Opinion: Why same-sex attraction is not a sin

Posted on Oct 13 2017 - 7:56am by Tripp Bond

Recently, Mississippi HB 1523 went into effect. It has brought no small amount of both praise and disgust. Personally, I know many LGBTQ individuals on campus who were shocked, hurt and troubled by its passing.

With such troublesome news for our LGBTQ friends, it is understandable that they may be fearsome of heteronormative evangelicals. As such, I believe it is important that we Christians on campus seriously think about how we are going to comfort, instead of emotionally abuse, our friends.

Part of that is, I feel, a need to reevaluate sexual attraction from a biblical and logical standpoint. Sexual attraction is something all of us have had to experience since puberty. For most of us, the attraction is heterosexual, and we go about our daily lives being “normal.”

However, for some people, their experience does not mirror this. Instead, they have an attraction for the same sex. Often, these people are shunned by their family, their friends and society at large for not being “normal,” and for going against the assumed default of human nature. But what if that assumed default is wrong?

Let’s go back, way back, to the Garden of Eden. Here, we see God create humanity, “… so God made man in his image, male and female he created them. …” In the days before the fall of man, the universe was in its perfect, default state in which God created it. Everything was the way it was intended to be, including sexual attraction.

However, that attraction was not a heterosexual attraction. Instead, it was a hetero-monogamous attraction. What this means is that each person had sexual attraction only toward his or her spouse of the opposite sex — no one else.

So, what’s my point? That heterosexuality, having a potential sexual desire for all members of the opposite sex, is not the ideal sexuality and instead is a product of sin and the fall of man. Being straight is not the default orientation, and it should not be viewed as normal.

As a straight man, I can state that I find most women to be quite sexually attractive, and I’m sure the inverse is true. Since my attraction is not only for whomever my wife may be, this is something that is broken and a product of the fall of man.

Now, is it a sin to be heterosexual? No, it is not. Straight people did not choose to be so; using this logic, we can firmly assert, then, that being gay or lesbian is not a sin, either. Gay and lesbian people experience same-sex attraction for the same reason straight people experience heterosexual attraction: We live in a fallen world where the default of hetero-monogamous attraction is inherently missing from the equation.

Many conservatives try to assert that being gay is a choice. My conservative friends, did you choose to be straight, which is an orientation deviating from God’s norm? I very much doubt it. Why, then, assert that our gay and lesbian friends choose to have a same-sex attraction when you did not choose your orientation?

Furthermore, why would someone choose to identify with something that, tragically, he or she knows will only bring bigoted persecution against him or her from family, friends and society? It is illogical to say that gay and lesbian people choose to experience same-sex attraction.

That said, there are choices to be made on both sides. If we are to take the Scriptures seriously, then choosing to engage in heterosexual relations, as opposed to hetero-monogamous sexual relations with your spouse, is a sin. The same is true for gay and lesbian sexual relations. Being gay or being straight is not a sin; what is a sin is engaging in sex that deviates from the “Edenic Default,” whether it be heterosexual or same-sex.

There is one more choice to be made, especially by heterosexual, conservative Christians. That choice is for us to stop caricaturing our fellow man and come together in love so that we may better understand one another and form deep relationships built on this love.

Three caveats:

  1. I am not trying to boil this issue down into one opinion article. I understand and appreciate the gravity of this discussion, and I hate when people make some statement and then claim that can sum up everything to do with this complex issue. In fact, we should stop calling it an issue; these are real, flesh and blood human beings we are talking about here and not some theological problem to quickly sweep under the rug. I believe the only resolution to the problems both sides are facing is to live in that tension of grace and truth known as love, in beautifully messy relationships.
  2. Please do not think God sat down and wrote a list of arbitrary rules he wants humanity to follow, like “Don’t have gay or extramarital straight sex.” Instead, look at him as a master inventor whose creations were made to act in a certain way but have broken themselves, and he is trying to lovingly piece them back to how they were created to be. The story of the entire Scriptures is that of an artist trying to restore his art back to its perfect default after a stain appeared on his creations.
  3. I did not mention people of bisexual or other orientations in this article; however, I feel the things said may apply to them, as well.

Tripp Bond is a sophomore history major from Meridian.