Honestly, I think the debate over whether people are born gay or develop a homosexual orientation has very little relevance or weight on whether or not it is possible to change or on whether you can live openly gay as a Christian. Yet it has become such a major issue that I felt I needed to address it here. First of all, what do scholars believe develops homosexual attractions in a person?
The American Psychology Association itself has stated,
“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”*
While I disagree with the APA on many things and many actions of theirs, I think I agree with almost all of their statement here. I question what the last statement means when it says, “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.” If they mean that people do not experience a choice in the original development of their attractions then I agree. An orientation is much more than simply the attractions though. It is an identity and is therefore a choice even if it is strongly influence by those around the person. We all choose our identity.
It is very unlikely that attractions are developed solely through genetics or experience. There have been many cases of identical twins who turn out to have different sexual attractions. Yet there are also many cases of siblings who go through the same experiences and environment yet end up with different attractions as well. Therefore, most likely it is a mix of many factors. My own theory after much study is that there are genetics that make individuals more likely to have same-sex attractions, yet a majority of it is developmental and social.
I probably have a lot of Christians shocked that I said there is probably a genetic factor. What does it matter? There is this idea in our society that if it is natural then it is good. Most of that comes from the Renaissance which began glorifying things of natures. This is good in some ways but nature is not perfect especially in humans. Actually, it makes a lot of sense from the Christian perspective for there to be a genetic factor to homosexuality. Romans 5:12 says that we are naturally evil because of Adam. Genetics are flawed and many issues can have genetic causes such as alcoholism. Yet biology and genetics can be shaped.
“But why would God put it in your genetics if it is sinful?” Well first of all, God does not only control genetics but he also controls environment and development. Yet we do not hold him accountable for those things. Romans 5:12-17 shows us though that it is not God’s fault for our sinful nature but Adam’s.
We also need to spend less time pointing figures and more time taking responsibility for what has been given to you. A millionaire may end up spending all his money and therefore leave his children broke after dying at an early age, but the children are going to get no where while they complain about being given a rough hand. Instead they need to decide what they will do with the hand they were dealt. I do understand that we need to figure out where we have been to figure out where we are going to go, but after a while you need to just head forward. Fight the good fight and finish the race.
So to answer Lady Gage, I was born a sinner but I have been born again as a follower of Christ. I may still deal with my sinful nature, but I am being sanctified and looked forward to when I no longer struggle with any sin after I die.