How would you answer if someone came up and asked you this question? Roger Patterson of Answers in Genesis addresses this in a way that is Scripturally faithful and reasonable. It will help you think through and articulate the issue cogently. Keep renewing your minds! – Arthur
T. J. from Belgium recently asked the question below on Ken Ham’s Facebook. Roger Patterson responds to help people answer one of the many attempts of skeptics to discredit the authority of God’s Word over every aspect of life. As Christians, we must be prepared to look to Scripture as the sufficient source of truth as we exalt Jesus Christ as the hope of the world.
Ken, I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts and wisdom on this silly video which came to my attention recently. In it, members of the public are asked “when did you choose to be straight?” How should we respond to this question as born-again believers?
– T. J., Belgium
Thank you for your question and for your desire to stand up for truth in a wicked and perverse generation.
With the ascending popularity of embracing homosexual lifestyles as normal, many Christians find it difficult to argue against the different approaches from those who support homosexual marriage and other aspects of the homosexual or any other sexually deviant lifestyle.
There is no doubt from Scripture that living a homosexual lifestyle is a sin—a truth that has been clearly demonstrated by many people’s explanation of the relevant passages. Knowing it is a sin, Christians must be prepared to call those who are practicing this sinful lifestyle to repentance and faith in Christ to forgive that sin as well as all of their other sins so that they can be made righteous before God and enter His kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9–11).
The interviewers in the video ask people on the street in Colorado Springs, “Is being gay a choice?” and then follow up with “When did you choose to be straight?” Based on their reactions, it appeared that many of the people had never considered such an idea. Many responded to the second question and another follow-up question by acknowledging that being gay might be just as “normal” as being straight. However, none of the people in the video (one man is wearing a cross necklace) even bring God into the argument. This should never be the case for a Christian. To be a Christian is to be identified with Jesus Christ. Jesus prayed that His followers would be sanctified by the truth of the Word of God (John 17:17). Therefore, we should be prepared to defend who and what we are on the basis of God’s Word.
The Myth of Neutrality
The questions being asked presuppose a neutral state from which you choose to be gay, straight, transgender, bisexual, a fornicator, an adulterer, etc. So, we must reframe the question since it does not align with reality. God made us male and female and designed us for heterosexual activity within the bounds of marriage (Genesis 2:18–25). That must be the defined normal position from which anyone chooses to wander or hold fast. We must start our arguments from the truth of God’s Word, not from the presuppositions of a worldview that rejects God.
I did not choose to be straight; God made me straight. All people are born within the male and female order of creation.1 If I choose any other possibility (e.g., LGBTQ, an adulterer, a fornicator, etc.), I am choosing a perversion of God’s good design. I am willingly choosing to act on sexual desires that God has called sinful rather than embracing what God has commanded. All of these choices are made by turning away from God’s intention of normal, not away from some mythical neutral position based on an evolutionary view of man.
Morality Requires an Absolute Authority
Without the foundation of a moral absolute, there is no basis upon which anyone can call any kind of sexual behavior wrong; they can only call it different and pass no moral judgments. Christians look to God for the absolute standard and trust in His revealed truth to make our judgments.
Arguing that people are born gay and that it is not a choice is arguing against what God has clearly revealed in the Bible. Even if people are born with a propensity to seek sexual affection from the same sex, that does not make it right. To argue from this position, the people making the argument would have to excuse other moral wrongs because certain people are born with a propensity to lie, murder, rape, steal, and so on. That is, if they were to be consistent. Any moral perversion, from a tendency to lie to a tendency to be a psychopathic serial killer, would be justified from the same “born-that-way” argument. The problem is that their worldview is inherently inconsistent because they do not acknowledge God as the absolute authority when it comes to morality. They borrow from the Christian worldview when they like to condemn rape and murder, for example, but then reject God’s commands regarding homosexual sin, fornication, adultery, drunkenness, and other sins where they do not prefer to follow God (Ephesians 4:17–5:21).
How to Respond Biblically
Bottom line—do not let those who stand against God lead you into a discussion that dismisses God from the arguments (Colossians 2:1–10). First, reframe the question to begin your argument from God’s truth. Explain that God’s Word clearly defines human sexuality and that homosexual behavior is sinful in God’s eyes. Then, ask them upon what basis they would judge any sexual behavior to be wrong. By so doing you are exposing the failure of their worldview to even account for the categories of right and wrong, showing them that if their actions were consistent with their thinking, they could never condemn anything as wrong. This is an implementation of the “don’t answer/answer” strategy described in Proverbs 26:4–5. If they appeal to some moral argument, simply ask them, “Why is that the correct standard?” until they have realized that they have no authority upon which to make such moral claims. Then point them to the God who is that authority—Jesus Christ.
Those who reject God as the ultimate moral standard are thereby also rejecting Christ. They have suppressed their knowledge of the true and living God to serve an idol that they have made in their minds (Romans 1:18–32). It is the privilege of a Christian to serve as an ambassador for King Jesus and to herald the offer of freedom from sin to all those who are at enmity with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20–21). God has promised to all those who repent and put their trust in Christ that He will deliver them “from the power of darkness” and grant them a place in “the kingdom of the Son of His love” who has provided “redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13–14).
Christian, you were once an enemy of God but have now been reconciled to Him in Christ (Romans 5:10–11; Colossians 1:21–22). Boldly proclaim that there is hope in Christ and share the gospel with all who will hear.
– Roger Patterson