Even LGBT Historians Admit No One Is 'Born Gay'

Born Gay?
In his article, David Benkof writes, "Sure, there’s substantial evidence of both discreet and open same-sex love and sex in pre-modern times. But no society before the 19th century had a gay minority or even discernibly gay-oriented individuals." (Original photo: Flickr/Mike Krzeszak)

Whether it's Macklemore's "Same Love" or Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," our culture is pretty convinced that homosexuality is inherent from birth.

But as it turns out, those within the LGBT movement aren't that convinced themselves.

In an article in the Daily Caller, gay writer David Benkof presents the solid case of the historians—several of whom are also LGBT—who maintain that the sexual orientation of homosexuality didn't exist until about 150 years ago.

While same-sex relationships and behavior have happened from time to time throughout history, LGBT scholarly studies show zero evidence of any culture with gay-oriented individuals at any point in history.

The mountain of scholarly research also continues to show no "gay gene" accounting for sexual orientation from birth.

The basis of these claims is that sexual orientation, as part of a person's identity, is entirely a modern invention. Even in Greek culture, where homosexual behavior is known to have occurred, the line of reasoning goes, there is nothing to show that even a minority of individuals identified as gay or homosexual in any way. Rather, homosexuality was supposedly considered a supplement to one's regular heterosexual relationships.

The reasoning of such historians also reveals that there was no heterosexual orientation in cultures past at all. Not that no one was attracted to the opposite sex—hardly—but that the idea of heterosexuality as an identifier couldn't have existed in a world were homosexualit didn't exist either. (Fish don't know they're wet.)

In other words, sexual orientation isn't a core identifier like race or gender; it's fully a social construct.

Although Benkof maintains that the LGBT cause can survive in spite of such findings, only the biblical worldview fits in with the facts. So shouldn't this lead to a victory in the so-called culture war?

The Challenge for Christians

The Bible doesn't directly mention the gay orientation because the concept of sexual orientation is a non sequitur both in Scripture and in (as we now know) most of history. The Bible clearly condemns homosexual actions and desires, along with any kind of sexual action or desire outside of marriage. Genesis 5:2, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Matthew 5:28, Romans 1:27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 leave no room for doubt.

But as long as the LGBT movement keeps the debate framed around sexual identity, Christians will be seen as hating people for who they are.

Christians are seen as saying, "Who you are is wrong, so here's some moral actions that will fix it." But that isn't the gospel at all. When we identify ourselves with Christ's death, we are rendered dead to our human nature and forgiven of all our sins; and through Christ's resurrection, we are both declared innocent and given the ability to live in a new nature—a righteous nature—through God's own Spirit.

On the question of "Who am I?" the New Testament really gives only two options: I am either a natural-born sinner or reborn righteous through Christ. (See Romans 5.)

Thus, who we all areis wrong because we're naturally born into a state of sinfulness. But no actions can change our nature. (No amount of time spent in airplanes will make me a bird, and no amount of time doing good deeds will make me anything other than a sinner.) We need a new nature, and only then can we exchange sinful actions and desires for righteous ones.

Evangelicals must not only 1) faithfully represent the Word's teachings on controversial issues like homosexuality, but also 2) make it known that your true identity from God's standpoint is far weightier than modern social constructs about sexuality.

If culture catches up to the fact that the gay sexual identity is a social construct, then perhaps it will understand that the Bible's condemnations of sexual immorality are directed against our sinful actions, thoughts and nature—not our basic personalities.

But until then, we in the church still have an uphill battle: to preach a gospel that doesn't just correct wrong behavior but creates rebirth.


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