In important respects some Protestant denominations like the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), as well as the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), have adopted erroneous positions concerning homosexuality, even though they correctly do not condone “homosexual marriage.” The CRC position is found at http://www.crcna.org/pages/positions_homosexuality.cfm , and the RCC position is found at http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0799.asp . The latter webpage summarizes the RCC position in a heading thus: “Accept the orientation, not the actions”.
Rev. Brian Schwertley of the WPCUS
succinctly refutes the inherent fallacy in the RCC and CRC positions at http://reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/homosex.htm
as excerpted below :
"Some argue that homosexual acts are indeed immoral, but homosexual feelings and desires for some are inborn and therefore unavoidable and not sinful. The Bible does teach that it is not a sin to be tempted (Christ was tempted, yet He never committed sin, Heb. ). What is sinful is when a person dwells upon that which tempts him, fantasizes and makes plans to engage in that sinful behavior. The Bible clearly teaches that it is not only a sin to commit evil acts, it is also a sin to have immoral desires, lusts and thoughts. Jesus Christ forbade heterosexual lust in Matthew 5:27-29. Jesus said that when a man looks upon a woman to lust after her, he has committed adultery with her in his heart (Mt. ). The idea of condemning only the outward act but not the inward lust was a doctrine of the Pharisees; Christ strongly condemned such false teaching (Mt. -22, -20). The Apostle Paul in forbade ungodly fantasies, lusts, and evil desires (Col. 3:5). Paul said that Christians must sanctify (i.e., make holy) their very thoughts (Phil. 4:8). James said that if desires are not controlled, sin will follow (Jas. 4:1). Inward, homosexual lust is condemned in Romans 1:24, 26, 27. The prophet Isaiah said that repentance must extend to one’s “thoughts” as well as to one’s “way” (Isa. 55:7). Since the Bible condemns sinful lusts and sinful acts there can be no such thing as a Christian homosexual—or a Christian murderer or a Christian thief. If a homosexual becomes a Christian, he must put away both homosexual acts and thoughts; therefore, when he becomes a Christian, he ceases to be a homosexual. He may still be tempted at times but he refuses to dwell on, fantasize about, and commit such abominable deeds. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8). “We should not lust after evil things as they also lusted” (1 Cor. 10:6)."
I recently heard someone raise the following question: if it is all right for a Christian to identify themselves as bipolar, why is it not also all right for a Christian to identify himself as homosexual? Is modern science not suggesting that the latter as well as the former are morally neutral psychological/biological conditions, and why ought we to think the former is all right but the latter is not?
In order to address this question, let’s first define the terms “bipolar” and “homosexual”, as modern science generally defines them. Bipolar refers to “a psychiatric condition defined as recurrent episodes of significant disturbance in mood. These disturbances can occur on a spectrum that ranges from debilitating depression to unbridled mania.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder) “Manic patients are frequently grandiose, irritable, belligerent, and frequently deny anything is wrong with them.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mania . “Homosexual” refers to “an enduring sexual and romantic attraction towards those of the same sex, but not necessarily to sexual behavior” ().
Prevailing modern science claims to be unsure of cause of these two conditions. With respect to bipolarism, “studies suggest that genetics, early environment, neurobiology, and psychological and social processes are important contributory factors. Psychiatric research is focused on the role of neurobiology, but a clear organic cause has not been found.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder )With respect to homosexual orientation, “the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated, "Sexual orientation probably is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences." The American Psychological Association has stated that "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people". However, it states that for most people, sexual orientation is determined at an early age.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality#Theories_on_homosexuality )
We should not naively or blindly accept all of the conclusions of modern science, however. It ought to be kept in mind that prevailing modern science as practiced by the West’s major universities (in contrast to science as scripture would have it be practiced) is presuppositionally un-Biblical. This does not mean all conclusions of prevailing modern science are untrue (indeed, many of its conclusions are true, because their scientific work does not always rely upon their false presuppositions), nor does it mean all modern scientists are un-Biblical and non-Christians. But modern science is by and large managed and practiced by humanists whose humanist fallacies get in the way of their science, especially in the fields of psychology and sociology. These humanist fallacies include a denial of the Creation and the Fall, a materialistic reductionism, and a denial of a young earth. The modern science of these humanists is wedded to Darwinian evolution and averse to the Biblical account of origins and history. Consequently, terms such as “sin” and “moral corruption” are almost totally absent from modern scientific literature. And there is the tendency only to allow such morally neutral terms as “conditions”, “behavior”, “illness”, “orientation” or “disorder”. For example, whereas scripture would characterize alcoholism as a moral corruption, modern science would tend to characterize it as an illness. And whereas scripture would describe certain behavior as disrespectful inattention and lack of discipline, modern science would call it attention deficit disorder. Someone need not feel shame or ask forgiveness for an illness or a disorder, but one should feel shame and ask forgiveness of God for a sinful disposition as well as sinful thoughts and actions. So the language of modern science has far-ranging implications upon how various conditions and dispositions are perceived.
