“I believe some people are truly born gay and it is not a choice. God knows the difference and I choose to believe he would not punish someone for how they were born. People are born deformed everday [sic]. Just because someone is gay doesn’t make them less religious. Their sin is just different from our own. We are all forgiven!”
This comment is part of a thread on Facebook which originated with the question, “What is a ‘religious gay person’ exactly?” (My response, in part, was “A person whose homosexuality is their religion.”)
The commenter brings up several issues which cover a lot of theological ground. The first argument is a familiar one: that homosexuality is an inborn trait like having brown hair or short legs. The next is that she chooses to believe that since homosexuals are born that way, God won’t punish them for it. Then she asserts that a person’s homosexuality doesn’t make them “less religious.” Her fourth declaration is that “their sin is just different from our own.” Finally, she asserts that “we are all forgiven!”
Here is my response:
Yours is a popular opinion, but I disagree because of what Scripture teaches. Would God purposefully create someone a certain way knowing that they were eternally doomed because He had no intention of letting them in to His Kingdom? (See 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Birth defects and behavior choices are not the same things. Homosexuality is a willful sin, not a birth defect. Following your reasoning, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, child molesters, and the like, could all claim to have been born that way, and that they just can’t help themselves. But we know that those behaviors are choices, results of a long list of wrong choices made over the course of someone’s life.
Of course, every one of us is born into sin and every one of us is in desperate need of redemption, but to embrace part of the gospel — the forgiveness part — and reject the repentance part is not the gospel. Yes, we can be forgiven if we repent, which means to turn away from the sin. My Savior is good, and ready to forgive all who call upon Him (Psalm 86:5). But asking for forgiveness for something indicates that there has been some sort of wrong committed. There’s the rub. Humans tend to wish for God to simply excuse their sin while they continue to practice it, rather than confess it, turn away from it, and then receive forgiveness. If we deny the necessity of repentance and continue in sin, then we trample on the sacrificial blood of Christ.
Your last statement, “We are all forgiven,” stopped before it was complete according to Scripture. Notice the pesky little word if repeated three times in the following passage.
1 John 1:8-10 reads, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
You see, forgiveness is conditional, not something everyone receives–unless they repent. Additionally, “confess” means to declare or to agree with. We have to agree with God about our sin.
God Most High is not the namby-pamby, it’s-all-good, semi-god He is often portrayed to be. He is either all God or He is not God at all. If He is God, then we have to take all of Him in all His glorious and fearful holiness and justness. If He is not God, then what does it matter if He forgives us or not?
In His grace,
Janice Powell 2014
Scripture taken from the NASB.