4. The Fury of God: Homosexuals—Born that Way

Moral Dilemmas

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in a class on “Moral Dilemmas,” when we began discussing the issue of homosexuality. I tend to be more of an introvert, but when I’m passionate about something I’ll speak up. We were discussing how the church should approach the issue of homosexuality, how can we lovingly share the gospel, and does the Bible really call homosexuality a sin.

I may have been day dreaming a bit through some of the conversation, but I distinctly remember when we began discussing whether or not homosexuals were “born that way.” At the time, the notion of a “gay-gene” was being tossed around and Christians, by and large, were against the mere possibility of such a gene. My jaw almost hit the ground as I heard student after student give a passionate defense against any notion of a “gay-gene.”

Finally, I simply couldn’t help myself. I raised my hand and said, “What differences does it make? Aren’t we all born in sin?” Understand that this class, as I recall, was mostly made up of third year Bible college students. Everyone in that class should have been taught that we are born in trespasses and sins. They may not all of have agreed to what extent that affected them, but I guarantee they all had been taught a basic understanding of man’s depravity at birth.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
–Psalm 51:5

The reason this story sticks out in my mind is because of what happened next. A fellow student, in response to my comment, began to argue that God can’t hold people accountable for something they can’t control. If there was a “gay-gene,” in his view, then God couldn’t hold homosexuals accountable. This story marks the very first time in my life that I heard someone blatantly defend a notion that I felt was completely unbiblical. I can remember muddling something like, “Oh, I thought we all agreed on man’s depravity.” I walked out of that class dumbfounded.

Born That Way?

In chapter 3 of my book The Fury of God, I write,

The Bible tells us that we are all born in sin. To the homosexual I say, “Welcome to the club.” I, like you, was born in sin. My sin is different from your sin, and I too was born this way… I was driven by my sin. I was consumed by my sin. Maybe we have more in common than we’d like to admit. (83)

Understand that I don’t mean that quote to be insensitive. It seems that whenever homosexuality is compared to anything it is seen as insensitive or derogatory. That is not my intention. What I want the homosexual to understand is that I am, in many ways, no different than you. We have something in common. We are both sinful. We both love our sin. Frankly, we’re both defined by our sin apart from Christ. More to the point, we both need Christ to redeem us from our sin.

The trouble with homosexuality, in our culture, is that it wants a free pass. Homosexuals want their sin to be passed over, ignored, and at this point even affirmed. What they have to understand is that, as a Bible believing Christian, the most unloving thing I can do is tell you that your sin isn’t sin. The most offensive thing a Christian can do is pretend that Jesus Christ can’t, won’t, or doesn’t need to save your sin. Jesus Christ went to the cross to redeem sinners. He shed his blood that my sin, and your sin, could be made right before God.

In a sermon a few months back I dealt specifically with the homosexual’s constant demand for equality. The problem is when the homosexual asks Christians to treat their sin differently than we treat all other sin, they’re not equal. Watch this short 1 minute clip…


Scarlett Letters

One of the reasons Christians are having so much trouble dealing with homosexuality in our culture is our own self-righteousness. Society, down through the ages, has had numerous Scarlett Letters—tabboo sins that have been elevated to a level of social shame. Adultery, divorce, and homosexuality have all fallen prey to society’s tendency to stigmatize certain sins. Why do we do this? I believe Christians, specifically, do this to minimize the magnitude of their own sin.

These taboo sins usually serve as pedestals for some to proclaim their own righteousness. The self-righteous can fight the homosexual, condemn the adulterer, and despise the divorced, and in so doing they can ignore their own little sins and declare themselves righteous before God in light of the unrighteousness of others. (85)

Fellow believers, we must stop doing this. We must stop maximizing the sins of others so we can minimize the sins in our own life. Let me put it this way. If you look at the homosexual, the adulterer, or the divorced and think, “I’m not that bad,” then there is a serious problem in your life. Your sin is just as egregious and offensive to God as the sin of any other person.

I point out in my analysis of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah that it wasn’t just homosexuals who died when God destroyed the cities. Lot’s lazy, disbelieving son-in-laws were also destroyed. Lot’s own wife was turned to a pillar of salt because she simply turned back and looked at the destruction of the city.

We have got to realize that God hates all sin, and he has sent his Son to redeem all who repent, and put their faith and trust in Christ. That is as true for the liar and the thief as much as it is for the homosexual. This is what is so wonderful about the cross of Jesus Christ:

Regardless of our particular sin, the Gospel calls on us to confess and repent from our sins, and turn to Christ alone for forgiveness. (92)

Fellow Christians, we have to stop minimizing what Christ has done in our lives. By doing so, we become impotent to bring the cross to bear on the “taboo” sins of our culture. In order to find the confidence to preach a bold Gospel to a brazenly sinful world, we must affirm the Gospel’s forgiveness of our own brazen sinfulness. If the Gospel was sufficient to save you, it is sufficient to save all who turn from their sins, and put their faith and trust in Christ alone.

