‘I was born this way’ countered by professor
    July 8 2016 by David Roach, Baptist Press

    Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) professor Alan Branch has a friend whose brother explained his decision to embrace a homosexual lifestyle by stating, “I have a male body, but I have a female brain. That’s why I’m attracted to men.”


    Branch, professor of Christian ethics, classifies that pronouncement as a version of the increasingly common argument that homosexual acts are morally legitimate because homosexuality is “hard-wired into who [some people] are from birth.” As Branch sees it, the argument has been articulated in settings as diverse as the halls of academia, the lyrics of pop singer Lady Gaga and casual family conversations.
     
    The need to equip Christians for countering that spurious notion is why Branch wrote his latest book Born This Way? Homosexuality, Science, and the Scriptures, published by Weaver Book Company.
     
    The book, which has drawn an endorsement from MBTS President Jason Allen, seeks to help pastors and churches understand contemporary scientific research on homosexuality from a Christian worldview perspective while standing firm on the biblical teaching that homosexual behavior is a sin.
     
    “The prevalent claim ‘I was born this way’ is over-simplified and does not fit the evidence to date,” Branch told Baptist Press in an email.
     
    “Biological and genetic factors have a contributing factor towards the development of a homosexual identity, but they are not completely determinative,” he noted. “The big point is that homosexuality is not a trait like hair, skin or eye color. Establishing this basic fact will help in the articulation of a clear Christian ethical stance regarding the morality of homosexual behavior.”
     
    Three key contributors to the misguided “I was born this way” argument, Branch writes, are:

    1. Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), who helped pioneer the idea some forms of homosexuality are innate;
    2. Twentieth-century sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, who popularized the falsehood that 10 percent of males are homosexual; and
    3. The American Psychiatric Association, which succumbed to political pressure in 1974 by removing homosexuality from its catalog of mental disorders in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.”

    An important tool for countering the argument that homosexuality is innate and therefore morally acceptable is the concept of “brain plasticity,” Branch writes, the notion that brain structures and functions change in response to choices and activities.
     
    Like pornography use has been demonstrated to alter a male’s response to women, repeatedly acting on homosexual desires may ingrain such desires in a person’s brain, developing new neural pathways and making them feel “natural,” he argues.
     
    Biological and genetic factors contribute to same-sex attraction, Branch writes, but do not predetermine how a person will respond to such attraction. Among his conclusions:

    • “While prenatal hormones are essential for gender development in the womb and ... some real problems can develop when” hormones are not secreted correctly in a mother’s womb, “the born-this-way argument that prenatal hormones unalterably fix same-sex attraction has not been proven.”
    • No definite link between brain structure and homosexuality has been demonstrated, but there have been “intriguing findings” regarding the differences between the brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals.
    • Studies of identical twins suggest “a genetic contributing factor to homosexuality may be at work.”
    • “While there have been some intriguing discoveries regarding DNA and homosexuality, as of yet no evidence confirms a simplistic born-this-way argument.” Even if a so-called “gay gene” were discovered, its presence would not uncontrollably compel a person to act on same-sex attraction.

    Rather than intimidating Christians, scientific research should help them develop a compassionate, pastoral response to those with same-sex attraction, Branch writes, noting the difficulty in most cases of completely eradicating homosexual temptation.
     
    “We must face the current data with honesty, but also with discernment. Movement on a continuum of orientation change is possible for some, but it is not as easy or as frequent as many of us evangelicals would wish. The majority of research clearly indicates an attempt to change sexual orientation is a daunting task and a rare occurrence,” he writes.
     
    Yet those realities do not trump Scripture’s insistence, Branch argues, that “it is possible for homosexual behavior to be something in which a person once participated in the past, but no longer does so” by virtue of God’s saving and transforming grace.
     
    For some with same-sex attraction, following Christ will entail singleness and godly celibacy, he writes. For others, it will entail heterosexual marriage and combatting occasional same-sex temptations while yet others will marry a person of the opposite gender and be freed altogether from same-sex temptations.
     
    “Each of these options is consistent with Christian sexual ethics,” he writes.
     
    Through every aspect of Christians’ response to homosexuality, Branch argues, “serious debate” must not be “short-circuited by the vacuous claim, ‘I was born this way.’”
     

    7/8/2016 11:45:02 AM by David Roach, Baptist Press | with 1 comments
    Filed under: Alan Branch, homosexuality, Jason Allen, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary




Comments
George Scott
I respectfully disagree with Alan Branch and Jason Allen.

