As a gay-identified person, being called a sinner offended me. Truth be told, I heard those words most often come out of a very angry person, who appeared to care more about being morally right than for me, the person in front of them. Every ounce of my being screamed back, “I’m gay, born this way, not a sinner—get over yourself!” The words “You’re a sinner” implied that I was deeply flawed within my personhood. Let’s face it, no one wants to be called a sinner, much less have someone imply that one’s whole identity is an offense to God and others.
My journey to resolve my faith and sexuality brought me face to face with the subject of sin as I studied the first three chapters of Genesis. The more I read the Bible, the more I began to recognize that sin does play a significant role in human history and in our individual lives. If I were to fully embrace Christianity, then I was going to have to tackle the sin subject head on.
Let’s start with a brief overview of what sin is:
Sin is mentioned numerous of times in the Bible, starting with the “original” sin when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They disobeyed God (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12). The essence of sin stems from the human desire to be like God. All sin, therefore, has its roots in idolatry—the attempt to put something or someone in the place of the Creator. Most often, that someone is one’s own self. Sin in simplest terms is an unwillingness to trust God. Sin adopts the attitude, “I know better than God.” In Greek the word sin is defined as “missing the mark” of God’s standard of righteousness. Sin nature refers to the fact that we have a natural inclination to sin; given the choice to do God’s will or our own, we will naturally choose to do our own thing.
I had to make a major paradigm shift away from being “born gay” to “being born a sinner.” Since I embrace that the Bible is true and has the right to evaluate and direct my life, then it also has the authority to speak to my human condition. Moving away from the ideology that I was born gay implied that there was something more than than just biology at the core of my sexuality. OUCH! To make this change in my mentality, I had to understand the impact sin has upon the human condition.
Here is what I have learned about sin in my studies and readings of the Bible:
- Sin distorts how we view God, ourselves and others.
- Sin dilutes the Truth of who God is.
- Sin deceives us to believe there is something better for us than the life God offers.
- Sin drives us away from God and toward a self-focused life, seeking pleasure and comfort above all else.
That is a pretty big leap to make from believing “born this way,” or is it? In my next post I want to distinguish the difference between “born this way” and “born a sinner.”
Thanks for following my Journey, I welcome meaningful conversation.