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Contemporary Issues
Gene, Choice or Sin?
Message by Rev Isaac Ong
(Pastor, Vancouver Bible-Presbyterian Church, Canada)

What is it that makes man human? What is it that makes a society? At the core ofhumanity and nationhood is a common cultural and moral vocabulary. 

Over the last two decades, that vocabulary is slowly changing. Alcoholism and drug addiction are now treated as diseases. Marital infidelity is the unfortunate bump on the road of life called mid-life  crisis. Vandalism, hooliganism, delinquency are described as youthful indiscretions. Homosexuality is redefined as an alternate lifestyle. 

The change in our moral vocabulary is reflected in the values and mores of the people. Let me say from the outset that the change is not for the better. 

We have to ask ourselves, despite all the advancements that have been made in the arts and sciences, why do we not see a better humanity? The answer, simplistic to some, is that without a system of absolutes, it is every man for himself. 

Individual liberties – the right to live one’s life – is not far from chaos. In a country where individual freedom is worshipped, truth and morality have become convenient sacrifices on the altar of liberty and tolerance. 

Why Speak Out?

If the Bible is silent on the issue of homosexuality, we have nothing to say. But when God had spoken, Christians should not hold their peace just because it is more convenient to do so. This is not some theoretical discussion. The battle is real. It is for the hearts and the minds of our children, for the truth as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Bible-believing Christians must speak out and be counted for the truth. By speaking the truth lovingly, we are not promoting hatred, or as the homosexuals claimed, engaging homophobia. Paul asked the Galatian church, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16). The answer is that it should not be. No man should fear the truth. A god-fearing Christian would preach against any sin; homosexuality is just one of many condemned by God. So what is the truth about homosexuality? 

Is Homosexuality Natural?

The popular argument is that homosexuality is just as natural for some people as left-handedness is for others, and that it is actually harmful for one to suppress the person’s natural sexual inclinations.  In 1993, a paper published in a scientific journal claimed the discovery of a “gay gene.” But the study by Simon LeVay and Dean H. Hamer have been discredited. So far, all studies fail to show a link between homosexuality and genetics. 

This argument that homosexuality is natural runs aground when we consider what is natural behaviour. It is natural for animals to defecate and copulate wherever and whenever they want. They do what comes naturally. On the other hand, it is natural for man to be more discreet about such matters. Human beings – even the homosexuals would agree – are of a higher intelligence than animals. And one of the traits of a man is his understanding of shame. The knowledge of when and what to be ashamed of is one of the distinguishing marks between human being and animals. Shame is a civilizing process. 

Even though animals have no sense of shame, we will never find animals engaging in homosexual behaviour. Homosexuals, on the other end, go out of the way to do and glorify what comes unnaturally. That behaviour brings man to a point lower than the animals, and that cannot be natural. 

Is Homosexuality Just a Personal Choice?

A second argument in defense of homosexuality is that it is a choice, an alternate lifestyle, a sexual preference. Due credit must be given; this is at least a more honest attempt at explaining the unnatural behaviour. Nevertheless, the argument is just as faulty. 

Based on this argument of preference and individual choice, homosexuals say that they should not be restricted in the exercise of their personal preference. Alternatives and preferences imply free will; if so, then homosexuality can no longer be said to be natural. 

However, the problem with this argument goes farther. Does having a preference necessarily mean that a choice has to be made? Every man has preferences from the food he eats to the people with whom he chooses to hang out. A teenager prefers to waste his life on drugs than to go to school. The fact that he has preferences does not mean that he must choose to do these things. It also does not mean that no one has the right to make a moral judgement on his preferences. 

The argument that homosexuality is a choice runs into absurdity when we consider that there are people who prefer young children or pedophilia. But as a civilised society, do not we pass laws that curb such preferences? 

Is Homosexuality OK because it is consensual?

