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Statement on homosexuality
Statement on homosexuality
We should sympathize with all who are struggling against this sin, remembering that we too have "pet sins" that may have a strong hold on us. We warn against a "selective morality" that harshly condemns homosexuality or other sins that we observe in others while regarding those sins which are present in our own lives more lightly (Matthew 7:1-5). We should be impartial and unbiased in warning against all sins.
We all look forward to the resurrection of the body. Then all the weaknesses of body and soul which now lead us into sin will disappear forever. Then all of us will be able to serve God perfectly and purely in everything we do.
Note on homosexuality as innate or chosen
Some advocates of legal and religious tolerance of homosexuality claim that homosexuality has a genetic cause. Some reports claim that some homosexual men share a particular pattern in the X sex-chromosome that they received from their mother. Other researchers have claimed the existence of other types of biological similarities between homosexual men. These researchers acknowledge that their discoveries cannot account for all homosexuality and may merely be associated with homosexuality rather than being a direct cause of it. Most researchers conclude that the origins of homosexuality are complex and varied and may never be fully understood.
How should we evaluate such claims in the light of the biblical teaching of sin? Is homosexuality a free choice or an inborn tendency?
Like many such either-or questions, this question poses a false dilemma. Every sin is both a choice of the will and the expression of an inborn tendency to sin. Our sinful will is guilty of consent whenever we sin in thought, word, or deed. As a result of our sinful nature we take pleasure in our sins and defend them. This universal tendency is apparent also in the efforts of gay rights activists to condone their homosexuality and to deny that anything is wrong with it.
Although the consent of our sinful will is present in every sin, it is also true that we are born as slaves of sin. We may also yield to a particular sin so often that we no longer control the sin, but the sin controls us. We may find ourselves yielding to sin even when we don't want to.
Sin infects both our body and our soul. The body we now have is not the perfect body that God created for Adam and Eve. It has been contaminated by the effects of sin. There is no reason to maintain that the specific effects of sin have been identical in each one of us or that we are all equally susceptible to every sin. Our individual degree of susceptibility to some specific sins may be due in part to differences in our bodies. Abuse of alcohol and a hot temper are just two examples of sins that may be affected by the chemistry of our bodies. Few would deny that the pressure to sexual sin is greater at 18 than it is at 8 or at 88 and that a primary reason for this is the changing chemistry of our bodies. It may well be that a person's susceptibility to homosexuality or to certain other sins depends in part on bodily differences.
Even though the weakness of our own body may be one factor that leads us to sin, God holds us responsible for all of our sins, even those sins that enslave us and those sins that we are not aware of. We need God's forgiveness even for those sinful desires that we resist and do not act upon. These desires too are sin. (Read Romans 7 for a treatment of slavery to sin.) Christ's forgiveness covers every form of every sin for the repentant.
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