delivered even from the most ire sexual immorality. Real damage is done when you live these lifestyles though. Its very sad.

Edit:
"things that are extremely difficult to get over mentally"

And I will add, nothing but the sheer grace of God to be delivered from some of these things will do. I mean it.

Well I think all it proves is that:

sometimes guys like girls
sometimes guys like guys
and sometimes they flipflop

ok

I just don't see anything philosophically, politically, or theologically intersting about these findings.

On a side note, I do like the Northwestern university 2003 study:

"...heterosexual...women tend to become sexually aroused by both male and female erotica, and, thus, have a bisexual arousal pattern. These findings likely represent a fundamental difference between men's and women's brains and have important implications for understanding how sexual orientation development differs between men and women,"
- J. Michael Bailey - chair of psych. at Northwestern

ok

not too surprising to me considering i used to live above a nightclub on a resort island in thailand. But nice to have some empirical evidence.

So I guess all straight women are naughty by nature too.

Again,

so what...?

Tony, given your halfhearted rendering of the topic, indeed, so what. It doesnt take a degree in psychology to conclude the first observation in your statement. You dont seem very interested in the topic at hand. Just my observation.


Gays can change...

Recently in the news is the story of Chastity Bono becoming Chaz Bono via a sex change operation.

How does this work out morally and ethically? Is she/he still a butch lesbian with a different facade, or is she/he now actually straight? Are straight men actually butch lesbians trapped in male bodies?

The times, they are confusin'

I know someone personally who was "cured" of homosexuality, and what a wonderful testimony she had. It's one thing to believe that it can happen, but it's awesome to see God at work in someone's life who sincerely wants to change. It's sad that society and the media assumes that this change cannot and should not take place. We need more brave souls to some forward on this issue.

So now we have 'cured' in quotes (from Nick, above). Presumably this is to say that the illness model - which the post original tacitly accepts - is wrong and the sin model is right.

Which is it guys?

RonH

RonH, what is the 'sin model', versus the 'illness model'? I strongly doubt Alan or anyone here narrowly restricts to a particular one asssuming there is a "sin model". Which one would keep you out of hell?
Does it really matter?

Pore Spectrum,

Alan's post refers favorably to 'therapies' for homosexuality. That's why I say it implicitly accepts homosexuality is an illness. This is what I mean by the illness model.

But sin model, I just mean the idea thaht homosexuality is a sin. I'm used to thinking of sin and illness as two different things (with the caveats that 1) I rarely use the word 'sin' and 2) illness can sometimes lead to 'sinful' behavior).

So I ask, in the view of y'all: Which is homosexuality, illness or sin?

Ron

RonH, you could submit a sexually promiscuous man to therapy to reduce or eliminate his promiscuity. Same for a married couple who has had an affair (marrital counciling could be considered a form of therapy). At what point do either of these cases cease to be sinful, if we are speaking Bibilcally? The illness label is secondary, and largely cultural. Being submitted to therapy or treatment doesnt implicitly accept homosexuality as an illness. Unless now we are using the term illness in a different tense, which I would then ask you for clarity if that is the case.

I suppose I should add, what do we stand to lose by the admission that homosexuality is an illness? Do pages of the bible suddenly tear out?
Im just not sure where your going with your question Ron. I should also add personally that I do think some of these cases may be genuine cases of mental disorders, perhaps of behalf of deep psychological damage. Im not a psychiatrist, so thats definitely speculation.

Another thing, an illness that forces you to have sex with men (or people of the same gender)?
Is that what were getting at?

Let me go a bit further with this. For MOST of the history of psychiatry, homosexuality was viewed as a perversion, an aberrant pattern of arousal and behavior. Freud (who Christians LOVE to hate) understood this. He saw a lot of issues related to sexuality in his day and age. Over the years, homosexuality was treated via psychotherapy, and many people have made significant progress in working on arousal and behavior. Then it became politically correct to say it was only an illness if it caused distress. Then it was no longer pathological at all by redefinition. Currently pedophilia is only classified as an illness if it causes distress or is acted upon.

Our emotions and behavior are determined by a combination of biological, psychological, social-relational, and spiritual issues. Some people may have a strong biological tendency towards alcoholism, but that does NOT make drunkenness any less of a sin. I met my wife 31 yrs ago as I was attracted to 20 yr old girls. She would tell you that I am still attracted to 20 yr old females at the beach. Such an attraction would NOT condone nor excuse sin ;)

RonH,
As Greg has said on the radio, sin is the illness, for which Jesus is the cure.

Well said Jack, well said.
Homosexuality (and by that I am speaking to sexual acts with the same gender) is and has always been, sinful. Any excuse I could give for such behavior, I could also give for my own sinful sexual desires, even if they are hederosexual. Maybe I could say ide like to have sex outside of marriage, under marriage with people im not married to, etc, and say 'oh but im naturally attracted to women, so', in an attempt to spare myself judgement. Well, you can pretend, but your going to be really dissappointed when you stand before God.

