With a another presidential election year upon us the informed public will once again begin to debate a myriad of issues from war to welfare to apparently contraception though how that topic made it to a national debate seems questionable.
One topic that will be in many circles is homosexuality. One candidate above any other seems to be a sticking point in that debate is Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.
Ron Paul, who claims to be and seems to be by many accounts a conservative evangelical Christian is a center of this debate because his stance seems a bit hard to nail down. He has said he believes “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” was a fair military policy though he has no interest in reinstating it as president, he believes states can vote to allow or ban homosexual marriage and does not support a marriage amendment to the constitution, and he doesn't believe other states must recognize those marriages.
For a republican candidate he seems to have gained quite a bit of support from the homosexual community (thought there is quite a bit of hatred thrown at him as well) and is supported by a strict conservative Christian homeschool community as well. It truly is an odd coalition.
Beyond those aspects what makes Paul even more controversial on this issue is that according to an interview in 2007 Paul alluded to the idea that he believes homosexual persons are born gay and that while he understands many people call homosexuality a sin he is not willing to, nor would he say that God calls it a sin.
From the interview it seems Paul's main point about homosexuality was it was more complicated than a simple yes or no.
For this reason many Christian conservatives have stated they cannot support Paul.
In this post I'd like to take the time to briefly explain why he is right and wrong in his stance.
Paul is really making 2 statements about this. First that people are born homosexual and second that because of this homosexuality is not a sin.
I want to look at them separately. The first question would then be is homosexuality nature, nurture, or a choice people make? I would like to make the argument that it is a combination of nature the environment one is raised in.
I understand many people will disagree with me on this, but please hear me out.
Ask any homosexual person whether they were born gay or not and you will generally get a definitive yes. Most people don't want to be outcasts or go through discrimination often from friends and family. It makes no logical sense to say someone would choose to be gay. There are some instances I've seen where a teenager will take on a flamboyant persona purely to gain attention and with shows like Glee making Coming Out the “in” thing we may see more teens doing it, but historical this is not the case.
Many homosexuals admit to these feelings from a very young age at the same moment their peers are becoming attracted to the opposite sex.
More importantly, the Bible seems to say this as well. We were all born in sin, and even conceived in inequity. From the moment of our conception to birth we are in rebellion to God according to Scripture. This has effected the whole earth as it groans and is fallen. If you need proof that sin effects our body then consider the effects of gluttony and slothfulness. Sins which I have committed and the effects are clear. We have this lie indoctrinated that we were born perfect, but the Bible tells us just the opposite.
So yes, I do believe it is part of the nature a person is born with at least the tendency is there. This is also in combination often with the environment someone with these tendencies is raised in.
There seem to be three factors that play into this as well.
1) Sexual abuse. I've never met a homosexual lady that at some point wasn't sexually. Sadly, this is often by a relative or family friend. This is also the case for many gay men.
2) An early introduction to pornography. As the ease and access of porn grows this is an increasing problem as it brings young minds to sexual thoughts and images their body and brains are simply not ready to handle.
3) And the greatest environmental factor is often a dysfunctional or non-existent presence of a father in their lives. So they never see what healthy normal relationships should look like they seek out someone else to fill that. They try to love the love of other men of flee men completely.
So considering those environmental factors it is no wonder we have such a prominent rise of homosexuality.
So to Dr. Paul's first point that homosexual persons are born that way we can agree, but does that mean that mean homosexuality is not a sin?
No! I tell you emphatically no! Why do I say this? Because homosexuality nor any other sin has ever been a sin because of biology. It is a sin because a holy creator God has declared it to be so.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
The Bible is clear, not only here but in other places that homosexual practice is sinful.
There are all kinds of practices that the New Testament condemns that modern science has found a biological aspect too from excessive gambling to alcoholism. Murderers have even been show to high elevated testosterone levels.
This is where Dr. Paul gets it wrong. He talks homosexuality as though if people are born that way it is an automatic excuse.
Straight men are born with a broken sexuality as well that causes them to sin in lust, but we don't accept it as normal for married men to commit adultery.
A broken world does not give us reason to believe the Bible is wrong, but to believe it is right. That this world is effected by sin and in need of a savior.
I truly hope Dr. Paul and others will see that and base their beliefs on the Bible, and not experience. Only one is perfect and unchanging.
Until then Conservative, Bible believing Christians will each have to make a decision of consciousness whether they can support Ron Paul for president. Personally, with the choices before I have decided I can and will pray he change his mind on this and other issues I disagree with him concerning.
But beyond politics there is something each of us must consider. 1 Cor 6: 9-10 tells us the first part of the story, but it is the next verse that truly changes everything!
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
This is the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ! No matter who you are, or what sins you've committed the Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man took the punishment for all those who repent, turn from their sin and trust in Him.
Whether you're a homosexual person, or a heterosexual person you were born in sin and have broken God's law, but Christ is your way out from under the judgment of God.
Repenting and trusting in Christ doesn't mean you won't sin,but it does mean God has given you a new heart and this is one that longs after Him.
It's not about being straight or even being good, but about trusting in Christ. He alone is worthy.