God Made Me Homosexual ! │ Not So Fast
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How many times have you heard people say: “God Made Me Gay” ? Politicians often use that phrase to justify their homosexuality. Many religious leaders support such claims, but they have embraced three popular errors regarding homosexuality. They also ignore both the scientific evidence and the Bible. Popular opinions regarding homosexuality have infiltrated the church and the minds of many believers. This study highlights some of the junk clogging the minds of some Christians as they try to love homosexuals. Always keep in mind that God loves sinners, including homosexuals. I will review some scientific studies and the influence of politics on science, and then review the truth found in the Bible concerning homosexuality and homosexuals. But first, let us go back to the beginning.
In the beginning, God created people as males and females. He joined them together as one male with one female, creating marriage. In an instant, sin entered into the life of Eve, the first female, and later Adam, the first male. Since then, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We sin in many ways, but sexual sins produce a spiritual union between people, for good or bad. God created sex for one male married to one female, so that they may produce children and also have the joy of a sexual-spiritual union. Today people from many religious backgrounds try to redefine marriage and sexuality, but God provided spiritual guidance through the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, sixty-six books in all. Many human authors wrote the Bible over many centuries, but God breathed out every word in the original autographs from the human authors. They used their own vocabulary and sentence structures. Yet, God inspired every word they wrote down. We must look to the Bible to understand the truth of sexuality and believe what God said about having a happy life, including a wonderful sexual life in marriage. In order to understand the claims today about science and sexuality, we must avoid common errors embraced and spread by various religious leaders and politicians.
Many Christians embrace three essential errors regarding homosexuality. Each of those errors clouds their thinking and inhibits a loving response to homosexuals. We can review those errors individually.
Error One–Junk Science
Error One concerns junk science. If anyone claims that science has established that genetics, epigenetics, or some other biological etiology accounts for all homosexuality, then they have embraced the error of junk science. Anyone who claims that science has found a gay gene, or that genetics holds the key to homosexuality, has ignored the peer-reviewed studies showing that there is no gay gene known today. Moreover, anyone who claims that epigenetics accounts for all homosexuality also ignores the scientific literature. Science has not conclusively established that homosexuals are born homosexual. I will briefly discuss some of those studies below.
Error Two–Junk Political Science
Error Two concerns political science. If anyone claims that science, not politics, drove scientists to remove homosexuality as a diagnosis, then they have embraced the error of junk political science. What caused professional groups of psychologist and psychiatrists to change their standards of illness? I will discuss briefly the political forces at work in shaping their opinions about homosexuality.
Error Three–Junk Christian Doctrines
Error Three concerns junk Christian doctrines. If anyone claims that born-again homosexuals will always be homosexuals, then they have embraced the error of junk Christian doctrine. Many Christians believe that once a homosexual, you will always be a homosexual. This error holds that even if you are born-again by faith in Jesus, then the best you can hope for in life is to feel the urge to practice homosexuality, but by God’s power you deny those persistent homosexual urges. Why do so many Christians refuse to believe what God wrote in the Bible about new life in Jesus Christ and embrace errors taught by the homosexual community? I will review this error below in greater detail and use the Bible to bring new hope for the new creature in Christ.
Before we accept any claims about homosexuality, we must examine the evidence from science.
The Actual Evidence from Science
Error One concerns junk science and means that science has not established that genetics, epigenetics, or some other biological etiology accounts for all homosexuality. The evidence from science does not point to a “gay gene” or any simple biological explanation for homosexuality. For example, Simon LeVay became well known for his research about a small area in the human brain as it relates to sexuality. 1LeVay S (1991). A difference in hypothalamic structure between homosexual and heterosexual men. Science, 253, 1034–1037. He grew concerned that many people misunderstood his work. He clarified his previous work: “It’s important to stress what I didn’t find.” He added: “I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are ‘born that way,’ the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain–INAH3 is less likely to be the sole gay nucleus of the brain than part of a chain of nuclei engaged in men and women’s sexual behavior. My work is just a hint in that direction–a spur, I hope, to future work.” 2David Nimmons, “Sex and the Brain,” Discover, March 1, 1994, 346.
