We live in a world where political correctness has replaced good old-fashioned ‘right versus wrong’ on a variety of topics that shape public opinion. Under the guise of tolerance, we have allowed our society to move from tolerance to acceptance in just one generation.
Knowing that the Bible forbids same sex relationships is often an insufficient prohibition for a society that has left its Judeo-Christian roots and replaced them with the religion of secular humanism. ‘Man is the measure of all things’ and ‘if it feels good, do it’ (as long as it is between consenting adults) have become the mantras of a civilization that would rather not offend anyone with anything as dogmatic and archaic as moral absolutes.
Often the people of God fail to recognize the serious nature of sin. Sin is not just the transgression of the holy commandments of God; it is the state and nature of fallen man. Man is separated from his Creator and incapable of doing that which is right in the sight of the Lord, apart from the divine intervention of God’s grace. Even when people manage to do what is right in the sight of the Lord, an inward investigation of motives will reveal something less than righteousness and purity. Books cannot be judged by their covers and neither can you know a person’s inner motivation by their actions, I Sam. 16:7; Matt. 23:27.
In a world where mankind is seen as the foremost progression of an evolutionary process beginning with molecules and ending with human beings, people are always looking to explain and excuse behaviors in a way that eradicates shame and those guilty feelings associated with the condemnation that triggers them. “I was born that way” is often heard from the mouths of practicing homosexuals. This is an attempt to characterize homosexual behavior as more than a moral choice. Homosexuality is characterized today by those who believe they have no other choice as a biological imperative!
So, the nature versus nurture debate rages on. Are homosexuals really trapped by their genetic wiring or are they able to choose their sexual preference? We should seek the clarity of the Word of God concerning this subject or else find ourselves incapable of reaching out to the homosexual community with hope for real change inherent in the Gospel of Messiah Jesus.
Many studies have been done concerning this subject. There is little doubt that homosexuality is the result of a combination of nature and nurture. The fact that the Bible places much emphasis on raising children up to make moral life choices and to live in accordance with biblical principles is clearly a recurring theme of the Word of God, Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:1-4.
This is the case for all mankind. We are the sum total of genetic programming in conjunction with our environmental experiences. The Word of God goes on to reveal that without the divine intervention of the Creator, people are indeed in bondage and cannot by themselves cure this fatal disease. A terminal disease that not only separates us from God but destroys us from within, Rom. 6:23. Unless a person is born again, they are left in a state of perpetual bondage to the world, the flesh and the Devil, John 3:3.
Does knowing that there is a combination of nature and nurture at work in the progression of homosexual behaviors allow people to claim that there is a ‘gay’ gene? I will use the example of alcoholism and the genetic component involved in this dysfunctional life controlling addiction to illustrate the truth. Children of alcoholics are four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, but environmental factors could be a factor in many of those cases.
Family, twin and adoption studies have shown that alcoholism definitely has a genetic component. In 1990, Blum et al. proposed an association between the A1 allele of the DRD2 gene and alcoholism. The DRD2 gene is the first candidate gene that has shown promise of an association with alcoholism (Gordis et al., 1990).
Understanding that there is a genetic component to sinful behavior should not require a leap of faith for those who understand that the fall of mankind recorded in Genesis affected all of God’s creation, right down to the fabric of our genetic make-up, Gen. 3:14-19.
There is also little doubt that certain pathways are established in the neurochemistry of the brain based on our experiences. Your first sexual experiences will trigger responses in your physical body that will become part of your sexual framework in the future. This is one of the reasons that God has instructed in His Word that sexual behaviors should be limited to those who have entered into a marital covenant with one another. Any and all pre-marital sexual experiences actually hinder the bond that God ordained to be established between a man and a woman.
How can we effectively minister the truth of the Gospel to those who are damaged by the fall and the sinful, self-centered behaviors that typify the human condition? We must first understand the nature and scope of God’s promise of new life in the Gospel of Messiah Jesus. God does not reform sinners, He transforms them into saints. This is an act of special creation. God destroys the sinful person when they come to Him by grace through faith in the risen Savior, Jesus Christ, II Cor. 5:17-21; Rom.6:1-4.
The result is a brand new person, created in the image and likeness of the Messiah Himself, living inside our mortal bodies. This new person is not like the dysfunctional old person that was put to death in Christ. This new creation is spiritually and emotionally healthy. We are instructed in Eph. 4:22-24, that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man who was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. This is the clear teaching of the Scripture that all who have placed their faith in the risen Savior are holy and blameless before Him in love, Eph. 1:4.
