Homosexuality, Creation, and the Fall: A Response to The New York Times
The Times gives heart-wrenching accounts of people who beg God to take away their sexual attraction to the same sex, who do not change, and who then end up believing that God made them homosexual. This is false. Genesis chapter two teaches and Jesus reaffirms (Matthew 19:4-6) that sexual intimacy is reserved for heterosexual monogamy. This is the God-ordained pattern, the definitive norm, for life-long, sexually involved coupling. Homosexual desires and actions stem from the fall of humanity into sin, wherein the human person is radically disoriented and fragmented (Genesis 3; Romans 3). These categories of creation and fall are clearly discerned in Paul's discussion of the pattern of sin in Romans chapter one.
But what of the woman or man who confesses Christ and still has homosexual desires, even after asking God for healing? First, solitary pleading, however earnest, may not be sufficient for change. Various programs and support groups exist for the purpose of helping those tempted by homosexuality to find sexual restoration. Exodus Global Alliance is one such group. Second, even if protracted efforts fail to change one's sexual desires from homosexual to heterosexual, biblical morality does not allow for the physical expression of these desires, since all homosexual activity is forbidden in Scripture. The Bible never depicts any homosexual inclinations or behaviors as godly. (In fact, illicit sexual thoughts are harmful as well; see Matthew 5:27-30). Here again, the doctrine of the fall gives us wisdom. God may wonderfully deliver people from homosexual inclinations at conversion or quickly after. I once met with a man who told me he was delivered from a lifetime of homosexual desires in an instant by God's power. Nevertheless, we must remember that it is a very fallen, broken, and bent world (see Roman 8:18-26). Those justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8), still struggle with various kinds of sins (1 John 1:8-10). A homosexual may never completely leave that sinful tendency behind until he or she meets the Lord face to face. Nevertheless, a Christ-follower must resist acting out those desires or dwelling on them. That means that a Christian who is sexually injured in this way must be celibate. Since Christ calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him (Luke 9:23), denying a strong inner urge is intrinsic Christian discipleship. Of course, we also seek to have our desires transformed so that we can enjoy God and God’s creation as they should be enjoyed.
Yes, it is quite a sacrifice for one to never be able to act on one's sexual desires. But the ultimate question is not one's sexual desires or one's honesty, but whether Christ is truly Lord. Since the creation is now fallen, Jesus Christ came as its divine Redeemer. If he is Lord, then no practicing homosexual (who unrepentantly insists on homosexual expression as a divine right) can authentically claim to follow the Jesus Christ of Holy Scripture. Jesus may redeem homosexuals from their inclinations in this life or help them cope with unhealed homosexual proclivities. Christ can redeem the homosexual! But if he does, that person will seek divine deliverance and will submit to biblical teaching. “You will know them by their fruits” (see Matthew 7:15-23). But Christ does not and cannot redeem homosexuality itself, since it is rooted in the fall, not in creation.