Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Bishop-elect Robinson

The big news here in New Hampshire, both national and local, is the vote to install Gene Robinson as a bishop in the New Hampshire diocese of the Episcopalian Church. Robinson would become the first openly gay Episcopalian bishop.

I am not an Episcopalian. But I agree with most conservative commentators that this is a big mistake. But the ecclesiastic ramifications are not what I want to write about. It just reminded of something I may have blogged about before, but I couldn't track it down. So this may be a repeat.

There is an ongoing debate between conservative Christians and the gay community. The question is whether some are born homosexual, become homosexual, or choose to be homosexual.

Many Christians suggest that homosexuals choose to be so. I seriously doubt that, in any but the most pathological of cases.

I believe Christians adopt this position because if people are born gay, or if they develop that way because of their environment, then in either case it is something outside their control. Then the argument becomes how can God punish someone for something beyond his control? Christians, not understanding basic doctrine, are intimidated by the reasonableness of this complaint. The response is then the nonsensical no, you chose to be that way.

I think that the scientific evidence is inconclusive, which probably means some are born homosexual, and some are affected by their environment. However, for the sake of argument, let us accept the preferred stance of the gay community, namely that all homosexuals are born that way.

It may be relevant for secular legal reasons. I am not discussing that. For considerations related to Christianity, it is totally irrelevant.

We all are born sinners. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Ps. 51:5).

How absurd (but not uncommon) it is that Christians take a ridiculous position, contrary to sound science, because they mistakenly think that it is at odds with scripture. This particular case is perhaps the most grievous. Christians who argue that homosexuals choose to be that way, in spite of no supporting scientific evidence, don't realize that what they are really arguing against is the universal Christian creedal doctrine of Original Sin.

We are all born to sin. We all seem to have unique sinful tendencies. It doesn't matter. We are still accountable to God for those sins, even though we were born to commit them. Tough luck, but it’s the only game in town. Original Sin may very well be built into out genes. A lying gene. A homosexual gene. Genes for wanton lust, stealing, covetousness, sloth, and gluttony.

We don’t get a get-out-of-jail free card. It is, in fact, our intended fate. Whatever we struggle with, being born that way is no excuse. Homosexuals have been dealt a terrible hand. The strongest natural urges humans have are misdirected. But they have to deal with it just the same way the rest of us have to deal with our own dark propensities. Through repentance, prayer, and an ever-improving walk with Christ. To "give up" and live the lifestyle openly, as bishop-elect Robinson does, not even admitting that it is wrong, is evidence of a hardened heart.

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