NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The leaders of two ex-gay ministries say that even if scientists someday find a biological basis for homosexuality, such behavior will nonetheless be immoral and the Bible’s condemnation of it will still stand.
Tim Wilkins of Cross Ministry and Alan Chambers of Exodus International were responding to comments by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., whose online article about a possible biological basis for homosexuality caused a small media storm.
Both Wilkins and Chambers say they agree with Mohler’s main point — that a biological basis would do nothing to change the discussion over homosexuality’s immorality. Wilkins and Chambers formerly were homosexual. The two men e-mailed their responses to Baptist Press.
“Many people, including evangelicals, mistakenly believe that if a ‘gay gene’ or a hormonal factor is discovered, such news would mean homosexuality is natural and thus acceptable,” said Wilkins, who is married and has three daughters. “But … natural is not normal.”
Chambers, who is married and has a son and a daughter, agreed.
“Science will never trump the word of God,” the president of Exodus International said. “We already know that we are physically, biologically and spiritually fallen creatures, so in a sense finding a biological link to homosexuality wouldn’t be a huge surprise. However, susceptibility isn’t the same as inevitability. Our genetics aren’t a tyranny over us.
“Just because something is genetic doesn’t make it moral, optimal or healthy,” Chambers added. “Research has suggested that there is a biological link to alcoholism and kleptomania, but as a society we aren’t advocating for the rights of alcoholics or those with a compulsion to steal. For that matter, neither are those who are battling those addictive behaviors.”
Cross Ministry and Exodus International hold conferences each year to help homosexuals find freedom in Christ; the conferences also assist those who want to reach out to homosexuals. Among other verses supporting their belief, the organizations point to the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, where he says some members of the Corinth church had been homosexual in the past, but no longer were.
Wilkins believes homosexuality is caused by a combination of “certain personality traits” and environmental factors.
“However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume for the moment that unquestionable scientific proof exists that same-sex attractions are genetic,” Wilkins said. “That ‘fact’ would, in no way, alter the present discourse. Our genetic code is marred by sin. Multiple sclerosis, cancer, cerebral palsy and every other disease is a result of sin. No one would dare consider any of the aforementioned conditions to be normal. In fact, we invest millions of dollars every year in researching these conditions — seeking a remedy.”
Wilkins also rejects arguments that say because homosexuality is sometimes found in the animal kingdom, it is natural.
“It is natural for a female praying mantis to literally devour her male counterpart immediately after they mate,” Wilkins said. “Yet I do not hear secularists suggesting women follow suit.
“Even before I reached puberty, I recognized an attraction to other boys and men — though at that time the attractions were not sexual in nature,” Wilkins said. “I can honestly say that homosexuality seemed ‘natural’ to me, but natural should not be construed as normal. It is ‘natural’ for people to get sick and die. And nowhere does the Bible extol the natural. On the contrary, Scripture speaks of the ‘natural’ with disdain and extols the ‘spiritual’ (see 1 Corinthians 15:44, 46 and Jude 1:19).”
Chambers said there has been “sufficient proof” showing homosexuality is “multi-causal.” His latest book, “God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door,” offers advice for the church on reaching out to homosexuals.
“So much of my own struggle and the development of homosexuality in my life can be traced back to specific experiences and roots such as sexual abuse, a lack of relationship between my dad and me at critical points in my childhood, an over bonding with my mom and a lack of same-sex peer bonding prior to puberty,” he said.
Mohler’s column March 2 about a possible biological basis for homosexuality caused so much controversy that he posted a follow-up column March 16, answering some of the objections.
“There is no conclusive research that indicates any biological basis for sexual orientation,” Mohler wrote. “But — and this is a big ‘if’ here — if science were ever to discover a correlation or causation with biological factors, Christians should not be surprised. We believe in the catastrophic and comprehensive effects of the Fall and God’s judgment upon sin.”
Christ, Wilkins said, provides freedom for those struggling with homosexuality — whatever its cause.
“The Bible-believer knows that in this life we are not exempt from temptation — homosexual or otherwise; thus we must battle it daily,” he said. “But here’s the good news. Those very temptations, sometimes relentless, drive me into Christ’s presence, where I repeat the words of the hymnist, ‘I need Thee precious Jesus, for I am full of sin.’”
Exodus International’s next “Freedom Conference” will be held June 26-July 1 in Irvine, Calif., with information available at www.exodusfreedom.org. Wilkins is speaking at churches in North Carolina, Texas and New Hampshire this year. For information, visit www.crossministry.org, then click on “MTW Conference.