There are many reasons why men and women have a same sex orientation.

He fails to bring out the broader scenario;

-Abuse; ie., a female can be sexually molested by a male sibling or father, sometimes lasting years. A person in this web of abuse often will grow up hating men, if not all men. Their safety zone so far relationships are concerned is determined by their fear of intimacy from the opposite sex (men in this case). I believe this is reality for thousands of men and women here in America.

So far as hard wired is concerned, I also believe that there are many men and women who have a natural attract to the same sex. Period. To deny these relationships is not only weird, it is destructive. I will use the Mormon church and their 'theological' stance. The church officially does not prevent members from joining and participating in the Mormon church is they identify themselves as being gay or lesbian, however they are not allowed to have sex with same sex partners. If they do, they will be excommunicated and told that they will not be able to see their families extended heaven - their are different areas of heaven and by acting out on their sexuality they will be prevented from being with their earthly family. What happens as a result of this exclusionary doctrine, many of gay and lesbian Mormons commit suicides and the rates a very high and this is very sad.

In a simple Google search, I just found in real time over 19 million hits with only three keywords; Mormon Gay Suicide Rate. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hspart=avg&hsimp=yhs-fh_lsonsw&type=ch.49.w81.nt.04-01.us.avg._._&param1=jZJLb5wwFIX_Sjd4h-UHDLDwIk1TKVIWVR5Kd5UNnhmaYohtmOTf95jJRNMs2kqIe6859rn3w23fKdIpXsiNKFjdCMYY6YLSyy68aPJLu52yLn-4IwOUTcmErYyWZWFqY5iV2nBTlEJUNS90RSaIDnEmiyoopwVtippczt5bF7_pnX24vVH7GKdM6kxs8QyvwWrf7in8aDsOWJqgC4inD2F6yeS2HXB0JrtMbJ4Rdvo1E2YY_TA6JGHu276zyLyOCJug4dG5iDSNgHwdAuWwHvOvQSBsT34Lwvs0qLuAhSOfVKEQjJc5q3K2QQeCZaKUF0mKwAU0k4dodk9uPLjUnEub9tOxzx-6Tb3yZBnb1dKkPas9WCZVGoDcWb9Yf_1F3X8W-c3F9_zx6xUX5NZuLQD7E9vwN7hRG8A8o-OX-GZ-bvg--3_T-hPKR2Qf_sHK44wdGmNVeoFfKRgISo19Uq_05rdeTleA9JPiNY6vGwox5bImY1CPvevGQ_hUU06Mutz7cbDE4CI2lJHWqns_W_IzHJPf0&param2=new_tab_search&param3=ch.49.w81.nt.04-01.us.avg._._&p=gay+mormon+suicide+rate

Concerning scriptures, their is not a word currently or in the past for gay or homosexual. Ask any Greek Scholar and or a person who speaks fluent Greek and they will tell you.

Passages often quoted having to from Romans, the Apostle Paul, many theologians express are mistranslated, given the fact that their is not translateable word for gay or homosexual. The word Paul used implied a male prostitute, not a personal who is hard wired as you state as a gay or lesbian person. Reference: Dr. Joel Hoffman; https://blog.joelmhoffman.com/2011/01/31/the-bible-says-so-and-other-stupid-arguments/

Other reasons why people find themselves 'choosing' to be gay or lesbian in their orientation is because of bad marriages, bad relationships, abuse including drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, etc., battered relationships.

As my pastor of a large 1,600 member Baptist Congregation here in Southern CA has taught me and the whole church, especially when the Gay Marriage issue came up and the Supreme court passed it, "We have a command from God to love ourselves and to love all People."

I think that writing a book of the nature needs to have a stronger component discussing a wide variety of psychological and emotional issues, including using Exdous as a model which failed royally from the Director down, Alan Chamber site and book states the truth of his experience and the freedom that comes from telling the truth. He admits and takes responsbility for the damage he and his organization caused.

http://alanchambers.org/

I personally know many gay men who are hiding in marriages with children who feel trapped and bewildered, because they are not acting authentically and are pretending to be someone they are not.

I guess if possible, writing a book of this nature might attempt to provide false solutions and misguided information.

Interview Alan Chambers and others and I know your conclusions at the end of the day will be very different.

Truly, if you have not walked a mile in my moccasins, or Alan's Chambers, your writing is simply a fable.

GeorgeScott
7/12/2016 1:13:53 AM

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