If particular DNA causes homosexuality, then identical twins studies should certainly prove the genetic basis of homosexuality. If one identical twin (same DNA) is homosexual, then both twins should be homosexual, if DNA caused homosexuality. Some early studies of twins came out with results suggesting a genetic basis for homosexuality. 3See e.g., Bailey, Michael J., and Richard C. Pillard (1991), “A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 48:1089-1096, December. Please note, however, that Bailey concluded that “any major gene for strictly defined homosexuality has either low penetrance or low frequency,” Bailey, Dunne, and Martin, “Genetic and environmental influences on sexual orientation and its correlates in an Australian twin sample,” 534; Hamer, Dean H., Stella Hu, Victoria L. Magnuson, Nan Hu, and Angela M.L. Pattatucci (1993), “A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation,” Science, 261:321-327, July 16. Other scientists, however, challenged the results of those studies based upon: (a) a lack of control groups and random samples; and (b) small sample size. Neil Risch reviewed a twins study by Bailey and Pillard and noticed that the biological brothers and adoptive brothers showed the same rates of homosexuality. He then concluded that the results of the twin study showed “there is no genetic component, but rather an environmental component shared in families. 4Risch, Neil, Elizabeth Squires-Wheeler, and Bronya J.B. Keats (1993), “Male Sexual Orientation and Genetic Evidence,” Science, 262:2063-2064, December 24. Even if a study showed a high degree of correlation between some gene and homosexuality, correlation alone never proves causation. 5Fausto-Sterling, Anne and Evan Balaban (1993), “Genetics and Male Sexual Orientation,” [technical-comment letter to the editor], Science, 261:1257, September 3. Byne and Parsons reviewed one famous twin study and concluded that “the evidence favoring a biologic theory to be lacking.” 6Byne, William and Bruce Parsons (1993), “Human Sexual Orientation,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 50:228-239, March. Bearman and Brueckner studied tens of thousands of adolescent students in the U.S. 7Bearman, P.S.; & Brueckner, H. (2002). Opposite-Sex Twins and Adolescent Same-Sex Attraction. American Journal of Sociology, 107(5), 1179-1205. Bearman’s study also tends to refute the claim that homosexuality is a result of biological factor, galvanized in childhood, and subject to significant change later (see, e.g., Bell, A. P., Weinberg, M. S., & Hammersmith, S. K. (1981a). Sexual pref-erence: Its development in men and women. Bloomington: Indiana University Press). The homosexuality concordance between identical twins was only 7.7% for males and 5.3% for females. That study actually showed that if one twin is homosexual, then the other twin will not always be homosexual. Therefore, the studies of twins show biological factors do not explain homosexuality. A team of epigeneticists (discussed below), W.R. Rice et al., observed that “Pedigree and twin studies indicate that homosexuality has substantial heritability in both sexes, yet some concordance between identical twins is low and molecular studies have failed to find associated DNA markers.” 8W. R. Rice et al., “Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development,” The Quarterly Review of Biology, 87:343-368, 2012. The twin studies show people sharing identical DNA are not both homosexual. In fact, the twin studies lead to one unanimous conclusion: biological factors do not explain homosexuality.
If a “gay gene” exists, then twin studies would be very helpful in showing that the same DNA patterns in identical twins would give rise to both twins being homosexual. Yet, the peer-reviewed research, focusing upon the study of random groups of twins with an adequate control group, demonstrated that both twins were not homosexual, regardless of gender. Even some famous twin studies using methods lacking control groups and random samples do not prove that a “gay gene” always gives rise to homosexuality. 9E.g., Bailey, Michael J., and Richard C. Pillard (1991), “A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 48:1089-1096, December; Hamer, Dean H., Stella Hu, Victoria L. Magnuson, Nan Hu, and Angela M.L. Pattatucci (1993), “A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation,” Science, 261:321-327, July 16). Despite claims that a “gay gene” exists, the twin studies refute any such notion because the studies of random groups of twins with control groups showed that both twins were not always homosexual. If a “gay gene” existed that produced homosexuality, then every pair of twins on earth would be homosexual, if one of the twins were homosexual. At least one study, with serious flaws, focused upon biological brothers and adoptive brothers; that study showed that both groups showed the same rates of homosexuality. 10Bailey, Michael J., and Richard C. Pillard (1991), “A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 48:1089-1096, December. Scientists have expressed great skepticism about various twin studies supporting a gay gene.
Taking the twin studies as a whole, they undermine any claim that biology produces homosexuality. Furthermore, the twin studies refute any claim that a “gay gene” exists or produces homosexuality. So, the twin studies flatly refute any claim that “I was born homosexual.”