Homosexuals would argue that in the case of pedophilia, the relationship is usually nonconsensual. The partners in such a relationship are not equal. The adult dominates the young. The typical justification from homosexuals is that their sexual behaviour is between two consenting adults. As such, it should be free from the judgement of others. 

Does consent also mean justification? Far from it. A sister and a brother decide to get married. Both are adults, and both consented to the incestuous relationship. Their consent, however, does not render that relationship acceptable in society. Again, as a civilised society, we pass laws that restrain the behaviour of consenting adults. Consent alone is not a free pass to people who want to engage in unnatural and deviant behaviour. 

Man is a Spiritual Being

People who say that homosexuality is a genetic trait miss a very fundamental point; when we see ourselves as creatures dictated by genes and hormones, we overlook that most important part of our being – the soul. 

As human beings, we are not slaves to the desires of our bodies. We can choose (Josh. 24:15; Deut. 30:19); we have a conscience (Rom. 2:14- 15; 1 Pet. 3:16), and we will be held accountable for our choices (2 Cor. 5:10). 

The Bible on Homosexuality

It is perfectly understandable for those who reject the Christian faith to also turn their backs on the Word of God. What is beyond comprehension are those so-called Christians who try to use the Bible to justify homosexuality. 

There are people who claim that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah not because of the cities’ homosexual activities but because the people were inhospitable to the angels. 

There are people who teach that Paul was a repressed homosexual; that his denunciation against homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27 was really homosexuality mixed with idolatry. The language of the Bible against homosexuality is unequivocal. The Bible places many prohibitions against homosexual behaviour. 

• Leviticus 18:22 – “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” 

• Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination . . .” 

• Romans 1:26-27 – “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” 

• 1 Corinthians 6:9 – “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God...neither fornicators...nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” 

• 1 Timothy 1:9-10 – “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane...for them that defile themselves with mankind...” 

• Jude 7 – “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” 

The Word of God speaks for itself. Its teaching on homosexuality is clear and needs no further explanation. There is not a single verse in Holy Scripture that speaks of homosexual relationships as honourable and right. As Christians held captive by the Word of God, we must call homosexuality for what God said it is – a sin and an abomination. 

Are Christians Unkind and Judgmental?

By stating the truth as revealed in the Bible, are Christians being unkind? It must be pointed that there are some Christians whose words and deeds harm rather then help the cause of Christ. But in all fairness, it is the Bible-believing Christian taking a stand for the truth who is being unfairly stereotyped as a homophobe. 

Did not Jesus tell His disciples not to judge (Matt. 7:1)? Are Christians being judgmental when they speak of homosexuality as a sin? In the context, our Lord Jesus was warning the disciples about being self-righteous; He did not rebuke men for judging. On the contrary, He told us to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). 

Should not Christians just leave it to God to take care of the judgment? Surely, our Lord’s warnings against homosexuals will be vindicated on the day of judgment. Nevertheless, Christians must continue to speak out for three reasons. 

First, for the sake of our next generation. Homosexuality is the antithesis of life. By definition, homosexuals cannot reproduce. The only way for homosexuals to perpetuate themselves is through seduction and recruitment. This they do in Canada by introducing homosexual literature in the public schools as well as through the courts by legalizing homosexual relationships. Think about this – what is to stop the legally “married” homosexuals from adopting children? 

Second, the truth must be told about homosexuality and AIDS. The statistics provided by Health Canada clearly shows a link between homosexual activity and AIDS. Of the number of new AIDS patients in Canada in 2001, more than half of them were homosexuals. If we have labels on cigarettes packets warning people about the link between smoking and cancer, should not we do the same about homosexual activity and AIDS? 

The third reason for speaking out is that truth must be heard. God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice must be preached to those who are lost in sin, and this is the duty of every Christian. May the Lord help us to be as unequivocal in showing love as we are in preaching the truth. 

(The article is reproduced with permission from Rev Isaac Ong, who is the pastor of Vancouver Bible- Presbyterian Church, Canada) 


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