A recent letter to the local newspaper makes a case for accepting human behavior on the basis that we are all born with our inclinations, and are therefore not morally responsible for them. If God made us this way then we should accept ourselves as we are and others should also accept us as we are. The writer quotes the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “Judge not lest you be judged” (Matthew 7:12,1).
There are two reasons why this argument is fallacious. The first is that we are all born as sinners with a sinful inclination. God did not leave us to indulge our sinful nature but came in Jesus to save us from them and give us a new nature by his Spirit. All of us were born with inherited tendencies. We are all wired certain ways due to heredity and circumstances. Some are born to alcoholic mothers, or mothers addicted to nicotine or other drugs. That does not mean that they should just accept that they will be addicted all their lives and therefore should take no responsibility for their behavior. If they are Christians they will seek help for their addictions, enter into recovery programs, and, by the help of the Holy Spirit and the fellowship of others, lead sober lives.
The way to holiness is not easy for any of us. It is a race we must run, a battle we must fight, a crown we must gain. “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:27) This is true for all of us. We do not make excuses for ourselves. This is a hard truth for those who struggle with their identities and proclivities. It seems to be especially hard for those with sexual and gender issues. But the Scriptures are clear that no matter how hard the struggle it is worthwhile. “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:3)
This leads to the second reason why this argument is fallacious. The Scriptures are clear about how we should behave. The Bible contains the Divine Commands. They direct us on the obedience of faith. It is true that there is a tendency for us to pick and choose which commandments we follow. The task of biblical interpretation is to develop a moral ethic that is consistent with the Gospel Jesus and the apostles affirmed. God has revealed to us by his Spirit the Word that applies to our lives at any given moment. Our task is to obey that revelation. This comes down to our accepting the Word of God, given to us by the Spirit, as authoritative for our lives. We may not always like it, but it is our moral authority. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
Therefore, there is clear teaching about what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior for the follower of Christ. We either submit to its teaching or we live by our own desires. Romans 6,7 and 8 lay out the Christian teaching on the choices we must make: “to let sin reign in your mortal bodies so that you obey its evil desires, offering the parts of your bodies to sin as instruments of wickedness, or offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life as instruments of righteousness.” (Romans 6:12,13)