"God made me this way", or did he?

John Meunier offers an intriguing look at the “God made me this way” argument used to justify homosexuality and indeed all kinds of behaviour often regarded as sinful.

We all need to realise that we are not now entirely as God made us and intended us to be. Our personalities and our bodies have been affected by sin – our own, that of others around us, and the more general sin which has made our environment so much less good than God originally made his creation. So we should never assume that we are as God intended us to be in any particular area of our lives. Instead we should assess that area in the light of God’s standards to see if there is anything there that we need to work on changing, or asking God to change for us – or if there are limitations in ourselves which we have to accept in this life while we wait for perfection in the life to come.

13 thoughts on “"God made me this way", or did he?

  1. Interesting Peter and I agree with your thinking here: I expressed it in a poem I was inspired to write recently.
    Here’s the verse:

    There’s a pure new creation I’m carving for you
    Of wonders unspoken, needing languages new.
    Breathe me into each fibre of what you are now,
    You’re not yet what you could be, but I’ll show you how.

    (For entire poem see http://hrht-revisingreform.blogspot.com/2008/09/meditations.html)

    I guess what you’re talking about really is the life-long process of sanctification – we are never the finished product until we’re glorified with Christ in Heaven.
    Rachel Re vis.e Re form

  2. Indeed, Rachel. But we need to want sanctification and not rest in a false apprehension that God made us intending us to remain our unsanctified selves. Thank for this verse and the entire poem – beautiful and (dare I say it?) prophetic.

  3. To express it another way.

    God loves us and draws us to Himself as we are warts and all, but loves us too much to want to leave us as we are. He wants to work on those warts. Paul writes of us being trnasformed to the image of Christ.

    The changes he wants to make in us will be persoanl to who and what we are when we accept him. We all have “warts”.

    I like the peon, Rachel.

  4. I am not at all in the pro-homosexual camp – but the question that needs to be asked here is can homosexuals change? Whilst I believe that some can, with God’s help, we also know that the Kingdom is both “now” and “not yet”. So could it be that some homosexuals will be stuck with their condition in this fallen world? If so, what should they do and how should the church relate to them?

  5. Sidefall, it may also be that not everyone in this life who is sick or crippled can change or be healed. That doesn’t imply that their condition is how God made them and to be celebrated. Some sicknesses have to be treated in ways which are unpleasant to the sufferers, for their own sakes and others’. But the church should certainly accept them, not condemning for what is not at all their fault.

  6. So Peter, are you saying that the church should accept sexually active homosexuals (be they in casual or long-term relationships). The traditional view has always been that such behaviour is sinful and christians who engage in it are ostracised. But if the homosexual has sought counsel and prayer and it has had no effect, is it then OK for them to continue in a homosexual lifestyle?

  7. Sidefall, I don’t believe the church should ostracise people who are continuing to live in sin, except under carefully controlled conditions of church discipline. But they should be called to repentance, and for homosexuals as well as for unmarried heterosexuals this implies sexual abstinence. I am not saying it is ever OK for them to continue in a homosexually active relationship. But I would say it is no more wrong than for unmarried heterosexual couples to continue in sexual relationships, and perhaps no more wrong than for divorced and remarried couples to do the same. But these things are much less unacceptable in many churches. See for example what I wrote here and here.

  8. The whole problem with this approach is that those of us arguing for lifetime, monogamous relationships for homosexual Christians are arguing for ‘same behaviour’. It is you (plural) who are arguing that gay Christians may never ever have a loving monogamous intimate relationship. It is you (plural) who are arguing for a different set of behaviour. And it’s not the same as a heterosexual Christian who can’t find a partner to marry; that would be a homosexual Christian who can’t find a partner to marry.

    You (plural) are not arguing for the same moral standards. You are arguing for a different set of moral standards.

  9. No, Pam, we are asking for precisely the same moral standards. The difference is in the people, not the standards. God says that X is right and Y is wrong. Person A wants to do X and God allows that. Person B wants to do Y and God does not allow that. The difference is not in God’s standards but in the human choices. It is no good B saying that God made him or her to want to do Y, because for one thing that is not true and for another God expects us to make our own decisions and not blame him. For each of us there are plenty of things in life which we would like to do but have to choose not to do because of God’s law, sometimes mediated through the law of the land, or simply because we know they are bad for us. If I want to steal my neighbour’s car, I can’t say that God is unjust and inconsistent to let my neighbour have it but not let me have it!

  10. Hi PAMBG
    To say that homosexual relationships should be on the same footing as heterosexual is to say that man+man = man+ woman. The bible shows that God, who, being spirit is both/neither man and woman, chooses to demonstrate different aspects of his own character through man and woman. Man and woman may have equal status but,if man and woman are not identical, then man does not equal woman. If man does not equal woman then man+man or woman+woman can never equal man+woman. That, is homosexual relationships can never be equated to heterosexual relationships. In the same way, sexual relationships carried out outside the covenant of marriage can never be equated with those inside. Covenant unites the two halves of God’s character into one in marriage and can therefore only happen with the two dissimilar halves. The outward appearance and actions of other relationships may be identical, but the entire spiritual “genetic” basis is different. It’s a different animal.
    Sidefall: Regarding people who receive prayer but fail to get free…John Sandford has spent the last 40 years or so releasing people from homosexuality and says that every person that has ever come to him genuinely wanting to change (John interviews them about what they really want before doing any prayer etc.) has been released into normal heterosexuality permanently. John said (“Transformation of the Inner Man” p310) “In all our years of counselling, Paula and I have never found a homosexual or lesbian who had, or related well to a strong gentle loving father.” He also lists 4 keys that they discovered to unlocking the hold of homosexuality. Having spent decades seeing God set people free form all sorts of addictions and destructive patterns, I have to say that these keys are essential in order to get success in all cases. Certainly, some get free without them, but, my conclusion has been that many people fail to get free, simply because they, and the people who are helping them, do not know and apply these keys.

  11. This issue is causing a great deal of controversy at the moment. Indeed, the reports of potential splits within the Anglican Church over this issue are disturbing enough. If, where there is no vision the people perish, then where the Church loses sight of God’s standards and ongoing will and desire, the world itself suffers as we waste time dealing with things.

    To say “It’s how I’m made” or worse “God made me this way” is utter rubbish and a cowardly cop-out. Are we not told to put off the sinful self? Or to pursue righteousness and wisdom? To not gratify things of the flesh but to honour God and co-operate with the Holy Spirit in the work of sanctification?

    We are what we are. Not perfect. And in some cases the struggle against aspects of our sinful nature take time, but to say “it’s the way I am” is to justify our attitudes and actions, deny the Spirit access to our lives in sanctification, and can begin to build barriers to God’s ongoing work in the future.

    We are to love sinners, but hate sin. In recent years there has been much talk of loving the sinner, but there has sadly been a tendency to go soft on sin too. The result – churches full of people who are still living according to the sinful nature, ministers and leaders watering down the gospel people outside the church wondering what on earth we Christians are about.

    A watered-down gospel is no gospel at all, and if Jesus cannot save us and transform us because “that’s how I am” then we have a dead god, and not a living Saviour.

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