Rev. Mark H. Creech
April 20, 2004
What is your ancestry?
By Rev. Mark H. Creech

(AgapePress) Recently, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said he believes that people are born gay. In an interview for MTV viewers, Kerry declared, "I think it's entirely who you are from birth, personally. Some people might choose, but I think it's who you are .... I have a friend who was married for many years and then the marriage dissolved and he came out and he announced that he was gay, and he lived this life of tension and great difficulty ... and I don't think that's a kind of choice .... It's in your system. It's in your genes." Kerry then added Americans "have a right to be who they are" and that "we are all God's children."

Kerry's comments remind me of the old adage: "It would be wonderful if mistakes could be sold for as much as they cost." Believing homosexual behavior is inborn or that we are all the children of God are two critical mistakes that can result in the worst of consequences. They could especially be costly when espoused by someone who might become the leader of the free world.

The belief that homosexuality is genetic, or biologically predetermined and unchangeable, has received a lot of positive press as "scientific fact." But the proposition is not a new one. It actually dates all the way back to 1899, when German researcher Magnus Hirschfield regarded homosexuality as congenital. Nevertheless, regardless of how some scientists have argued that they have "proven" homosexuality is inborn, there has never been any solid scientific evidence to indicate there really is a homosexual gene.

I remember on one occasion sharing these thoughts with a friend, who quickly responded: "Then you must believe homosexuality is entirely a choice." To which I responded, "No, I don't think that's exactly true either." I then added, "What I think is that we are all born sinners. We inherited our sinful natures from our parents, Adam and Eve. The problem is essentially a spiritual one. Some obviously have a natural proclivity to certain sins. One may be given to jealousy, while another may have a problem with pride. Someone else may be characteristically covetous. Others may lean more toward sexual sins. Each of us is both born in sin and willfully chooses it. Our circumstances in life also play a role in what sins we may prefer the most. But whatever the case, each of us is responsible and the only remedy is a rebirth that converts the sinful heart."

Now having said that, let me pick up on Kerry's second statement, "[W]e are all the children of God." The idea of the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man are popular themes today. But it's not a biblical teaching. It's true Paul told the Athenians: "For we are also his offspring" (Acts 17:28), but this is not the same as saying everyone is a legitimate child of God. In this verse, Paul was simply quoting a Greek poet, obviously to establish a point of contact with his Greek audience. By contrast, in his own teachings, Paul stressed we only become a child of God by means of the new birth.

It's also true there are Old Testament texts that refer to the nation of Israel as God's children. Exodus 4:22 calls Israel the "first-born" son of God. In speaking for the Lord, the prophet Jeremiah says to Israel, "I thought how I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beauteous of all nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and not turn away from following me" (Jer. 3:19,20). It's true God speaks of the nation Israel as His child, but it's also critical to note such verses are not talking about the Babylonians, Egyptians, Syrians, or even Americans. They are specifically talking about God's relationship to Israel and not one of these verses even makes the relationship of father to son the relationship of God to any individual Israelite.

The true biblical teaching is best seen in the eighth chapter of John. In this text, Jesus was discussing the subject of freedom in a country (Israel) that was extremely sensitive about the Roman occupation. He said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). The hearers of Jesus' remarks were greatly offended, replying, "We are Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man. How sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?" (v. 33). Christ could have easily refuted their claim by reminding them that there had almost never been a power in the ancient Near East to which Israel had not been in bondage at some time. But he didn't mention this, because he was really talking about their slavery to sin. So instead Jesus responded: "Ye do the works of your father." To which they said, "We have one father, even God" (Jn. 8:41). At this point, Jesus made the matter abundantly clear by denying they were in any sense God's children. For, "If God were your father, He said, 'ye would love me' ... Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do" (Jn. 8:42,44).

Here all the families of the earth are simply divided by two. God's own redeemed ones constitute one family; and those who refuse His grace constitute another. One family is free from the oppression and power of sin able to overcome it. The other is a slave to it. One is morally committed to the principles of God, the other to the works of the devil. One is born of God, the other naturally belonging to Satan. So you see, there is neither universal fatherhood nor universal brotherhood. It is true God is the Creator of all men, and God has made all persons of one blood; but sin separates us from Him and each another. Without a radical remaking of our spirits that deals with the sin problem, universal fatherhood and brotherhood just make for good political rhetoric.

This is the urgency behind Jesus' great command, "Ye must be born again" (Jn. 3:7).

No one is born with a homosexual gene. But persons who practice homosexuality, like all men and women, are born with a defective spiritual nature that may hold them in bondage to this sin. Only a new birth can really set them free.

But there are also other sinful practices about which we should be concerned. You may not be a homosexual, but do you find yourself characteristically striking out at others in anger? Are you generally exploitive of others? Do you typically think only of yourself? Are you filled with animosity, bitterness, or malice? Do you rarely, if ever, consider God or His ways? If so, then you are demonstrating a demonic ancestry. Such doesn't come from the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How can you be born again? The Scripture says, "But as many as received Him (Christ), to them gave He power to become the sons of God ..." (Jn. 1:12) This is the means by which all of mankind may look into the face of God and in one voice say, "Our Father, which art in heaven" (Mt. 6:9).

Telling people who practice homosexuality their situation is physically fixed and unalterable is terribly uncompassionate and unloving. It robs them of their freedom to change and could result in someone losing his or her life to the unhealthy practice of gay and lesbian behavior. What is more, telling people "we are all the children of God" is worse. Such might lull many into a false sense of spiritual security that would result in the loss of their soul!

© Rev. Mark H. Creech

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Rev. Mark H. Creech

Rev. Mark H. Creech is Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Rev. Mark H. Creech: Click here

Latest articles