Are we born gay?

Probably the wrong question. From an orthodox Christian understanding, we are all born into sin, as a result of human rejection of God in the Garden of Eden. Sin did something to us, as humanity, right? You don’t have to be confused about your gender or sexuality to wrestle with your flesh. Paul goes on and on about this in many of his letters.

Gal 5. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Uh oh. We’re all already screwed.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

And it gets worse apparently.

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh [a list of really bad things are coming…] are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Like I said. WE ARE ALL SCREWED. Humans. All of us. Good news incoming:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Someone can say “I was born gay.” We can debate it. But what one can’t say, clearly in scripture, is that “I was born gay, therefore I can do whatever I want. Therefore the Biblical teaching on sexual expression being most healthy between one man and one woman within the covenant of marriage doesn’t apply to me.”

We do have to accept that our flesh is automatically at odds with the Spirit. And further, the indication in scripture (and let’s get real, in the natural world all around us) is that the FLESH manifests itself in really negative ways.

Stop “Affirming”. Offer the Gospel.

I tend to put Christians in three categories when it comes to beliefs about homosexuality and scripture.

Group 1: Believers who place the highest priority on Scripture and use it to change their worldview, not the other way around.  This means, whether they live it or not, they accept that the Bible says healthy sexual expression is only between one man and one woman, in a marriage covenant.

Group 2: Believers who place a high priority on Scripture, but add their own laws on top of laws in the Bible. Legalists, Pharisees. These folks might think and act like homosexuality is the worst sin a person could struggle with or act on and that it’s the highest ranking of the sexual sins.

Group 3: Believers who are uncomfortable with the growing divide between Western culture (since 2001) and what Scripture teaches, so they have desperately sought something that would help scripture adapt to the culture regarding sexual ethics. Seems like much of the time, it has to do with the ideas of social justice, having someone who identifies as gay in their friend group or family, or simply seeing sexual ethics as something that changes with the decade.

I have been on the outskirts of both Groups 2 and 3 at some level as I’ve grown up, but as my faith matures, I desire more and more to be rightly aligned with Group 1. It seems in the current state of my city and age group, I’m interacting with Christians who are proud of themselves for being in Group 3 and this is the group I find the hardest to have grace for.

If you identify as gay and you’re in Group 3, that’s one thing. I get it. When one deals with the emotions, confusion, and attraction like this, especially as a Christian, we’re desperate to be right with God. But it’s unfortunate when we think that changing what God said will accomplish that, because it won’t. That’s my frustration with Group 3. I struggle with fury when I consider this argument. Being gay is ok. It’s God’s design. The Bible is wrong. You were born that way. If you feel something, then that means it’s ok to do it. No one would choose to be gay. Paul didn’t mean monogamous relationships. God just wants love. God just wants monogamy. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. Love is love. Those slogans don’t even work if you’re reading them from a fortune cookie. I don’t understand how the new “affirming” apologetic could be so popular when it’s less than an inch deep theologically or philosophically. But worse, the majority pushing this drivel these days aren’t people who themselves struggle with the confusion, but people who see themselves as wanting to get involved and that this is about social justice or making people feel better about their emotions, pushing that because you think that’s what’s right… your deception is dragging people into the pit.

How dare people take the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in essence say that it doesn’t apply to me or people like me.

You’re telling me that God created all humans, and filled page after page of stories of using murderers, thieves, adulterers, prostitutes, tax cheats, Pharisees, fishermen, judges, evil and good kings, left-handed prophets, a woman with 5 husbands, and roman officials to propel the Good News…that God became a man, that Jesus walked the earth and restored broken and diseased limbs, made blind eyes see, made deaf ears hear, made food multiply, told fish to swim into nets, read minds, read hearts, could never be trapped by a question and could never be out thought or out maneuvered, who forgave and loved extravagantly, who told OCEANS TO “SHUT UP” AND DEAD PEOPLE “WAKE UP” doesn’t have grace or power IF you’re attracted to someone of the same gender.

Seriously?

That’s the issue you’re going to try to whitewash out of scripture?

That’s the thing that makes you feel too dumb to believe is true in the Bible because our culture says different?

Don’t you dare come to me with your version of the Gospel. It’s not good enough. Don’t edit and scrape away the Gospel thinking you’re making it palatable for “those” people…because being attracted to the same gender, or confused about one’s gender or sexuality somehow means they don’t deserve to look square into the eyes of Jesus and be devastated by the brokenness that separates us from him? If you love people, Group 3, you’ll wake up and realize that the only thing that matters is following Jesus. Not an identity based on who you’re attached to or your preferred pronouns. Not the idea that you might be single for life [Like Jesus…] or not have kids. No. Nothing. If you offer a Gospel that stripped Jesus of his convicting and saving power, then God help you. People like me deserve better from those who call themselves Christ-Followers.

People Like Me

When I was younger, my thoughts and struggles made me feel very alone. I was convinced that I was the only person like me. From the earliest I could remember, I thought, matter-of-factly, that I was a girl on accident. It felt so strange: something in me believed that I was supposed to have been a boy but God had pushed the wrong button before the stork dropped me off. I carried this interesting belief well into my pre-teens, never mentioning it to anyone. I hated wearing dresses, I hated the color pink, and I always played the boy when my siblings or neighborhood friends would play together.  I had an atrocious bowl cut and wore my brother’s hand-me-downs. I tried to go shirtless until my parents told me it was immodest. [I didn’t understand why.] As I got older a bunch of things happened at once. Puberty came with the usual physical changes and my theological puberty helped my understanding of God to also mature. I realized that the Supreme Creator of the Universe can’t put an elbow on the wrong switch and mess up when creating a person, so I was obviously a girl—now a woman, intentionally.  Ok, so I’m a woman, but then why do I feel this discomfort around my body and gender, and why am I so confused when it comes to attraction?

These things have been the greater journey for me. I’m excited to share what I’ve come to know and believe over the last many years walking with Jesus. Here is what I am convinced of, in the meantime.

The God of the Bible is real. He came to earth in the form of His Son Jesus Christ, who lived, taught, healed, loved, was brutally murdered, and rose again from the dead. I believe these things because I believe the Bible is true. I have seen the power of God’s Word, living and active, cut through the world’s crap and my own hurt and brokenness to restore people to life. I believe that the point of morality is to guide us into doing that which is most healthy for us. Not morality for morality’s sake, but a completely everlasting and accurate picture that demonstrates that living within God’s guidelines and design makes a person healthier, happier, and more effective in sharing the Good News.

I do not accept the alterations to scripture that have occurred in the last 10 or less years that supposedly show that our Christian ethics for 2000 years were off. I believe that the healthiest expression of sexuality is between one man, one woman, in a marriage covenant for life. There are many people like me, and for too long it feels like no one has talked about or to us. There are Christians who now endorse whatever sexuality one feels for the moment, there are Christians who don’t know and don’t care and there are Christians who think sexual attraction/confusion are the worst sins possible. You’re all wrong. Hopefully, God uses me to shine the light he’s shone to and in me, to others like me.