Many Christians wonder about this. When a child or someone we love reveals that they are homosexual, we try to grapple with this reality. We can’t understand how someone could choose this behavior. It’s often easier to think that biology can somehow be the explanation. But then the question becomes: if biology can explain homosexuality, would that behavior still be sinful? In other words, a person will argue that if God made them that way biologically, then He can't judge them morally.
Let me begin by reminding you of how the Bible talks about sin. The Bible refers to what we call “original sin” and “indwelling sin.” Original sin is an unchosen condition and refers to the fact that each of us was born with a sinful nature. Indwelling sin is a persistent pattern of sinful desires or behaviors that can manifest in a thousand different forms or decisions. Homosexuality, like every sin, exists because of original sin and is chosen as a lifestyle when a person’s life is governed by indwelling sin.
With same-sex attraction, the problem is always sin, not biology.
Are people born Gay?
If your source of information is the media and pop culture, the answer is yes. A biological cause for homosexuality is presented as a scientific fact that is unquestionably proven. However, it has not been proven, even by a secular scientific world. There are current studies that look at the biological and environmental factors that influence same-sex attraction, but there remains no conclusive evidence outside of Scripture.
Does it matter?
It’s important to understand that even if homosexuality was rooted in some biological cause—it’s the way someone was born—that would not make it permissible. Frankly, people want to find a cause for their sin, rather than be accountable for their choice to sin. Being born with a sinful nature will never make sin right.
If we begin to answer this dilemma with a biblical worldview, we know that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and have a soul (Matthew 16:26, 22:37). We are much more than the sum of our genes or bodily desires. We also know that we have a will and can make choices for or against God (Joshua 24:15; Matthew 12:30). God’s Word makes it clear that homosexual behavior is sinful (Romans 1:26–28; 1 Timothy 1:9–11; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11) but so are forbidden actions and addictions: alcoholism, drug addiction, promiscuity, lying, cheating, stealing, and many more. If a gene was found that gave a person a tendency toward alcoholism or gambling or heterosexual promiscuity, it would not excuse the behavior.
Frankly, we are all born as sinners, and our sin can find expression in so many different ways.
What is the answer?
We must point people to a far more important reality: regardless of what was true or not true of you when you were born, Jesus says that you must be born again.
People have certain sins that they struggle with, the Bible calls them our “besetting sins”. These are sins that we are particularly fond of, and can be destroyed by, if not controlled by God’s Spirit. For example, some people seem to have a propensity toward lying. That person must surrender their lying to the transforming truth of the gospel. Some people have addictive personalities and more easily succumb to substance abuse. They also must surrender their desires to the control of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter whether someone thinks they were “born” a homosexual or not; we are not defined by our sexual desires. We are to be defined as someone satisfied in Christ, under the power of the Holy Spirit, dedicated to obedience to the word and will of God.
How must we respond?
When God saves us, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We’re are able to hate our sin without hating ourselves. Our sexuality is no longer who we are, and how we’re driven in life. We daily die to our old self so that Christ can live in us (Romans 8:13; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:5). And even when we fail, our trust in Christ for forgiveness as He daily cleanses us (1 John 1:9) and His power enables us to continue living for His glory.