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Dear Editor, Bakersfield Californian Newspaper – Community Voices

In light of the recent statement by Pope Francis that he “will not judge priests for their sexual orientation,” I believe a point of clarification is required as some have misconstrued the statement as a license for homosexual practice.

For Christians committed to the Authority of Scripture, when the Bible speaks a clear word on a particular topic, it speaks the final word. With regard to homosexual practice, the biblical judgment against homosexuality is primarily focused on the practices, and not on the person involved. In other words, in its clarity regarding homosexuality, the Bible “speaks the truth in love” because love seeks nothing higher than the ultimate welfare of people.

To date, there is no compelling scientific evidence that anyone is determined from birth to have same-gender attraction. Additionally, there is no conclusive scientific data that proves there is a simple biological, genetic, or hormonal cause for homosexual feelings. Consequently, while homosexual feelings, desires and attractions are discovered, a decision is ultimately made by the individual to embrace what many refer to as “the gay identity” and practice a behavior which Scripture clearly condemns – not unlike other sins such as adultery, sex before marriage, prostitution, etc.

Today, there remains many people uniformed and misinformed regarding the facts about homosexuality No one is essentially born that way, no one simply chooses to have same-sex attraction, and change is possible regardless of what some say and/or believe. As a result, there are those that have spoken disparaging words about homosexual persons and need to take responsibility for any harsh words or hurtful actions.

Judgment never has and never will work. That said, truth is and truth matters greatly to God. Those who have the self-respect to recognize that a person is not reducible to his or her desires or behavior truly exhibit a concern for social justice, personal responsibility and a true love for the individual.

Pastor Phillip Lee
Executive Director
His Way Out Ministries

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