When previous research failed to produce a “gay gene,” some researchers noticed that certain molecules turn some genes (segments of DNA located on a chromosome) on and off in the womb. So, those researchers hypothesized that homosexuality was not coded into the DNA itself, but related to how certain molecules interact with DNA and so influence homosexuality. Some molecules turn genes on and off, which may have critical impacts upon development inside and outside the womb. The term “epigenetics” describes biological influences that affect the expression of genes. Epigentics includes the study of how hormones may turn certain genes on or off. For example, researchers noticed that the testosterone hormone affects development in the womb. So, some research swung away from the search for a “gay gene” and towards the study of molecules that affect gene expression in the womb and after.
William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist, in 2012 outlined a new theory of homosexuality based upon epi-genetic marks (epi-marks), temporary switches that control gene expression. 11W. R. Rice, et al., “Homosexuality as a consequence of epigenetically canalized sexual development,” The Quarterly Review of Biology, 87:343-368, 2012. This work grew out of others’ research showing that homosexuality “has substantial heritability in both sexes, yet concordance between identical twins is low and molecular studies have failed to find associated DNA markers.” This epigenetic theory focuses upon the role of parental gene variants that may influence homosexuality. According to Rice, the parent’s DNA helps explain some aspects of the development of homosexuality.
Jacques Balthazart, a neurobiologist at the University of Liège, reviewed the status of epigenetic theories of homosexuality in 2011. 12J. Balthazart, “Minireview: Hormones and Human Sexual Orientation” Endocrinology. 2011 Aug; 152(8): 2937–2947. He found many limitations to the current understanding of prenatal factors affecting homosexuality. He noted that “all embryonic endocrine disorders that have been associated with an increased incidence of homosexuality have a limited effect size and never affect more than 30–40% of subjects.” He continued: “all identified correlates of homosexuality that suggest exposure to an atypical endocrine environment during ontogeny in gays and/or lesbians are only weakly associated with sexual orientation and often are modified in a reliable manner in one sex only (2D:4D ratio, OAE in women) or have been studied only in one sex (INAH3 volume in men). They are statistically correlated with sexual orientation but are unable to predict it accurately due to the large variance in this relationship.” Balthazart’s “Minireview” met with some scathing criticism. For example, Louis Gooren, a Dutch endocrinologist, observed that “Homosexuals are born from normal pregnancies and do normally not suffer from sexual differentiation disorders. That being so, they miraculously develop a same-sex orientation.” 13Louis Gooren: “To state that homosexual subjects were, on average, exposed to atypical endocrine conditions during development, as Balthazart does, seems to me unfounded and biased.” See L. Gooren, “Is there a hormonal basis for human sexuality?” Asian Journal of Andrology (2011) 12, 793-794.
The Ganna Study
In October 2018, Andrea Ganna, working with the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Harvard Medical School in Boston, reported the results of the team’s research about genetics and homosexuality. 14Ganna, A. et al. PgmNr 278: Large genome-wide analysis of sexual orientation identifies for the first time variants associated with non-heterosexual behavior and reveals overlap with heterosexual reproductive traits. Proceedings of the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting (2018). He studied hundreds of thousands of people who provided both DNA and sexual information to two large genetic surveys, the UK Biobank study and 23andMe. The survey asked: “Have you ever had sex with someone of the same sex?” The results showed that only 26,890 answered “yes” to that question. Based on the total sample size, that means that only 6% of the respondents reported at least one homosexual experience. Within that group of 6%, their DNA showed four important genetic variants. Gana summarized the findings: “I’m pleased to announce there is no ‘gay gene.” He continued: “Rather, ‘nonheterosexuality’ is in part influenced by many tiny genetic effects.” According to Ganna, research has not shown how the genetic variants relate to actual genes, and if they sit in coding or non-coding segments of DNA. Ganna’s research also found no evidence that the X chromosome correlated to homosexuality, although other research had suggested that certain genes on the X chromosome influence homosexuality. 15“Hamer DH, Hu S, Magnuson VL, Hu N, Pattatucci AM (July 1993). “A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation”. Science. 