I would contend that bipolar and homosexual tendencies are corruptions resulting from the Fall. If the Fall had not occurred, no one would be plagued with conditions such as unbridled mania, homosexual attraction, and debilitating depression. They are moral corruptions, and not merely illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis or the common cold. While illnesses and physical death are also a result of the Fall, they are not sins or sinful corruptions. There was no moral culpability associated with the fact that Jesus Christ suffered illness and died from His crucifixion experience. It is wrong to have lust for someone of one’s own sex, and it is wrong to be belligerent, but physical disease and death are not sinful nor are they necessarily the consequence of personal sin.
Someone may object that such conditions as homosexual tendency or bipolar tendency (or attention deficit disorder or heterosexual adulterous tendency or …) were not originally chosen by those who have them. That may be the case, but neither did Adam’s posterity make the personal choice that Adam sinned, yet all of Adam’s natural posterity are guilty of Adam’s sin, since we are all in Adam. Mankind is guilty of Adam’s original sin, and mankind is responsible for the sinful corruptions and tendencies that have been passed down from Adam to his natural posterity. And we should feel shame that our first father sinned and that he has passed down to us, his posterity, our sinful nature.
Someone else may object such conditions have a very definite physical connection, so should not be considered moral corruptions. But physical connection does not loose behavior from moral aspect. Belligerence does not become a morally neutral behavior just because someone is bothered by an upset stomach or pre-menstrual syndrome, nor is it morally neutral behavior in someone classified as bipolar.
All humanity without exception (other than Jesus Christ) is afflicted with moral corruptions from the Fall. There is variation in corruption, some beset by this corruption while others are beset by that corruption. But all are beset by some corruption, and all are afflicted with certain sinful tendencies.
What is especially grievous given our situation is for man to turn away from the true God and the divine remedy for sin and corruption. Those who willfully reject true religion in favor of false religion God often judgmentally gives over to even more dangerous forms of corruption. Romans 1 describes such people who God has judgmentally given up to their sinful fallen corruptions, such that their corruptions are not considered wrong and struggled against, but become reigning sins in thought and often in deed.
It is the moral duty of man to look to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord- man’s deliverer from the guilt, penalty and power of sin. And it is the moral duty of man to fight against his sinful corruptions, by the power of Christ’s Holy Spirit, with all available legitimate resources. Some resources are spiritual- like prayer, church attendance and Bible study- and some resources are physical- like proper nutrition, sufficient bodily exercise, sufficient sleep, and even medications (where appropriate). Those who would knowingly refuse to avail of legitimate resources are sinning in such refusal.
Let’s then come back to this question of whether it is proper for a Christian to identify himself as homosexual or bipolar. Romans 7:15-17 reads: “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it is] good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” This text implies that Christians should not identify themselves in their central being with the corruptions that they struggle against in themselves. It is not proper for a Christian to go around saying “I am homosexual” or “I am bipolar” or “I am an alcoholic” or “I am a fornicator”, simply because they are struggling with certain corrupt tendencies or inclinations. There may be appropriate occasions when someone reveals some of the corrupt tendencies struggled with, but no Christian in a sound enough condition to participate in the Lord’s Supper should identify himself in his central being with such corruption, much less promoting such tendency or inclination as nothing necessary to be suppressed and fought.
Homosexuality is not simply a biological orientation, but it is a moral corruption that must be recognized as such and fought against. To do otherwise is a tell-tale sign of divine judgment.