Friday, February 06, 2004

more thoughts on homosexuality

I guess I have a few options when it comes to my understanding of homosexuality. I am convinced that one is both affected biologically and environmentally in various ways in order to come to the realization that one is homosexual. To the extent that it is a biological reality or an emotional choice does have an impact on how I should understand it in relation to sin.

Option 1. It is a sinful lifestyle which is chosen apart from any biological influence. It is chosen because of environmental and psychological issues as a means to cope. Such issues would include neglect, abuse (of any kind, emotional, verbal, sexual), or even social conditioning (ie. being effeminate and being called "gay" growing up.) It is freely chosen and therefore can be freely denied, though there remains a need for psychological healing.

Option 2. It is a sinful lifestyle which is chosen due to both a biological influence and an environmental/psychological influence. This would liken itself to alcoholism. There may be genetic pre-disposition that is re-enforced by certain experiences growing up. All this culminates in feelings which allows a person to assume an identity of being homosexual. It is freely chosen due to strong biological influences and therefore can be freely denied, though may be likened to an addiction. Need for both communal support and psychological healing are evident.

Option 3. It is a lifestyle that is a result of sin in the world, which is not chosen but is a biological reality. This would liken it to a mental illness. It is not recognized as a part of God's good creation and yet is also not considered sin. By comparing it to mental illness I am not saying that it is an illness. I am saying that this option would claim that it is a chemical/biological reality that must be dealt with in one way or another. People don't choose mental illness, it is a part of being a fallen creation. In this option, homosexuality would not, therefore, be a lifestyle of sin as long as it followed biblical principles such as monogamous marriage and sexual purity before marriage. It would not, however, be seen as an ideal, just as mental illness is not ideal.

One issue to consider in this option is that often sinful lifestyles (alcohol and drug abuse for instance) are often causes of mental illness (to stick with our main example.) And just as often, mental illness occurs at birth. Likewise, mental illness can be a reaction to abusive environmental and psychological situations. This option would have to leave open the possibility that the biological reality of homosexuality could be a result from a normal birth, from a previous sinful lifestyle, or from environmental and psychological issues. Because it is a biological reality, it is not chosen, and therefore cannot be freely denied. Further, the question of whether one should try coping mechanisms (as those who are mentally ill have tried therapy and medication) would be up for debate. Because it would not be seen as an illness, this would be questionable at best.

Option 4. Homosexuality is not a sin because homosexual people were created to be that way. It is natural part of God's good creation and should be accepted as such. One's sexuality, assuming biblical principles of purity and monogamy were followed as best as any of us can, does not negatively impact one's relationship with God. The Christian community, therefore, is the one in need of healing as they learn to cope with their own prejudices and learn to accept people of differing sexual identities.

I am sure that there are other options to be considered here. These are the ones that seem most prominent to me as a Christian. These are the ones that I wrestle with the most. I believe so strongly that a person cannot be divided into little nuggets. Our physical, biological, emotional and spiritual selves are not separate. They are one. I am A person, not many persons. So each part of me effects the other. This makes the issue of homosexuality so complicated. No easy answers.

Father, above all help me to love people.


Post a Comment

<< Home