Are Homosexuals Born That Way? – Rethinking Homosexuality (Part 5)

I was born this wayI have this friend who swears that if pastors tell the people in their churches that it is possible that people could be born gay…like…overnight churches will turn into Village People free-for-all orgies.

He thinks people will start wearing feather boas to Bible study. Sunday school teachers will start showing clips from Glee to their first graders.

Utter pandemonium will break out.

“Brian,” he’s told me, “It’s like admitting to people that God made a mistake. People will take that as license to practice homosexuality. You can’t do that.”


I have lots of friends who are recovering alcoholics and I would venture to say that most of them struggle in part because of genetics – they were born that way.

None that I know, however, use that as an excuse to dive head-long into drunken stupors. Most alcoholics I know are brave, broken, and desperate to stay sober.

Will acknowledging the possibility that people could be born with homosexual tendencies change how God expects us to deal with homosexual behavior?

I don’t think so.

Do I personally think people could be born gay? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know how one could conclusively prove such a thing.

It’s pretty clear most secular psychologists and biologists are convinced homosexual orientation is imprinted genetically at birth. And they have piles of studies and journals to back up their claims.

My reaction is simple: So what? How does that change anything?

It’s still sin.

It’s still something to be avoided.

Then hasn’t God tethered those with homosexual urges to a life of constant struggle?


That’s why I’m betting that those who come to Christ and refrain from acting out on homosexual urges could be one of the few groups of people in the body of Christ who feel the full brunt of James 1:2-5 on a daily basis.

And my heart goes out to them because of it.

Series Posts
Rethinking Homosexuality
What If We’re Misinterpreting The Bible? (Part 1)
What Would You Tell A Gay Couple With Kids? (Part 2)
Should An Openly Homosexual Person Be Baptized? (Part 3)
Do Gays Feel Welcome At Your Church? (Part 4)
Are Homosexuals Born That Way? (Part 5)
The Radical Gay Agenda (Part 6)

Brian loves helping Christians live thoughtful, courageous lives. He's a popular blogger, author, and pastor at Christ's Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

  • Sarah

    you can not say they are not born that way because it has neither been proven or disproven. It is just simply “unknown.”

  • Brian Jones

    I get your logic, but I don’t think it’s a fair question. The same “you can be fruitful and be gay” logic can be turned on those who are infertile, right?

  • FastEddie19355

    I have a question. Assuming there is a God, the Bible is God’s word, God created the heavens, the earth, the animals, the trees, the fishes, Adam and Eve, etc,, and God said in Genesis 1 “be fruitful and multiply,” how do people in homosexual relationships justify not being fruitful and multiplying ?

  • Sola

    We all have to ‘mortify the deeds of the flesh’ and put our natural but sinful urges under control. Why not deviant sexual urges? Thanks for a very courageous and insightful post.

  • Adam Kacho-Pitts

    The problem is, homosexuals are NOT born that way. It is clearly a result of development, both social and sexual. It is hard to find unbiased research on the subject, as most research is conducted by pro-homosexual organizations to further justify this dilemma. All we can do is love homosexuals as we love ourselves, pray for their hearts and minds to be led in truth by God, and simply tell them what God’s Word says about it in a gentle and loving manner.

  • Jason Thomas

    I look at it like we are all born with a nature, a human sinful nature to and yes we may carry some genetics with us passed down, but ultimately no matter our genetics or nature, we still have a choice to do and not do, be or not be, no matter the topic…gay, hate, abuse, drugs..anger….lying…etc…

  • Brian Jones

    Thanks for sharing that! Sounds like a good resource.

  • Tammie

    I was going to wait to mention it until I finished the book, but I still have a ways to go (am reading too many books at once, including yours on forgiveness)….anyway, I don’t know how many more times you are goign to write on this topic, so I thought I’d mention now that there is a book that you might find interesting, if you haven’t already read it called, “Love is an Orientation; Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community”.

    The author, Andrew Marin, is a Christian who had three close friends come out to him three months in a row, & as a result started trying to learn more about the gay community, & trying to find ways to reach out to them as a Christian. He actually moved to, & is raising a family in Boystown in Chicago, though he is straight, and he started a foundation (The Marin Foundation) & talks to churches about this topic.

