Joel wrote, in part, after I'd said: "Homosexuality, being an unchosen
tendency, CANNOT be a sin," as follows:
"I don't think this is quite right. For an alcoholic, it may be the case
that the tendency to drink uncontrollably is an inherited genetic trait.
That fact does not make drinking to excess less sinful."
I agree with your second sentence. It does not, of course, negate my
"Surely, both nature and nurture contribute to all of our behavior but
our sinful actions are sinful whether or not we can list factors that
Once again, no disagreement.
"The morality of homosexual behavior should be ascertained from the
scriptures. The role of science can not be to allow us to cross out
certain portions therein. So, what is the role of science, like
observation of a genetically determined tendency towards homosexuality,
in interpreting the do's and don'ts of the bible?"
First of all, I totally agree with your first sentence in the above. What
I see "science" doing, and so far it has really not had too much to say,
is this. Since scripture does not proscribe a committed adult same-sex
relationship, then one needs also to examine the findings of science to
see if there is non-scriptural evidence to proscribe it. So far, although
Thomas Schmidt argues otherwise, and also Joseph Nicolosi in the book
"Caught in the Crossfire" (see my other post here this morning), the
counter arguments I have seen are more persuasive (to me). Neither
scripture, nor science (so far) contain arguments against a committed
long term loving adult same-sex domestic relationship.
Now if one is persuaded that scripture really does proscribe all
homosexual activity, even that which is part of an adult loving long term
relationship, then, frankly, the arguments of science to the contrary are
moot. At least for me, and, I suspect, for many (not all of course)
Christians. That is why, when I began my study of this some years ago, I
began with Helmaniak's book. If I did not find him persuasive, then the
game was over.
When I first read Helmaniak, I found him persuasive but not convincing.
After all, I'd been a Christian in fairly conservative churches for some
35 years. I had really never thought differently than what I'd been
taught; I'd really never studied the issues.
Then I read Thomas Schmidt's book, which opposes Helmaniak. I found him
to be articulate, but, strangely, not as persuasive as Helmaniak. At that
point, I had to admit that I was "on the fence," seeing good arguments on
both sides, unable (unwilling?) to take a stand.
But that's an unstable position, so on 8/7/2001, sparked, perhaps, by G.
K. Chesterton's observation that
"I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do
believe in a fate that falls on men unless they act," I took a stand. It
is interesting to see the responses I have had. Many not on this LISTSERV
Some of my study materials, or references to them, are on my website
(page 2 has the links). I have read perhaps 10x as much as appears there;
what is there is the most responsible stuff I've found so far. As time
goes on, I will likely add to the material.
Thanks for the dialog, Joel.
John Burgeson (Burgy)
(science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)
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