A sinful society
There might be nothing wrong with homosexuality.
However there is plethora of issues or should I say sins, that warps anything loving, intimate or sexual and transforms it into something nasty and low.
And while there appears to be no precise, all-inclusive definition of homosexuality it seems much easier to say what homosexuality is not. It is not: a genetic defect, a hormonal imbalance, a mental illness, or a result of demonic possession.
Homosexuality means that men are sexually and emotionally attracted to men, and women are sexually and emotionally attracted to women.
The question is: Why do people experience same-sex attraction?
Homosexuality is learned through a complex combination of shaping factors and personal choices. Many same-sex-attracted people have a sense of being “different” from a very early age and consequently they believe that they were “born gay”.
Sometimes the news or magazines have even made it sound like scientists have found genetic proof. So far, there is no proof that this is really true. But the perception of being different is a factor.
Others believe that some people are gay because they chose to be gay. For most gay people, this is not true. They did not wake up one morning and say to themselves: “Well, so far in my life I’ve been straight; from now on I think I am going to be gay.” The direction of our attractions is not something that we can quickly change, like switching a light on and off.
Of course, whether gay or straight, we always have a choice about what we do — whether and how we act on our feelings and desires. Just because we feel like doing something, doesn’t mean we are compelled to do it. Also, those who experience same-sex attraction can choose whether or not they wish to identify themselves with a label like “gay” or “lesbian”.
Life experiences are another factor to consider. Many straight persons are hurt because their partners were not honest and this affects they way they feel about themselves and also how they feel about others.
Generally, it seems that there are a number of different factors that are of different degrees of importance in different people’s lives.
I am in no way suggesting that homosexuals are victims of circumstance. Their own personal choices have a lot to do with the process of becoming “gay”. However, the interplay between shaping factors and personal choices is so complex and so different for each individual that only God has the knowledge and love necessary to unravel and reverse the process.
Not all homosexuals are involved to the same extent. A gay person may be involved anywhere along these categories. Fantasy, behaviour, identity and lifestyle.
The traditionalist will tell us that God considers sexual activity with a person of the same sex to be sin (See Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:9-10). And Christ made it clear that a person is guilty of sin whether they are engaged in fantasy or in behaviour. While it is clear that homosexuality is sin, it is also clear that God does not consider homosexuality the biggest sin. God considers adultery, stealing, drunkenness, selfishness, lying and cheating to be sin just like homosexual activity and He responds the same way to all of them (See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
They might even add that Jesus Christ demonstrated God’s response when He dealt with people involved in sexual sins. He offered mercy and forgiveness, not judgement and rejection. And He offered hope and freedom from the bondage of sexual sin. He also made it clear there is a need for repentance, forgiveness and growth. Christ can and will intervene with His super abundant love and power.
The homosexual need not remain trapped in homosexuality. He, like any other sinner, can become a new creature and begin a new life with God. In fact, the Bible clearly states that the early church in Corinth included people who had been homosexuals but no longer were (See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). God’s love and mercy is so much greater than any sin. God will bring about the necessary changes as the person remains in Him.
A major part of the problem is that we are a society that just lets everything hang out. It does not have to be an event like “Reggae in the Mud”, it might be a trip to the supermarket and you will see breast ready to jump out, underwear exposed and you might even come across persons of the same sex fondling or kissing in public.
This still makes the average Barbadian uncomfortable because sex in our minds still belongs in the bedroom, at night, in the dark.
Honestly I have no problem with homosexuals, actually I would have to say I just don’t care — we all have the right to choose how we want to live. However, the boldness with which we now deal with sex is unfamiliar to many and sometimes it makes me uneasy too. The brawling in the streets has been replaced by nasty comments on social media and I find this distasteful.
I don’t think we can just finger the homosexual as sinful and worthy of fire and brimstone when society is a smelly den of sin and inequity.
Part two of this column will be featured next week.