The old Swedish State (Lutheran) Church changed its name to The Swedish Church (”Svenska Kyrkan”) several years ago. This church has today (sadly enough) fallen the deepest in the downward spiral into moral morass. It’s nothing short of an apostate church today. The archbishop for the Swedish Church (Hammar) has a sister (Anna Karin Hammar), who is an avowed lesbian priest in the Swedish Church and often talks about how wonderful it is to be both a lesbian and a priest (“stiftsadjunkt”) in the Swedish Church. In a recent interview she stated (translated): “The situation for me is that I can live as a homosexual precisely because I experience God’s blessing so great that it can overcome prejudices and discrimination”. (Uppsala Nya Tidning, November 17, 2004).
Other pastors some in more traditional bible believing churches - have started to question the Bible’s explanation of how a person becomes homosexual. I got a letter from a pastor in Sweden, stating that in our world toxins in the environment damages the fetus such that they become “programmed” into homosexuality by the time they reach adulthood.
As stated elsewhere (see www.emaso.org), such and similar hypotheses have never been and can never be proven. But the gay community would very much like to have people believe that the gay lifestyle is not a chosen lifestyle but that people are “predisposed” at birth (or even at conception) to become homosexuals. Again, the reasons for them wanting to promote such a hypothesis as “something concluded by science” is very obvious: If society were to believe the overwhelmingly clear evidence that a child becomes vulnerable to choose homosexuality because of influences during childhood, then society will have a justified reason to try to protect our little ones from influences from the gay community.
The question then for Christians is this: "Can God’s Word (The Bible) be wrong in it’s explanation of the genesis of homosexuality? Did Paul miss something when he describes the process of becoming homosexual?" There is nothing in the Bible suggesting that homosexuality is in the genes neither at birth, nor at conception. Instead, in Romans 1:24 we read: “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves…”.
Homosexuality is not something that is part of a person's genetic make-up, nor is it something that a person is “predisposed towards” at birth. Any “predisposition” to fall prey to homosexuality at puberty is something that the child acquires between birth and puberty through a combination of factors. The most important reasons are: 1) victim of molestation, 2) lack of opportunities and encouragement to develop his masculine identity, and 3) favorable impressions of homosexuality imparted by homosexual men.
It’s always impossible to prove the negative. We can never prove that homosexuality cannot be caused by factors like environmental poisons during pregnancy, living close to a chemical plant, spraying insecticides in your garden etc. All we can tell is that such a link has never been demonstrated or proven. It’s all hypotheses (See Myth 3 on www.emaso.org).
In connection with such suggested hypotheses and how they influence our Christian doctrine, we must be very mindful of Paul’s writing in Galatians 1:8: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed”. And in Revelations 22:18-19 we are warned in no uncertain terms about “adding to” or “taking away from” that which has been written. Imagine for a moment what would have happened to our faith if we had not had the Bible, God’s Holy Word to mankind. How our Christian faith would have drifted throughout the centuries! Man has always had a desire to put faith into things that suits his fancy and things that lend him comfort and convenience.
When the Catholic Church in the medieval ages was in need of money, they introduced the doctrine of “letters of indulgence” whereby people could purchase purgatory advantages for their deceased loved ones. If the Bible had not existed, Martin Luther would not have had an authoritative base for his protests (Protestantism). Likewise, if we had not had the teaching about homosexuality in the Bible today, this behavior and lifestyle would probably have been universally accepted and considered entirely normal. (Even with the Bible we are almost there anyhow.)
Whenever something in the biblical teaching is uncomfortable to us we want to add to or take away from that which is written. For example, I have noticed in my own generation, even among close friends, how people have lost their belief in the biblical teaching of hell when their own children have chosen not to follow Jesus and commit themselves to Him. Then it’s suddenly uncomfortable to believe that one’s own flesh and blood may suffer in an eternal hell, unless they repent and turn around while there’s still grace available. Then it’s so easy - and far more comfortable - to believe that hell can’t possibly be as bad as Jesus said it was. Certainly, Jesus must have joked or exaggerated and not really meant what he said! Maybe Jesus even said it to scare people into following him. And so the reasoning goes as one's faith drifts.
Same thing with the biblical teaching about homosexuality. When your own son comes home for Thanksgiving after a couple of months in college and says that he’s homosexual, the instinct of most fathers is to forget what both the Bible and science tells us. Instead, the parents subscribe to the fallacy that it must be due to their son’s genes and not due to father’s neglect in bringing up his son or a bad choice by his son.
The Catholic Church has sometimes added to the Bible (purgatory and worship of Virgin Mary among other things). They may have raised a lot of money when they added the doctrine of “letter of indulgence” but today they are loosing their shirt due to a doctrine they added centuries earlier. I’m talking about the celibacy. The Bible does not say that a person must live in celibacy to be a priest. So, when the Catholic Church added such a requirement to their doctrine, they invited problems. Because of such a requirement for priesthood, they do not attract into their clergy ranks a proportional number of men with a wholesome attraction to the other sex. From what we understand today, their seminaries for future priest are troubled by the presence of young men either engaged in or struggling with homosexuality. Of course this is not true for all seminary students. Even today there may be men who, like Paul, has the gift of living a life without a helpmate. But the doctrine of celibacy as a requirement for priesthood is not a biblical one.
And today's financial costs to the Catholic church due to this added doctrine (with the resulting wholesale child molestation problems) is immense! The Orange County Diocese in California had to settle for damages amounting to $100 million to be shared among 87 molestation victims. And the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled for $660 million paid to over 500 victims. The total punitive damages paid by the U.S. Roman Catholic Church (to settle child molestation cases by Catholic Priests) since 1950 is more than $2 billion. And America is just one of many countries in the world. And our generation is only one of many generations since the time that the Catholic clergy closed it's doors for men with wholesome heterosexual attractions to join their ranks.
Even so, The monetary cost is of course dwarfed by the human costs to molestation victims throughout the centuries. Just imagine how helpless the little boys must have been when the Catholic Church controlled the political power as well as the religious life. Indeed a human tragedy of unfathomable historic dimensions!
But it’s of course equally dangerous to take away from what the Bible teaches, such as is the case today on the issue of homosexuality. The Bible is crystal clear on the issue of the roots of homosexuality. It’s a choice of the heart. But just like temptations to all other sins, some young men seem to be more vulnerable than others to the sin of homosexuality due to influences from good and evil people and from good and bad upbringings. Some youngsters are tempted into a life of drug addiction, others into promiscuity, porno addiction, gambling addiction and homosexuality. It is indeed a clarion call to all mature and decent adults to do what we can to warn our young people of the dangers of wrong choices in life. Including the choice of homosexuality. Jesus sobering words in Luke 17:1-2 come to mind: ”Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Some pretty strong words one must say.
Finally a thought on the balance between the love we must show to the people who have ended up in the gay lifestyle and the love to our children at risk but who have not yet chosen that lifestyle. We must love the people in the gay community while at the same time preventing them from wielding evil influence on our children and grandchildren. It’s easy to love and want to help those homosexuals who hate their lifestyle and want a change in their lives. Those who persist and want to recruit our children and grandchildren must be opposed and stopped in their evil ways, without loosing sight that God may still save them too one day.