Homosexuality Remains a Very Contentious Topic
Homosexuality Remains a Very Contentious Topic
By Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.
Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.
Creation Studies Institute’s (CSI) recent publication of an article by CSI’s Lawyer’s Corner contributor, Rob Edwards, JD, has been ruffling lots of feathers and rubbing many people the wrong way. His article entitled “Evolution, Creationism and Homosexuality in the Public Schools,” had generated a plethora of hate mail.
Rob’s article reviewed the history of the legal case Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (U.S. 1987), e.g. a court case that resulted in that state’s public schools being ordered to teach evolution to the exclusion of creation science. That decision opened the door that led to the acceptance of a homosexual-friendly curriculum in many public schools. It seems that this, coupled with Rob’s treatment of the biblical teaching with regard to the preeminence and importance of the Word of God in the formulation of decisions upon which a lifestyle should be based, is the real reason for the ire of those who have begun to send hateful and obscene emails to our website.
For anyone who actually wants to know the facts about what CSI believes and teaches concerning the subject of homosexuality, we have an official position paper regarding this subject that can be viewed here:
For the record, CSI is in agreement with those who stand against bigotry. We believe it is valid to support those who are being denied their basic human rights and the dignity of man created in the image of God. Sadly, people often do not take the time and actually examine the writings of those they disagree with. Most will not bother to review CSI’s official position concerning homosexuality. If they did, they would soon discover that we are not advocating discrimination or hatred.
But you don’t understand, homosexuals are born that way
The political situation in this country is extremely partisan. Many people, including myself, do not believe that homosexuality is determined solely on the basis of genetics. This seems to be the main objection people have when attacking CSI for its stand against the pro-homosexual lobby, and their efforts to fundamentally change the definition of marriage. We find that most of those who vent on our website often do so without any desire to discuss this issue. I would only ask those who are making the claim that homosexuality is genetically predetermined to provide the evidence for that position. If you have support that sexual orientation is akin to ethnicity (as most are evidently claiming), I would be very interested in seeing that data.
I would also like to remind people that every human is born in a fatally flawed (sinful or full or filled with sin) condition. Although others, i.e. atheists, secular humanists, evolutionists, etc., may believe that people are born tabula rasa, e.g. a virtual blank slate, neutral with regard to right and wrong, the clear teaching of the Bible tells us that we are born with the inherent predisposition towards sinful behavior. Whether or not you consider the Bible a valid source of truth, it correctly observes that human beings, religious or not, can act in ways that would be considered immoral. You do not have to teach children to lie, trying to get two toddlers to share one toy can, and usually does, end in disaster. So, unless you are sinless, I think we can agree that Jesus was right when He interceded on behalf of the woman caught in adultery telling her accusers, “you who are without sin, cast the first stone,” John 8:7.
Sometimes, those who claim to be Christians (Christ people) wrongly focus on certain behaviors, i.e. homosexuality, divorce, drug addiction, etc., and single them out for special attention. When we single out homosexual sin, and focus on that (as if heterosexual sin or lying or stealing or cheating or any other failure to do “that which is right in the sight of the Lord” is somehow less worthy of God’s attention and forgiveness), we become less effective in our attempts to reach the lost with the genuine cure for sin, the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may debate the need for forgiveness when it concerns homosexuality (or any other behavior the Word of God indicates is wrong). However, when your moral compass is relative it is valid to ask, what standard is being employed in making a decision? Without a fully functional moral compass, and a standard by which you can accurately calibrate that compass, how can we know that our position is correct?
Often people who attack CSI claim that homosexuals have no agenda. That may be the case for an individual, however, that is completely inaccurate when it comes to advocacy groups promoting the homosexual agenda. There are many organizations working to fundamentally change the definition of marriage and promote alterative, non-traditional and non-biblically-based, lifestyles. They do so by injecting their way of life into the public arena, i.e. gay pride parades. They work within the court system using judicial activism to force others to agree with them and, by rule of law, to support their decision to live as husband and wife. By wrongfully elevating homosexuality to the level of racism, e.g. clearly a civil rights issue, they do a disservice to homosexuals who may be struggling with same-sex attraction as well as those who are still being persecuted and suffering as a result of racist lies and prejudice.
