This post is the first of many in response to the homosexual posts and debates taking place at the futurechurch website, mostly here and here.
So far there still seems to be, in my opinion, one central thread that’s coming through : gender. Seeing homosexuality as a gender is implied in many of the articles supplied by Graeme Codrington here, but it simply makes no sense to accept homosexuality as a gender. We don’t (and neither do any of the articles) consider heterosexuality as a gender; so is it fair to accept homosexuality as a gender?
The ancient cultures always accepted male as male, or female as female; based on anatomy. The article about the eunuchs (again, see Graeme’s list of articles here) is implying that homosexuality should be seen as a gender, and some of the other articles were too.
This doesn’t make sense. If we are going to accept homosexuality as a gender, we will have to accept heterosexuality as a gender. In other words, we would have to change the way we define gender. To put it simply, a doctor could not say to you ‘it’s a girl’ or ‘it’s a boy’ when your baby is born, because no one knows the child’s sexual orientation. But now how does the child know it’s own gender? And what is it to be until that gender is made clear?
Am I the only one who sees major pastoral, parenting and pretty much everything implications here? How does a child or teen or even adult know, for sure, that they are homosexual or heterosexual? It seems pretty obvious, given by the history Graeme has provided and common sense, that most people could probably switch as they prefer. What is a child’s gender until the child reaches the age of sexual attraction (whatever that means)?
A re-interpretation of Romans 1, in the pro-gay-lifestyle view, says that Paul is referring to heterosexual men and women exchanging their natural heterosexual orientation for a homosexual, and labels this ‘exhanging’ as sin. If a homosexual switches to heterosexual, they sin, and vice versa. Therefore, Paul is saying homosexuals should remain homosexual and heterosexuals heterosexual, and not switch their ‘natural’ orientation for another.
But this interpretation creates a mass of problems amongst us all. How do I know if I am heterosexual or homosexual? There’s no way of telling, since (even taking Romans 1 into account) most people can seem to switch. How do we know if our teen boy is not now saying he’s homosexual simply because it’s not working out with the girls – and he assumes that this means he must be homosexual? Or because he is getting more interest from the boys than the girls, it may mean that he is homosexual?
How do we know how to parent that child, since the child is no longer considered ‘boy’ but either homosexual or heterosexual, and they’re not of ‘age’ to know whichever they are anyway? There’s a mass of problems here that I don’t see discussed.
These are only a few examples of a mass of confusion in seeing homosexuality as a gender. At this point it would be helpful for pro-gay-lifestyle guys to step in and explain how they view this as I see it as a huge problem.
We have to ask: is homosexuality or heterosexuality perhaps not simply a persons preference in how to have sex? Or is it a legitimate gender? Is homosexual love characterised by the emotional affection of two same-sex people for each other, or is it characterised by sexual relations with each other? See, two males can have a deep friendship that doesn’t have to spill over to sex and as Graeme Codrington has pointed out, is this not really all about sex?
So, at a basic level, we need a definition of homosexuality and perhaps all who are contributing or who would like to contribute should provide their definition. No doubt there’s gay people out there reading this, and I would love to hear their definition of homosexuality.
Is it attraction to the same sex? Well what does that actually MEAN? Heck, I can tell one attractive guy from another. I’m sure any guy can. I’m pretty sure, and this is something most straight guys wouldn’t admit, that its actually quite easy to be attracted to men. Really. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m pretty sure it’s not that difficult. I have just never tried. For this reason I struggle to understand why homosexual men claim to be ‘put off’ by the idea of being attracted to women.
Now, what if I did try? What if I made a decision to look at men differently? Does the fact that I can do that make me homosexual? If not, then what actually makes someone homosexual? That they DON’T like the opposite sex? Well, to be pretty blunt, what if they’ve just never tried?
Especially since the historical evidence seems to show that most men were able to switch quite easily between men and women as they saw fit. Then, it also seems to show that some just ‘preferred’ being with men – but what does that MEAN? “Preferred” is not the word that most homosexuals I have met would like to refer to their orientation, as it implies that their homosexuality is a choice – an idea that most homosexuals – especially Christians – abhor.
So, I think we need a solid definition of homosexuality before the debate can really continue. The scriptural thought on the matter then may be much more clear.
4 thoughts on “The Need For a Definition of Homosexuality”
This is a great blog on the subject of homosexuality as a persons’ identity. Of course, when we look at all of the confounding issues that go into making a behavioral choice equal to identity one can see the real issues here. No matter what one chooses to believe about his/her sexual feelings or attractions, ALL behavior is ultimately a CHOICE. Sexuality is a generic term that describes a persons ability to act sexually without regard to the focus of that sexual desire at the time, which clearly changes periodically for many people. Homosex and heterosex are choices that a person makes as to the focus of his/her sexuality. This may be driven by many underlying feelings, emotions and probably many unconscious motivations of the individual. To use the argument “my feelings determine who I am” is a very immature/superficial way of living in this world. One can obviously feel like doing anything imaginable….so why do the feelings themselves justify anything? The truth is one has to be open enough to allow for the introspection that may give insight into the motivations and desires of human beings. The only reason this debate even exists is due to the political agenda attached to homosexuality. We don’t see it anywhere else. In the book “God’s Truth about Gender” by Dr. David E. James IV, all of these gender issues are addressed from a scientific and spiritual way that sheds huge light on this seemingly difficult topic of discussion. Homosexuality is NOT a gender. To think otherwise is foolishness. God created male and female not heterosexuals and homosexuals. Humans create what they CHOOSE to do with their sexual capabilities. Buy the book “God’s truth about Gender” read it and put this whole debate to rest.