Discussion Questions for Further Study

  • What sins, in your mind, are considered “taboo?”
  • How should we approach homosexuals with the Gospel?
  • How should the church deal with Christians who struggle with homosexual tendencies?
  • Have you ever been guilty of tabooing a sin? How can we combat this?

Photo by Guillaume Paumier via Flickr

Jeremy Lundmark
Comments 12
  1. I had a similar experience in seminary. In discussing the issue of homosexuality, several students insisted that it was not only sin but the worst sin –THE abomination God talks about. I could not understand that at all. I tried in several ways to ask where they found a hierarchy of sin in Scripture, but I got nowhere. (I suspect that being practically the only woman in the room had something to do with it. They were not receptive to that either.) I think you are exactly right that we do this to feel better about our own brand of sin that we assume is somehow “lesser” than that. As if that would matter, even if it was true.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Jill.

      I remember when the Ted Haggard story broke. A few folks in my congregation expressed their disgust for “THAT” sin.

      I stopped them and said, “Is your sin THAT disgusting?” They knew right away what I was getting at. It was like a revelation to them. It should not be this way. Christ’s blood covers all sin.

  2. What just happened there? Great post Jeremy.

    Scott, the Bible addresses all men and not one man is good after the sin in the garden transgressed. Romans 3:9-11. 9 What then? Are we Jews[a] any better off?[b] No, not at all. For we have already charged that ALL, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

    “None is righteous, no, NOT ONE;
    11 no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
    12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”

    We all have sin. The point is not to judge one group for their sin when we have it in our own lives AND also to recognize the sin in all of us. We must address ALL of our sins, and the homosexual must address theirs as well, including their choice.

    1. Jeremy, I have no objection to your post. Those are my answers to questions two and three. Take care and have a great week. Scott

      1. My questions have to do with tabooing sins and how to approach homosexuals.

        I guess I’m not seeing how your response answers those questions.

        I disagree with that interpretation of John. I think the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate sexual attraction from the text.

        As to condemnation, I don’t condemn anyone. The Word condemns us all for we are all sinners. As to your four types of people, I disagree. There are two types of people, and none of them are defined by their genitalia or sexual attraction.

        There are those who are in Adam, and those who are in Christ. I go out of my way to demonstrate that I was just as condemned as the homosexual when I was in Adam, as they are if they don’t repent.

        Finally, Yes. I have met and have same sex attracted friends. Those in Christ acknowledge it as sin and run to the cross. For the most part, their struggle is little different from any other Christian’s struggle with sin. That is with the exception of the fact that society makes it doubly difficult by magnifying one sin over against others, which I address above.

        Appreciate the feedback.

  3. Jeremy, If we are God’s creation and all things created by God are good, why would one condemn God’s creation? There are four types of Human beings. Those born with male organs,born with female organs, born with both female and male organs, and those born with no reproductive organs at all. Yet the Bible does not address the later two.

    When one reads the Gospel of John it becomes apparent that the writer is gay. John is the only Gospel that does not condemn Homosexuality. If Jesus could love John and trust John with the care of his mother Mary, why do we have the right to Judge?

    After Paul list the wickedness of mankind in Romans 1:28-32, Paul states “You therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things.” (NIV, Romans 2:1)

    Jeremy have you ever met a homosexual oriented Christian that does not fall to his or her desires and walks the way of Jesus? It is not our orientation that matters but walk with Jesus.

    1. Scott,

      It is not apparent at all that the writer of John is gay. If you try to use that argument with scholars, you’re going to have a real debate on your hands. Also, I think you missed the point in Jeremy’s post.

      1. Roger, I am a Bible Scholar. The question is “How should we approach homosexuals with the Gospel?” The argument between scholars is how does one look at the use of the word Agape in the Gospel of John. Agape can be translated as “love” and also as “affection”. Question: If you were forming a hetrosexual arguement how would you base your argument? If you were open and a firming (such as myself) how would you base your argument? One thing you will learn about me if you read my posts, I strongly believe all people have the right to come to Christ.

        1. Scott, Thanks for your response. “Agape” in the gospel of John can mean simply “love” of good or evil. Not a good place to start. It’s quite arguable that John uses the two verbs interchangeably. Check John 3:19,20 and also FF Bruce’s commentary.

          When I present the Gospel message to anyone, I don’t begin with their sexuality, but with their need for Christ. When they come into a relationship with him, then they work out every detail of their lives including their sexuality in the light of the Gospel.

          On another point, as far as I can tell no one is arguing that homosexuals can’t come to Christ. We know many who have. The question is not their orientation so much as their choice of a lifestyle. Also, I don’t think that there is much evidence that coming to Christ is a “right” as much as a Sovereign decree.

Comments are closed.

When Losing Your Talent Shapes Your Life with Deanna Steinle on CD Speak UP!

When Losing Your Talent Shapes Your Life with Deanna Steinle on CD Speak UP!

Moral Dilemmas I remember it like it was yesterday

The Art of Redemption Episode 024.1— The Watchmen Series Part 1: The Comedian (Nihilism)

The Art of Redemption Episode 024.1— The Watchmen Series Part 1: The Comedian (Nihilism)

Moral Dilemmas I remember it like it was yesterday