September 2013 Newsletter – Was I Born This Way?

“Was I Born This Way?”
by: David Jones, Executive Director

Most often this question is connected with the the issue of same sex attraction. it is a highly debated question that often creates division within churches, friends and families. This letter is just another perspective regarding not only same sex attraction but also other issues or difficulties that present themselves as genetically preordained or lifelong struggle. My attempt is not to add more controversy to an already hot topic but to provide an additional viewpoint.

A phrase I have heard numerous times through the years is “I can’t remember when I haven’t struggled with ‘(fill in the blank)’. Before we address the “fill in the blank” section, let me first address the word “struggle”. The word struggle is defined as “to make a great effort to deal with a challenge, problem or difficulty”.1 From this definition we can assume the person making the statement recognizes his “fill in the blank” issue as a problem. From a Christian perspective he may also recognize this issue as a sin. Because the issue is long standing with very little success at alleviating it, the person may also carry feelings of failure, shame, despair and guilt. Let’s reword the statement just a tad. What if the person said, “I can’t remember when I wasn’t “(fill in the blank)” or “I can’t remember when I wasn’t fascinated by or with “(fill in the blank).” With this statement the person has eliminated the issue being defined as problematic or sinful. It doesn’t necessarily mean the problem is not in reality problematic or sinful. It just means the person’s perspective is that it is not. Conflict may occur when the people close to them view their issue as problematic and sinful. There are basically 5 options when it comes to dealing with a long term issue: struggle, overcome, give into, cover up and/or create an environment where it will be socially acceptable.

Now let us address the “(fill in the blank)” clause. Let’s identify a few words or phrases that could fit into our blank section. Anger, lying, manipulation, lust, female/male body fascination and selfishness are just a few possibilities. Let us put anger into our blank section and see if it fits. “I can’t remember when I haven’t struggled with anger.” This statement indicates that they came into this world angry and it has become problematic or even sinful. We all have known someone who was angry as a kid and that anger caused him/her significant problems throughout their life. It appears Moses had some long term issue with anger that led him to commit murder. “I can’t remember when I wasn’t angry.” This statement has eliminated the problems associated with anger. This person has found an environment where it is socially acceptable to be angry. Aggressive sports such as football, boxing, and mixed martial arts are perfect examples. We also know of individuals who struggled with their anger for many years and were able to overcome its power through the redemptive work of Christ and the process of sanctification. Now, let’s place lust into our blank. You can make this lust more specific for the male or female body if you wish but for discussion sake we will keep in a general context. “I can’t remember when I haven’t struggled with lust.” When someone makes this statement, I am always curious how a 3 year old knows anything about lust but that is for another discussion. Once again the person views the issue of lust as a problem and perhaps as sinful. “I can’t remember when I wasn’t fascinated by or with the female/male body.” This statement indicates that the person’s lust is more of a curiosity or fascination rather than a sin or problem. Remember, just because someone doesn’t view something as a problem or sin doesn’t mean that in reality it is not a sin or problem by God’s standard. Conflict may occur when the people close to this person call this behavior a problem or sin and the individual does not. When this conflict occurs many individuals will choose the cover up and pretend to have overcome option to stop the conflict. What if we could create an environment where lust of any kind would be socially acceptable? That anyone who created conflict through calling it a sin was labeled as using hate speech, phobic, narrow minded and bigoted. We could even enhance this by making it illegal to identify or call lust a problem or sin. This may have sounded absurd a few years ago but it is the climate of the society we live in today.

Many people that have struggled with various types of sexual sins have grown weary of the cover up and pretend option. This option only produces isolation, fear, despair, and hopelessness. It is a relief when the individual gives into their struggle and finds a supportive environment where they believe they can be honest and accepted. There is another option for the person who struggles with any type of lifelong problem or sin. What if the struggler recognized and accepted that the (fill in the blank) issue was indeed problematic and at times sinful? What if the (fill in the blank) struggler got tired of trying to overcome the issue on their own power and constantly giving into their sin and covering up through deceit? What if as a body of believers we said “We are going to create an environment where we will support, love and fight with you as we battle this (fill in the blank) issue together.” Battling sexual sin, no matter what type it is, is difficult and not an easy path. We all come into this world stained by the affects of the original sin and we were “born that way”. We are powerless on our own to remove that stain and its control and that includes sexual sin. Let’s work together to create an environment of truth and grace where strugglers can know the love of Christ that empowers them to fight the good fight and know the power of being an over-comer.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (NKJV)

1. Encarta Dictionary

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3 Responses to “September 2013 Newsletter – Was I Born This Way?”

  1. Rev. Bill Berry September 27, 2013 9:40 pm #

    Dear Brother David … I find your “Was I Born This Way” piece to be a caring and intelligent approach to a crippling reality in our world today. Finding environments which accept the formerly unacceptable is now extending to arenas of behavior which a decade or so ago in our society would have shunned or scorned at the very least. Now many such expressions of the self have become behaviors which are not only deemed acceptable but the rejection of which could bring legal sanction on anyone who expresses disdain or rejects the “fill in the blank” behavior.
    And where is this all leading? … In another decade or so from now will we be excusing or accepting such “fill-in-the-blanks” as pedophilia or shop-lifting or … well … again we can speculate by just filling in the blank. Right now we even see organizations pushing for the social acceptance of pederasty as one of those “I was born this way” behaviors. Where is the push for “tolerance” going to take us?
    David, as you are, being in the lead in a caring enterprise, helping those who deal with the “why am I this way” dilemmas of life, I join you in trying to find the truth in the midst of all the fog which is being created to hide the reality of what many, many are struggling with in our world.
    Keep on, keeping on, my co-warrior and brother in Christ! The fight is worth it because it is for God’s way of viewing the world. … wrb

  2. Ty October 5, 2013 8:41 pm #

    David, This is a great article detailing what “struggle” really means and how society has sought to explain away conflicting feelings. Thank you, Ty

  3. Ron Hale October 17, 2013 1:27 pm #

    David, you always bring more light to this issue for me. So glad that the “losing” part of my struggle is over. Only through Christ Jesus was I able to let go. Hope to see you soon. Ron

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