You’ve made this confusing for me- I don’t know where to submit comments to, but it seems the discussion is dormant on futurechurch for now, so you’ve managed to pull me across here (nice one! haha).
You asked a LOT of questions, but just to pick up on one or two things…
Do you really think you could be attracted to guys in that way??? I’ve asked myself that before and I think there’s a level of attraction where I can enjoy being around certain guys more than others, and although I may even feel some kind of physical/emotional attraction towards them (I guess that’s what makes them “buddies”), it is far from any sexual attraction!! The thought even repulses me.
This has made me a lot more sympathetic to gay guys, because I’ve thought to myself, “If it’s the same for them to feel sexual attraction towards girls, as it is for me towards guys, then how an earth could I expect them to feel any different, or to change that??”
On a different point, although I may not agree with Graeme that homosexuality is a gender, and I’d probably be inclined to argue that it is a by-product of brokenness, that does not necessarily require a homosexual to become heterosexual before entering “the faith”.
Therefore I may agree with Graeme that if two homosexual people committed to each other for life, it may not be the worst option! However, I’d say this not because it’s a third gender, but because in this broken world, we’re going to have to live with all kinds of brokenness in our lives until we’re perfected.
Sorry for making it confusing – my response was long and the futurechurch blog doesn’t allow for responses that long. Also, my call for a definition was slightly out of topic with Graeme’s original post.
Anyway, with regards to attraction. “Sexual attraction” is surely something that is NOT beyond our control. I’m not sexually attracted to every girl I meet or see, including bikini-clad models. While they may be attractive, without a doubt, ‘sexual attraction’ is something I seem to be able to turn on and off at some form of will. True, some days I’m more prone to temptation than others, but I’m not sexually attracted to a girl until I look twice at a girl I find attractive and make up my mind to move from mere attraction to sexual attraction, which becomes lust soon enough because she’s not my wife.
But this is something I have considerable control over, especially as a Christian. Since I’m a new creature when I’m born again, and the Holy Spirit lives in me to produce self-control, I’m well aware that moments of lust are purely from my own choice to let my flesh rule me instead of allowing the Spirit to let my spirit rule my flesh.
(I didn’t always think that way – I used to struggle with lust a lot because my theology told me that I was subject to a ‘sinful nature’. Since I’ve changed my opinion on that (I don’t believe that Christians have a sinful nature) I have found myself with tremendous control that is increasing every day. I’ve discussed the sinful nature in other areas of my blog if you’re interested.)
Likewise, I’m saying that sexual attraction may be a natural thing but that doesn’t mean it’s out of our control. If I experience the ability to be sexually attracted to attractive girls when I decide then surely I also have the ability to be sexually attracted to guys if I want. Therefore, a great deal of sexual attraction IS in our ability and I’m beginning to be doubtful that homosexuals can’t be attracted to women.
Surely ‘sexual attraction’ and ‘attraction’ or ‘attractive’ are two separate things? I mean I find Anne Hathaway attractive but I’m not SEXUALLY attracted to her. Why would / should I be? I plan to not be sexually attracted to anyone besides my wife.
As to your second point I agree that people don’t have to become heterosexual to be Christian or enter the faith. However, if we’re going to talk about ‘homosexual people committed to each other for life’ we still have to define what ‘homosexual’ actually means. Is it simply two guys or girls committing to each other? Well, I’ve committed myself to a few guys in my life – I call them my best friends. Is it two guys or girls committing themselves SEXUALLY to each other alone? Well, assuming they can be attracted to girls (if my theories are correct) then I ask why they are committing sexually to each other? What’s the motivation behind it?
My logic is becoming fairly simple. Homosexuality can’t be a gender. If it’s not a gender then homosexuality is the result of other things. Even brokenness is something that God promises to heal. Sure, the healing process may take time, but the healing process is not helped by indulging in the brokenness or the results of the brokenness. We have to step out of it and start working towards recovery, like anything else in our lives.
For this reason I would say one of the first steps towards healing is to get out of a homosexual relationship and start enjoying being single. God is more than enough for us – we honestly don’t need partners, heterosexual or homosexual, in our lives to be whole or loved. Embracing singleness is a good starting point towards sexual healing, for heterosexuals or homosexuals alike.
Hey David James,
Thanks for the comments man. Very interesting. I’m going to be looking for that book.