Does the Bible say being gay is a choice? All sin is a choice. Therefore, one way to answer “Does the Bible say being gay is a choice?” is to decide if being gay is a sin according to the Bible.
The Bible Does Say Being Gay Is a Choice Because All Sin Is Choice
To clarify, by the term “being gay,” I mean those who are practicing homosexuals. This does not refer to those who are tempted in gay ways and yet are resisting the temptation in order to obey God. “Being gay” means you are living an actively gay life.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Since all sin is a choice, and practicing homosexuality is a sin, it is safe to conclude that the Bible does say being gay is a choice.
The Bible Does Say Being Gay Is a Choice Because We All Choose to Obey Our Sinful Nature
Despite what many believe and proclaim, there is not a consensus among the scientific community on the relationship between being gay and human genes. However, let’s assume there is a genetic connection between being gay and the genes a person is born with. Again, I am not stating this happens, but let’s assume it could.
Even if you had a natural, genetic disposition towards being gay, the Bible says “practicing homosexuality” is still your personal choice. The Bible says that everyone is born sinful (Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:12). The Bible refers to this as original sin. All of our bodies, because of our inherited sinful nature, have certain sinful tendencies. And yet the Bible also states that all sin is still our own personal choice:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
We “all have sinned” means we have all chosen to sin. Again, the Bible states that we are all born sinful and we all choose to sin. Therefore, even if you were born with gay tendencies, the Bible would still say that you have the choice to “practice homosexuality.”
What’s Truly Behind the Question, “Does the Bible Say Being Gay Is a Choice?”
“Does the Bible say being gay is a choice?” is a hand grenade question in our current American society. Just today it was front page news when 2016 presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson was asked by a female LGBT activist, “Do you think it was my choice to be gay?” Since Dr. Carson has gotten into trouble in the past for stating that he does believe being gay is a choice, he gave the young lady a polite political response, “It’s a long answer to that question.” Seeing that Dr. Carson was not going to engage her, she walked away, but not before looking him in the eyes and angrily stating, “I think you’re full of %#*#.”
The LBGT activist’s reaction to Dr. Ben Carson’s answer shows there is often a deeper motive behind the question, “Does the Bible say being gay is a choice?” To reveal that motive, perhaps it would help to ask another question, “Is choosing to be gay a bad choice?”
Why do people care so much if being gay is a choice or not? People care if being gay is a choice because people know practicing homosexuality is wrong. Even people who do not believe the Bible still have some form of a moral compass since they are made in the image of God, though this compass is clearly not fully accurate since our image bearing of God is so broken. Theologically this is referred to as the “moral law.”
The moral law states that within humans there is a general understanding of right and wrong. For example: no matter where you go, whether you are in New York City or you are with a tribe in the heart of Africa, everyone knows stealing is wrong. Everywhere on earth, at all times in human history, stealing has always been a punishable crime. Why? Because the moral law is written on the human heart (Romans 2:14-16).
The point is this: if being gay was a good choice, then people would not be so passionate about the question, “Is being gay a choice?” If they feel it’s completely right to be gay, then why is it not celebrated that people make their own choice to be gay? Why do people get angry when you say being gay is a choice? Answer: Deep down they already know being gay is a sin because of the moral law written on their hearts, even if they would never admit this. And one of their best ways of coping with that nagging feeling that their doing something wrong is to justify it by saying it’s not their choice.
It’s much like our court systems today. If you can prove the criminal has a “disease” or “disorder” or is “insane,” the crime is less punishable, and in some cases not punishable at all. Since people know practicing gayness is a sin, they try to escape this reality by stating they are born with it. And yet within this argument, those justifying homosexuality are treating it like it’s some sort of bad disease you are born with. Why? Because deep down they know homosexuality is a sin, a crime in the eyes of God, which will be judged along with all other sins in God’s court.
People don’t argue about having genes that make them want to serve the poor because this is a good choice. People celebrate good choices. People like to take credit for good choices. People not wanting to take credit for being gay proves these people know it is a wrong choice.
Sometimes You Should Not Answer the Questions, “Does the Bible Say Being Gay Is a Choice?” Without First Asking Your Own Question
As exemplified through Dr. Ben Carson’s experience with the LGBT activist, some people are not asking “Does the Bible say being gay is a choice?” with ears to really hear your answer.
The Bible says that when this happens, you should not waste your time (Matthew 7:6, 2 Timothy 2:23). When you are asked a question that has hidden motives meant to trap you, do what Jesus did:
And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:27-33)
They tried to trap Jesus. They wanted him to say he was the Son of God so they could crucify him. And if he said he was not the Son of God, well then they won there too. Jesus is the Son of God, a fact he proclaimed often, but rather than play into their hands, he asked them his own trapping question.
The same can be done when someone asks “Does the Bible say being gay is a choice?” Of course, if they truly want to know, you should do your best to explain the biblical truth. However, if they are only asking this so they can crucify you, then perhaps the best response is to ask a question of your own, “Do you think being gay is a good choice?” If they answer yes, then you can respond, “Then why don’t you take credit for making that good choice?” And if they answer that being gay is a bad choice, well then perhaps they are ready to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So does the Bible say being gay is a choice? The Bible says all sin is a choice, including the choice to practice homosexuality.
And the Bible also says that all sin can be washed away through the gospel of Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 1 John 1:8-10). May Christians not argue with people who just want to argue. May we, instead, seek to share the gospel whenever an opportunity presents itself.