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Whatever Happened to Sin? ...One Christian Leader Suggests: it Could be in "The Genes"

Whatever Happened to Sin?
...one Christian leader suggests: it could be in "the genes"




Updated.

Tone and truth should go hand in hand. I know that as I desire to bring the balance of that to my blog, sometimes I succeed and other times I fall woefully short. In that spirit, upon review of my initial post here, I think that some statements were needlessly abrasive to Dr. Mohler and were a distraction from the wheelhouse of the integrity of the issue I was trying to address. To all of you who frequent this blog, and to Dr. Mohler personally, please forgive me for any offense that I may have caused. I trust this update will prove to be more beneficial on this important issue and to once again affirm my love and respect for our brother, though we may disagree on this issue.

From the crucible of grace,
Steve
Romans 12:18




"The discovery of a biological basis for homosexuality
would be of great pastoral significance,
allowing for a greater understanding of why certain
persons struggle with these particular sexual temptations.
"
-R. Albert Mohler, Jr.




God addresses it this way:


What is sin:

1 John 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.


Who is a sinner:

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.


What are the consequences of sinful choices:

Romans 1:24-28 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.


By what means is pastoral understanding to the temptations of others attained:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.



"If I have missed something, point it out. If I have violated Scripturez in any way, bring this to my attention. If I am confused in any way, point to clarification." -Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

I fully agree and appreciate his words--it's in that spirit that I am writing this post.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow:
Dr. Al Mohler, Jr. (President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) has created a firestorm of press the last few weeks due to some very controversial statements he made on his blog concerning the issue of prenatal sexual orientation identification, resulting in part, to the study of what some scientists are labeling a "gay-gene". They think that if the gay-gene can be identified , then they posit that it can possibly be reversed prenatally to a heterosexual state. Al asserts, that IF this can be proven and accomplished, this would be an invaluable and beneficial tool for pastors in further understanding and ministering to the homosexual community and confronting the "inevitable effects of sin." Mind you, there is absolutely no scientific conclusive data that puts this in the scope of reality; and the only consistent research to date has been conducted (are you ready for this) on "gay sheep." How does one tell a gay sheep from a straight sheep? Are there bi-sexual sheep too? What about transgender or transsexual sheep? Talk about "pulling the wool over someone's eyes." I didn't know there were even gay sheep alive, did you?

This is quite a surprise to read from a man of Dr. Mohler's biblical knowledge, theological acumen, and doctrinal discernment. To suggest at all that we would entertain, endorse, or even give any ounce of credence to this kind of scientific twaddle whatsoever is unthinkable. In the meantime, the secular media is having a hay-day with this asking the inevitable question: "is Dr. Mohler playing God?" You have to admit, this whole line of thinking sounds more like Warren than it does like Mohler. And again, you have to ask the question: "why? - what prompted this kind of discussion to begin with? What is the driving motive or reasoning?" Certainly the way to reach out as Christians to the gay community is not through the biological megaphone of "gay-genes," but by lovingly proclaiming the good news of the gospel of grace through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sin is not a matter of genetics; it is a matter of nature called: original sin (Psalm 51:5; Eph. 2:3). All carnal thoughts and affections are enmity against God and cannot please Him (Roms. 8:7; James 4:1-5). BTW, that includes me, you and Dr. Mohler - not just the gay community. (The entire third chapter of the Epistle to the Romans is a tremendous description of original sin.)


What is unfortunate,is when any of us
direct our attention to lesser issues like "the fiction
of scientific prenatal genome identification"
rather than just to continue to faithfully proclaim the
gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and His truth.



He's even making global warming seem legitimate by comparison - and I didn't think that was even possible.

It's all in the Genes--and I Don't Mean Levi's:
The article that started this whole brew-haha is called: Is Your Baby Gay? What If You Could Know? What If You Could Do Something About It? (Posted: Friday, March 02, 2007). In it, Dr. Mohler affirmed the possibility of reversing this "gay-gene" if it could be detected:

"If a biological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin."

However, today, is article entitled, "Was It Something I Said? ..." he wrote with the hopes of clarifying his views to both conservative evangelicals and media liberals. BUT, instead of clarity there has resulted more confusion. For example he says:

"In one article, I was said to advocate genetic therapies. I never said that, and I resolutely oppose such proposals. I would not advocate the use of genetic therapies to create heterosexual babies - or any other therapy of this type." The hypothetical question I addressed had nothing to do with genetic factors at all."

