The Real Cause of Homosexuality
By Rev. Mark Creech, Executive Director
Christian Action League
Few issues are as explosive as homosexuality. Many evangelical Christians, I think, would rather not talk about it. But because arguments for “gay rights” have become so pervasive, it is no longer possible to remain neutral. To fail to oppose homosexuality is essentially to legitimize it. And those who are willing to battle against the practice must be prepared to do so from a strong Christian worldview.
Various myths about homosexuality have been espoused in recent years and none is more ubiquitous than the argument that homosexuality is genetically endowed. However, this position is not only without strong scientific support, Scripture also refutes it. The Bible is clear: our bodies can never make us sin. The ultimate cause of sinful behavior is always the sinful heart. Without a firm understanding of this fundamental teaching of Scripture, it is not only impossible to rightly interpret what homosexual activists say about being born “gay,” but also other theories offered to explain homosexuality.
For instance, over the years evangelical Christians have summarily rejected the biological theories about homosexuality, and rightly so. They contend the Bible repudiates such views. But they have not been so quick to reject some of the psychological theories and missed the mark.
Some Christian psychologists are now saying that homosexuality is a learned behavior primarily induced by a pre-homosexual disposition that left untreated results in homosexual behavior. Such theories contend there is a need for bonding between persons of the same sex and when these allegedly normal attachments go unmet, they become eroticized. This is particularly true if there is a deficit in the relationship with the same-sex parent.
It all sounds so plausible. Homosexuality, they contend, is essentially a psychological disorder caused by rejection of those of the same-sex or a failure to bond with a parental figure of the same-sex. The only problem with this approach, however, is that it’s not biblical. It demonstrates a faulty understanding of the doctrine of sin.
While certain personality traits, familial relationships, early childhood experiences, possible sexual molestation, etc., may provide fertile soil for homosexuality to grow, these factors are not the primal issue. Homosexuality is not the result of biology! It is not caused by a deficit in the relationship with the same-sex parent! It is not caused by a failure to bond with one’s same-sex peers or any other outside influences! It is caused by something radically wrong with the human heart! It is caused by the principle of sin!
I realize this doesn’t sound as educated or sophisticated as other explanations. But to suggest that psychological factors are the primary reason for homosexuality is to also say that the orientation toward homosexuality starts a little later than birth instead of at birth. Edward T. Welch in Homosexuality: Speaking the Truth in Love makes this same point and argues: “We are left at almost the same place as the biological theories: the orientation is still established by forces outside of ourselves, and orientation precedes sin. Therefore, the real problem, the deep problem, is the homosexual orientation. A diagnosis of sin and a cure that included repentance would be considered superficial.”
Indeed, if the chief cause of homosexuality is psychological, why the need for a spiritual cure?
A biblical view of homosexuality would acknowledge there might be psychological and even biological influences in the development of homosexuality. But the Scriptures are adamant that it is not what influences us that make us “unclean,” it is the evil that lurks in our depraved natures. Sin has innumerable expressions in our lives that may have various influences. Some people seem predisposed to a bad temper and certain influences may lend to the advancement of that conduct. Others seem predisposed to greed or jealousy. And certain influences or circumstances of life may make these behaviors deeply entrenched. But they are no more the cause of the behavior than outside influences are the cause of a person’s homosexuality.
Tim Wilkins is the founder/director of Cross Ministry — a ministry equipping the Church to evangelize and disciple the homosexual. He is a former homosexual who testifies he came from a very dysfunctional home and that home life did play a role in his homosexual behavior. But Tim says he was never able to overcome homosexuality until he recognized what he was doing was sinful. Tim repented and said, “I didn’t know anything about how to be heterosexual, but I did know how to obey God.” His life started to experience a genuine turnaround when he recognized the primary cause of his homosexuality was sin!
Tim is now happily married and has two beautiful daughters. He says, “For years I prayed, ‘God change me and I’ll do whatever you want me to do,’ while all along God was saying, ‘Tim, do what I want you to do and I’ll change you.’” Tim adds, “Though I am no longer gay, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I owe that to Jesus Christ. When I was obedient to God, He reached down to help me and poured blessing to overflowing into my life.”
There is no more important factor in the transforming of homosexuals than learning the truth about themselves: they are sinners in need of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Outside influences that play upon the human psyche are not the main reason for homosexuality — sin is. The real cause of homosexual desire or activity is the idolatrous instincts of the human heart.
Rev. Mark H. Creech (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.
This editorial was first published by Agape Press (Currently One News Now) June 18, 2003
The author gratefully acknowledges Edward T. Welch in Homosexuality: Speaking the Truth in Love as a helpful resource in the preparation of this editorial.