By Tom Moody (1951-2003)

There was a lot of publicity a few years ago about studies indicating a "genetic predisposition" to homo­sexuality, but there has never been any­thing near proof that homosexuality can­not be helped and is genetic. If someone contends that it is genetically driven, the burden of proof is on the one making that contention. It cannot be proven.

Some other thoughts:

1.   Homosexuality is "conduct". We do not deny that someone may have ho­mosexual thoughts or temptations. But what makes someone homo­sexual is committing homosexual acts. Most people confuse a "tendency" or a "temptation" with the act. I may be tempted to rob a bank, but that does not make me a bank robber. I am a bank robber only when I rob the bank. I would not dispute that someone may have "homosexual tendencies." That does not mean that they have no choice but to commit homosexual acts. People choose the kind of behavior they engage in. Someone with the temptation to com­mit homosexual acts must discipline themselves and work to overcome their temptation just as someone tempted to commit heterosexual for­nication or someone tempted to steal.

2.   The fact that a condition has a genetic background does not make it good. The very same genetic studies that have been used to justify homo­sexuality also produced information about a number of genetic defects such as Down's syndrome. If there were a way to prevent or correct that genetic defect, we would do it. Should we be looking for a way to prevent or correct the "genetic defect" which supposedly causes homosexuality?

3.   We know that there are "genetic pre­dispositions" to certain behaviors. For example, there is evidence of a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. If someone knows they have such a genetic predisposition, they would be wise to avoid the behavior (drinking alcoholic beverages) that can cause them a serious problem. Further­more, they have that choice! That person is not forced to drink, or to become a drunkard. He may have "predisposition" to alcoholism, but whether he ever takes a drink is a matter of choice and behavior. 

4.   If the person with whom you are dis­cussing has regard for the Bible, I would point out that passages such as 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 teach that homosexuals (as well as drunkards, thieves, adulterers and idolaters) learned to cease that behavior. If they could learn to cease it, it must have been something they originally learned to do. Nevertheless, whether it was learned or inherited behavior, they still could stop the behavior, and had to do so to be right with God. &

Editor’s note: In the 1987 edition of The World Book Encyclopedia, homosexuality was defined as “sexual activity between persons of the same sex.” In the 2000 edition, however, it was redefined as “sexual attrac­tion chiefly to individuals of the same sex.” This difference in the way homo­sexuality is defined is the reason there is so much disagreement over whether one is born a homosexual or be­comes a homosexual, whether being a homosexual is by nature or by nurture. Obviously, one cannot control his or her sexual attraction but one can control his or her sexual activity. &

The Bible and Sexual Activity

By Bob Myhan

Sexual activity is allowed only within a scriptural marriage. Those who otherwise engage in sexual activity are fornicators and/or adulterers.

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Heb. 13:4)

Thus, sexual activity outside of mar­riage is forbidden and those who practice for­bidden sexual activities cannot enter into heaven.

Do you not know that the un­righteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulter­ers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunk­ards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10)

Marriage is implicitly defined in Scrip­ture as being between a man and a woman. In both Hebrew and Greek, the words for man and woman are also used for husband and wife, respectively.

Not all marriages are scriptural. Some marriages are forbidden by God and con­stitute adulterous relation­ships.

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the begin­ning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be­come one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" He said to them, "Moses, be­cause of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." (Matt. 19:3-9)

Thus, one who is divorced by his or her spouse [as well as one who divorces his or her spouse for a cause other than for­nication] is not eligible to be married to another and must practice self-control.

“Fornication” is “illicit sex­ual inter­course.” It may include or ex­clude adul­tery, depending on the context (see Vine’s Complete Expository Diction­ary of Old and New Testament Words, page 252).

“Adultery” is implicitly defined by Jesus as “sexual activity involving at least one person who is not eligible for mar­riage” (Matt. 19:3-9, quoted above). Therefore, those only who are scriptur­ally married to one another may engage in sexual activity with one another. Those who are scrip­turally married include:

1.   Those who had never been married before

2.   Those who divorced their previous spouses for fornication

3.   Those whose previous spouses died

4.   Those who are reconciling after having been divorced from one another

All others, whether attracted to the same sex or to the opposite sex, must abstain from sexual activity (1 Cor. 6:18-20). &