I have to warn you…the bouncing ping-pong balls have multiplied. Their are three of them inside my head careening off the walls and roof of my skull (now there’s an image). My intention for this devotional was to talk about certain human beings which seem to be born with a sexual orientation outside the norm. I chose this topic for reasons which will hopefully make themselves clear throughout the discourse, but, mainly because most Christians have very strong feelings about this topic. My direction was pretty straightforward until the one bouncing ping-pong ball morphed into three. Have you ever been fairly set on a topic…until you researched it a little more…and then found your opinions starting to waver as Scripture, science, and logic all crash into each other and explode into fragments of truth, thoughts, and deductions? Now you see why there are three ping-pong balls bouncing around up there and also understand my longing to be in the mountains chasing elk later this week. I need some PEACE and QUIET….
What I really enjoy about this forum…is that you (you know who you are)…whom are already yelling about “science and logic even being included” in this discourse have to read all the way to the end before you can effectively yell at me. The Scripture ping-pong ball is causing my fingers to flip to Romans Chapter 5 and Ecclesiastes Chapter 7…the science ping-pong ball is hammering me with studies on “gay genes” and nature vs nurture psychology…and the logic ping-pong ball is remembering Galileo and thinking about the ‘age of accountability’. Like I said before, I have no idea where we are going…so hold the yelling…buckle up…and lets start digging.
In Romans 5:12 it says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” This verse is intended to set the foundation, Adam sinned, and because of that transgression, all of the rest of us inherit sin and death. I get that and have understood that for years, however, the 29th verse in Ecclesiastes 7 says, “Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.” Solomon was comparing wisdom and foolishness in this chapter and ends the chapter with this one revelation. Those two verses seem to contradict each other a bit.
Bounce-Bounce-Bounce (goes the ping-pong balls)
Lets see…the passage in Romans has been traditionally interpreted to mean that all mankind are born with a sin nature because of the sin of Adam. I believe this can be backed up in Ephesians 2: 1-3 where it says, “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.”
You know…now that I read that again…“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked“…doesn’t sound like I was dead because I was born…it sounds like I was dead because I walked in trespasses and sin. H’mm…let me flip back to Romans 5 again…this time verses 18-19, “So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”
OK…many will be made righteous through the obedience of the One (Christ)…is compared to…many were made sinners through the disobedience of one (Adam). I understand that justification and righteousness are available to me because of Christs choice to obey the will of His Father. I also understand that I must choose that life…I must choose to follow Christ…in order to be righteous and justified. If I choose to not follow that life…then I have chosen to reject Him as the Christ. This choice results in condemnation and a life of sin. In either case…I must choose, which follows the example set for us by both Adam and Jesus. Adam chose to disobey. Jesus chose to obey.
Remember what it says in Romans 5:12 it says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” And what it says in Ecclesiastes 7: 29, “Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”
Romans says, “death spread to all men, because all sinned”…and…Ecclesiastes says, “God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.” I’m not sure these verses contradict at all. I think they agree. Since men sought out their own inventions and devices and not those of God, they sinned…and death spread to encompass them. However…this was not God’s intention…God made men upright. Does this mean we are not born with a sin nature…?
(Give me a minute…this question is a bit more complicated than I thought)
What does it mean, “to have a sin nature”? Does it mean that we have a natural tendency toward sin…specifically…which implies we have a natural revulsion toward righteousness? Does it mean we sin…because we are born “attracted” to it? Now…I know we started out talking about humans, born with sexual orientations outside the norm…and then…this ‘theology’ class on the ‘doctrine of original sin’ just kind of happened. This certainly wasn’t my intention, however, the ping-pong balls keep bouncing and bouncing. I can’t help but think of the ‘age of accountability’ in relation to being born with a sin nature. It turns my stomach to hear about the deaths of small children through violence, pestilence, and starvation. I think of them as ‘innocent’ and in the arms of our Savior. However, if they were born with a sin nature…are they really innocent?
I promise we will get back to the original question, but the question of a ‘born into nature’ just won’t go away. I’ve got some more digging to do…some more praying to do…some more sharpening to do…