In the second chapter of Love into Light, Peter Hubbard shifts his attention from the gospel to the heart. He does this as he grapples with the ever-elusive cause of SSA.
One of the battles going on in our culture is the cause of homosexuality. Slogans on both sides of the fray over-simplify and mislead. “Born that way” is not scientifically tenable. “Choose to be that way” doesn’t really capture the experience of many homosexuals.
What is often told to young people is that you should experience the fulfillment of their desires. Most teens are curious and confused, especially if they have been exposed to porn or abused. Strange thoughts enter their minds. While it is usually not a good idea to act on all the odd thoughts that come into one’s head it supposedly is good to do that with sex. Soon these desires become labels (the subject of a later chapter).
The APA has found that “no findings have emerged to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.” In other words, the “professionals” have no earthly idea. The 2010 Swedish Twin Registry study only found that 10% of identical twin pairs with one homosexual had two homosexuals. Genetics is not the (complete) answer. If it was, then you would expect something closer to 100% of identical twins to have the same orientation.
“Our hearts are constantly interpreting information, expressing feelings, and making decisions.”
He reminds us that our hearts are vulnerable and culpable. The heart is the well spring of our attitudes, thoughts and behaviors (Proverbs 4:23; Mark 7:21-23). The are vulnerable to outside influences in the form of media, discourse and experiences. They are culpable in that we are responsible for the actions we take.
“Chemicals and culture influence us. Our thinking, feeling, choosing hearts are reflections of our Creator, yet they are fallen. They are difficult to know.”
We are body and soul united in personhood. How body and soul interact to produce behavior is unclear. The answer isn’t simply in genetics. It isn’t simply in choice. It isn’t simply in nurture. It isn’t simply in experience. For each person who is homosexual (or heterosexual) it is an unknowable combination of these things. There are genetic realities, physical realities, relational realities and cultural realities that all interact with a person’s heart. Those same or similar things can result in one twin (for instance) being heterosexual and the other being homosexual. All these things pass thru a unique and idolatrous heart seeking identity, security and satisfaction apart from God.
“Today many ex-gays feel deceived by this message. They were taught that attractions = orientation = behavior = identity = association, and once you get on that roller coaster you have to ride to the end.”
If we move the discussion of SSA into more biblical categories we find a variety of causes. For instance, he talks about Jake who experimented with pornography in his teens. At some point he shifted to homosexual pornography, and then began seeking anonymous sex. Why? He said that there were more men open to such sex without strings. It really was about seeking sexual satisfaction without any relational contribution. He was afraid of intimacy and the gay lifestyle enabled him to fulfill his desires and hide his heart. But that isn’t everyone’s story. Just his.
He mentions Josh. Josh wanted easy in relationships, to just “figure people out” instead of engaging in the mystery of discovering who someone was. He began to covet those that others were drawn to. He wanted to be like those guys. His homosexuality was about covetousness. He didn’t make explicit choices, but those attractions arose in his heart and were sexualized.
The answer to “why am I homosexual?” is found in the heart. There can be many contributing factors. They are like a stew that forms in the heart, guiding it. This is why when we talk with people about homosexuality it is really a heart issue and not so much a behavior issue. Their behavior, as Jesus said, is driven by their heart. Perhaps changing the discussion might further the discussion when homosexuals and Christians interact.