There, but for the grace of God, go you or I
I have been privileged to share the gospel for over 30 years. During that time, I have seen the grace of God change people from sinners into saints, replacing their fear, guilt, and shame, with God’s faith, hope, and love. Self-righteousness often blinds God’s children (and many others as well) to this truth; “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” I would also like to add that disagreeing with someone else is not tantamount to prejudice or hatred. I do not hate those who support abortion on demand. I disagree with them about the sanctity of life, but I do not condemn them for their belief in this matter. Nor do I have less compassion for the aborted child than I do for those who promote and encourage, and sometimes coerce, women (who are sometimes children themselves) into terminating their pregnancy.
Homosexuality is a very difficult subject to address for a variety of reasons. When we oversimplify homosexuality, and incorrectly present this subject in a one-dimensional fashion, we do everyone involved in this debate a disservice. There are a variety of factors that influence sexual orientation. The presentation of sexual orientation as simply; “I am genetically forced to behave one way or another” is an over simplification of the interaction between nature (what we inherit from our parents) and nurture (the effects of our environment, upbringing, experiences, etc.) that make us who we are.
Taking the matter further and attempting to redefine marriage to accommodate individuals who are in same sex relationships is, in my opinion, the result of moral relativism gone seriously off track. We live in a constitutional Republic. That affords minorities the same freedoms and protections that the majority enjoys. Many states have enacted legislation to afford domestic partners the same or similar benefits that married people enjoy. That is their right to do so, even if I believe that same sex relationship is not God’s best for people. I will say it again; to elevate sexuality to the level of a “human civil right” does a disservice to both the institution of marriage as well as those who bled, suffered, and died promoting the civil rights movement here and abroad.
I happen to be a child of God by grace through faith in His Messiah, Eph. 2:8-9. This was not always the case. I was raised in a typical liberal (progressive) Jewish home. I retained many of the core beliefs I learned growing up. The experience of coming to the place of faith has taught me to love others unconditionally, accept them just the way they are. That was not fundamentally different from what I was taught by my parents. That is how God loves and accepts those who come to faith in His Messiah (even if His children easily forget this truth). God’s adopted children are taught to love and forgive others, even those we disagree with us. In fact, the biblical standard of love and acceptance instructs me (and others who place their faith in the risen Savior) to love my enemies, even those who persecute me, Matt. 5:43-48. That is because believers in Messiah are held to the highest possible standard, as He has loved us, John 15:12.
Some of the emails accused us of wanting young people who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation to be self-loathing and/or suicidal. I have been an ordained minister of the Gospel since 1981. I do not preach or teach hatred. I do not personally know any true disciples of Jesus of Nazareth who preach and teach hatred and intolerance towards others. I do not allow anyone to do so in my presence. Believers understand that we are to hate the sin and not the sinner. After all, there are no natural born children of God. All of God’s children are adopted into His family when we are born again, John 3:3-21.
God has the cure for mankind’s prejudice and hatred
There is much prejudice and hatred in the world and it is by no means limited to any one group. The Gospel teaches us; That God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, John 3:16. God’s great love compelled Him to solve the sin problem of man. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 6:33. It is only God’s love that bridges the gap between His holiness and mankind’s sinfulness. God’s Word teaches His people to love and respect others, Then the Bible points us to the only One who can empower us to fulfill His commandment to love others:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
In this the love of God was manifested toward us,
that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world,
that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son to be
the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another, I John 4:7-11.
Those who work at the Creation Studies Institute welcome honest debate. We do not want people to miss the real message we are promoting. That message is one of hope for those who are hurting. This good news is offered freely to all who are in need of God’s redeeming grace. This love, acceptance, and forgiveness is offered regardless of who we are, where we were born, what ethnicity we have, how successful or unsuccessful we might be, or what sexual orientation we embrace for ourselves. People are looking for love, many end up looking for true love in all the wrong places. They end up looking for God’s unconditional love and acceptance through relationships with other people who, themselves, cannot give them true love because they are in need of that same love and acceptance themselves.
Only after you receive God’s love, can you give that away to others in need. That is the true goal of those who labor at the Creation Studies Institute. Do not let ignorance of what we really believe blind you to the One who is the way, the truth and the life, John 14:6. Messiah Jesus is both our Creator, Col. 1:16, and our Savior, John 4:42. He is both the source of, and the giver of, true love. It is our heart’s desire that everyone experience God’s transforming love, only then will you know the truth and the Truth will set you free, John 8:31-32.