It was splashed across every major news-paper. Homosexuality may be linked to genes, the headlines screamed. A new study shows that homosexuality often runs in families—and hence might be related to genetic factors.
The morning the news appeared, a call came to the “BreakPoint” office. A young man was on the phone—a Christian struggling to overcome homosexuality. Don’t they realize there’s another explanation of the data? he asked.
The family link could just as well indicate a behavioral component.
Think about alcoholism: It tends to run in families, too. But no one has ever found an alcoholism gene. Even if they did, that would not make the behavior either right or inevitable. The real culprits in the generational effect are behavior and attitudes.
Children tend to reproduce what they grow up with.
The young caller wasn’t finished yet. I look around at friends who are struggling with homosexuality, he said, and just about every one was sexually abused as a child. Often by a family member. When they grow up, they turn around and become abusers themselves—and pull another generation down into the cycle.
That could be the real reason homosexuality runs in families.
But what happens when all the attention is focused on some hypothetical gay gene? The behavioral factor is ignored. Which means we may well be encouraging people to overlook the real source of the problem.
People are hurting, people with hidden sorrows, and instead of helping them we are papering over their problems by telling them they were born that way.
This isn’t just a political issue; it isn’t just about gay rights. It’s about helping people trapped in a cycle of sexual dysfunction.
A cycle of sin.
Alan Medinger was a practicing homosexual for 17 years. Today he is a Christian and the founder of Regeneration, a ministry to homosexuals. “Homosexuality isn’t just about sexual relations,” Medinger says. “It’s a complete personality orientation, a set of attitudes toward masculinity and femininity.”
At some point in childhood, Medinger explains, the normal process of maturing is interrupted—often due to emotional trauma or abuse. The normal growth into manhood or womanhood is diverted. Freedom from homosexuality often involves a long, difficult process, going back and retracing the process of development to create a heterosexual identity.
Only then is the homosexual completely healed.
But today our society is blocking the potential for healing, ironically, by becoming too tolerant and accepting. As one former lesbian puts it, pro-gay groups are actually making it harder for those who want to break out of their destructive lifestyle.
The new gene theory will be just one more block to homosexuals who want to change.
You might want to contact Alan Medinger at Regeneration and see how your church can be equipped to help homosexuals break free of the cycle of sin and despair.
It’s not enough to fight gay rights. Christians need to help people who are fighting the sin of homosexuality in their own lives.
And who desperately need the church on their side.