261 (5119): 321–7; Genome-wide linkage scan of male sexual orientation. A. R. Sanders, K. Dawood, G. Rieger, J. A. Badner, E. S. Gershon, R. S. Krishnappa, A. B. Kolundzija, S. Guo, G. W. Beecham, E. R. Martin, J.M. Bailey, Psychological Medicine. 2015 May;45(7):1379-88; Sanders, A. R.; Martin, E. R.; Beecham, G. W.; Guo, S; Dawood, K; Rieger, G; Badner, J. A.; Gershon, E. S.; Krishnappa, R. S.; Kolundzija, A. B.; Duan, J; Gejman, P. V.; Bailey, J. M. (2015) “Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation”. Psychological Medicine. 45 (7): 1379–88. Ganna concluded that his research produced an “intriguing signal,” but “We know almost nothing about the genetics of sexual behavior, so anywhere is a good place to start.” Regarding the four genetic variants he identified, he stated that they could not reliably predict someone’s sexual orientation and lacked any real predictive power. Therefore, based upon the Ganna study, science has very little knowledge about the genetics of sexual behavior. Any claim that God made anyone homosexual remains at odds with peer reviewed research from leading geneticists. Gana’s study comports with the statement from May 2000 by the American Psychiatric Association: “Currently, there is a renewed interest in searching for biological etiologies for homosexuality. However, to date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality.” 16American Psychiatric Association (May 2000). Fact Sheet. “Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues”. Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrics. Therefore, according leaders in the field of epigenetics, homosexuals are born from normal pregnancies and do not suffer from sexual differentiation disorder, and are not exposed to atypical endocrine conditions during development. So, any claim that epigenetics explains homosexuality cannot be sustained in good faith.
In summary, epigeneticists often provide the most strident criticism of claims that homosexuality arises from genetics. Even so, epigenetics has not begun to explain a biological basis for homosexuality. Therefore, epigenetics undermines any claim that “I was born homosexual.”
Many people believe that once you are a homosexual, you will always be a homosexual. Those folks maintain that nothing can ever change your sexual orientation. Therefore, according to some physicians, therapy cannot help homosexuals and should be avoided. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics claimed, “Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.” 17Homosexuality and Adolescence, 92 Pediatrics 631, 633 (1993). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, any attempt to change sexual orientation through therapy can provoke “guilt” and “anxiety.” Yet, according to the same American Academy of Pediatrics, “The psychosocial problems of gay and lesbian adolescents are primarily the result of societal stigma, hostility, hatred, and isolation.” 18Feinstein SC, Looney JG, Schwarzenberg AZ, Sorosky AD, eds. Adolescent Psychiatry. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press; 1982:52-65; Homosexuality and Adolescence, 92 Pediatrics 631, 632 (1993), citing Martin AD. Learning to hide: the socialization of the gay adolescent. Those two quotations tend to contradict each other. One statement claims that adolescent homosexuals suffer primarily because of the actions and prejudices of others. The other statement finds that therapy provokes guilt and anxiety within the homosexual. If the primary problems of adolescent homosexuals arise from interactions with others, then how can therapy be the root of “guilt” and “anxiety” when the homosexual already feels those same emotions before therapy? Do all therapies produce more “guilt” and “anxiety”? Finally, the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that therapy provides little or no hope of change for the homosexual. Does the science of homosexuality support such sweeping conclusions?
In 1973, Robert Spitzer, M.D. persuaded the American Psychiatric Association to drop homosexuality from its list of “disorders” contained in earlier versions of it Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. 19Drescher J., Merlino J.P., editors. American Psychiatry and Homosexuality: An Oral History. Routledge; New York, NY, USA: 2007. He become a champion for the gay community, who had been pressuring the psychiatric community to change its classification of homosexuality as a disease. When this champion of gay rights later questioned whether therapy could change sexual orientation, he conducted a study of homosexual males and females. After publishing the study results, he concluded that some therapies may be able to produce changes in sexual orientation in some gay men and lesbians. 20Spitzer, Robert L. (2003), “Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation?,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32:403-417, October 5. The gay community immediately erupted and researchers pounced upon his methods and results. Later, Robert Spitzer apologized for the harm he had done to the gay community with his study.
