Biblegems # 103
Question: I don't want to believe in an "interventionist" God who could find fault with someone for loving someone of the same sex, and who has a strong faith in God as well. How do I deal with this?
In order to discuss this honestly, it is important that we understand and agree upon the terms we use (sexual orientation, homosexuality, etc.). According to the American Psychological Society: “Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes.”1
In discussing homosexuality then, it is important to understand that we are talking about an “attraction,” not a genetic inevitability like blond hair or blue eyes. According to the APA: “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation.”2
In fact, the psychological community understands sexual orientation to be principally a matter of choice: “Mental health professional organizations call on their members to respect a person’s (client’s) right to self-determination…”3 (italics, mine).
Both the Bible and the APA agree on this: Homosexuality is a choice, not a question of genetics.
The disagreement comes at the issue of “self-determination.”
As we saw in the previous post, “Homosexuality And The Love of God,” God designed human sexuality as a union between male and female (Gen. 1:27; 2:18). Men and woman are not designed for same sex intimacy. It is not a choice that has been given to us by God, anymore than robbing a bank. “Self-determination” in the area of sexual orientation was never part of God’s plan for us. To break from His design and purpose is to disobey God, which is what the Scripture calls sin.
So when God gives us this clear instruction—Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable (Lev. 18:22)—He is, like a good and loving parent, telling us to stay away from a practice for which we were not designed. For those who claim no loyalty or love for God, this is a non-issue. But for those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, disobedience becomes a real problem:
John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.
God in His infinite love for us has given us many areas in life in which we are free to choose. We can choose a spouse (of the opposite sex); we can choose which store we buy our groceries from; we can choose public, private or home-school for our children.
But equally in His infinite love for us He puts a fence around our freedom of choice for our own good, whether we think it’s good or not. We do not get to choose our own birth date, who our children will be, or where or when in the world we will be born. Self-determination is a very precious gift God has given to humanity to be exercised within the limits of His purpose and design for us, not for our own self-centered pleasure.
Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
1. American Psychological Association. (2008). Answers to your questions: For a better understanding of sexual orientation and homosexuality. Washington, DC: Author. [Retrieved from www.apa.org/topics/sorientation.pdf.] This material may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part without permission provided that the reproduced content includes the original bibliographic citation and the following statement is included: Copyright © 2008 American Psychological Association.