I have just read your article entitled What Homosexuals Want and a few questions came up. In the first paragraph, it is referenced that homosexuals, unless they repent, shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven ( I Corinthians 6:9-11). However, in referencing the scriptural quote, it says "homosexual offenders," meaning those who commit sinful homosexual acts. It is a proven fact that homosexuality is not a willful choice. What is there to repent for in being homosexual? How could a just God punish those who do not choose to be homosexual? Is not the greatest commandment to love your neighbor, regardless of sexual orientation? Please send me an e-mail back, and don't be offended, as I only question your article as a concerned believer in Christ. Is one not judged on the way one handles their sexuality, not the orientation they were born with?
The author of the article plans to prepare his own response, but I would like to interject a few thoughts of my own.
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
There are two Greek words dealing with homosexuality in this passage, translated here as "homosexuals" and "sodomites." The Greek word malakos literally means "soft." From The Complete Biblical Library Greek / English Dictionary: "In 1 Corinthians 6:9 malakos is used in the metaphoric sense. Here it refers to persons who are "soft." The rendering "effeminate" (malakos) designates the passive partner of a homosexual relationship ..." The Greek word arsenokoites means "a male homosexual." It is a compound of the words for "male" and "bed" where "bed" refers to sexual activity. From The Complete Biblical Library Greek / English Dictionary: "Like a number of other languages, Greek has different words to distinguish between the active and passive roles in a homosexual relationship. Arsenokoites expresses an active homosexuality; a related term, malakos, connotes an effeminate, passive homosexuality, in which a man allows others to exploit him sexually." This word is also used in I Timothy 1:10. (There is more discussion of the definitions of homosexuality in the Bible in the answer: "What kinds of homosexuality does the Bible mention?") Therefore, your contention that only "offenders" are mentioned (i.e. those actively engaged in homosexuality) does not match what is actually said in this passage.
You also make the claim, without supporting evidence, that "It is a proven fact that homosexuality is not a willful choice." However, this passage contradicts the claim. In regards to those in Corinth who were homosexuals and sodomites, Paul stated, "And such were some of you." Some were were homosexual but were no longer. This is a matter of choice. Yes, there have been a few studies that claim a possibility of a predisposition toward homosexuality, but I know of no study that has proven that homosexuality is not a willful choice. This is a case where people want something to be true so badly that they are willing to follow myths. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (II Timothy 4:3-4). A number of people have analyzed both the argument and the studies and found them to be wanting. See:
- Is Homosexuality Really Fixed and Immutable as Some Argue? by Joe Dallas
- "This Is the Way God Made Me" A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality and the "Gay Gene" by Brad Harrub, Ph.D. and Bert Thompson, Ph.D. and Dave Miller, Ph.D.
- Freedom to Choose by Caleb H. Price
You are correct that punishing someone for something they cannot control would be unjust. But, instead of examining your assumption that homosexuality is uncontrollable you choose to accuse God of being unjust (or implying that Paul was not inspired of God when he wrote I Corinthians 6:9-11).
You asked, "Is not the greatest commandment to love your neighbor, regardless of sexual orientation?" The simple answer is, "No, it is not." ""Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."" (Matthew 22:36-40). The greatest commandment is to love God. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor. Neither commandment states "regardless of sexual orientation." As God warned long ago, " Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:6). Worse, you have ignored what it means to love God. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (I John 5:3). Since God said that homosexuals cannot go to heaven, you cannot advocate homosexuality and claim to love God at the same time. Nor can you claim to love your neighbor if you refuse to warn him of the sin in which he is participating is wrong. "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand" (Ezekiel 3:18).
Finally, you asked, "Is one not judged on the way one handles their sexuality, not the orientation they were born with?" Notice the assumption that homosexuality is determined at birth is made yet again without cause. The Bible teaches that we are judged by both the things we do and by the motives behind our actions. "But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds"" (Romans 2:5-6). "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God" (I Corinthians 4:5).
I find this particular argument fascinating because homosexuals are notorious for their lack of commitment to one partner.
"The average homosexual relationship can be characterized as highly unstable and promiscuous. Homosexuals represent hedonism in its most extreme form, with one-night stands and brief flings offering constant excitement and variety. An exhaustive 1978 Kinsey Institute study of homosexuality showed that 28 percent of homosexual males had sexual encounters with 1,000 or more males. And 79 percent said more than half of their sex partners were strangers. Almost half of the white homosexual males said that they had at least 500 different sexual partners during the course of their homosexual careers.'' A 1982 study of AIDS victims by the US Centers for Disease Control found that 1,100 sexual partners was about average, with some reporting as many as 20,000 partners." [Gay Lifestyle Facts].
Since the Bible states, "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4), even this standard of being "judged on the way one handles their sexuality" falls flat on its face.