In 2000, The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), published a study finding that the majority of gay men and lesbians in the study had changed their perception of their sexual orientation after therapy. Before therapy, 68 per cent of the group indicated they were exclusively or entirely homosexual; after therapy, the same group indicated that only about 13 percent perceived themselves as exclusively or entirely homosexual after therapy. 21Nicolosi, J, Byrd, AD and Potts, R (2000), “Retrospective Self-reports of Changes in Homosexual Orientation: A Consumer Survey of Conversion Therapy Clients,” Psychological Reports, 86:1071-1088, June 200. The American Psychological Association 22Statement of the American Psychological Association. August 10, 2006 and other groups oppose NARTH and its therapeutic techniques because they allege such therapies promote prejudice and discrimination. 23NARTH was apparently formed as secular, non-profit organization, and had some affiliations with Jews Offering Alternatives for Healing, Joel 2:25, International and Evergreen International (a group with ties to Mormonism. A. Dean Byrd converted to Mormonism and actively participated in the debate in Mormonism about homosexuality and, for a time, was the president of NARTH).
In 2009, researchers reviewed 600 reports of clinicians, researchers, and former clients drawn primarily from scientific journals. The research included five meta-level studies of other studies conducted between 1974 and 2002. The study concluded that change in sexual orientation is possible. 24James E. Phelan, Neil Whitehead, Philip M. Sutton, “What Research Shows: NARTH’s Response to the APA Claims on Homosexuality (A Report of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality),” Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. 1, 9-39).
In 2011, Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse challenged the claim of the American Psychological Association that sexual orientation is “immutable.” Therefore, they conducted a longitudinal study of participants in restorative therapy which produced some interesting results. First, for participants beginning with a strong homosexual orientation, some of those participants reported a reduction in homosexual attraction, but not an increase in heterosexual attraction. Second, over two-thirds of the participants reported a positive change in their sexual orientation after reparative therapy. 25Jones, S.L. , Yarhouse, M.A., Ex-Gays?: An Extended Longitudinal Study of Attempted Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation, In Byrd, Dean (Symposium Chair), August 9, 2009, “Sexual Orientation and Faith Tradition—A Test of the Leona Tyler Principle,” American Psychological Association Convention, Toronto, Canada. They also challenged the notion that no published, scientific evidence supports the mutability of sexual orientation. They referenced “dozens of older studies” describing significant change in sexual orientation through “psychotherapy or religiously-mediated methods.” 26Jones, S.L., Yarhouse, M.A., “A Longitudinal Study of Attempted Religiously Mediated Sexual Orientation Change.” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 37(5):404-27. October 2011. Jones and Yarhouse also cited seven studies, spanning nearly 40 years, that disputed the claim of “immutable” sexual orientation. 27Freeman, W., & Meyer, R. G. (1975). A behavioral alteration of sexual preferences in the human male. . New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; Munzer, J. (1965). Treatment of the homosexual in group psychotherapy. Topical Problems of Psychotherapy, Pattison, E. M., Pattison, M. (1980). “Ex-gays”: Religiously mediated change in homosexuals.”, 1553–1562; Truax, R. A., & Tourney, G. (1971) Male homosexuals in group psychotherapy. Diseases of the Nervous System, 707–711; Diamond, L. M. (2007). A dynamical systems approach to the development and expression of female same-sex sexuality. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Diamond, L. M. (2008). Sexual ﬂuidity: Understanding women’s love and desire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Other studies describing fluidity of sexual orientation could be added to the list. 28Diamond, L. M. (2008). Female bisexuality from adolescence to adulthood: Results from a 10-year longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 44, 5-14. doi: 10.1037/0012-16188.8.131.52; Dickson, N., Paul, C., Herbison, P. (2003). Same-sex attraction in a birth cohort: Prevalence and persistence in early adulthood. Social Science & Medicine, 56, 1607-1615. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00161-2; Dickson, N., van Roode, T., Cameron, C., & Paul C. (2010). Stability and change in same-sex attraction, experience, and identity by sex and age in a New Zealand birth cohort. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 753-763. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-0063-x; Farr, R. H., Diamond, L. M., & Boker, S. M. (2014). Female same-sex sexuality from a dynamical systems perspective: Sexual desire, motivation, and behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 1477-1490. doi: 10.1007/s10508-014-0378-z;Katz-Wise, S. L., & Hyde, J. S. (2015). Sexual fluidity and related attitudes and beliefs among young adults with a same-gender orientation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 1459-1470. doi: 10.1007/s10508-014-0420-1.
