Re: Homosexuality (a condition) and homosexual activities

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Tue Aug 21 2001 - 11:32:16 EDT

  • Next message: John W Burgeson: "A reference book on the homosexual issue"

    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
    induce it."

    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
    of course.

    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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