Question:

I am almost 69 years old.  I married a man when I was twenty; and he was twenty. He never liked me sexually.  I was married to him for seven years, and we had sex five times.  Under the influence of sodium pentathol he admitted he liked men sexually.

After this he became involved with other men.  There was a five year old in the neighborhood that he told me would be a homosexual.  Sure enough when he was grown he was a homosexual.  People are born with cleft pallets ... club feet.  I honestly believe people can be born with homosexual tendencies.  I believe with the help of God they can direct their energy toward positive things working for the Lord. I am afraid what you have to say about homosexuality might turn off a real homosexual that has those tendencies when he knows full well he has those feelings about other men.  I pray you will consider my thoughts on this and be able to truly help those who need the Lord.

Paul said, "I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can't!  I do what I don't want to -- what I hate!  I know perfectly well what I'm doing is wrong, but I can't help myself.  It is SIN inside me that is STRONGER THAN I AM that makes me do these evil things."  Romans 7:15-17


Answer:

God warns, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings" (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Your assertion that some people are born with homosexual tendencies is based what you personally would like to believe. But your personal belief doesn't make something right or wrong. Despite what you would like to believe, the fact remains that God has stated that homosexuality is a sin. You quoted Paul, but Paul stated in the very same book, just a bit earlier, "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:26-27). Please take note of the wording. Paul, inspired of God, said that homosexuality was against nature.

Paul also stated in another letter, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). Again take careful notice: Paul stated that homosexuality will keep a person out of the kingdom of God -- in other words it is a sin. Yet, he also noted that among the Corinthians were former homosexuals.

If homosexuality is a genetic tendency, then it leads to two conclusions: 1) God made people homosexuals; 2) homosexuality desires cannot be changed. However, God has stated that homosexuality is against nature. It is not how He designed men and women to behave. God also has declared it to be a sin. If one insists on stating that homosexual desire is built within a person, then the logical conclusion is that God has caused a person to commit a sin that He has condemned. In other words, the conclusion is that God has made that person sin. Yet, James states, "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13). Truth cannot lead to a self-contradiction (falsehood); therefore, the assertion that homosexual desire is genetic is false.

Second, if homosexuality was genetic, the person with this genetic flaw would not be able to control his desires. This is what has led many people to conclude that a homosexual person cannot be changed. Yet, Paul clearly states that such had happened in Corinth. In addition, there are numerous statements made by people stating that they have left homosexuality behind. The homosexual community chooses to ignore the evidence, but it remains a fact. Even if no one today has changed, it remains that God's Word states that people can and have changed. Thus we once again reach the conclusion that homosexual desire cannot be genetic.

You quote Paul in an attempt to state that people cannot help committing certain sins. It is unfortunate that you misquoted the verse. "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me" (Romans 7:15-17). I'm unable to locate a translation that states Paul saying that sin is stronger than he. Such an idea would led to a contradiction to what James stated: "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:7-8). With God's aid, we can do all things, including overcoming sin (Philippians 4:13).

What is Paul stating? If you return to the beginning of the chapter you will find that Paul is proving that the Old Law is no longer in effect, having been replaced by a new Law (Romans 7:1-4). It needed to be replaced because it was useless against the powers of the flesh (our desire to sin) (Romans 7:5-6). He then begins to address possible objections to that assertion. Some might wrongly conclude that the Law itself was sinful since it condemned people who sinned (Romans 7:7). Paul points out that the law defined what was sin, but it did not make people sin. Yet, the knowledge that sins existed gave Satan the opportunity to tempt us with things we might not have thought of on our own (Romans 7:8-12). Did this mean that Satan was able to take something good from God and twist it into something evil? No, the law made the contrast between right and wrong distinct (Romans 7:13). The weak point is man, not the law (Romans 7:14).

Paul illustrates that weakness in the Old Law by stating that he (as with others) knows what he would like to do -- he wants to do what is pleasing to God. However, in practice he sometimes does what he knows to be wrong (Romans 7:15). Because he hates the sin that he has committed, he has just proven that he agrees that the law is good (Romans 7:16).

Do you see that this doesn't support your assertion? You claim that some people have a genetic desire for homosexual relationships. Therefore, someone acting on those desires would not hate their own actions. They would be following their course. Thus, instead of agree that God was right in declaring homosexuality to be a sin, they would be disagreeing with God's law. You see, Paul starts out with the assumption that in his mind he agrees with God and desires to do God's will. You started out with the assumption that we have someone who internally disagrees with God, but struggles to do what is not natural to him.

Paul then points out that because intellectually he hated what he did, then the action is not a part of his nature (Romans 7:17). The sin that is within is encouraging him to commit sin, but that sin is not truly a part of him. It is an important point. If we are designed to sin, if sin is a part of who we are, then sin cannot be removed. There would be no chance of forgiveness. There would be no way for man to enter into the presence of God. "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (I John 1:5-6). However, if sin is something separate from who I am, then it means it can be removed and I would be free to do what I know to be right (Romans 7:18-23).

The solution to this dilemma cannot be within the individual man because that man has already shown the propensity to do things that he knows are wrong. Nor is the solution in the law because it is only able to prove to man that he has sinned. The answer is that we needed an external savior to break this wretched cycle and God provided just such a savior. "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 7:24-8:4).

Notice that Paul did not state that he remained in sin. He stated that Christians do not walk according to the flesh. They are able to do this because Christ has made us free from the cycle of sin and death brought about by the Law and man's weakness. Once again, if we apply this to homosexuality, then if a person agrees with God that it is a sin, but because of his own weakness does what he knows to be wrong, the law points out his flawed life. By himself, he can do nothing. He has violated God's law and stands condemned. But Jesus brought forgiveness of sin by paying its awful price. The one who had commit the sin of homosexuality is freed from the debt of that sin. He can now live life without that burden. It doesn't mean God now accepts his continuing homosexual acts. The whole idea is that we are free from our past so that we might walk according to the will of God. The sins, such as homosexuality, must be left behind. "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11).

People born with a cleft pallet or clubbed feet can be saved just as they are. A homosexual cannot. He must change and become a new creature. By telling people that they can remain in sin without changing, giving them the false hope that God will accept them just as they are, is to do as the false prophets did so long ago. "They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying, 'Peace, peace!' When there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14). You make them feel good about themselves for the moment, but in the long run you have encouraged them to walk the path of eternal condemnation.