The Question/Argument: How can God condemn homosexuality if people don’t have a choice and are just born that way? If he is fair and just like the Bible says, he cannot condemn gay or lesbian people because they have no choice. God cannot be ‘good’ because he condemns people that have no choice.
Well this is an extremely sensitive topic so there are a few things I need to clarify right away and a few things that need to be established when addressing this issue.
First off, is that I’m not judging or condemning anyone, homosexuals included. Nor do I hate or dislike gay people, people of other religions, prostitutes, people who vote for certain political parties, politicians, lawyers, criminals, police, people of different ethnicity, etc, etc. The list goes on.
It seems that whenever anyone has a different view of someone else’s religion or life choices people cry ‘homophobic!’ or ‘racist!’ or ‘bigot!’ immediately without even knowing what the person is actually saying. Oddly enough this doesn’t appear to apply to Christianity, as I see Christianity attacked frequently without anyone bringing up any kind of accusation of intolerance or close-mindedness to those slandering Christianity without any real knowledge of what Christianity actually is… But that’s getting off topic, my point is that I don’t hate homosexuals nor any other people of any religion or race.
Now, I may dislike things people do or I may have different views and beliefs than other people do, but I don’t hate or dislike them as a person and I do not wish anything bad to happen to them, nor do I pretend to be better than them or have any illusions thereof.
Secondly, is that the Bible actually does speak out against homosexuality (among a host of other things), and not just in the Old Testament Jewish laws that may not be applicable to us either as gentiles or in light of Jesus fulfilling the ‘law’ by sacrificing himself for us.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:26-28, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Colossians 3:5-6 and a number of other verses state quite clearly that homosexuality, sexual immorality and various other things are against God and contrary to the way He desires us to live. So the argument cannot be made with any sound reasoning that God is actually not against homosexuality, nor can the argument be made that these instructions were only for people of the Jewish descent and don’t apply to gentiles as these are instructions from the New Testament and made clearly to both Jew and gentile alike.
The other thing is that it really doesn’t matter if a person is a homosexual, murderer, thief, politician, of a different religion, and/or a really ‘good’ person who never cheats on their taxes, gives to the poor, helps those in need, etc. All have sinned and fall short (Romans 3:23, Romans 3:10). I myself am no better and no worse than anyone else.
My point there is that there isn’t any differentiation by God in regards to going against what He has commanded, so while we are specifically talking about homosexuality, I think it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t any different than anything else.
Also, God doesn’t command non-Christians to keep His word (this may seem obvious but it’s surprising the ideas people have about God), so saying ‘Christians are homophobic and hate gay people’ is theologically unsound as the fact that we are Christian (if we understand and follow what the Bible says) means we would not judge homosexuals or any other non-Christian people nor expect them to follow the same things that we do or make the same choices.
So keeping that in mind, lets look at the actual question: How can God condemn homosexuality if people are born that way?
Right off the hop what jumps out to me about that question is the ‘if people are born that way’ part. So to clarify, what is being said here is that people who are homosexual do not have a choice in the matter. The argument made against God not being ‘good’ because he condemns people who don’t have a choice of their lifestyle hinges on that ‘not having a choice’ part.
People may not have a choice in how they ‘feel’ or what they desire to do, but they absolutely do have a choice in what actions they take. So, God nowhere in the Bible states that people who have a ‘desire’ to practice homosexuality (or promiscuity, or a variety of other things…) are condemned in some way differently then someone who doesn’t believe in God or are somehow ‘worse’. What He does say though, is that if you believe in Him and are genuinely trying to follow him, that you will abstain from participating in that lifestyle or doing those things…
And again, there are a host of other things Christian people (that is, people genuinely trying to follow God) are instructed to avoid/not do, etc.
So, saying that God is unfair or unjust or whatever because He instructs Christian people who may be attracted sexually to the same gender not to pursue those feelings/lifestyle is sort of like saying the governor of an independent island resort is unfair or unjust because he has a law saying people cannot eat apples on his island.
For people who want to be on the island and don’t want to eat apples and don’t have any desire to eat apples, the instruction really doesn’t matter because they wouldn’t do it anyway, right? But for people who like apples and want to eat apples and want to be on the island, it seems pretty unfair…
Well, it could be that there is an actual reason for the law, and that it is in fact in the best interest of the people on that island to not eat apples… But even if there was no reason whatsoever and it was a completely arbitrary law, it is the governors island, and he makes the rules. He doesn’t force people to stay on his island, but for those that choose to remain He expects them to follow his rules.
For people who don’t want to be on the island in the first place they wouldn’t go there anyway so the instruction really doesn’t matter for them and the point is completely moot because the law doesn’t apply! It is similar for non-christian people practicing homosexuality as far as I can see/understand.
Sam Allberry has some excellent points on this topic HERE that I think is worth a listen/watch.
SO, if we are looking at this from the perspective of someone who believes in God, that means that we believe God has our best interests at heart and only wants the very best for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 58:11, Isaiah 40:31); why then would He instruct us against homosexuality?
Did He just decide it was ‘bad’ and arbitrarily make a rule that we shouldn’t be a homosexual? No I don’t believe so. I think He instructed us that way because the way God desires us to live is better for us than any other way we could come up with.
Obviously that’s a tough statement to prove and really doesn’t mean much to someone not following God. But I personally have seen the overwhelmingly positive difference following God has made in people’s lives including my own. As such, despite having desires to go against God’s will (be it through homosexuality, adultery, selfishness, coveting, hatred, etc.) I choose to try and follow Him instead of myself, and to trust that He knows far better than I do.
To sum everything up, I’m not condemning or judging anyone for the choices they make in their lives, nor do I think I’m somehow better. Regardless of how we feel or what we desire to do, it is our choice to act.
I do believe that God instructs us not to practice homosexuality because He designed us to be together and function as man and woman (Mark 10:6-9), and He wants the very best for our lives. I believe that anyone claiming to be a Christian but also a homosexual is only fooling themselves into thinking God condones their lifestyle choice.
I’m not saying homosexuals are evil and that I’m superior or better than anyone. I am simply providing my answers to the question of: ‘How can God condemn homosexuality?’ and the argument that: ‘God isn’t good because he condemns people born a certain way.’ from my perspective as a Christian who believes what the Bible says.
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