For a variety of reasons, I have avoided a certain issue on my blog. For a variety of reasons, I’ve decided to now write a post on it. However, I am not going to tag or title the post to make it obvious what it is about. I hope my vague title doesn’t have the opposite effect and attract people. I’m not trying to hide. But my point is that I’m not trying to create controversy, pull in people to debate, or attract attention. Rather, I simply want to share some of my personal views and conclusions. Blogging can be therapeutic at times, or help you clarify what you really believe about an issue.
Here it goes…the issue is homosexuality. Someone close to me is gay, therefore, please know that I have spent an incredible amount of time thinking, studying, and praying about this issue. Yet, I have been unable to come to any conclusion except that homosexuality is sinful behavior – and this despite being open to changing my view on it.
Grace and mercy is important, and too often Christians are not known for grace and mercy. The obsession some Christians have with pointing to homosexuality as the worst of all possible sin is…embarrassing. I cringe at how some Christians seem obsessed with gay marriage and abortion to the exclusion of many other important issues. It is sad that “we” are known for what we are against, rather than what we are for. Is is sad “we” are known as judgmental hypocrites, rather than people full of love, grace, and mercy.
Yet…Love, grace and mercy does not mean there are no standards nor that we can accept any and all behavior as acceptable. Can’t we have standards but come across in a gracious way? That is the key, and the challenge. Isn’t it?
I also think it is critical to remember that any behavior in life has 3 contributing causes: genetics, environment, and personal choice. By genetics, I am referring to the fact that we are born with certain strengths, weaknesses, proclivities, temperaments. And then there is our environment – the various things around us that influence us, especially in our formative years. And then personal choice comes into the picture, which I think can be wrongly downplayed in our society today. “I couldn’t help it.” Yet, all behavior involves a choice and some people can indeed “help it” – they indeed say no to something they have a proclivity to do, or they are able to overcome a bad environment. Please know that I am making general statements in this paragraph. My point is that I think it is important to remember that all 3 of these things come into play regarding our behavior in life.
I personally do not think that anyone is “born gay.” Studies that hint at a gay gene have been disproved, were not properly done in the first place, or were not able to be properly duplicated. Yet, I do think that some people can be born with certain genetic characteristics that could make them more prone to be attracted to the same sex, especially if other circumstances come into the picture. I hope you see the distinction I am making there?
These thoughts and considerations should help us be more gracious and merciful. A person with same-sex attraction is NOT merely someone who made a “disgusting sinful choice.” When we consider that besides choice, genetics and environment are also contributing factors, this should make us more sympathetic and compassionate towards those who struggle with it. It should make the temptation more understandable, rather than simply seeing it as a revolting choice.
We also need to get better at simply seeing people as people. Every human being is made in the image of God and reflects our Creator. It is so easy to put labels on people, and see them only for their sexuality. Remembering the implications of the Imago Dei should help us view people more compassionately, no matter what their struggle, sin, or issue happens to be.
These have been more general thoughts. In a second post, I will share the biblical passages that have lead me to the conclusion that homosexuality is sinful and not as God intended for humanity. Part 2: here.