You are not your desires | WORLD
Logo
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

You are not your desires

“Homosexuality” is a construct that denies people’s humanity


Fans wave flags during the first half of a Washington Spirit soccer match in Washington, D.C., on March 31. Associated Press/Photo by Terrance Williams

You are not your desires

It is a cultural myth that December is America’s most religious month. It is not, if we define religiosity by what truly grips the affections of the country’s elite. 

June is now our most religious month. June is when the parades and symbology of America’s primary religion flowers: the religion of sexual transgression.

December is now just a pro forma and perfunctory overture to America’s past golden age as a Christian nation, a time when sodomy, the denial of biologically determined gender, and telling young children to ingest hormones were not considered deeply held American values.

But that is not the America we live in. June reveals the true religious center of elite American life. And our elites, it seems, are deeply enamored with and captured by all things homosexual.

It is not just about homosexuality or transgenderism. It is now about the worship of sensuality and nerve endings. We can be shocked by this, but familiarity with Scripture should disabuse us of this shock. The Apostle Paul does, after all, warn against sexual sin (Romans 13:13).

But we Christians do not worship our nerve endings. We do not worship our sexuality. We are not our sexuality. In fact, now, at the start of so-called “Pride Month,” is a good time to say it aloud for everyone to read and hear: The modern idea of homosexuality is a myth born of ideology. It is, in other words, a “construct.” It is a humanistic way of seeing and organizing the world that one easily cabins and confines oneself into to understand and interpret the world.

The problem for modern sexual identitarians, let’s call him or her the “homosexual,” is that homosexuality, as our society understands the term, does not actually exist.

“Homosexuality” is a sociological description of a phenomenological encounter of experiencing same-sex desires. To make it an ideology of identity politics is to wrap an individual’s entire existence around it. It is yet another ism. But our bodies tell us that homosexuality does not really exist as an all-defining construct. Why? Because our bodies are inherently other-oriented, regardless of one’s desires. For homosexuality to exist as a discrete reality would mean the end of our species.

Homosexuality is really just homosexualism. It is an ideology. It is not who you are. Why? Because regardless of the pattern of one’s sexual desires, if you are a man, your body is meant for a wife. If you are a woman, regardless of your sexual desires, it is intended for a husband.

The ontology of human nature is the greatest refutation of homosexuality.

Same-sex desires exist. Who could deny the phenomenological experiences of those who testify to either wanted or unwanted same-sex desire? My criticism is not meant to deny the very real reality that these experiences occur. We are to love all human beings, regardless of their sexual desires. My criticism is meant to deny that these experiences are normative—normative with regard to either being morally praiseworthy or comprehensive in how one understands the world.

Why? Because same-sex desire is intrinsically disordered. It is sinful. The ontology of human nature is the greatest refutation of homosexuality. Males and females may experience a pattern of fallen sexual desires. But their bodies are not homosexual. Their bodies are very much still complementary. A homosexual-identifying man and a homosexual-identifying woman are not homosexuals. They are homo sapiens whose desires are at odds with the telos of their bodies.

It is all too common to see major social media accounts consider how, in the African safari, there are homosexual animals. The point being suggested is that homosexuality just is a fact of nature. The denial of the modern logic of homosexuality is now diagnosed as “homophobia,” and it is homophobia that is unnatural, these accounts suggest.

If we just honored our nature as a blunt force instrument, we would all glamorize homosexuality. The problem is that Christians do not look at nature from a naturalist perspective and grant that every natural desire tells us how to act carte blanche. The fact that some animals eat their own excrement does not tell us that animals nor homo sapiens should eat their excrement.

What is fascinating is that modern queer theorists have moved on from any notion of essentialism, the idea that individuals are statically, well, anything of any type. Everything is fluid, including sexuality. So even modern queer theorists stand athwart homosexualism.

But that all comes back to the controversy at hand: We do not go looking to the experience of our desires to validate an identity. We go to Scripture. The fact of “naturally occurring” experiences or desires tells us nothing about the appropriateness of those occurrences or desires. “If it feels good, do it” is devastating as an ethic. It is unsustainable as an ethic if truly taken to heart. But that phrase might as well function as secularism’s John 3:16.


Andrew T. Walker

Andrew is the managing editor of WORLD Opinions and serves as associate professor of Christian ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also a fellow with The Ethics and Public Policy Center. He resides with his family in Louisville, Ky.


Read the Latest from WORLD Opinions

Kristen Waggoner | Now in his third lawsuit, Jack Phillips’ impact reaches far beyond the law

Joseph Backholm | Trump and Biden supporters value marriage and family differently

Eric Patterson | The American flag as a promissory symbol

R. Albert Mohler Jr. | The SBC removes an historic church and passes an historic statement on IVF

COMMENT BELOW

Please wait while we load the latest comments...

Comments