And this is a bit off subject, but I think much of our culture has seriously perverted or straight up lost a grip on love, specifically when it comes to romantic love. Myself included.
I could be wrong, but thats just my observation.


Homosexuality's influence on culture is a problem for the religious followers and families in general, but I think a much bigger, and too often neglected, problem is how easy it is to get a divorce. Can we use psychotherapy to help those couples wanting a divorce (for reasons other than unfaithfulness)?

Since Jack brought up the issue of transexualism and another poster the sex change of C. Bono I'd like to pose the following questions to the group with respect to transexualism:

Is there a fundamental difference between transexualism and homosexuality? How does one define correct sexual identity (different than sexual orientation by the way) and in what circumstances would one state that the sexual identity of an individual is wrong? I offer as a foil the question of an individual with testicular feminisation (the condition where testicles exisit in the unborn child but the rest of the body does not respond to the testosterone and thus becomes externally female) would this invidual be male or female and would this individual be in a sinful state by claiming identity as either sex? Further, is this individual committing a sin to be attracted to either sex? (Let me be clear, this individual is not a hermaphrodite).
Since this condition is known to exist (documented in medical literature) and we know so little about the structure of the brain, how does one know that a similar derangment cannot occur in the brain of unborn babies and those children exhibit transexualism?

How would the group view this as different than being born with another type of birth defect and if correctable which sexual identity is correct: phenotype, genotype or "braintype"? How would the group define sinful sexual behavior of such indviduals?

Here's my thoughts on the above post.

It appears that procreation weighs heavily in the heterosexual union sanctioned by God in Eden. When Onan spilled his seed on the ground in a hetero relationship, God killed him, Genesis 38:9-10. So the procreative aspect out weighs the hetero union is this case.

It would make sense that the closer we come to the procreative model of Genesis, through surgery, therapy, etc.,the less sinful the relationship.

We also know that God considers homosexuality, and incest of equal weight with bestiality.

This would no doubt include pedophilia as in the case of Lot's daughters and the Sodomites.

The common mistake people make is that with God, ability limits responsibility.

We are all plagued with besetting genetic predispositions, yet the definitions of sin are clear cut in Scripture and we ultimately suffer the consequences of our actions.


Also I think if we're going to go through the trouble of chemically and therapeutically curing homosexuality, we should also work on drugs to cure marital infidelity.

Afterall, it is the 9th (or 10th) commandment.

If Christian doctors succeeded in perfecting this pill, then they could help a lot of couples:

http://tinyurl.com/2ayg9l

Yes ToNy, both the sin of adultery and homosexuality were punishable with death, possibly making them of equal weight?

Came here via Eternity Matters.

I think it's an easy distinction to say that homosexuality is an illness vs homosexual behavior being a sin.

Bringing up deformities clouds the issue considerably. It's a good tactic if one supports the homosexual movement, but isn't really intellectually honest.

One needn't totally morph into one who now finds sex with the same gender repugnant in order to be "cured" of the compulsion to always look to the same sex. As someone indicated above, as a married man, I'm still attracted to females other than my wife but have devoted myself to what is right, which is fidelity to my wife.

I've always felt that there is likely a biological cause for most every proclivity a human being can feel. Biology doesn't mean moral. Each of us has our own cross(es) to bear regardless of whether it is sexual or something else. Changes in cultural mores aren't the final determination in right/wrong.

I don't believe there is any fundamental difference between homosexuality and transsexualism. For those of us clearly born as one sex and not the other, I believe to want to change our sex is also a mental disorder. Clearly the subject is unhappy with his own self and image. The subject needs help with that. Changing one's sex surgically is still a superficial response to the disorder. It's the extreme of cross dressing. One's proper orientation is determined by one's sex at birth (with corresponding chromosomes) and each should act accordingly. Here, I'm not talking about a male being a warrior as opposed to a nurse, but being a man in a deeper sense. Example: because I'm a male, I will act like a man, even if I throw like a girl. I will live my life as a man should, even if I like to sew and cook. I may not be the most macho guy in the world, but I am still a man. My point here is that even beyond the sexual, there is some level of choice in being a man and that has to do with the choices we make regarding morality, ethics and plain old right vs wrong. These choices demonstrate maturity as human beings. Men simply don't do certain things and the same goes for women. Sexual behavior is but a small part of that.

In response to Ron's comment, "So I ask, in the view of y'all: Which is homosexuality, illness or sin?"

How about neither?

In response to Marshall Art, who said,

I don't believe there is any fundamental difference between homosexuality and transsexualism.

Then you do not understand the concepts. A transsexual is someone who rejects the fact that they are either male or female, and proceeds to act like the opposite gender by altering their mannerisms and appearance. A homosexual is simply someone who is attracted to the same sex. If you cannot spot the difference then you are delusional.

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