So, it is not what we are doing or not doing that is of supreme importance, it is what we are believing or not believing that will characterize our behaviors, The just shall live by faith, Rom. 1:17. The fact that we have this treasure of the new creation inside an earthen vessel should not shock or perplex us, II Cor. 4:7. The old carnal man is dead in Christ; however the carnal mind is not. The carnal mind, left over from the carnal man, is on tape in our brains. That is the source of our struggle and the struggle is proof that we are in Christ, There is therefore (because of the struggle between the inner man and our sinful carnal minds outlined in the previous chapter) now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, Rom. 8:1.
Here is the victory of the gospel, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Rom. 3:23. Are we sinners by birth (nature)? Certainly, Psalm 51:5. Are we sinners by choice (nurture)? Of course we are. We cannot break free of our fallen condition without being born from above by God’s Holy Spirit. Can God heal and transform us? Unequivocally, All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all, Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 32:1-5.
The issue for homosexuals is no different than it is for heterosexuals. It is God’s Righteousness At Christ’s Expense (GRACE) found in the loving sacrifice of the Creator on behalf of His creation. The truth that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob loves us so much that He would send His Son, the Messiah, as a willing sacrifice for the sins of mankind and then seal a New Covenant with ‘whosoever will may come.’
A New Covenant that is based upon knowing God (personally and intimately) and experiencing His complete forgiveness. A New Covenant where He promises our success by changing us from the inside out into His likeness. A New Covenant where He writes His commandments upon our hearts and seals us with His Holy Spirit. Jer. 31:31-34; Ez. 36:25. An unconditional covenant of promised success, Jer. 32:40.
All of this is offered freely as a gift of God’s unmerited favor. This is God’s message to the heterosexual, the homosexual, the transgendered, the gender confused. To the sexually exploited as well as those who sexually exploit others. In this we find God’s true unconditional, sacrificial and intelligent love. And for those who are seeking love in all the wrong places, God loves you and will accept you just the way you are. He offers to transform sinners into saints as a gift of His matchless amazing grace.
Addendum of Research Findings
The following list of facts is given to shed light on the impact that homosexuality in general, and male homosexuality in particular, has had on our culture with regard to our children, the most vulnerable members of society. Practicing homosexuals as a group are more prone to sexually molest children than are their heterosexual counterparts. The statistics quoted below bear this fact out:
Homosexuals account for only 1-2% of our population. The National Opinion Research Center in 1992 found that 2.8% of men and 1.4% of women identified themselves as 'homosexual' or 'bisexual.' A 1995 survey of 18 to 49-year-old men published by the Journal of Sex Research indicated that 2.6% of them had engaged in homosexual sex within the prior 12 months; 4% had had homosexual sex within the past five years. In short, at least 98-99% of our population is heterosexual in orientation.
While it is technically correct that heterosexuals account for most molestations (because 98% of the population is heterosexual), homosexuals are much more dangerous to our children on a per capita basis. In 1987, Dr. Stephen Rubin of Whitman College conducted a ten-state study of sex abuse cases involving school teachers. He studied 199 cases. Of those, 122 male teachers had molested girls, while 14 female teachers had molested boys. He also discovered that 59 homosexual male teachers had molested boys and four female homosexual teachers had molested girls. 32% of those child molestation cases involved homosexuals. Nearly a third of these cases come from only 1-2% of the population.
Dr. Judith Reisman, in her book, Kinsey, Crimes & Consequences, describes the research done by Dr. Gene Abel. This researcher compared the molestation rates of self-confessed homosexual and heterosexual child molesters. In a survey of 153 homosexual molesters, Abel found that they confessed to a total of 22,981 molestations. This is equivalent to 150 children per molester. Self-admitted heterosexual molesters admitted to 4,435 molestations. This comes to 19.8 victims per molester. Dr. Abel concluded that homosexuals 'sexually molest young boys at an incidence that is occurring from five times greater than the molestation of girls.'
The Los Angeles Times conducted a survey in 1985 of 2,628 adults across the United States. Of those, 27% of the women and 16% of the men had been sexually molested. Seven percent of the girls and 93% of the men had been molested by adults of the same sex. This means that 40% of child molestations were by homosexuals. (Los Angeles Times, August 25-6, 1985)
In 1984, a Vermont survey of 161 adolescent sex offenders found that 35 of them were homosexuals (22%). (Wasserman, J., 'Adolescent Sex Offenders-Vermont, 1984' Journal American Medical Association, 1986; 255:181-2)
In 1991, of the 100 child molesters at the Massachusetts Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons, a third were heterosexual, a third were bisexual, and a third were homosexual. (Dr. Raymond Knight, 'Differential Prevalence of Personality Disorders in Rapists and Child Molesters,' Eastern Psychological Association Conference, New York, April 12, 1991)
Drs. Freund and Heasman of the Clark Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto reviewed two studies on child molesters and calculated that 34% and 32% of the sex offenders were homosexual. In cases these doctors had handled, 36% of the molesters were homosexuals. (Freund, K. 'Pedophilia and Heterosexuality vs. Homosexuality,' Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 1984; 10:193-200) From these studies and many more, it is evident that homosexuals molest children at a far greater rate than do their heterosexual counterparts. While they comprise only 1-2% of the population, they are responsible for upwards of as many as 40% of all sexual molestations of children. (This information has been quoted from http://188.8.131.52/tvc1/pdf_files/HomosexualChildMolesters.pdf.
