Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Homosexuality: A Biological Sin?

I'll pose some thoughts for your consideration. Recent debates among so-called "emergent" leaders, Mark Driscoll and Brian McLaren, compel me to write.

I had a Christian professor, pastor, and counslor once articulate what I see as a common view among evangelicals and Christians at large. The idea is this: while homosexual actions are sin, the desire or homosexual attraction (or as some call it, "orientation" or "disposition") is not sin. Therefore, so it's said, one can want to have pervert sex, but that's not a sin, because the homosexual is naturally or biologically wired for it.

I don't buy it. Here's why--First, let's assume this line of thinking were right, that people could be created biologically to desire perversion. If this is so, we must say either one of two things. (1) we are asserting that the perverted desire is not sin, or (2) that God actually makes people physically unable not to sin.

(The latter inability is different than saying that we are born with a sin nature, inclined in our will to love and choose sin. This distinction has been well recognized and address in history. See Jonathan. Edwards' Freedom of the Will or a summary of it. After all, the moral inability is heneious, just as a child abuser is reprehensible because he loves wickedness and thus in morally unable to do righteous, again, because he chooses evil deeds. If we had a physical inability, then we don't say someone is morally accoutnable, for example, if I were tied up while my children were in a burning building. The distinction between moral inability and physical inability is crucial!)

Having said that, what do we say about the two implications of the assumed premise, which I say is wrong?

First, let me remind us that the issue being debated is whether we can say people are created homosexual. Let's not beg the question by rebutting what I say with that brute assertion, which is the point debated here.

Implication #1: Can we really say that God thinks it ok that I want something perverted, to do something sinful, and that's not wrong or of darkness. How about when Jesus said that we're adulterous if we lust in our hearts? or when he talked about how having unholy anger was equivelant to murder? (see Mt. 5-7 for Jesus' line of thought) At the heart of sin is our affections for holiness or for wickedness.

Implication #2: This idea says that God makes it physically impossible for homosexuals not to sin. Thus, sin is no longer a matter of choice or affections, but biology and chemicals! Along this line of thinking, it's theoretically possible that having arms or being hungry is sin...even though those are physically endowed to us at creation.

The fact that biology is involved in this sin is not matter; after all we're holistic, mind and body, creatures. When the spirit works, so does the body. We ought to gaurd against atheistic reductionism that makes the all actions a matter of the body and not the spirit. Even the person with a so-called "disposition" towards being an alcoholic still must make the decisive decisions to live down to that potential. What about "crack babies"? They are born with addictions, which do result from the sin of their mothers, but let us again not call something sin that does not arise from the heart, one's affections, one's mind and will.

In truth, I "naturally" sin because I have not come to love the Lord as I ought. I should be careful not to pass the blame on God's making me with a physical consitution that makes me sin without any choice or affection in my spirit, but which actually amount to my existance being a sin.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...