  • Tim Babb

    Brian, “born that way” and “God made them that way” (tethered them) are not synonymous. When God made man, He made him perfect. Any congenital traits we may have that are in opposition to God’s design are a result of living in a cursed and dying world.

    I do agree, sin is sin, whether born that way or not.

  • Brian Jones

    Thank you!

  • Steve H
  • Brian Jones

    Great reminder (from one food struggler to another). :)

  • Baker

    Brian, Good discussion. I look at it this way, I was born to be someone who would struggle with weight. It is obviously hereditary by looking at some of the peopele in my family. It is a constant struggle. I know gluttony is a sin. People who don’t struggle with weight just say, don’t eat as much and then they invite me to go eat at a buffet with them. When a person doesn’t struggle with a certain sin it is easy to point the finger to those who do and tell them stop. Like it is really that easy.

    When it comes to the topic of homosexuality I think Colossians 4:2-6 is good to remember when faced with this issue:

    “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we can proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. LET YOUR CONVERSATION BE ALWAYS FULL OF GRACE, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

    Are people born this way? I don’t know the answer to that for sure. I just pray that when I run into a person who is I need to approach it with grace so that the mystery of Christ is proclaimed.

  • Brian Jones

    I’d love to have you share the link to that Mark Moore article!

  • Steve H

    Good words. Part of the problem with the present culture is that we are over sexed in the wrong way. God created sex as a beautiful thing, but with throwing God out, we’ve grown to worship sex. Thus, the assumption says that: 1. A man or woman does not have opposite sex attraction but may experience some same-sex temptations. 2. The feel in culture is that because we are merely sexual animals, it is just natural to act out those tendencies; it is expected. But at root level, it is the same issue of a guy who may have more than his share of testosterone or experienced some form of abuse as a boy, and now has a propensity to affairs on business trips and a desire for sex with every hot babe he comes across. Most of us would say that the guy needs to get help, mature, and be faithful to his wife. We wouldn’t excuse his behavior as “well, he’s just born that way.” Just because a person experiences feelings, emotions, or propensities does not mean they are to act out on them. Mark Moor did an article a couple of years ago in the Christian Standard where he noted that celibacy is a natural course of action here and is actually honored in the NT as it allows more time for the person to devote to Christ.

  • Brian Jones


  • Jennifer Elaine Sorge

    So, the world in it’s fallen state, affects everything else, but not certain babies that have gender issues?? Babies can be born with every gross anomaly…2 heads, 8 legs, and on and on it goes…but babies that have gender problems (1 in every 2000…above URL) that causes them to grow up not acting like their assigned gender, somehow when they grow up then they are causing it? Christians are to seek truth and only judge if they KNOW they have the truth…and then do it not like the Pharisees that pointed out people’s sins in public…. it is ashame…not like Christ at all.

    Thank you for this topic!! Brian


  • Jerry Allen

    I wrote an article not to long ago on this subject. I found this link interesting.

    Here’s my blog on it.

  • Beckyharmon

    Great thought and I appreciate you bringing it to light. I am going to think and pray on this. Bottom line is we all have sin we have to overcome and generational curses come in all kinds of packages from homosexuality to independence, alcoholism and other identity issues that we have to work through to become more like him. Thanks for sharing.

  • Brian Jones

    Well said Leah. The action is the sin. The propensity is not.

  • Leah Adams

    Oh my word, I was not sure anyone else thought about this the same way that I do, but it seems we are kindred spirits. I applaud your courage to put this into writing. I’ve not done that yet mainly because it is just in the past few months that I have begun to noodle my way through this issue. I have a gay friend with whom I have been having this dialogue.

    We live in a fallen world. If a beautiful baby could be born with physical birth defects (i.e. hole in the heart, brain stem abnormalities, etc, etc), then why is it so far-fetched that the brain and the seat of emotions in a human could be filled with something that is far different than God ever intended? I have another friend who has a young son who has homosexual tendancies at 9 years old. From the time this little boy could talk, he has told his mom that he was supposed to be a girl. Seriously? Two year olds don’t just think that kind of thing up. They have no point of reference for that.

    The key, as you said, is whether the person makes the choice to act on the homosexual tendance. The action is the sin. I have a genetic propensity to be controlling and prideful, yet I must choose to NOT allow those tendancies to dominate. Great, great post.

  • Melissa Canchola

    Good post. :)