Alfred Kinsey, the preeminent sexual researcher in the history of sexual research, found in 1948 that 37 percent of all male homosexuals admitted to having sex with children under 17 years old. Alfred Kinsey data described in P.H. Gebhard and A.B. Johnson. The Kinsey Data. Saunders Publishing, 1979 Table 443, "Homosexual Sample: Age at First Postpubertal Homosexual Contact," and Table 444, "Homosexual Sample: Age of Partner in First Postpubertal Homosexual Contact."
A very recent (2000) study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that "The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2-4% of men attracted to adults prefer men. In contrast, around 25-40% of men attracted to children prefer boys. Thus, the rate of homosexual attraction is 620 times higher among pedophiles." [Zebulon, Z.A. Silverthorne and Vernon L. Quinsey. "Sexual Partner Age Preferences of Homosexual and Heterosexual Men and Women." Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 2000 [Volume 29, Number IJ, pages 67-76.]
Yet another recent study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that "Pedophilia appears to have a greater than chance association with two other statistically infrequent phenomena. The first of these is homosexuality . . . Recent surveys estimate the prevalence of homosexuality, among men attracted to adults, in the neighborhood of 2%. In contrast, the prevalence of homosexuality among pedophiles may be as high as 30-40%." [Ray Blanchard, et. al. "Pedophiles: Mental Retardation, Maternal Age, and Sexual Orientation." Archives of Sexual Behavior, Volume 28, Number 2, pages 111-127.]
A 1989 study in the Journal of Sex Research noted that “. . . the proportion of sex offenders against male children among homosexual men is substantially larger than the proportion of sex offenders against female children among heterosexual men . . . the development of pedophilia is more closely linked with homosexuality than with heterosexuality." [Kurt Freund, Robin Watson and Douglas Rienzoo " Homosexuality, and Erotic Age Preference." Journal of Sex Research, February 1989 [Volume 26,Number 1), pages l.]
A 1988 study of 229 convicted child molesters published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 86% of pedophiles described themselves as homosexual or bisexual. [W.D. Erickson, et al. "Behavior Patterns of Child Molesters." 17 Archives of Sexual Behavior 77,83 (1988).]
In a 1984 Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy article, sex researchers found that "The proportional prevalence of [male] offenders against male children in this group of 457 offenders against children was 36 percent." [Freund, G. Heasman, I.G. Racansky, and G. Glancy. "Pedophilia and Heterosexuality vs. Homosexuality." Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, Fall 1984 [Volume 10, Number 3], pages 193 to 200.]
Homosexual activists Karla Jay and I Allen Young revealed in their 1979 Gay Report that 73% of all homosexuals have acted as "chicken hawks" - that is, they have preyed on adolescent or younger boys. [Homosexual activists Karla Jay and Allen Young. The Gay Report: Lesbians and Gay Men Speak Out About Sexual Experiences and Lifestyles [Simon and Schuster, 1979], page 275.]
In a 1992 study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, sex researchers K. Freud and R. I. Watson found that homosexual males are three times more likely than straight men to engage in pedophilia, and that the average pedophile victimizes between 20 and 150 boys before being arrested. [Freund & R.I. Watson. "The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study." 18 34, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 34-43 (1992).]
A study by sex researchers Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg found that 25% of white homosexual men have had sex with boys sixteen years and younger. [Alan P. Bell, et. al., Institute for Sex Research. Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women [Simon and Schuster, 1980].
The above noted references are not meant to malign or impugn any individual or group. It is the clear teaching of the Scripture that all men and women are sinners in need of the Savior. Comparing one type of sin to another is an exercise in futility based up a false sense of self-worth related to believing that some people are less guilty before God because their sins are less depraved than others. Although it is clear that there are behaviors that are more heinous than others with more severe and far reaching consequences, the Bible clearly teaches if you break one commandment you have broken them all, Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10; James 2:10.
Everyone is in need of the redeeming grace found in the Gospel of Messiah Jesus. In this sense, God is an ‘equal opportunity’ Savior. The offer of the New Covenant is that you will know God, personally and intimately. You will be completely forgiven and you will be bonded together with Him forever, Jer. 31:31-34; John 10:28.
Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D. (c)
Chief Technical Advisor
Creation Studies Institute