In 2013, Nicholas A. Cummings, who served as chief psychologist for Kaiser Permanente from 1959 to 1979, and a former president of the American Psychological Association, wrote an opinion column for USA Today. He personally treated about 2,000 homosexual patients seeking therapy. He concluded that “of the patients I oversaw who sought to change their orientation, hundreds were successful.” As chief psychologist overseeing a staff of therapists, he also recounted that “of the roughly 18,000 gay and lesbian patients whom we treated over 25 years through Kaiser, I believe that most had satisfactory outcomes. The majority were able to attain a happier and more stable homosexual lifestyle.” 29USA Today Column, July 30, 2013. See also the discussion of the campaign to ban sexual orientation change efforts: Rosik, C. Sexual oreintation change efforts and the campaign to ban them. Mercatornet. July 17, 2015. Rosik observed: The fact of the matter is that there is little to no ideological diversity in the leadership of these organizations , leading to a left-of-center groupthink process when addressing contentious social issues, including those involving sexual orientation (Duarte et al., in press; Redding, 2001; 2012; 2013; Wright & Cummings, 2005). This has an inhibitory influence on the production of diverse scholarship in areas such as same-sex attraction change that might run counter to preferred worldviews and advocacy interests.
In 2016, Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh, both associated with Johns Hopkins University, provided an executive summary of their meta-analysis of over 200 peer-reviewed studies related to homosexuality and gender identity. In their “Executive Summary,” they made the following statements (direct quotation):
● The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings — the idea that people are “born that way” — is not supported by scientific evidence.
● While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviors and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation. While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified by researchers, such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether these differences are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors.
● Longitudinal studies of adolescents suggest that sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80% of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults (although the extent to which this figure reflects actual changes in same-sex attractions and not just artifacts of the survey process has been contested by some researchers).
● Compared to heterosexuals, non-heterosexuals are about two to three times as likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse. 30Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh, “Executive Summary,” Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences, The New Atlantis, Number 50, Fall 2016, pp. 7-9.
The Mayer and McHugh study refutes the common homosexual claim that “homosexuals were born that way.” Although beyond the scope of this article, Mayer and McHugh also concluded that the “hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex—that a person might be “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or “a woman trapped in a man’s body”—is not supported by scientific evidence.”
In short, science does not support the claim that homosexuals cannot change because they were born that way. In fact, homosexuality appears very fluid in some populations, eviscerating any claim that “I was born homosexual.”
As believers, we must put our trust in the promises of God and not the words of men. So, let us review the great promises of God that provide hope and life for all sinners, including homosexuals.
Third, God wrote that each believer has been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God. The term “justified” (“ἐδικαιώθητε”) means to make just or right. 55The term “justified (“ἐδικαιώθητε”) occurs in the aorist, passive, indicative form. In this case, the aorist tense stresses that the justification has been completed and remains. The passive voice focused upon the action, not the Actor. Only God can justify the unrighteous. Jesus was raised for our justification, sealing the triumph of love over sin. Jesus completed the work of atonement by dying on the cross for our sins and being raised from the dead. Paul emphasized that justification takes place in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God. Jesus died on the cross for ours sins, and Jesus offered Himself through the Holy Spirit. 56Hebrews 9:14.
Promise of God: Escape Every Temptation
We know that God cannot be tempted to sin and God tempts no one. 57James 1:13. Temptation is not sin. Never forget that temptation is not sinful in itself. Only when you give in to the temptation do you sin. Remember, Jesus in His humanity was tempted in all ways as we are, and remained sinless because He never gave in to even one temptation. 58Hebrews 4:15. As the God-man, Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Therefore, Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses and knows how to rescue the righteous.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul explained how to overcome temptation: “No temptation has overcome you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” Let us break down the steps to overcoming temptation found here.
First, I must recognize that my temptation is not unique; all people are tempted to sin. Even the kinds of temptation we face are not unique, but common to all people.
Second, I must trust God’s faithfulness, especially as I face temptation. Be sure to keep a crucial distinction in mind. Temptation itself is not sinful, because Jesus was tempted, but remained sinless. God allows us to be tempted, but faithfully controls the strength of each temptation. God will never allow me to be tempted beyond what I can bear. No matter how many times I have faced the same temptation before, and failed, the next time I can overcome that temptation.
Third, God will always provide the way of escape from the temptation. If you feel urges to sin, then you know you are being tempted. Now count upon God’s faithfulness to provide the way of escape. Satan tries to deceive us with temptation so that we are convinced there is no way out of the temptation and we must sin. Never fall for the devil’s lies. God always provides the way of escape, always!
