Sunday, January 29, 2017

Born This Way: Making Sense of Science, the Bible and Same Sex Attraction Part 2

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My worldview is based on the Bible. I believe that God created the universe and the people in it. I believe that humans rebel against God and that He chose to bring us back into a right relationship with Him, through His son dying and taking our punishment for ignoring and rejecting God’s rule over our lives.

Over the years I have been taught very clearly by learned people whom I respect that any sexual relationships outside of marriage are not what God intended for humans. I have looked at the biblical texts and seen a very different attitude to sexuality and individual freedom than the one I see expressed in the media today. It would be convenient if the Bible was silent on how we use our bodies and conduct sexual relationships. But it isn’t.

I haven’t always been a Christian. I haven’t always seen the world the way that I do now. But God showed me love even when I could do nothing to earn that love, even though I had rejected Him. I turned to His Son and now I live as a forgiven sinner who knows how much I am loved. I go through life dealing with the same pressures and disappointments as other people. And sometimes it is easy to blend in, to not stand out too much. But Christianity isn’t just a self-help program. I didn’t go to the supermarket and pick it out like a box of muesli. Even when I don’t always understand why, or when I am asked to live differently to those around me, I am to listen to God’s word.

In “Born This Way: Making Sense of Science, the Bible and Same Sex Attraction” Morrison explains that “we should listen to God first, and then make sense of our thoughts, feelings and experiences in the light of his truth.”  He says that a Christian is not simply a ‘good person’, but a person who has had their sin dealt with. And the way that Christians know what that they need to know about God and the world and us is the Bible.

Does the Bible say that God is against sex? No! Sex is good because God created sex. Morrison discusses how sex is viewed in the Old and New testaments. And he suggests that the Bible’s view of sex, of our bodies belonging to our partner, is actually a “reversal from the worldly view of each individual’s sexual rights (1 Cor 7:3-5)”.  And does the Bible speak only against homosexuality? No. Morrison reminds us that “God speaks more about the general misuse of our sexual nature than he does about homosexuality specifically.” He reiterates the point that attraction is not the same as lust or as action. In both the Old and the New Testaments, the Bible conveys the same message: that sex outside of the heterosexual marriage relationship is not what God intended.

Morrison says “I wrote this book primarily for Christians struggling to understand the competing and conflicting messages they are receiving on ‘the gay question’.” If you do take the time to read this book, I hope that you will find that he takes scientific evidence, and a thoughtful examination of the relevant Bible passages, and shows how we can understand Same Sex Attraction and temptation.

What he says might feel uncomfortable, or unbelievable, or particularly hard to understand, especially if you are a person who is dealing with Same Sex Attraction. In the last chapter he does talk to those who don’t trust in Jesus, and he also gives practical advice to Christians who are experiencing Same Sex Attraction. He reminds us that what the Bible says, and therefore what God thinks, about homosexuality is at odds with what we hear in the media today. But he urges us to graciously welcome everyone into our churches to hear the gospel.

About this month's contributor, Rachael Collins
Rachael Collins is a Jane Austen fan who often finds it amusing that she is married to Mr Collins who is indeed a minister. Rachael enjoys gardening, drinking tea and moving house every two years. In between planting a new church and making chocolate fudge, she really hopes to read a lot of good books this year.

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