The Bible and the Science of Gender and Sexuality

While the Word of God is the foundation of our understanding of God’s will, it does not address all the issues and challenges that a Christian faces in regard to human sexuality. We also gain insight into the realities of human existence through God’s other book, nature. We are encouraged in this approach by Scripture, which declares that God’s creation is a revelation of His handiwork, even in the midst of a broken world (Psa 19:1-4; Rom 1:20). Scientific study helps us understand the trauma that human beings experience as a result of sin. While what we learn from nature must be submitted to the clear teachings of the Scriptures, it can enlighten us particularly in areas where Scripture has not spoken, and it can help clarify issues where Scripture is not clear.

The best, current, scientific information indicates that many, if not most, LGBT+ people did not choose the orientations in which they experience life. While Seventh-day Adventists and other Christians are divided on whether or not LGBT+ is a choice, I feel compelled by evidence-based science to acknowledge that those who claim LGBT+ orientation have not necessarily chosen that condition (Jesus may have hinted at this possibility in Matthew 19:12). This evidence has major implications for addressing this issue. If LGBT+ is not a choice in even some situations, it would be cruel and judgmental to automatically assume that any given individual made that choice in some perverse sense. Where LGBT+ orientation is not a choice, sin does not reside in the orientation, it resides in how one responds to that orientation. I find the issues in this regard to be complex and real. And I deeply appreciate that church leadership through the years has given institutions like my own freedom to wrestle prayerfully with issues like these on the basis, not only of Scripture, but of the best scientific and experiential evidence available to us.

6 thoughts on “The Bible and the Science of Gender and Sexuality

  1. Barry Curtis

    You write, “Where LGBT+ orientation is not a choice, sin does not reside in the orientation, it resides in how one responds to that orientation.” It seems to me you are using the word “sin” in a very narrow sense. Sin does reside in the orientation in the sense that sin resides in all our fallen natures. I’d I understand you correctly, you are saying that the orientation itself is not sinful, but sin affected. But maybe I am putting words in your mouth?

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      Sorry, I am slow getting to these. There are different definitions of sin in the Bible, so it is easy to talk past each other on issues like this.

  2. rw

    I agree that the whole LGBTQIA+ stuff has a lot of people who have experienced a lot of trauma. Simplistic argument – doesn’t sin always bring trauma? I’m not saying they are choosing to sin, but rather the results of sin always causes trauma, doesn’t it? I had a friend who was born with cystic fibrosis – a result of sin? Certainly. Did it cause trauma. Absolutely – she died from the trauma of it. I have personally experienced the result of sin trauma in my own heterosexuality life, my addictions, my anger issues, and my inherited life. Some I’ve chosen, others I did not. All have caused me trauma. Does that mean I simply give in to it to stop the trauma? I don’t see the trauma of sin stopping.

    1. Jon Paulien Post author


      I’m a little slow responding, sorry. Nice to hear from you. I think we all experience trauma of one kind or another every day. It doesn’t make us bad and doesn’t make use better than others. It is the hand we were dealt from the beginning. I think what I’m battling against is the subtle way religious people feel superior because their particular trauma is less visible or less noticed than others. Dealing with LGBT should provoke quite a bit of humility in us.

Comments are closed.