As you can see, these statements are in direct conflict with one another and have produced more consternation and chaos to readers leaving many of them scratching their heads asking the profound question: "...ugh?"

But why stop at a gay-gene?
Aren't there other moral ills
we'd like to identify, understand,
and reverse as well?

Why not look for:



  • An adultery-gene?
  • A thief-gene?
  • An anger-gene?
  • A gambling-gene?
  • A smoking-gene?
  • An alcoholic-gene?
  • A drug-gene?
  • A drive-by-snarky-feed the trols-blogging-gene?

  • A terrorist-gene?
  • An overeating-gene?
  • Am addicted to psychology-gene?
  • A divorce-gene?

  • A soap opera-gene?
  • A gossip-gene?
  • A legalistic-gene?
  • An intellectually-elite-gene?

  • An Arminian-gene?
  • A materialistic-gene?
  • A "Left Behind"-gene?

  • A vinti, 2/3rds decaf triple, 3 pump sugar-free hazelnut, nonfat, 1 and 1/2 splenda, with whip, extra hot, upside down, carmel macchiato-gene?
  • A CNN-news-gene?
  • A CCM-gene?

  • A sarcasm-gene?
  • And could we add, a seminary-gene?

And all of these could be identified, tagged, and reversed through hormonal prenatal genetic treatment one day... right? There is only one problem though, I don't think the "scientists at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station" have discovered any sheep that have manifested these "orientations" yet. Until then, I guess we're stuck with trusting and relying on the inerrant, infallible Word of God to define sin, know its origin, understand its effects, and provide the cure (Roms. 1:18-27; 3:10-18; Eph. 2:1-3; Gal. 5:16-24).

What's All This Really About:
So which statement above from Dr. Mohler is the truth of it? I would encourage you to read both articles; listen to today's blogcast; then you decide. (The COT BlogCast is the longest I have done to date (about 35 minutes and may take awhile for BOX.net to download; but let the iron sharpen the iron for I think it is important we talk about this biblically.)

And to be clear, the issue for this blog is not whether scientists probe the gay-genes of gay-sheep so that humans can detect a similiar gay-gene in unborn babies one day so that it can be reversed to heterosexual status. This is not about science; it's not about research; it's not even about gene reversal. Far from it. At the core, it is about protecting the integrity, sufficiency and authority of God's Word as it speaks completely about these things and about science indirectly or directly looking for yet another reason to justify, normalize and condone our behavior.


This is also about
adding genome doctrine
to a biblical worldview
and elevating the imprudent possibility
of unproven scientific genetic study
to the level of the means of grace
"to avoid sexual temptation
and the inevitable effects of sin."


For me, that is what this is about and why it needs to be worthy of our attention. I would encourage you to read Romans 1:18-27 to see clearly that ones sexual orientation is not something that comes from a genetic predisposition, but from the sinful nature of a depraved heart which chooses to supress the truth of God in unrighteousness. IOW, I believe that The Fall has effected every area of our lives both physical and spiritual, that not only are we responsible for such choices, as Dr. Mohler clearly points out, but also that even our orientation to those choices is a matter of ones sinful nature, not genetic proclivity.

With that in mind, the following is a ten point outline that Dr. Mohler thinks is vital for every Christian to think about on this issue. Points 8-10 are especially interesting. I deal with each one of these ten points in detail on the BlogCast (though I have listed some brief comments in maroon below).

But before you begin, a word about our brother:
Dr. Al Mohler is an orthodox preacher of God's Word; a defender and proclaimer of the gospel of Jesus Christ; AND a faithful man of God. His leadership in greater evangelicalism I appreciate greatly and have personally benefited from. His presidency at SBTS is legendary; and he is a needed voice in the marketplace as an apologist for the Christian worldview. It is because, beloved, of my overall respect and sincere love for him that I measure his controversial words against the plumbline of God's Word.

As Bereans (Acts 17:9-11) it is incumbant upon all of us to adhere the command of the Apostle Paul when he says, "test all things; cling to that which is good..." I know that you bless me here at COT when you examine what I write and say with God's Word. And so in that same spirit I offer what I hope is constructive criticism of the recent views expressed by our brother in Christ, Al Mohler.

To that end may we press on...
Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5