The Promise of God: Forgiveness and Cleansing
Do born-again people commit homosexual acts? Yes, they do when they give in to sinful urges. All born-again people still sin, including people who were once homosexuals. The major difference is that Jesus has freed born-again people from the slavery to sin. 59John 8:31-38. Because you are no longer a homosexual, you are no longer enslaved to homosexual sin. You may be tempted, give in to temptation, and commit a homosexual act, but you are no longer a homosexual, no matter what you do. Great promises also apply to God forgiving you from homosexual acts you committed as a believer.
As born-again believers, God never condemns us, because Jesus received all the condemnation we deserved at the cross. 60Romans 8:1-3.) Therefore, we never worry about the condemnation of God, because we have been born again. Instead of worrying about sin, we must confess our sins.
In 1 John 1:9, Jesus explained confession of sin. At the moment of salvation, born-again believers have eternal security, meaning they will always go to heaven, no matter what. Confession of sin means we get right with God in our behavior and attitude. Let us dive deeper into 1 John 1:9.
First, confession of sin means that we talk with God about our sin. We have a private conversation with God about our sins. Confession means that we say the same words that God says about our sins. 61The Greek word for “confess” (“ὁμολογῶμεν“) means to say the same words that God says about our sins. It conveys the sense that we agree with God about our behavior and we own it before God. In other words, we embrace the truth about our behavior, and stop hiding our sins or denying them.
Second, we count upon God to be faithful and just regarding our sins. When Jesus died on the cross, He satisfied God’s anger towards our sins. 621 John 2:2 indicates that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and the sins of the entire world. Jesus also paid the death penalty for our sins, which included the full satisfaction of all judgment our sins deserved. Therefore, to remain just, God cannot punish us for our sins, because Jesus has already suffered for all our sins. In essence, Jesus became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 632 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24.
Third, as we confess our sins, we count upon God being faithful and just. Because God is faithful, no matter how many times we sin, God remains faithful to forgive us.
Fourth, God promised to forgive us. You may say that you were totally forgiven at the moment of salvation. You would be right. Let me illustrate the point about eternal security–once saved, always saved. As a teenager I worked on my car. My hands would become black with grease and grime. My father would call me to supper and tell me to wash my hands. He never once told me I was no longer in the family because my hands were dirty. So also God cleanses my hands as I walk in the light with Jesus. Finally, notice that God cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Spiritually, we are clean as a whistle.
Fifth, God promised to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As born-again believers, we still get our hands dirty each day. Only God can cleanse us, and He promised to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Notice the word “all.” 64The Greek term for “all” (“πάσης”) has a comprehensive function here. God will remove every aspect of unrighteousness as I confess my sins. God promised to remove all unrighteousness. If we compare 1 John 1:7, we see that walking in the light with Jesus means that we have fellowship with other believers, but also means that I still sin while I walk in the light with Jesus. Because I walk in the light with Jesus, the blood of Jesus cleanses me continually from all sin, as I confess my sins. My hands become dirty on the surface of my skin, but my body remains clean. My hands look dirty and can pass grime on to other things and other people. But God can cleanse them so that I am ready to eat supper and not spread dirt to everything and everyone at the table with me. Believers may get their hands dirty doing all kinds of things, including homosexual things, but their bodies only have dirt on them. That dirt can be cleansed completely through confession of sin, so that we continue to walk in the light with Jesus, have fellowship with other believers, and experience the blood of Jesus cleansing us from all sins. Even if we do not confess our sin, we remain in the family of God, but we will not be walking in the light, having fellowship with other believers, and the blood of Jesus will not continue to remove the dirt from our hands.
The Promise of God: Walk in the Spirit
In Galatians 5:16, God promised every born-again believer that if they walk in the Spirit, they will not carry out the desires of the flesh. Ponder that promise for a moment. We have the full assurance of God Almighty that we do not have to carry out the desires of the flesh, which include all forms of immorality.
We have seen that some Christians embrace three errors regarding homosexuality. If we embrace those errors, then we sin and lack a loving response to homosexuals. God loves all sinners and gave Jesus to die for them. As we trust Jesus, and not men, we learn from Him how to live our lives in His power and love. Like all other believers, homosexuals become new creatures who no longer live in slavery to homosexuality. Christ now lives in them for eternity!