May 24, 2015

The Bible and Homosexuality XVIII: God Made Me This Way, Part II

Reduced To Absurdity

If the previous argument in Part I isn’t enough to refute the pro-homosexual view, the following logic should end the argument. The framing of the “God Made Me This Way” argument as a sinful allowance by God is flawed from a logic standpoint. 

It assumes one that is guilty of homosexual actions is unique in their type of sin. To agree to frame the debate this way is to pay practicing homosexuals special credence for their particular sin. Sin is sin no matter how it’s framed. God views all sin as an affront to His holy nature. To use this leap of logic for homosexuality requires that we also do it for all sin and all sinners and this would lead to reductio ad absurdum. It would mean that God made a thief a thief, an adulterer an adulterer and so on. 

This would implicate God as the source of all sin via human proclivity towards it. This is essentially making people robots like that of hard determinism. This is absurd. It also takes the accountability for action off of all humanity for sin. This is totally against the Bible's concept of sin. People are indeed responsible for their sins and they will be held to account for all of them. The penalty for sin is death and if the sin is not repented of, it will mean eternal condemnation. 

To attribute the blame for sin to God directly violates Scriptural description of God’s attributes and description of His character.

1 John 3:9 ~ No one who is born of God practices sin, because His [God’s] seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Further Flaws of Logic

Furthermore, God didn’t make these sinful people sinful. Although that it is possible that the entire human race’s nature is corrupted via the Fall of Man (Feinberg 382-383), for someone to say that because God has allowed the sins to continue unabated constitutes an approval of them is another fallacy of Affirming the Consequent. This argument goes as follows:
(1) If God allows homosexuality, He approves of homosexuality
(2) God has allowed homosexuality to continue
(3) Therefore God approves of homosexuality.

The problem with this is that is assumes that the only reason God has allowed the sin of homosexuality to continue it because He approves of it. This is not what Scripture tells us. Just because God has allows any sin to continue does not mean He approves of sin. Scripture is clear on this fact.

Romans 6:1-3 ~ What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

What in reality has happened since Genesis 3 and the Fall of humanity is that God through His forbearance and patience has allowed human sins to continue and not judge people for their sin outright which is what they deserved.

Romans 6:23 ~ For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Some Christians, unsure of Scripture will assume that, for reasons only a God can know, he allows sinners (like homosexuals) to continue to sin in this fallen world and doesn't expect them to change. This is an incorrect assumption. Scripture tells us exactly why God continues to allow sinners to sin and also allows evil and suffering to continue in this world in 2 Peter and it is not because He approves of sin. It is just the opposite reason.

2 Peter 3:9 ~ The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you [a sinner], not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

The truth is that God is extraordinarily patient when it comes to our sin (Erickson 195, Grudem 201-202). He is giving humanity and individual humans every possible chance to repent and turn to Him for forgiveness of the very sins they are committing (Enns 337). In the end, logic and Scripture repudiates the flawed assertion that God makes homosexuals the way they are. This also goes a long way to repudiate the eunuch/homosexual argument put forth about Matthew 19 and the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8 that implies some eunuchs are made the way they are by birth (Helminiak 127).

Theological Implications of Human Choice

To wrap-up the “God Made Me This Way” synopsis the following can be stated. Just like any other volitional action whether it is physical, mental, sexual or otherwise, it is a choice. Granted it is sometimes an incredibly difficult choice to stop some of these sins but it is not an impossible task to cease from one’s entrenched sin. 

The question that needs to be asked in this situation is this: Is a sinner expected to try and stop their sin on their own without help? Is that what is truly expected of a sinner? The answer: Yes and no. 

God expects us to turn and repent of sins. In reality, He knows His creation as only a Creator God would know it…and it is the very reason God foreknew that He would send His Son Jesus Christ. We are all slaves to sin and we are all totally incapable of beating sin without God as Romans 3 clearly states. We would need righteousness apart from the Law and human works.

1 Corinthians 5:21 ~ He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Romans 3:25 ~ God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished...

John 3:17 ~ "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

The bible tells us that it is impossible to uphold the Bible’s standards of holiness from the human perspective but through God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26-27, Luke 1:37, Philippians 4:13). This includes not only physically resisting of the sin but even the more difficult task of not thinking the sin. The process that lasts throughout our lifetime on earth is called sanctification. It is both a passive and active role that we play. 

By yielding ourselves over to God we depend on God to sanctify us (Erickson 326, Grudem 754). We are to strive for holiness and without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14) and we are to abstain from immorality and obey the will of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3) that is our sanctification (Grudem 755). The start of the turnaround is the admission of guilt of one’s sin. God cannot make a person remorseful of sin because this is a volitional act (a choice). Without an admission of one’s sin, there is no repentance (Erickson 279, 308; Grudem 713).

It doesn’t matter if this sin is homosexuality or any other sin. To refuse to admit that a choice is involved here is to deny any culpability in one’s own sin (Grudem 333-334). This is either an inability or it is an unwillingness to take accountability for one’s actions. To take accountability for one’s actions would be an admission of the guilt of the transgressor/sinner. It would force an individual to acknowledge their sin. Sinful humanity will not nor cannot do this as it is not their nature as stated in Romans 3:9-20 (Erickson 190, Grudem 497).

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