Thursday, February 4, 2016

Homosexuality: is it genetic ... or does it matter?

As one looks at the current culture and the politicization of social issue, one is struck by the fact that evidence is often lacking or contradicting. Recently, one of the american presidential front runners stated that he thought that "sexual preference is something that people are born with" (one could argue then that it is not a preference, but a predetermined fact ... but that is not the train of thought that I want to follow today: this post is not inherently about politics, vocabulary, or logic). Facebook, which is always oh so helpful, had several links under the above post. One to an article that claims that "Identical Twin Studies Prove Homosexuality is Not Genetic," and one which essentially claimed the opposite by purporting to present the strongest evidence yet that homosexuality is genetic.

As I was thinking about these two diametrically opposed views, I was reminded that we live in a fallen world and that at the end of the day, our genetic predispositions are no excuse for our actions. As sentient beings who have free will, we are not bound to our fleshly desires. We have a choice to indulge in them or resist them. As a follower of Christ, God often calls me no to act the way I am, but to be transformed. For example, as someone who is inherently lazy, I am called to work; others who love alcohol are called not the get drunk; adulterers are called to be faithful; complainers are called to rejoice; and so on and so forth.

Ultimately, it seems to me that our genome does not define us, our choices do, and I choose Christ. If He tells me that homosexuality is not His plan for humanity, then that is what I follow, no matter what my genetic predisposition is. I recently heard Wesley Hill (Professor at Trinity School for Ministry and author of Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality) speak of his experience as a same sex attracted man who understands that marriage (and inherently sexual relations, which God reserves for marriage) is only meant to be between a man and a woman. As a follower of Christ, he has therefore committed to a life of celibacy, realizing that God has called him to be different that what he is (whether genetically or preferentially, I don't think he ever said what he believed in his plenary session at ETS).

So, at the end of the day, I don't think it matters whether homosexuality if genetic or not, if our source of truth is Scripture, then homosexuality is outside of God's will and for the ones of us who strive to be in God's will, it is never an option, just as drunkenness, adultery, and so many other things are never an option. May we be found faithful to follow Him, not our fallen genome.

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